If Ratification is denied for an unauthorized commitment, is it a simple X in the No box and then it's between the offending employee and the entity not being paid by the government? Is there more to it that that?
FAR 1.602-3 provides elementary guidance on ratification of unauthorized commitments. Ratification means the act of approving an unauthorized commitment by an official who has the authority to do so.
FAR 1602-3 (d) states “Cases that are not ratifiable under this subsection may be subject to resolution as recommended by the Government Accountability Office under its claim procedure (GAO Policy and Procedures Manual for Guidance of Federal Agencies, Title 4, Chapter 2), or as authorized by FAR Subpart 50.1. If a ratification authority decides not to pay the unauthorized commitment, the vendor or “unpaid entity” is not allowed to pursue a claim against the “offending government employee”.
This is supported by the language at 48 CFR 1501.602-3 (d), which states “If the ratifying official determines that an unauthorized commitment cannot be ratified by the Agency, the ratifying official shall instruct the submitter to present its claim to the General Accounting Office in accordance with the instructions contained in 4 CFR part 31, Claims Against the United States, General Procedures”. 4 CFR 31 provides instructions on how and where to file a claim against the U.S. So when ratification is denied, the vendor must appeal to the GAO.
It should be mentioned many agencies have local guidance that states employees will be personally liable for unauthorized commitments, up to a certain dollar value. For example, if a credit cardholder purchases $150 worth of goods without proper authority, the agency may require the employee to repay the money to the Treasury. But the agency still must ratify the unauthorized commitment.
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