Impoundment of Funds:

Deferrals Found Illegal

OGC-87-7: Published: Apr 1, 1987. Publicly Released: Apr 1, 1987.

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GAO reviewed the President's fourth special message for fiscal year 1987.

GAO reported that the President proposed 25 new deferrals of budget authority and 1 revised deferral. GAO found that: (1) the revised deferral was in accordance with existing law because it provided for contingencies, as authorized by the Antideficiency Act; (2) the President cited as authority for the 25 policy-based deferrals the acts authorizing and appropriating the deferred funds, since the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia held that the portion of the Impoundment Control Act of 1974 dealing with policy deferrals was unconstitutional; and (3) the President used inapplicable authority to justify the policy-based deferrals. GAO concluded that, although the 25 new deferrals were not in accordance with existing law, it had no authority to take any action, since its authority was linked to the invalidated section of the Impoundment Control Act.

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