Anti-Deficiency Act:

Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service Violates the Anti-Deficiency Act

AFMD-87-20: Published: Mar 17, 1987. Publicly Released: Mar 17, 1987.

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GAO reviewed the Food and Nutrition Service's (FNS) accounting system to determine the system's effectiveness in complying with the Antideficiency Act.

GAO found that the FNS Child Nutrition Programs: (1) have violated the Antideficiency Act because, since fiscal year (FY) 1983, FNS has paid for program-sponsored meals in September of each fiscal year with funds from the subsequent year's appropriation without the authority to do so; and (2) had a cumulative deficiency of at least $109.6 million as of September 30, 1985. GAO noted that it informed FNS of the violation, but FNS did not: (1) report the deficiency, as the act required; (2) act to correct the problem; (3) determine the exact amount of the cumulative shortfall at the end of FY 1986; or (4) request a supplemental appropriation to eliminate the shortfall.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department of Agriculture (USDA) did not agree that it had violated the Antideficiency Act; however, it informed Congress and the President by letter on April 13, 1987, that GAO reported the violation.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Agriculture should direct FNS to report a deficiency violation, as required by the Antideficiency Act, to Congress and the President.

    Agency Affected: Department of Agriculture

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: USDA did not agree that it violated the Antideficiency Act; however, supplemental funds were requested from OMB.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Agriculture should direct FNS to determine the amount of the deficiency as of the end of FY 1986 and request, through the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), a supplemental appropriation from Congress to eliminate it.

    Agency Affected: Department of Agriculture

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: USDA stated that it intended to end this practice effective September 1987.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Agriculture should direct FNS to change its practice of paying for meals, provided through the Child Nutrition Programs in September of each fiscal year with funds from the subsequent year's appropriation, so that obligations for meals served in September will be charged to the pertinent appropriation account of the expiring fiscal year.

    Agency Affected: Department of Agriculture

 

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