FCN 403: Appropriations Law Seminar

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FCN 403 Federal Appropriations Law

Course Length: 3 days (Continuous Learning Points: 24)

Course Purpose: The Principles of Appropriations Law Course will familiarize participants with the basic purposes and principles of the United States federal fiscal law. The course aims to equip the participants with the knowledge of the legal concepts, rules, and practices allowed in the use of appropriated funds. Students will learn the purpose, time and amount restrictions on use of such funds; other conditions for use; as well as liabilities and relief of Accountable Officers; and responsibilities in use of appropriated funds, at both the agency and individual level of accountability.Topics addressed include the background of fiscal law; availability of appropriations as to purpose, time and amount; the necessary expense rule; the Anti-deficiency Act; Continuing Resolution Authority (CRA); and Liability and Relief of Accountable Officers. This course references the same body of case law published in GAO’s Principles of Federal Appropriations Law (commonly referred to as “The Red Book”) and augments the useful information and guidance found in this book. Participants receive a copy of the Red Book on disc.

Course Outline:

Nature of Appropriation Law

  • Congressional Authority “Power of the Purse
  • General Restrictions “Power of the Purse”
  • Most Important Statutes
  • GAO’s Purpose and Role
  • The Redbook

Federal Appropriations Terminology

  • Definitions of Appropriation Terms
  • Continuing Resolution (CRA) – Definition
  • Purpose – Rate for Operations
  • Relationship to other Legislations
  • Duration of CRA & Appropriations

Life Cycle of an Appropriation

Types of Appropriations

  • Specific Vs General Appropriations
  • Transfer and Reprogramming
  • Variations in Amounts
  • Exceeds Authorization
  • Less than Authorization
  • Earmarks in Authorization Act

Availability of Appropriations

  • Determining Authorized Purposes
  • Authority vs. Appropriations
  • Contract Authority
  • Necessary Expense Doctrine
  • Specific Purpose Authorities and Limitations

Availability of AppropriationsPurpose

  • Period of Availability
  • Ratification by Appropriation
  • Lack of Authorization
  • Statutory ImplicationsPlain Meaning Rule
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