Commodity Credit Corporation:

Information on the Availability, Use, and Management of Funds

RCED-98-114: Published: Apr 28, 1998. Publicly Released: Apr 28, 1998.

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Robert A. Robinson
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on how Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) funds are spent and controlled, focusing on: (1) how much money CCC had available and spent in fiscal years (FY) 1996 and 1997, including the sources of these funds and the programs and activities for which they were used; (2) the management practices used to control CCC funds; (3) whether CCC's funding for administrative purposes fell within relevant statutory funding caps; and (4) whether the programs CCC funded had a statutory basis for using CCC funds.

GAO noted that: (1) the amount of funds available to CCC through its $30-billion borrowing authority fluctuates as it alternately borrows against and replenishes the authority every business day; (2) to enable CCC to repay its debt associated with the borrowing authority, Congress made appropriations to CCC totalling $10.5 billion in FY 1996 and $1.5 billion in FY 1997; (3) CCC also received about $6.9 billion and $5.7 billion in program receipts--in FY 1996 and FY 1997, respectively--that is also used to replenish its borrowing authority; (4) in addition, CCC received separate appropriations and other funding totalling $2.1 billion in FY 1996 and $1.9 billion in FY 1997 to fund several of its commodity export programs that are not funded through its borrowing authority; (5) most of CCC's net outlays made through its borrowing authority were for its income and commodity support programs--about $4.4 billion and $5.1 billion, in FY 1996 and FY 1997, respectively; (6) the remaining outlays made in these years--about $640 million and $2.3 billion--were primarily for CCC's other programs; however, some were used for administrative purposes, such as purchasing computer and telecommunications equipment and reimbursing Department of Agriculture (USDA) agencies and other government entities for services provided to support CCC's operations; (7) in addition to the net outlays associated with its borrowing authority, CCC had net outlays of about $334.4 million in FY 1996 and $38.7 million in FY 1997 for the commodity export programs that received direct appropriations and other funding; (8) a range of management practices are used to control CCC's funds; (9) these practices include: (a) controls over spending related to the annual budget and apportionment process; (b) CCC's periodic reports of its financial activities to Congress; (c) the Farm Service Agency's implementation of internal controls to protect CCC's assets and account for its financial transactions; (d) program managers' allocation and monitoring of CCC's funds used in their programs; and (e) periodic reviews of program activity by compliance staff from the agencies that implement CCC's programs; (10) in addition, the USDA's Office of Inspector General (OIG) audits CCC's annual financial statements, including its year-end expenditure reports; and (11) in a July 1997 report, the OIG noted problems with some of the Farm Service Agency's internal controls which it believes could adversely affect CCC's ability to prepare reliable financial statements and account for its assets.

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