OMB advises agencies to pinch pennies during CRs

In light of the prolonged continuing resolutions in recent years, Paul Denett, Office of Federal Procurement Policy administrator, issued four basic guidelines for agencies to follow when conducting acquisitions.

In a memo released last week, Denett advised agency chief acquisition officers to speak with budget and finance personnel to determine the availability of funding for existing and new contracts.

He also suggested that each agency notify vendors of government funding limitations and prudently contract through advance planning, maximizing competition and effectively managing contracts.

Additionally, Denett requested that each agency consult their legal counsels to avoid violating the Anti-Deficiency Act. The ADA holds government officials accountable for spending within their appropriated funds, which is especially important under a CR, when feds must operate under the previous year's enacted funds, or in the case of a reduced budget, the unapproved smaller amount.

'The extended duration of CRs in recent years serves as an important reminder of the additional attention required by acquisition officials to ensure compliance with the ADA and the avoidance of major disruptions to essential government services,' Denett wrote in the memo.

Agencies have been working under a CR since Oct. 1, when the federal year began. The latest spending extension ' Congress' third in 2007 ' expires Feb. 15, but the House passed a year-long CR in late January and the Senate is considering it this week.

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