GAO was requested to investigate the propriety of the President's deferral of budget authority earmarked for the construction of the Cumberland Gap Tunnel. In question was the permissibility of reimpounding budget authority in light of Congress' recent statutory disapproval of the deferral in the same amount and the legality of transferring monies from one fund to another as proposed by the President. GAO found that, since the latter deferral presented different alternatives and considerations than the first and since it also represented good adminstrative practice, the reimpoundment of budget authority in this particular case was permissible. GAO added, however, that this decision should not be construed as a blanket acceptance of all redeferrals following congressional disapproval, but that each reimpoundment will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. The request for transfer of monies by the President was submitted as a legislative proposal which GAO feels does not clearly convey, and may not be legally adequate to achieve, the intention to transfer both the unexpired contract authority and the liquidating appropriations provided for the tunnel project. The Office of Management and Budget will be advised of the GAO view that the proposed language will not suffice to transfer the contract authority.
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