This is an enjoyable (seriously, it is) two-day seminar that will immerse participants in the core topics of fiscal law that affect and involve the day-to-day operations of federal agencies, to include funding decisions connected with the award and modification of contracts and grants.

Participants will receive a detailed course manual and copies of the accompanying presentations. Our instructors have extensive experience in practicing (i.e., advising federal agencies), teaching, and writing on fiscal law.

Fiscal Law – What it is, and where it comes from. The Constitution on fiscal law; the key permanent fiscal laws; and the annual fiscal laws (appropriations and authorizations – as well as how to interpret them from budget requests and conference reports); and the disputed fiscal law authority of the Comptroller General (GAO) and the Attorney General (Department of Justice) – which will be an eye-opener for many participants; and finally, where federal executive branch personnel should go for fiscal law advice.

Availability. The core consideration: are funds available for what the federal agency wants to do? Available in terms of purpose, time and amount.

Obligation. Another fundamental concept. When does a fiscal obligation occur and in what amount (contract awards and fiscal obligations are not always simultaneous). This is crucial because agencies cannot over obligate or obligate in advance!

Purpose. The traditional first component of availability. The availability of appropriations for a specific or general purpose. We will thoroughly explain the Purpose Statute and the GAO’s famous three-part test. We’ll also address common purpose issues, such as the availability of appropriations for food, novelties, etc., and other things that might be considered to be a personal expense.

Time. The second component of availability, and another way in which Congress exercises control over the “power of the Purse.” We’ll cover the life cycle of appropriations (current, expired and closed) and thoroughly explain, with real-life examples, the “bona fide needs rule” and its exceptions, and show how they apply to contracts for supplies and services.

Amount and the Antideficiency Acts. We will explain what the antideficiency acts are; why they are; what they do; and how they are violated. We will explain all of the acts, those pertains to amounts on appropriations, apportionments, and subdivisions of apportionments, and those pertaining to personal services and voluntary services. We will explain how purpose and time violations may – or may not – trigger an ADA violation, and explain the major disagreement between the GAO and the executive branch on the ADA significance of some (but not all) purpose statute violations. We will look at summaries of reported ADA violations, to include some that do not appear to be ADA violations

Other Fiscal Topics. We will explain augmenting appropriations, and transfers and reprogramings – and how an error in these things can result in an ADA violation.

The Fiscal Law of Contracting. We will identify the major fiscal law issues in contracting, to include obligations delayed by a pre-award bid protest; obligations upon the award of FAR Part 16 instruments; crossing fiscal years to fund service contracts; full and incremental funding; and the funding of changes and claims (including the competing views on those subjects)

Review Exercises. We will do review exercises that reinforce the learning points.

Customization. All our in-house presentations are customize to address issues and subjects of interest to the host organization.

Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Learn what the Antideficiency Acts are
  • Understand what they prohibit, and their exceptions
  • Recognize what they require, and what they permit
  • Learn how and when they can be violated
  • Understand the actions required when a violation is detected
  • Realize proscriptive laws and violation scenarios on over obligations, advance obligations, and services violations
  • Review case summaries of GAO decisions; and synopses of executive branch agencies’ ADA violation reports
  • Learn, in detail, the common scenarios of ADA violations
  • Review the disagreement between the Comptroller General/GAO and Attorney General over some key aspects of the ADA
  • Apprehend how some potential ADA violations can be averted after the Purpose Statute and Bona Fide
  • Needs Rule have been violated
  • Recognize the relationship of other fiscal law concepts and principles that could affect the ADA, such as the augmenting, transferring, and reprogramming of appropriations

Who Should Attend:

  • Program Managers
  • Project Managers
  • Resource Managers
  • Budget Officers
  • Finance Officers
  • Contracting Officers
  • Legal Staff
  • Auditors
  • Internal Review Staff
  • Inspectors General
  • Contractors
  • Anyone who wants to understand the major source of fiscal and legal control on their federal customers!

What’s Included:

  • Breakfast (Breakfast and registration open at 7:30am)
  • Light refreshments
  • Course materials


Book now!

Course Number: GV22


No classes are currently scheduled. Please contact us to inquire about availability or booking an on-site class.