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Budget Issues: The Use of Spending Authority and Permanent Appropriations Is Widespread

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Technical Report

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United States Government Accountability Office Washington United States

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The Congressional Budget Act of 1974 titles I through IX of Public Law93-344, as amended by the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 Public Law 99-177, requires the General Accounting Office GAO to study the provisions of law which provide permanent appropriations and spending authority not provided by prior appropriations. It also requires GAO to recommend the appropriate form of financing for activities or programs financed by such provisions of law. In meetings with staff of four House committees-Rules, Appropriations, Budget, and Public Works and Transportation-and staff of the Senate Appropriations and Budget committees, it was agreed that we would address the broad instructions in the budget act in two phases, One of our specific objectives for the first phase, as agreed with congressional staff, was to provide a descriptive inventory containing information on accounts with spending authority and permanentappropriations8 In addition, we agreed to summarize the information and provide our observations which are the objectives of this report. Subsequent work will analyze selected accounts or types of authority and, if applicable, recommend alternative forms of financing or budget treatment.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies

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