[Obligation of FY 1982 Appropriation for Severance Payments in FY 1983]

B-200170: Sep 24, 1982

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The Office of General Counsel, Office of Management and Budget, asked whether a prior opinion concerning the obligation of appropriations for severance payments that extend from one fiscal year (FY) to the next could be applied to severance payments made to employees of the U.S. Metric Board when that entity terminates on September 30, 1982. In that opinion, GAO held that severance payments made for pay periods in FY 1981 would be obligated from appropriations for that FY and that payments extending into FY 1982 would have to be obligated from FY 1982 appropriations. However, that case concerned employees involved in a reduction in force for some employees of an ongoing agency and this case involved the termination of all employees from an entity about to be eliminated entirely. On the basis of these differences, GAO believed that the prior opinion was not applicable to severance payments to be made to former Board employees during FY 1983. The legislative history of the Board's FY 1982 appropriation indicated that Congress intended these funds to be used for severance and other termination expenses. Therefore, GAO had no objection to the obligation of the Board's FY 1982 appropriations for severance payments to be made to former Board employees during FY 1983 on a regular pay period basis pursuant to the applicable statute.

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