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  • Question

    Can we use an Authorization to Proceed (ATP) letter to/for CTRs that want to work during a Continuing Resolution? If so, do you have a Sample Letter or some sample words?


    Answer

    In short there is no way that the government authorizes contractors to work without funds being available. In fact Congress went so far as to enact the Antideficiency Act originally in 1884 and now codified in 31 USC 1341 to prevent officers of the government spending the money in advance of Congressional Authorization, thereby preserving Congress's 'Power of the Purse.'
     
    This law prevents an officer or employee of the US Government from (in part):
     
      "a) make or authorize an expenditure or obligation exceeding an amount available in an appropriation or fund for the expenditure or obligation;
      b) involve government in a contract or obligation for the payment of money before an appropriation is made unless authorized by law."
     
    There are both administrative and penal sanctions tied to violations of the Antideficiency Act
     
    FAR 32.703-2 - Contracts Conditioned on Availability of Funds. Provides specific guidance on initiating a contract in advance of funds. Specific clauses and circumstances are necessary.
     
    FAR 52.232-19 - Availability of Funds for the Next Fiscal Year, has specific wording that is included in contracts with options that are not funded beyond a specific date.
     

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