Expired Appropriations: New Limitations on Availability Make Improved Management by DoD Essential
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC WASHINGTON DC United States
Pagination or Media Count:
Prior to 1990, expired budget authority remained available indefinitely in the M accounts and merged surplus authority. The balances in these accounts could be used to pay valid obligations incurred before the budget authority had expired, including certain upward adjustments. Many lawmakers were unaware of agencies access to the large balances of budget authority in these accounts. The use of these accounts was highlighted in 1989 when the Air Force informed the Congress that it planned to use almost 1 billion from the accounts to correct problems in the B-1B bombers defensive avionics system. GAO was asked to review the Department of Defenses DOD use of M accounts and the merged surplus authority. In response to this request, GAO reviewed 1 the size of the balances in these accounts in the Army, Navy, and Air Force, 2 the purposes for which the services were using the expired budget authority, and 3 the extent to which that use satisfied all legal requirements.