Use of Conservation Operations Appropriation to Fund Technical Assistance for Conservation Programs Enumerated in Section 2701 of the 2002 Farm Bill
B-300325, Dec 13, 2002
This responds to a letter of October 9, 2002, from the Chair and Ranking Minority Member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, and Related Agencies, requesting our legal opinion on issues related to the funding of technical assistance for the conservation programs enumerated in section 2701 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (2002 Farm Bill). In B-291241, October 8, 2002, we found that the Department of Agriculture's (Agriculture) conservation operation (CO) appropriation was not available to fund technical assistance for section 2701 conservation programs. We were asked to: (1) ascertain whether Agriculture had used the CO appropriation in the last quarter of fiscal year 2002 for technical assistance for section 2701 programs and, if so, the total amount of CO funds expended for that purpose; and (2) describe the actions that Agriculture must take to ensure proper accountability of Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) and CO funds.