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An unauthorized undertaking is defined in FAR 1.602-3(a) as an agreement that is not binding solely because the government official who entered into it was not authorized to enter into the agreement on behalf of the government. The only persons who can bind the government are contract employees and acquisition cardholders who act within their delegated authority. Unauthorized obligations violate federal laws, federal regulations, government-wide standards of conduct for federal employees, and departmental procurement regulations. (1) Agencies should take positive measures to exclude as far as possible the need for ratification measures. Although this section provides for enforcement procedures in cases where ratification of an unauthorized undertaking is required, these procedures shall not be applied in a manner that encourages government personnel to undertake such obligations. An unauthorized obligation, as used in this subsection, means an agreement that is not binding solely because the government official who entered into the agreement was not authorized to enter into the agreement on behalf of the government. Deliveries or services are ordered by a person who is not named on an acquisition card or identified in a contract or master purchase contract. Note: A funding document is not a contractual document. (5) Unauthorized obligations that would include claims that would result in a solution pursuant to 41 U.S.C. Chapter 71, Contractual Disputes, should be dealt with in accordance with subsection 33.2, Disputes and Appeals. (d) ineligible commitments. Cases that cannot be ratified under this paragraph may be resolved without purpose, as recommended by the Government Accountability Office as part of its GAO Policy and Procedures Manual for the Guidance of Federal Agencies, Title 4, Chapter 2, or as authorized by subsection 50.1 of the FAR. In these cases, legal advice should be sought.

The unauthorized obligation has serious consequences for all parties involved. Unauthorized obligations may result in personal liability for the person who made the commitment. (1) supplies or services have been provided to and accepted by the Government or the Government has obtained or will obtain an advantage from the performance of the unauthorized obligation; 5. The contract agent shall recommend payment and the lawyer shall accept the recommendation, unless the Agency`s procedures expressly require such consent; 3. The power of ratification referred to in point (b)(2) of this Subsection may be conferred in accordance with the Agency`s procedures, but in no case may the Authority be delegated below the level of the head of the contracting entity. The acquisition cardholder exceeds the limit for a one-time purchase without appropriate authorization/delegation of authority. The process by which designated persons convert an unauthorized obligation into a legal contract is called ratification. Under the Department of State Acquisition Regulation (DOSAR), the head of contracting activity has been given the authority to ratify unauthorized obligations that do not exceed $1,000. The procurement authority must ratify any commitment over $1,000. Ratifications can only take place if all regulatory requirements or conditions are met. Contract agents do not have the power to simply give an appointment or an amendment to a contract if an unauthorised obligation has been established.

Ratification, as used in this subsection, means the approval of an obligation not authorized by an official authorized to do so. (4) Agencies should deal with unauthorized obligations using the power of ratification in this Subsection, rather than referring such actions to the Government Accountability Office for resolution. (See 1.602-3 (d).) Contractors acting on the basis of unauthorised obligations do so at their own risk. You are not entitled to consideration (money) unless the unauthorized obligation is ratified. Payment is therefore significantly delayed or cannot be made at all if the measure is not ratified or if costs are not accounted for. The contractor begins the work before the contract document is issued or assigned by a CO. Personnel responsible for unauthorized obligations must provide detailed written explanations of their actions and may be subject to disciplinary action, especially if the violations are flagrant and/or repetitive. Questions regarding unauthorized obligations can be directed to Susan Catington, Department of State Competition Attorney, (703) 516-1693. An invoice is received from a contractor, but there is no order or contract for the items or work described in the invoice. .