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  • Question

    Because donated funds are not appropriated by Congress, are they subject to the Anti-Deficiency Act? If they are not, it is possible to incur an unauthorized commitment if an obligation is not recorded prior to receipt of a supply or service? Last, does a federally warranted Contracting Officer have the authority to award a contract that cites donated funds?


    Answer

    Questions on the use of donated funds best addressed to the VA Office of Finance at (202) 461-6180.

    The Office of Finance is responsible for continually improving the quality of the Department’s financial services.  It maintains stewardship of Departmental resources and provides financial information, financial statements and reports on VA’s appropriations and general, revolving, special, and deposit funds for cost and obligation accounting.  The Office of Finance establishes financial policy, systems and operating procedures for all VA financial entities, provides guidance on all aspects of financial management, and directs and manages the Department’s financial operations and systems support.

    In General: 
    ·  The Antideficiency Act prohibits federal employees from
    o  making or authorizing an expenditure from, or creating or authorizing an obligation under, any appropriation or fund in excess of the amount available in the appropriation or fund unless authorized by law. 31 U.S.C. § 1341(a)(1)(A).
    o  involving the government in any obligation to pay money before funds have been appropriated for that purpose, unless otherwise allowed by law. 31 U.S.C. § 1341(a)(1)(B).
    o  accepting voluntary services for the United States, or employing personal services not authorized by law, except in cases of emergency involving the safety of human life or the protection of property. 31 U.S.C. § 1342.
    o  making obligations or expenditures in excess of an apportionment or reapportionment, or in excess of the amount permitted by agency regulations. 31 U.S.C. § 1517(a).
    Federal employees who violate the Antideficiency Act are subject to two types of sanctions: administrative and penal. Employees may be subject to appropriate administrative discipline including, when circumstances warrant, suspension from duty without pay or removal from office. In addition, employees may also be subject to fines, imprisonment, or both.
    ·  For more information on the Antideficiency Act purpose, history, and requirements see Chapter 6, Availability of Appropriations: Amount
    As for your question, does a federally warranted Contracting Officer have the authority to award a contract that cites donated funds.  This would depend on your Contracting Officer’s Warrant.  Contracting officers are appointed in writing on an SF 1402, Certificate of Appointment, which states any limitations on the scope of authority to be exercised, other than limitations contained in applicable law or regulation. (See FAR 1.603-3)

    We recomend too that you contact the element of your organizaiton that is responsible for the use of donated funds and non-appropriated funds.



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