Purchase of Supplies Using Appropriations Available in Fiscal Year 1928

A-19524: Aug 26, 1927

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The Secretary of the Interior requested a decision as to whether, under a contract entered into during Fiscal Year (FY) 1927 for a period extending into FY 1928, purchases of supplies can be made during FY 1928, provided payment therefore is made from the proper appropriation available during the latter fiscal year. The general question arises in connection with a contract for the purchase of butter for use in the Grand Canyon National Park for a three months' period beginning April 15, 1927. The appropriation to be charged with the purchase price of the supplies covered by the contract was not indicated or designated in the contract and it was assumed the appropriation available at the time the contract was made was to be charged with such purchase price.

GAO held that since the contract was entered into after the appropriate FY 1928 appropriation had been enacted by Congress, there was no legal objection to obligating that appropriation for orders under the contract placed during that fiscal year. GAO also noted that to avoid such misunderstandings in future contracts, the contracts should designate the appropriation or appropriations against which contract payments would be obligated, particularly where the contracts cover a portion of two fiscal years.