Federal Manager's Daily Report

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In a review of how programs at three agencies cope with continuing resolutions, the GAO has said that each has found work-arounds for the problems they cause.

A report noted that those so-called CRs have been used in all but three of the last 46 years—in many of those years, multiple times—to temporarily fund agencies beyond the October 1 start of the new fiscal year. A CR generally continues funding at current levels, which does not take into account program changes and required increases in spending for some purposes.

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One or more likely lies ahead this year, as well, since Congress has made only little progress toward enacting regular appropriations bills for the 2023 budget year and will be in session only three more weeks before that deadline.

GAO said that all three agencies it examined—Agriculture, Education and HHS—reported that CRs have caused them “administrative inefficiencies and limited management options in areas like hiring,” have hampered their planning and have caused them to cut back spending such as by limiting travel.

However, it said for example that the HHS Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program can request and receive an exception from the apportionment of funds from OMB that allows grantees to receive 90 percent of the previous year’s funding, rather than the standard apportionment that is provided during the CR. Meanwhile, grantees have learned to use funding flexibilities from state governments to make up for differences, it said.

Several HHS programs have multi-year funding that gives them flexibility on allocating money, while Agriculture has used authorities to shift money among accounts, including drawing from facilities accounts, “to use for purposes other than those outlined at the time of the appropriation.”

Also, it said that in Education’s Predominantly Black Institutions grants program, allocations typically aren’t made until the second quarter of the fiscal year and delays at the outset affect those grants less. Its grantees meanwhile can adapt by temporarily using unspent money that otherwise would have been returned to the department as well as by moving money between programs funded by the grants.

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See also,

The Process of Retiring – OPM’s Benefits Determination Process

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Retiring from a Federal Job: Make Sure Your Agency Gets it Right

2022 Federal Employees Handbook