place porta johns throughout camp swampy ’ H u m a n i t i e s

place porta johns throughout camp swampy ’ H u m a n i t i e s

Please read the material and answer the following questions!

This module addresses the basics of government contracts. It covers substantial territory.


1. General Halftrack did not receive the appropriation to develop a 21st Century halftrack but did get an appropriation to place Porta Johns throughout Camp Swampy’s training areas. He has appointed Lt. Fuzz to be the program manager of the project. Lt. Fuzz profusely thanked General Halftrack for the honor. He saluted, did an about-face, and marched off, scratching his head wondering what the heck is a program manager. What role does the program manager play in government contracting?


2.General Halftrack is ecstatic because he finally got a letter from the Pentagon. He advised Lt. Fuzz, his trusted aide, that a Congressional committee authorized developing a new halftrack built with titanium and propelled by a turbine engine. He can’t wait to get started on the project. Lt. Fuzz reluctantly told him it isn’t yet a done deal since this is only an authorization. General Halftrack then stood Lt. Fuzz to attention and stated, “Listen to this, you young whipper snapper. I’ll read you the definition of authority from Webster’s dictionary: ‘to give authority for; formally sanction (an act or proceeding).’ How can Congress, having given authority to develop the vehicle, result in the command being prevented from actually developing the vehicle?”

Lt. Fuzz hesitantly replied that two of Congress’s duties include both “authorizing” purchases and “appropriating” funds.

“Now what?” exclaims the golf-loving, politically incorrect and hopelessly inept commanding officer of Camp Swampy as he tries to figure out what’s going on.

What is the difference between a Congressional authorization and a Congressional appropriation?

Lt. Fuzz then explained the difference between these two concepts. Please do the same.


Federal government contracts are subject to specialized rules that are not applicable to contracts between commercial firms.

The Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) provide many rules that are unique to contracting with the Government. For example, the Government may make unilateral changes to the contract without breaching the contract, the private firm must continue to perform the contract while a dispute is pending, the “termination for convenience” clause prevents contractors from recovering anticipatory profit in situations which would normally constitute breach of contract in the private sector, the “bona fide needs” rule and the anti-deficiency and advanced payment statutes limit the Government’s ability to enter into binding contracts that extend past the current fiscal year, the Government may audit the books of the private firm, and the Government may prosecute for fraud under the false claims and false statements statutes.

The FAR may be accessed on a web page maintained by the Government Printing Office, at: