Revolving Funds:

Full Disclosure Needed for Better Congressional Control

PAD-77-25: Published: Aug 30, 1977. Publicly Released: Aug 30, 1977.

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Because of the way some revolving funds are currently included in the Federal budget, the total amount of Government activities is understated--for example, by an estimated $28 billion in fiscal year 1978. The Federal budget should disclose the magnitude of Federal activity in such a way as to provide a basis for estimating the impact of Government activity on the economy as a whole.

The U.S. budget for fiscal year 1977 lists 185 revolving fund accounts with projected receipts of $70.6 billion and gross outlays of $75 billion. These revolving funds fall into three categories: public enterprise, intragovernmental, and trust revolving. In the past, Congress has established revolving funds where their use did not seem appropriate. In addition, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Department of the Treasury have classified accounts as revolving funds which in some instances did not meet their criteria. There is no assurance that accounts presently accounted for as revolving funds should or need to be so classified.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: The Director of OMB should: (1) make appropriate changes in current budget procedures which will result in the financial activities of public enterprise revolving funds being reflected in the Federal budget on a gross basis; and (2) periodically undertake indepth reviews of all established revolving funds in the budget to determine whether they meet the established criteria for revolving funds and if it is necessary that the accounts continue to operate as revolving funds. The Congress, together with the executive branch, should develop and utilize common criteria for establishing and classifying all revolving funds. Before establishing any additional revolving funds, the Congress should study the full financial implications of each new proposal and incorporate the findings in the appropriate reports and documents on the legislation.


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