The HCA is authorized to approve determinations and findings as well as contract terms for advance payments. The contracting officer must submit a recommendation for approval or disapproval of the contractor's request to the HCA.
The HCA may authorize advance payments without interest pursuant to FAR 32.407.
(a) Except in unusual circumstances, the contracting office may not issue solicitations until an approved procurement request (PR), containing a certification that funds are available, has been received. However, the contracting office may take all necessary actions up to the point of contract obligation before receipt of the PR certifying that funds are available when:
(1) The Assistant Secretaries, Inspector General, Bureau Chief, Deputy Under Secretary, Solicitor of Labor, Commissioner, or Director of the Women's Bureau certifies that such action is necessary to meet critical program schedules for their program area;
(2) The Budget Officer certifies that program authority has been issued and funds to cover the acquisition will be available before the date set for receipt of proposals;
(3) The solicitation includes the clause at FAR 52.232-18, Availability of Funds.
(b) The contracting office may not open bids/close solicitations until a PR, either planning or final, has been received that contains a certification of fund availability. Only the project or program official with the authority to commit funds from the agency that initiated the PR may make that written certification.
(c) The project or program office that initiated the PR is responsible for obtaining required certifications.