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1.20.5. Financial Administration Act and the Government Contracts Regulations

  1. The Financial Administration Act provides the legal framework for the collection and expenditure of public funds, including the contracting practices of PWGSC and its clients. Sections 32, 33, 34, 37, 40 and 41 are of direct interest to contracting officers.
  2. Section 32 provides that no contract providing for a payment can be entered into unless there is sufficient funding available to discharge any debt that under the contract will be incurred during the fiscal year in which the contract is entered into. Section 33 requires that no charge can be made against an appropriation except on the requisition of the appropriate Minister of the department for which the appropriation was made or of a person authorized in writing by that Minister.
  3. Pursuant to section 34, no payment can be made unless the deputy of the appropriate Minister, or another person authorized by the Minister certifies, in the case of a payment for the performance of work, the supply of goods or the rendering of services, that the work has been performed, the goods supplied or the service rendered and that the price charged is in accordance with the contract, or if not specified in the contract, is reasonable. Under 1.20(a) (ii), payment may be made before completion of the work (i.e. advance or progress payment) but only if such payment is in accordance with the contract.
  4. Sections 37 and 37.1 provide that any unexpended portion of an appropriation lapses at the end of the fiscal year, except that a debt incurred for work performed, goods received or services rendered before the end of the fiscal year must be recorded as an expenditure against the appropriation, even though payment is made during the following fiscal year.
  5. Section 40 provides that it is a term of every contract providing for the payment of any money by Her Majesty under that contract is subject to there being an appropriation for the particular service for the fiscal year in which any commitment under that contract would come in course of payment.
  6. Section 41 provides for regulations with respect to the conditions under which contracts may be entered into.
  7. Sections 61 and 62 restrict the transfer, lease or loan of public property and require each department to maintain adequate records of its public property. However, pursuant to the Public Property Loan Regulations, (SOR/92-745), section 61 permits ministers to loan public property, subject to certain conditions.
  8. Sections 66 to 71 describe conditions under which Crown debts may be assigned, and the procedure to follow.
  9. Contracting officers should be familiar with the Government Contracts Regulations (GCR). Part I of the GCRs deals with conditions of contract entry. Section 4 provides that contracts for legal services are only entered into by the Minister of Justice. Section 5 sets out the requirement for soliciting bids and section 6 specifies conditions under which bids need not be solicited. Section 8 and 9 authorize advance payments and progress payments. Part II deals with bid and contract security.