Is a bona fide need memo needed?
The following response is based solely on the question and background information provided. As we do not have all the facts particular to your situation, we highly recommend you consult, as applicable, your local Comptroller/BFM office, contracting officer and/or Legal Office for further guidance.
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Your question is the requirement for a Bona Fide Need memo in using FY 16 R&D Funds for a FY 17 need. The “Bona Fide Need” Rule:
“The balance of an appropriation or fund limited for obligation to a definite period is available only for payment of expenses properly incurred during the period of availability…”
31 USC §1502(a)
RDT&E funds are available for new obligations for a 2 year period, so using FY 16 R&D funds for a FY 17 need should not require a Bona Fide Need memo. I would caution though to be sure that you are using the R&D funds for the purpose that you told Congress on your Budget Exhibits. If you do not use the funds for the purpose you told Congress then you may have a Purpose Statute Violation (Misappropriation). “Appropriations shall be applied only to the objects for which the appropriations were made…”
31 USC § 1301(a)