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  • Question

    Can you do this?is this legal? What regulation can I find this? Thank you for your assistance.


    Answer

    From all appearances, you are not violating the bona fide rule.  The bona fide needs rule provides that a fiscal year appropriation may be obligated only to meet a legitimate need arising in the fiscal year for which the appropriation was made. 58 Comp. Gen. 471, 473 (1979). The bona fide needs rule applies with equal force to multiple year appropriations. 55 Comp. Gen. 768, 773 (1976).
     
    In a January 4, 1989, a Comptroller General decision involving The Defense Technical Information Center, the comptroller General said,
     
    “DTIC may use 2-year funds appropriated for fiscal year 1987 for obligations properly incurred in fiscal year 1988. As the appropriation was specifically made available for obligation until September 30, 1988, it could be obligated during the entire two years of its avai1abi1ity.  The Defense Technical Information Center does not violate the bona-fide needs rule by charging purchases to a two-year appropriation during the second year of its availability. Requisitions by the Defense Technical Information Center represented bona fide needs arising within the two-year period for which the appropriation was intended and obligations may be made to the extent funds remain available. The appropriation involved here was available for a two-year period and any bona -fide need arising within that two-year period could be charged to the appropriation. There is no requirement that two year funds be used only for the needs of the first year of their availability”.
     
    That said, you may have advance congressional reporting requirements that may not allow you to do this.  Also, sometime individual services may be more restrictive with multiyear procurement funds.  Please check with your service comptroller about any such constraints.

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