The Railroad Retirement Board requested a decision concerning whether the 1982 appropriation for the administration of the Regional Rail Reorganization Act makes funds available for administrative use beyond fiscal year (FY) 1982. The issue arises out of the ambiguous wording of a provision in the Department of Transportation's (DOT) appropriation act. That provision appropriates $85 million for the payment of labor protection benefits under the Regional Rail Reorganization Act that remain available until expended, and it further appropriates an additional unspecified amount for administrative expenses. The latter appropriation does not specify the period of availability of those funds. The Board believes that, because the $85 million for labor protection is available beyond the FY, the funds needed to administer the program should similarly be available without regard to time. GAO stated that the DOT appropriation act provides that funds are available only during FY 1982 unless the appropriation specifically states otherwise. Since the clause appropriating administrative funds contains no special language to the contrary, and the administrative appropriation is clearly separate and distinct from the labor protection program appropriation, GAO concluded that the funds in question are available only for FY 1982.
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