19 Dec Unauthorized Agreement
(4) Agencies should deal with unauthorized obligations using the ratification authority of this subsection, rather than referring these measures to the Accountability Office. (see 1.602-3 (d).) (1) Agencies should take positive steps to avoid the need for a ratification procedure as much as possible. While this section provides for procedures for use in cases where ratification of an unassed obligation is necessary, these procedures should not be applied in a manner that promotes commitments made by government staff. Staff responsible for unauthorized obligations are required to provide detailed written explanations of their actions and may be subject to disciplinary action, particularly where the offences are egregious and/or repeated. 2. Subject to limitations in paragraph (c) of this subsection, the head of the contract activity may, unless the Agency appoints a public servant at a higher level, ratify an unauthorized obligation. The procedure in which designated persons convert an unauthorized obligation into a legal contract is called ratification. In accordance with the Ministry of State Acquisition (DOSAR), the head of the contracting activity was empowered to ratify unauthorized commitments of up to $1,000. Purchasing management must ratify each commitment over $1,000.
Ratifications can only take place if all regulatory requirements or conditions are met. Contract agents are not allowed to simply obtain an order or a modification of the contract if an unauthorized obligation has been established. In addition, the OC will need a purchase request and adequate funding for the action, including certification that funding was available at the time of the unauthorized obligation. The OC may also contact the contractor to determine whether the contractor has “reasonably” relied on the obvious power of service delivery. Deliveries or services are ordered by a person who is not mentioned on a purchase card or who is mentioned in a contract or framework contract. Note: A funding document is not a contractual document. There are serious consequences for all leaders of the unauthorized engagement. Unauthorized commitments may result in personal liability for the person who made the commitment. An unauthorized obligation is defined in FAR 1.602-3 (a) as an agreement that is not binding solely because the government representative who did so was not authorized to enter into the agreement on behalf of the government.