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    1. what supply and material can be used to purchase APF funds for a training event? 2. what supplies and material can be used to purchase with fund raised from ticket sale?


    Answer

    Unfortunately, this question provides exceptionally little detail about what the organization is trying to fund.  Therefore, I am left wondering if the question is referring to two separate events, a training event and a separate event to which tickets are being sold, or is this a single training event to which tickets are being sold to either participate in, or spectate at.  In addition, there is no indication of the type of appropriation (i.e. O&M, RDT&E, Procurement, etc.) that is being considered, or the DoD Component (Service), or Agency, that is contemplating this endeavor.  Regardless, this question is comparable to trying to traverse an unmarked minefield.
     
    With regards to the use of Appropriated Funds (APF), the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has long held that Appropriated Funds may not be used to acquire items that are not specifically set forth in an appropriation act. The GAO routinely sites 31 U.S.C. § 1301(a) as their justification.  31 U.S.C. § 1301(a) states, “Appropriations shall be applied to the objects for which the appropriations were made except as otherwise provided by law.”  Just for clarity, 31 U.S.C. § 1301 is the Misappropriation Act.
     
    I have to ask, what did the budget justification documents that were submitted through the Service and included in the annual appropriation act say with regard to the training event?  Was the event addressed at all?  And if so, did the budget documents address specifically what the APF would be used to purchase?  If the documents have that level of granularity, that is what you can buy with the APF.  If the budget submission documents are not that specific, each Service has its own version of a financial management regulation that provides more detail regarding what the Service says is an allowable, or unallowable, use of APF.
     
    The Air Force has Air Force Instruction (AFI) 65-601, Volume 1, Budget Guidance and Procedures (dated 16 August 2012, Incorporating Change 1, 29 July 2015), while the Navy uses NAVSO P-1000 (dated September 2016).  I site these two because the only thing that could be determined about the organization asking this question is that it is located in the Norfolk, VA area.  If the organization is neither Navy nor Air Force, rest assured that there is a similar financial management regulation.  All of these financial management regulations address under what circumstances APFs can be used for training, and purchasing awards (trophies, medals, etc.), food, and equipment, to name just a few.  These regulations are so expansive, and varied based on the Service, that without knowing the specifics of the event, it is impossible to provide a specific determination on the use of APF for the purchase.
     
    With regard to the use of funds raised from ticket sales, the Services’ financial management regulations also address non-appropriated funds (NAF) and there use.  It should be noted that proceeds from ticket sales may be particularly dangerous in this proverbial minefield. While there are almost no limitations on what can be purchased with these funds, an APF organization is not supposed to be raising outside sources of funding without prior permission and the ability to completely and accurately account for the use of the funds, particularly funds remaining after all expenses have been covered.
     
    Conclusion: There are no easy answers to these questions without knowing more details about the specific situation.  However, the Service’s financial management regulation is the place to start the search for specifics.
     
    Suggestions:  Read your Service’s financial management regulation, paying particular attention to those areas that deal with your specific scenario.  In addition, it is most strongly recommended that you contact your local comptroller organization, and legal counsel for more information and their policy interpretation of this issue.


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