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    Currently we have FSRs (Field Service Reps) that are funded with 3400 funds. Are we able to switch funding sources and fund this with 3010? Thank you for your response.


    Answer

    Great question.  The applicable statutory reference is the Purpose Statute: 31 U.S.C. Section 1301(a). Your scenario is covered by what is often called the Election Doctrine or colloquially known as the “pick and stick” rule.

    The key reference is The GAO Red Book -- PRINCIPLES OF FEDERAL APPROPRIATIONS LAW, Chapter 3: Availability of Appropriations: Purpose (4th edition 2017 Revision).  See Section E on page 410.

    Additional guidance can be found at Volume 2A, Chapter 1, of the DoD Financial Management Regulation [DoD 7000.14-R (FMR)] which provides guidance as to the proper use of these appropriations categories to finance acquisition program efforts. The link is https://comptroller.defense.gov/FMR.aspx  You may also have an AF 65 series instruction, manual, or pamplet that gives USAF specific guidance.

    Summary: The GAO’s Election Doctrine states that if two or more appropriations are equally available, then the agency may choose which appropriation to use. Once the agency chooses a certain appropriation for that type of acquisition, however, the agency must continue to use the same appropriations for all acquisitions of that type – i.e., once the agency makes its choice of appropriation, they are bound by that choice.  Once that election has been made, the agency must continue to use the same appropriation for that purpose unless the agency informs Congress of its intent to change for the next fiscal year. [B-307382, Sept. 5, and 2006; B-272191, Nov. 4, 1997].  This notification should occur as early as possible in the fiscal year, so that Congress is aware of that information during the annual appropriations cycle.
     

     

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