[Request for Investigation of Alleged Unlawful Rescission of Funds by HHS]

B-214633: Published: Oct 24, 1984. Publicly Released: Nov 29, 1984.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO investigated the allocation of funds for a refugee and entrant activity by the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement. The amount of the allocation was set at a level reflecting the anticipated refugee arrival rate for 1984, which was lower than the amount appropriated by the continuing resolution. The continuing resolution for these activities appropriated the same amount of funds as were appropriated for the account in the previous year. In allocating the appropriation among the various programs which make up the appropriation account, the Office is not legally bound to adhere to the amounts specified for each program in the appropriation committees' reports. Therefore, there would be no impoundment so long as the entire specified amount was made available for obligation for other refugee programs. GAO concluded that there was no impoundment of refugee and entrant assistance funds for fiscal year 1984 since the Office made the full amount appropriated for the lump-sum appropriation account available for obligation. However, the manner in which the Office calculated its total appropriation and the amount allocated for the program was not consistent with GAO decisions.

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