Principles of Federal Appropriations Law: Chapter 3, Availability of Appropriations: Purpose, Fourth Edition, 2017 Revision

GAO-17-797SP: Sep 14, 2017

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This is the third chapter in the Fourth Edition of GAO's PRINCIPLES OF APPROPRIATIONS LAW, titled "Availability of Appropriations: Purpose." Under the Purpose Statute, 31 U.S.C. ยง 1301, funds are available only for the purpose for which Congress appropriated them. Chapter 3 discusses the three-step framework used when determining whether appropriations are available for a particular purpose. Sections of the chapter correspond to each step of this framework. Under Step 1, there must be a reasonable and logical relationship between the expenditure and the appropriation. Among other things, this section discusses many common personal expense questions, including the use of appropriations to purchase food. Under Step 2, the expenditure must not be prohibited by law. This section discusses common statutory prohibitions, such as the bars against using appropriations for publicity or propaganda or for state or local taxes. Finally the chapter discusses Step 3: an expenditure must not be provided for in another appropriation. This chapter supersedes Chapter 4 of the Third Edition.

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