Budget Issues

Effects of the Fiscal Year 1990 Sequester on the Department of Education Gao ID: HRD-90-150FS August 3, 1990

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the effects of the fiscal year (FY) 1990 sequester on the Department of Education, focusing on: (1) how the sequester reduced resources; and (2) the sequester's impact on the Department's ability to fulfill its mission.

GAO found that: (1) the FY 1990 sequester reduced the Department's budgetary resources by $266.1 million, or 1.1 percent of its $24.5-billion annual budget authority; (2) the sequester decreased federal funding for 14 budget accounts, with reductions ranging between 1.2 percent and 1.4 percent for each account; (3) Department officials believed the sequester's overall impact was minimal, primarily because the FY 1989 funding level was 5.1-percent higher than the FY 1990 level and many programs did not disburse their funds until the subsequent year; (4) two departmental accounts experienced funding difficulties beyond those created by the sequester, but after the sequester, both accounts' net appropriations exceeded FY 1989 levels; (5) the program administration account absorbed an across-the-board pay raise in addition to the sequester; and (6) the Office for Civil Rights experienced funding difficulties which stemmed from legislation that expanded its authority.

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