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    Can you please assist us on determining how many vehicles we can purchase with our FY17 funding during CRA? We are trying to determine how many vehicles we can procure during the CRA and just want to do the right thing.


    Answer

    First off, this information is generic in nature, as we cannot provide an answer for your specific situation not knowing your specific program and more importantly what guidance/policy has been passed down from Congress, OMB, DoD and your service regarding your program situation. 

     A Continuing Resolution (CR) provides stopgap funding to keep affected agencies operating for a specified period of time. This period, spelled out in the resolution, may range from a few days to a few weeks or months, depending on when Congress believes it can pass the final appropriations bill(s). Unlike an appropriations act, a Continuing Resolution normally does not specify dollar amounts of budget authority. Rather, it permits activities to operate at the current rate of operations, which is usually based on one of the following levels depending on circumstances specified in the Continuing Resolution: (1) the amount the activity was appropriated in the prior year or (2) the lowest Congressional mark. Depending on status of the appropriations bills and whether or not a program was zeroed out during the committee mark-ups, other spending level limits may be specified in the

    Continuing Resolution. However, the two mentioned previously are the most common. The interpretation of a current rate of operations is left to the individual agencies, but clearly is not intended to permit the agency (or Military Service in the case of DoD) to obligate an entire year's worth of funding during the period covered by the CRA. While a Service might provide an individual program office a relatively large percentage of its probable total funding for the fiscal year, that appropriation account at the Service level must be held to the limit under the provisions of the CRA.

     According to the DoD FMR, Volume 3, Chapter 2, Section 020505, Apportionment Requirements under Continuing Resolution: When an appropriations act for a fiscal year has not been signed by October 1, Congress generally will pass a resolution appropriating funds to allow for the continuation of government operations for a specified period of time or until enactment of an appropriations act providing appropriations for the fiscal year. The CR is generally for a short term period, and there may be multiple CRs or CR extensions before an act is finally passed. Each CR must be signed into law by the President before becoming effective. The OMB publishes a bulletin with the first CR providing guidance to clarify how appropriations will be calculated.

    A. Annualized appropriations and automatic apportionment while under CR will be calculated by OUSD(C)/PB, P&FC based on the CR and guidance in the OMB bulletin issued with the first CR. The P&FC will provide appropriations and adjustments for reporting in the AR1002 and SF133, and available funds under CR to all Components, along with guidance to be followed while under CR. All P&FC calculations and fund balances/availability will be at the account level. Updates will be provided with each subsequent CR until an appropriations bill is passed. Appropriations and apportionments while under CR will be recorded in the SF133 in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-11 (Appendix F).

    C. Should Components require more funds than are automatically available to them under the CR, an exception apportionment will be required. Guidance for submission of an exception will be included in the CR guidance.

     There may be another part of the DoD FMR that comes into play.  That is DoD FMR, Volume 2A, Chapter 1, Section 010204, Buy-to-Budget for Acquisition of End Items:

    A. In accordance with United States Code Title 10, Section 2308, the head of an agency making the acquisition may acquire a higher quantity of the end item than the quantity specified in applicable Appropriations Acts if the following conditions are met:

    1. The agency has an established requirement for the end item that is expected to remain substantially unchanged throughout the period of the acquisition.

    2. It is possible to acquire the higher quantity of the end item without additional funding because of production efficiencies or other cost reductions.

    3. The amount of the funds used for the acquisition of the higher quantity of the end item will not exceed the amount provided under that law for the acquisition of the end item.

    4. The amount provided is sufficient to ensure that each unit of the end item acquired within the higher quantity is fully funded as a complete end item.

    B. For noncompetitive acquisitions, the acquisition of additional quantities is limited to not more than 10 percent of the quantity approved in the justification and approval prepared in accordance with United States Code Title 10, Section 2304, and Federal Acquisition Regulation Part 6.

    C. The agency head must notify the congressional defense committees of a decision to buy more items than specified in an Appropriations Act not later than 30 days after the date of the decision.

     The key to all of this is that your Service will have guidelines/guidance/policy in place tied to the funds provided/apportioned to your program.  That can be more restrictive than overarching guidance provided by OMB and the DoD FMR, so it is very important to consult and follow that guidance.  We also recommend seeking fiscal legal advice by your




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