Budget Issues:

Inventory of Accounts With Spending Authority and Permanent Appropriations, 1996

AIMD-96-79: Published: May 31, 1996. Publicly Released: Jul 1, 1996.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO updated its 1987 inventory of accounts with spending authority and permanent appropriations, known as backdoor authority, focusing on: (1) whether each reported account is subject to or exempt from sequestration or subject to any special rules or limitations under the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985; and (2) changes in the number and dollar amounts of such accounts.

GAO found that: (1) the number of departments and agencies with backdoor authority to fund their programs and activities has increased since 1987; (2) the amounts of backdoor authority used increased almost 10 percent from fiscal year (FY) 1985 to FY 1994; (3) $983 billion in permanent appropriations, $42 billion in contract authority, $16 billion in borrowing authority, and $124 billion of offsetting collections from nonfederal sources were used to finance programs in FY 1994; (4) 558 accounts in the FY 1996 budget have been provided with backdoor authority; (5) 113 of the 558 FY 1996 accounts have more than one type of backdoor authority; (6) the Social Security Administration, the Departments of the Treasury, Transportation, and Agriculture, and the Postal Service used the largest amounts of backdoor authorities in FY 1994; (7) the use of backdoor authority is concentrated in nonrevolving trust fund accounts and public enterprise fund accounts; and (8) increases in backdoor spending occurred in older accounts, and most increases resulted from permanent appropriations enacted more than 30 years ago.

Oct 13, 2020

Oct 7, 2020

Sep 30, 2020

Sep 9, 2020

Aug 25, 2020

Aug 6, 2020

Jun 17, 2020

Jun 10, 2020

Jun 8, 2020

Looking for more? Browse all our products here