HHS Reference Tool for Contract Funding, Formation and Appropriations Law Compliance
Non-severable services constitute a specific, entire job or single undertaking with a defined end-product that cannot feasibly be subdivided for separate performance. Accordingly, non-severable services must be financed entirely out of the appropriation current at the time of award, even though performance may extend into future fiscal years. Following that logic, contracts for non-severable services cannot be incrementally funded (see 71 Comp Gen 428  and GAO Decision B-317139, Matter of Financial Crimes Enforcement Network). The only means to award a contract for non-severable services without full funding up front is to use the multi-year contracting method per FAR Subpart 17.1.
Examples of non-severable services
- Conduct an 18-month evaluation of the HHS Internal Control Program. During this period, the contractor must visit several OPDIVs, conduct interviews, develop case studies, and prepare a final report with findings and recommendations for program improvement. While the contract may require interim products, the contract’s purpose and value to the Department is the final report; thus, it must be fully funded from an appropriation current at the time of contract award.
- Completion of a clinical drug trial over four years, culminating with the submission of a final report summarizing research results.
- Development of an IT software application, requiring delivery of the completed system within 30 months after contract award.