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  • Question

    Is it an unauthorized commitment to trial these free items? Does it matter if it is in a practice lab environment or an actual surgery? It could be a waste to order and then not actually like the item once used.


    Answer

    According to the FAR, an unauthorized commitment is "an agreement that is not binding solely because the Government representative who made it lacked the authority to enter into that agreement on behalf of the Government." It also involves the use of appropriated funds. Based on the description of your situation, there is no implied or explicit agreement that involves the actual or promised use of appropriated funds. I know of no prohibition against accepting free trials, as long as doing so doesn't violate your agency's or medical center's policies. For added assurance you should check with your organization's legal counsel.

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