Combating Terrorism: Determining and Reporting Federal Funding Data

GAO-06-161 Published: Jan 17, 2006. Publicly Released: Jan 17, 2006.
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The President's annual budget reports on federal funding dedicated to combating terrorism activities. Identification of such funding is inherently difficult because a significant portion of combating terrorism funding is embedded within appropriation accounts that include funding for other activities as well. In 2002, GAO reported on the difficulties that the executive branch faced in reporting funding for combating terrorism to Congress (see GAO-03-170). This report updates the information contained in the 2002 report by providing information on (1) the methods agencies use to determine the portion of their annual appropriations related to combating terrorism, and (2) the status of recommendations from GAO's 2002 report.

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Matter for Congressional Consideration

Matter Status Comments
If Congress is interested in receiving data on overseas combating terrorism Consideration Congressional funding as well as data on homeland security funding, then Congress may wish to consider requiring OMB to report on overseas combating terrorism funding data in the Analytical Perspectives of the President's budget along with homeland security funding.
Closed – Not Implemented
In 2005, we conducted a study regarding federal funding dedicated to combating terrorism activities including an assessment of how section 889 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 affected the reporting of such funding data. At the time of our report, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) defined combating terrorism as including efforts to secure the homeland (that is, homeland security activities to detect, deter, protect against, and, if needed, respond to terrorist attacks occurring within the United States) and those to combat terrorism overseas (those activities occurring outside the United States and its territories), excluding direct military action. We reported that section 889 repealed previous reporting requirements established under the National Defense Authorization Act in favor of new reporting requirements. Specifically, section 889 required the President's budget to include an analysis of homeland security funding. No provision was specifically included in the Homeland Security Act regarding the reporting of funding data to combat terrorism overseas. Thus, we reported that if Congress was interested in receiving data on overseas combating terrorism funding, it should consider requiring OMB (the agency responsible for compiling the budget on behalf of the President) to report on overseas combating terrorist funding data in the President's budget along with homeland security funding. As of April 27, 2010, no action has been taken on this matter for congressional consideration.

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