• Appropriations Law Decisions

    GAO's Office of General Counsel issues decisions and opinions on appropriations law.

  • Issue Decisions and Opinions

    The Comptroller General provides opinions to Members and Committees of Congress, decisions to certain agency officials on questions involving the use of, and accountability for, public funds, 31 U.S.C. §§ 3526, 3529, and decisions to relieve accountable officers for certain losses of public funds, 31 U.S.C. §§ 3527, 3528. For more information, see Procedures and Practices for Legal Decisions and Opinions.
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  • The Red Book

    Principles of Federal Appropriations Law, also known as the Red Book, is a multi-volume treatise concerning federal fiscal law. The Red Book provides text discussion with reference to specific legal authorities to illustrate legal principles, their application, and exceptions. These references include GAO decisions and opinions, judicial decisions, statutory provisions, and other relevant sources.
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  • Antideficiency Act Resources

    GAO compiles and presents certain unaudited information from Antideficiency Act reports filed each fiscal year, including copies of the agency cover letters transmitting reports of violations.
    See our Antideficiency Act Report Information >

  • Appropriations Law Training

    GAO’s Principles of Appropriations Law course acquaints participants with the purposes and principles of federal fiscal law. It blends lecture, case studies, and student participation in a way that engages and challenges participants, while maximizing the exchange of both practical and theoretical information. The course is designed to provide the federal employee with an analytical framework for approaching appropriations issues. Topics addressed include the availability of appropriations as to purpose, amount and time, the necessary expense rule, the Antideficiency Act, augmentation, the bona fide needs rule, and multiyear contracting. This course refers to the same body of case law published in the Red Book.
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  • Appropriations Law Forums

    GAO’s Office of General Counsel hosts an annual appropriations law forum for federal lawyers who practice appropriations or fiscal law. Attendance is by invitation only. At the forum, GAO distributes a compilation of digests from decisions and opinions issued in the prior calendar year as well as the annual update to the Red Book. Forums usually also feature discussions of select issues of general importance in appropriations law.
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  • Informal Technical Assistance

    If you have any questions about our case law or the text in the Red Book, please feel free to e-mail RedBook@gao.gov.

  • Budget Glossary

    This publication fulfills part of GAO’s responsibility to publish standard terms, definitions, and classifications for the government’s fiscal, budget, and program information. It was developed in cooperation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Directors of the Office of Management and Budget and the Congressional Budget Office.
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  • Title 7 of GAO's Policy and Procedures Manual for Guidance of Federal Agencies

    This title of GAO’s manual is related to the development, installation, and operation of an agency’s fiscal procedures in its financial management system. This document was prepared after consulting with the Department of the Treasury, the Office of Management and Budget, and receiving comments from other government agencies. It also incorporates suggestions from the government's chief financial officers and inspectors general.
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