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GAO was asked to render a decision concerning the proper disposition of certain unobligated Copyright Royalty Tribunal funds that were transferred from royalty fund accounts in fiscal year (FY) 1984. The Tribunal deposits royalty collections in royalty fund accounts and is authorized to transfer funds from such accounts for certain operating expenses. The FY 1984 appropriation legislation for the Tribunal specified that 70 percent of the Tribunal's appropriation would be funded in this manner. After the Tribunal transferred the appropriate amount from the royalty fund accounts, it was determined that the Tribunal's expenditures would fall short of its appropriation. The Tribunal asked GAO to determine whether it could return monies to the royalty fund accounts so that the actual funding of its expenses would coincide with the specified ratio. GAO held that, in light of the Tribunal's FY 1984 appropriation and the associated legislative history, the Tribunal should: (1) return to the royalty fund accounts the balance of the transferred royalty fees not needed to cover the direct and indirect costs of its distribution proceedings; and (2) fund any remaining FY 1984 expenses related to the Tribunal's other activities from its direct appropriation.

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