Can you process a BTR while under a CR?
I know of, nor can locate any, policy or law that would prevent you from doing a Below Threshold Reprogramming (BTR) during a Continuing Resolution (CR), so long as you aren’t using the BTR funds to break any of the laws and/or policies that accompany that specific CR language. Such CR laws generally:
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- Prohibit the initiation of a new start (unless specifically expressly authorized in CR language)
- Require services to operate at a rate of obligation (at the “appropriation level”) that is the lesser of (in both $ and quantity):
o Amount appropriated in the previous FY, or
o Lowest Congressional mark to date in the current FY’s enactment process, or
o Next FY’s budget request
Also, since CR’s are legally managed at the appropriation account level (e.g. RDT&E,N), moving funds between RDT&E Program Elements (PE’s) within that appropriation should be fine.
Furthermore, you can certainly do BTR’s during a CR for multi-year appropriations (that are no longer under a CR and had a full annual appropriation act passed) that are still current but not in their 1st year of availability. For example, if time now is FY18, and the FY17 budget was no longer under a CR, you could process BTR’s for FY17 RDT&E (since RDT&E funds are in the current period of their appropriation life cycle for 2 FY’s).
That all said, your local Command and/or Service’s “policy” might be more restrictive. If so, you might have to work with that policy holder individually to assess whether you might receive an exception to their more restrictive policy.
Lastly, and as a best practice in general with any issue pertaining to fiscal law, you should consult and work with your local comptroller and legal offices to ensure that the specific details of your particular situation are being legally addressed.