Budget Issues:

Fiscal Year 1996 Agency Spending by Budget Function

AIMD-97-95: Published: May 13, 1997. Publicly Released: May 13, 1997.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Paul L. Posner
(202) 512-9573
contact@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on federal spending by budget function and subfunction for fiscal year 1996.

GAO noted that: (1) most federal departments and agencies address more than one mission area; in fact, most made obligations in 1996 to three or more budget functions; (2) if the analysis is continued to subdepartments and subfunctions, the picture is often more complex; (3) for example, the Department of Health and Human Services has about a dozen subdepartments addressing eight missions ranging from Health Care Services to Training and Employment; (4) the Department of the Interior has over a dozen subdepartments addressing 11 missions ranging from Recreational Resources to General Purpose Fiscal Assistance to Elementary, Secondary, and Vocational Education; (5) focusing on the missions of government, rather than federal organizations, produces a similarly intricate picture; (6) excluding Social Security, Medicare, and Net interest, 6 of the remaining 15 budget functions are addressed by six or more executive branch departments and major agencies; (7) for example, seven major federal organizations made obligations in 1996 to the Natural Resources and Environment mission area and seven to community and Regional Development; (8) lastly, in nominal dollar terms, the significance of a department to a mission area, or of a mission area to a department, varies considerably; (9) spending for the Transportation mission area, for example, is almost entirely within the Department of Transportation, which is also associated with that mission area almost exclusively; (10) however, the Department of Agriculture, with nearly two dozen subdepartments addressing 16 different subfunctions, presents a different picture; (11) the Department is responsible for almost all spending in the Agriculture function, but half of the Department's obligations are associated with a different function and subfunction (Food and Nutrition Assistance within Income Security); (12) the function classifications can in some cases aggregate very different activities; (13) a specific function or subfunction may not fully encompass a set of logically related activities; (14) subfunctions are based on a variety of organizing themes; (15) some are based on divisible segments of broad mission areas, some on a set of related activities, and some on common functions; and (16) although each federal activity is placed in a function that best defines its most important purpose, there is discretion when coding an individual budget account against the function categories.

Sep 8, 2020

Jan 23, 2020

Dec 19, 2019

  • budget icon, source: GAO

    State and Local Governments' Fiscal Outlook:

    2019 Update
    GAO-20-269SP: Published: Dec 19, 2019. Publicly Released: Dec 19, 2019.

Nov 14, 2019

Oct 16, 2019

Jun 26, 2019

Apr 10, 2019

Mar 27, 2019

Mar 22, 2019

Feb 27, 2019

Looking for more? Browse all our products here