HHS Reference Tool for Contract Funding, Formation and Appropriations Law Compliance
Acquiring Severable Services
Are the services severable?
Severable services means services provided on an on-going, as needed or recurring basis and that meet a need of the Government at the time they are delivered (refer to the examples listed below). When the need for a portion of recurring or continuing services arises in the fiscal year subsequent to the one in which the services were initially funded, that portion is severable and chargeable to appropriations available for obligation in the subsequent fiscal year.
A significant exception to this general rule was provided with the passage of the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act (FASA) in 1994, providing agencies greater flexibility in their use of annual appropriations. This authority was implemented by FAR 32.703-3(b), Contracts crossing fiscal years. In essence, a contract, option or order for severable services funded from an annual appropriation may cover a period that begins in one fiscal year (FY) and ends in the next FY, provided that: (1) the requirement is a bona fide need at the point of contract action execution; and (2) the period funded by the contract action does not exceed twelve months. Funds made available for a fiscal year (i.e., annual appropriations) may be obligated for the total amount of a contract action entered into under this authority.
- Animal holding services (i.e., daily care and feeding of laboratory animals)
- Janitorial/custodial/facilities support services
- Temporary help services
- Information technology help-desk support
- Off-the-shelf training services
- Technical assistance on an as-needed basis
- Administrative/program management support services (provided on-site in support of daily operations)