Lapsed Budget Authority--Fiscal Year 1981

AFMD-84-54: Published: May 29, 1984. Publicly Released: Jun 4, 1984.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reported on the total amount of lapsed budget authority for executive branch departments and agencies during fiscal year 1981, focusing on the reasons for lapsed budget authority and whether any of the lapsed funds should have been reported to Congress as rescissions.

GAO found that, in the accounts reviewed, lapsed funds were caused by: (1) programmatic changes including decreases in program activity; (2) policy changes such as the 1981 hiring freeze; (3) legislative actions precluding the need for budget authority or making it unavailable for obligation; and (4) other diverse reasons including appreciation of the dollar and recapture of budget authority. GAO found that 5 percent of the sample funds had unreported rescissions as a result of agency officials' failure to comply with Office of Management and Budget instructions to report all withholdings of funds caused by implementing policy directives. Most of the unreported rescissions that GAO discovered related to the new administration's directives which froze employment, reduced travel, and curtailed procurement of equipment or services.

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