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  • Question

    Is it possible for an unauthorized commitment to turn into an ADA violation? I am under the impression that it cannot because during the ratification process a Comptroller wouldn't willfully Obligate funds if funds were not available. That would also be true if the purchase violated the Purpose or Time statute.


    Answer

    Both Unauthorized Commitments (UAC) and Anti-Deficiency Act (ADA) violations are serious yet distinct issues.  However, there is the potential for a UAC to also become an ADA violation.

    As explained in the Defense Contingency COR Handbook (chapter 7). 

    "In some cases, an unauthorized commitment may be subsequently adopted or ratified (see FAR Subpart
    1.602-3
    ). This long and time- consuming process involves, among other things, preparing statements
    and summaries of facts and investigating relevant documents, recommendations, and approvals, in
    accordance with individual agency procedures.

    Only an action that would otherwise be proper can be ratified. The Anti-Deficiency Act prohibits
    authorizing or incurring obligations or expenditures in excess of amounts apportioned by the Office
    of Management and Budget or in excess of amounts permitted by agency regulations. An unauthorized
    commitment could potentially be a violation of the Anti-Deficiency Act, subject to fines and other
    penalties. If it is determined that the price is not fair and reasonable, then the price must be renegotiated."




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