Limitations on Fiscal Year 1981 Fourth Quarter Obligations in Certain Agencies

PAD-82-43: Published: Jul 16, 1982. Publicly Released: Jul 16, 1982.

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Pursuant to the Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriation Act, 1981 and the Department of Housing and Urban Development-Independent Agencies Appropriation Act, 1981, GAO reported on the limitations on fiscal year 1981 fourth quarter obligations in certain agencies. The agencies covered by these appropriations were required to: (1) limit their fourth quarter 1981 obligations to not more than 30 percent of their total budget authority; and (2) limit obligations for any month in the last quarter of 1981 to no more than 15 percent of their total budget authority.

GAO found that approximately 80 percent of the affected entities responded that the yearend limitation did not cause any difficulties. However, some agencies did indicate that they experienced difficulties. GAO has generally not favored these types of limitations because they are difficult to administer and because they address a symptom rather than correct underlying management problems. Limitations alone do not solve all the problems associated with inadequate management of budget execution.

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