Election Assistance Commission--Obligation of Requirements Payments Under Continuing Resolutions in Fiscal Years 2009 and 2005
B-318835, May 14, 2010
In determining amounts available for obligation under continuing resolutions, agencies must consider the operations of their programs and relevant provisions of the continuing resolutions. The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) makes payments to the states once a year for requirements payments. When EAC was operating under continuing resolutions at the beginning of fiscal years 2009 and 2005, it delayed obligations until it received its regular appropriation. Funds appropriated for requirements payments under both continuing resolutions were subject to the so-called "entitlements provision" enacted in those continuing resolutions, which required activities to continue at the rate to maintain program levels under current law. Since states receive their entire requirements payment for the year in a single distribution, generally late in the fiscal year, EAC could wait to obligate funds until it had its regular appropriations for the year and still maintain its program levels. This is consistent with other provisions of the continuing resolutions, such as implementing only the most limited funding action. Thus we do not object to EAC's actions.