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HHS Reference Tool for Contract Funding, Formation and Appropriations Law Compliance



Regulations and

Case Studies

Frequently Asked Questions


HHS Reference Tool Content

I.Basic Appropriations Law Concepts
 A.Anti-Deficiency Act
 B.Bona FideNeeds Rule
 C.Appropriation Types
 D.Continuing Resolution
II.Decision Factors
 A.No-Year Appropriation
 B.Bona FideNeeds Rule
 C.Acquiring Severable Services
  1.Annual Appropriation
   a.Contract period not more than one year
   b.Contract period more than one year
    -Incremental Funding
  2.Multiple-Year Appropriation
   a.Contract period will not extend beyond multiple-year appropriation's period of availability
   b.Contract period will extend beyond multiple-year appropriation's period of availability
    -Incremental Funding
 D.Acquiring Non-severable Services
  1. Funded in Full
    a.Entire Contract/Single Requirement
    b.Fully Funded Initial Requirement (Followed by Options)
  2.Multi-year Contracting
  3.Options After Initial Requirement
    a.Severable Services
    -Annual Appropriation
    -Multiple-Year Appropriation
    b.Non-severable Services
    -Fully Funded
    -Multi-Year Contract
 E.Acquiring both severable and non-severable services
  1.Single Definitive Contract
  2.Indefinite-Delivery/Indefinite-Quantity Contract
III.Case Studies
IV.Frequently Asked Questions

Funding Source

Is funding source an annual or multiple-year appropriation? 


Annual      Multiple-Year


Help Notes

Annual appropriations (also called fiscal year or 1-year appropriations) are made for a specified fiscal year and are available for obligation only during the fiscal year for which made. The federal government’s fiscal year begins on October 1 and ends on September 30 of the following year (31 U.S.C. § 1102). All appropriations are presumed to be annual appropriations unless the appropriation act expressly provides otherwise.

Multiple-year appropriations are available for obligation for a definite period in excess of one fiscal year [37 Comp. Gen. 861, 863 (1958)]. For example, if a fiscal year 2011 appropriation act includes an appropriation account that specifies that it shall remain available until September 30, 2013, it is a 2-year appropriation. As a more specific illustration, the appropriation accounts for military construction are typically 5-year appropriations. Apart from the extended period of availability, multiple year appropriations are subject to the same principles applicable to annual appropriations and do not present any special problems.

For more information, see GAO-04-261SP, Principles of Federal Appropriations Law—Volume I, pp. 5-4—5-7.