Compendium of Budget Accounts:

Fiscal Year 1998

AIMD-97-65: Published: Apr 1, 1997. Publicly Released: Apr 1, 1997.

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GAO presented a compendium of fiscal year (FY) 1998 budget accounts to give users a convenient way to: (1) sort through the federal government's fiscal structure; and (2) determine the level of budgetary resources used, estimated, or requested by fiscal year for individual accounts. GAO did not independently verify the data reported for each account, although GAO did reconcile total obligations for branches, departments, agencies, and selected individual accounts to published sources.

GAO noted that: (1) this compendium follows the same organizational pattern as the Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 1998 Appendix; (2) account summaries for the legislative and judicial branches precede listings for the executive branch, which is organized alphabetically by major department and agency, followed by other independent agencies; (3) individual accounts are then grouped by major subordinate organization, usually a bureau, service, or administration, or by major program area; (4) for each account, GAO reports gross obligations in millions of nominal dollars; (5) gross obligations reflect a financial estimate of orders placed, contracts awarded, services received, and other similar transactions during the fiscal year; (6) GAO selected gross obligations as the display criterion because it best describes the relative size of each budget account, expressed in terms of financial commitments made within a given fiscal year, without regard to the type of underlying budgetary resource or when resulting outlays may occur; (7) in addition to the account title and budgetary data by fiscal year, GAO has appended two additional codes to each account to enhance utility; (8) to provide perspective on mission or purposes, each account includes a code reflecting the budget function or subfunction most directly associated with the transactions financed by that account; (9) a general description of each function is provided in Appendix I and a summary of gross obligations by subfunction is provided at the beginning of the account listing for each major department and agency; (10) GAO has coded each account by the cognizant congressional appropriations subcommittee to clarify the focus of congressional oversight for the specific budget account; (11) for presentation purposes, the Appendix occasionally merges or consolidates separate accounts under a single account title; (12) beginning with the FY 1997 budget submission, financial information in the Appendix was rounded to the nearest million rather than nearest thousand; (13) for financial management purposes, the Department of the Treasury assigns a unique account code to each separate appropriation within an appropriations act; (14) because of consolidations and merges, the President's submission typically presents a smaller universe of accounts than that tracked by the Treasury; and (15) the account-level data in this compendium was extracted from automated information collected and maintained by the Office of Management Budget as part of its process to develop the President's FY 1998 submission.

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