Budget Account Structure:

A Descriptive Overview

AIMD-95-179: Published: Sep 18, 1995. Publicly Released: Sep 18, 1995.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided a descriptive overview of the federal budget account structure.

GAO found that: (1) federal budget accounts are a product of the needs and goals of many users and address many different roles; (2) the present budget account structure was not created as a single integrated framework, but was mainly developed as separate budget accounts to respond to specific needs; (3) the budget account structure is characterized by a concentration of budgetary resources in a few large accounts and a scattering of remaining resources among hundreds of other accounts, and a mix of account orientations with an emphasis on programs and processes, rather than objects of expense or organizations; (4) over 70 percent of the total budgetary resources available in fiscal year 1995 came from sources which did not require congressional approval in the current year; and (5) general funds are used to provide budgetary resources to most accounts, with special and trust funds supporting about 30 percent of total resources and 20 percent of all accounts.

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