Budget and Spending:

Federal Agency Obligations, an E-supplement to GAO-04-834

GAO-04-884SP: Published: Jun 25, 2004. Publicly Released: Jun 25, 2004.

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This e-publication supplements the report, Federal Budget: Agency Obligations by Budget Function and Object Classification in Fiscal 2003 (GAO-04-834) by providing more detailed information at a lower level of analysis. As our report notes, this type of data can be useful for examining and rationalizing overlap or fragmentation in federal functions and activities. However, there are limitations in what conclusions can be drawn from this information. This publication presents fiscal year 2003 data on gross agency obligations. We provide the following information on each of the budget functions shown: (1) a pie chart of obligations by agency; (2) a table of obligations by bureau and subfunction; (3) a pie chart of obligations by object class; and (4) a table of obligations by subfunction and object class. We also provide the following information on each agency: (1) a pie chart of obligations by subfunction; (2) a table of obligations by bureau and subfunction; (3) a pie chart of obligations by object class; and (4) a table of obligations by bureau and object class. As our report, Federal Budget: Agency Obligations by Budget Function and Object Classification in Fiscal 2003 (GAO-04-834) notes, mapping which federal agencies spend funds in which federal mission areas provides a first-level look at potential overlap and fragmentation. Although this type of analysis cannot answer the question of whether there is inappropriate overlap or fragmentation, nor whether the overlap shown is duplicative, it can help in the selection of areas for further investigation. Similarly, knowing how agencies spend funds to implement their programs can provide an indication of the types of mechanism or means federal agencies use to deliver services, which is an important consideration in any restructuring proposal. The report itself also provides additional information on the uses and limitations of function and object class analysis.

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