OMB Certification of Apportionment of Funded Personnel Ceilings and Funds to the VA

B-198103: Published: Jul 29, 1980. Publicly Released: Jul 14, 1981.

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GAO reviewed the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) certification of the apportionment of funded personnel ceilings and funds to the Veterans Administration's (VA) Medical Care, Medical and Prosthetic Research, and Medical Administration and Miscellaneous Operating Expenses appropriations for fiscal year l980. GAO certified that the Director, OMB, had complied with the requirements and had provided VA the funded personnel ceilings and funds made available under the legislation. VA, however, chose to delay implementing a program which had been authorized and notified OMB that it was decreasing its request for authorized personnel. Thus, the OMB personnel authorization was less than that provided for by the appropriation. GAO certification was based on OMB not interfering in the VA staffing process and providing VA the funded personnel ceiling as appropriated by Congress. Legislation requires OMB to authorize the personnel ceilings identified in the legislative history of the appropriation regardless of whether VA chooses to formally apply to OMB for such positions, so long as funds sufficient to pay for the positions are appropriated. In the future, GAO will review OMB compliance and will examine whether OMB actually authorizes the funded personnel ceilings appropriated by Congress, as opposed to whether OMB makes such positions available to VA for release upon request. The statute would prevail over any non-statutory OMB-imposed limitation on hiring which would have the effect of decreasing employment authorizations for VA accounts below personnel levels specified by Congress.

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