President's Thirteenth Special Message for Fiscal Year 1981

Gao ID: OGC-81-18 October 7, 1981

The President's thirteenth special message for fiscal year 1981 was transmitted to Congress pursuant to the Impoundment Control Act. The special message proposed two new deferrals of budget authority totaling $6.7 million and revisions of three previously transmitted deferrals. The Administrator of the Agency for International Development (AID) announced that program reviews showed that certain international food relief programs were not working and were wasteful and ineffective and, therefore, would be terminated or reduced. The terminations and reductions would allow AID to deobligate approximately $28 million.

GAO was informed by an AID official that the amounts identified for deobligation were estimates and that the total deobligations in fiscal year 1981 would more nearly approximate $60 million. Of this amount, approximately $32 million involve funds from appropriations whose availability to AID now has expired. The remainder of the $60 million involves funds that are available to AID until expended. Some of these remaining funds were not deferred. GAO identified a portion of these remaining funds that AID did not plan to obligate in fiscal year 1981. They should have been reported as deferred. GAO estimated that the total amount deferred was $8,229,400. It is not certain how much of the funds available for obligation in fiscal year 1982, as well as additional amounts which may be deobligated, will be deferred in fiscal year 1982. AID and the Office of Management and Budget need to improve their efforts in identifying and correctly reporting future deferrals to avoid these problems. GAO reviewed the thirteenth special message and, except as noted, identified no additional information that would be useful to Congress in its consideration of the President's proposals and believed that the proposed deferrals are in accordance with existing authority.

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