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Appropriations Law Training


Overview

GAO’s Principles of Appropriations Law course (PAL) acquaints participants with the purposes and principles of federal fiscal law. It blends lecture, case studies, and student participation in a way that engages and challenges participants, while maximizing the exchange of both practical and theoretical information. While GAO is not scheduling PAL courses at this time, we are currently offering an Introduction to Appropriations Law webinar presented in a similar style covering the same fiscal law principles.

 

GAO’s Course

Introduction to Appropriations Law is taught by experienced GAO attorneys. Beginning January 2021, GAO is offering several courses through virtual training. The course is 5 ½ hours, including breaks. It begins at 9:30 AM and ends at approximately 3:00 PM. The course generally qualifies for 6 continuing professional education (CPE) credits. See below for a complete course outline.


Registration

Registration for Group Courses

All classes are on a first come, first served basis. Participants should send an email to PALCourse@gao.gov to register for a course.  In the subject line of the email, you must include (Group Course/Date). All registrations must be received by COB, Monday, February 1, 2021.  See below for a complete course outline.  Only one POC from each agency can register their group.  Confirmed registrations will only be sent to the agency POC. 

If your circumstances change after GAO has confirmed your attendance, please email PALCourse@GAO.gov to decline the offer and free it up for someone else.


2021 Group Course Schedule:

  • January 5, 2021
  • January 13, 2021
  • January 28, 2021
  • February 2, 2021
  • February 10, 2021
  • February 18, 2021
  • March 4, 2021
  • March 9, 2021
  • March 24, 2021
  • April 13, 2021
  • April 22, 2021
  • April 28, 2021
  • May 6, 2021
  • May 12, 2021
  • May 18, 2021
  • June 2, 2021
  • June 15, 2021
  • June 24, 2021

In the event that circumstances change and we are able to accommodate additional group courses this fiscal year, we will update this page accordingly. Otherwise, we will update this page in the summer of 2021 to announce that we are accepting expressions of interest for fiscal year 2022 group courses. 


Registration for Open Enrollment Courses

The Open Enrollment Course is on a first come, first served basis. Participants should send an email to PALCourse@gao.gov to register for a course.  In the subject line of the email, you must include (Open Enrollment/Date).  All registrations must be received by COB, Monday, February 1, 2021.  See below for a complete course outline.  

If your circumstances change after GAO has confirmed your attendance, please email PALCourse@GAO.gov to decline the offer and free it up for someone else.


2021 Open Enrollment Course

  • March 30, 2021

Course Outline

  1. Introduction to Appropriations Law
    1. Constitution and Major Statutes
    2. Key Terminology
    3. Appropriations Law Framework
  2. Availability of Appropriations: Purpose
    1. Purpose Three-Step Analysis
    2. Necessary Expense Rule
    3. Statutory Purpose Restrictions
    4. Other Available Appropriations
  3. Availability of Appropriations: Time
    1. General Rule
    2. Bona Fide Needs Rule
    3. Prohibition on Advanced Payments
    4. Account Closing Law
  4. Availability of Appropriations: Amount
    1. Antideficiency Act
    2. Impoundment Control Act
    3. Miscellaneous Receipts Statute
  5. Recording of Obligations
    1. Recording Statute
    2. Inter- and Intra-agency Transactions