President's Tenth Special Message for FY 1981

OGC-81-13: Published: Jul 13, 1981. Publicly Released: Jul 13, 1981.

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The President's tenth special message for fiscal year 1981 proposed four rescissions of budget authority totalling $114.1 million. Two of the proposed rescissions involve Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) funds for research and development and funds for abatement, control, and compliance. The justification statements for these rescission proposals stated that the funds identified for rescission were for lower priority activities and that these activities were not immediately needed to meet the statutory mandate of EPA. The special message stated that the estimated effects on contractors will be minimal. The other two proposed rescissions include salary and expense funds for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

At the time these proposals were reviewed, EPA officials were unable to identify the specific activities that would be affected by the rescission proposals. Therefore, GAO was unable to verify that the justification and estimated effects statements for the EPA rescissions were accurate. GAO continues to be concerned over the amount of time which elapses between the date funds are withheld from obligation and the date impoundment messages are transmitted to Congress. GAO reviewed the tenth special message and, except as noted, identified no additional information that would be useful to Congress in its consideration of the proposals.

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