Budget Issues:

Limitations on Analyzing the Cost of Administrative Operations

AFMD-86-54BR: Published: Jul 22, 1986. Publicly Released: Jul 22, 1986.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO studied whether 11 agencies cut their budgets for services more heavily than their administrative budgets.

GAO found that it could not resolve the issue of whether the agencies disproportionately cut their budgets because: (1) neither the President's budget nor the agencies' records provided the information necessary to assess how agencies allocated budget cuts between services and administrative operations; (2) the agencies' definitions of administrative operations differed between and within agencies; and (3) staffing trends in the region it studied were not indicative of agency-wide trends. GAO also found that the agencies budgets and accounting records did not agree, which could hamper their ability to perform effective financial management.

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