Understanding spending over the time

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    AmandaC - Treasury

    Hi - Thank you for your question.

    The way we display award data on USAspending.gov is by individual transactions based on action date.

    When transactions are made on an award, the transaction is counted towards the fiscal year of the action date, instead of assigning all the funds to one year.

    Please let us know if you have any other questions or concerns.

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    Algis Greitai

    Thank you for the response. Just to follow up on this, to my understanding, start and end dates of awards' performance are usually the earliest and the latest dates of performance across all modifications/transactions? 

    I am asking this because each transaction/modification tends to have different performance start or end dates. While it is understandable to have different end dates, as it may result due to an uncertain amount of work. But this should not apply for the start date, as it is rather a certain object, right?

    For example, https://www.usaspending.gov/award/CONT_AWD_00001200204C0402DO86427GS35F5901H_1435_GS35F5910H_4730/

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    AmandaC - Treasury

    Hi Algris - Thank you for your question.

    Contract reporting has evolved over the years. For example, we received the contact data from the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS.gov). In their data dictionary, the indicate element 2B,
    Period of Performance Start Date was called Effective Date before 6/1/2020. This may have resulted in agency personnel entering the effective date of the modification, instead of the start date for the contract. We have no way of knowing why a modification was entered a particular way 16 years ago.

    Also, modifications can change the period of performance dates but are not required to do so.

    The duration of a contract may also depend on options being exercised. If options are not exercised, contracts will end sooner. An exercised options can extend a contract.

    We recommend you take the earliest PeriodOfPerformanceStartDate and the latest
    PeriodOfPerformanceCurrentEndDate or PeriodOfPerformancePotentialEndDate for the duration of the award. For the amount of the award, total all the values for federal action obligation in the award transactions.

    Please let us know if you have any other questions or concerns.

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    Algis Greitai

    Thank you for the response.  I would like to ask another related question. Are beginning and end dates, therefore the duration of the contract, at modification=0 correspond to the agreed duration at the time of a signed contract? Does it correspond to the same idea that a federal_action_obligation is an initial amount of contract when the contract is awarded?

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    AmandaC - Treasury

    Hi Algis - Thank you for your question.

    It depends on the structure of the contract.

    Examples:

    1) A contract to purchase 10 buses in a year. This is might be a contract with a set period of performance, a federal action obligation for the full amount, and no modifications.

    2) A contract for administrative services support. This contract might have a base amount and option periods. In this case modification = 0 would be for only the base amount with a federal action obligation of the base amount. A future modification might activate an option that would extend the period of performance and add another federal action obligation amount all under the same contract

    Please let us know if you have any other questions or concerns.

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