oversight

Budget Issues Issue Area: Active Assignments

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1997-09-01.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

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!   GAO                    Accounting and Information
                           Management Division



    September 1997
                           Budget Issues Issue Area

                           Active Assignments




    GAO/AA-97-21(3)
Foreword


           Tnis report was prepared primarily to inform Congressional members and
           key staff of ongoing assigrunents in the General Accounting Office's
           Budget Issues issue area This report contains assignments that were
           ongoing as of August 29, 1997, and presents a brief background statement
           and a list of key questions to be answered on each assigrunent. The report
           will be issued quarterly.

           This report was compiled from information available in GAO'S internal
           management information systems. Because the information was
           downloaded from computerized data bases intended for internal use, some
           information may appear in abbreviated form.

           If you have questions or would like additional information about
           assigrunents listed, please contact Paul Posner, Director, on
           (202) 512-9573; or Susan Irving, Associate Director, on (202) 512-9142.




           Page 1                                                       GAO/AA·97-21(3)
Contents

                                                                                         Page
IMPROVING BUDGET CHOICES
          .ACCOUNTABILITY AND RELIABIUTY OF FEE-BASED PROGRAMS.                             1
          ,INVESTING FEDERAL RETIREMENT mUST FUNDS IN F.QUITIES.                            I
          .CREDIT REFORM: LESSIONS !£ARNE[) FROM BUDGET'iREATMEN"TOF CREDIT ESTIMATES.      1
          • BUDGETARY mEATMENT OF FEDERAL INSURANCE PROGRAMS.                               1
    New   .CAPITALDEClSION-MAKlNG LEADIN"G PRACTICES.                                       1
   N,.,   ,STATE FISCAL RESPONSES TO WELFARE REFORM.                                        2
GOVERNMENT RESTRUCTURING
    Nrw   • NATIONAL PARK SERVICE - UNKING PLANNING AND BUOOETING UNDER GPRA.               2
OTHER ISSUE AREA WORK - BI
          ,BUDGET FUNCTION: ORIGINS AND mENDS.                                              2
Budget Issues




IMPROVING BUDGET CHOICES
    1TILE: ACCOUNTABD.ITY AND RELlABILnY OF FEE-BASED PROGRAMS (935109)
           KEY QUESTIONS: (1) Whicb progrum derive 20% or more of lbeir funding from tbe public. and wbat are
           their budgetary attributes? (2) What budgetary controls govern lbe aVailability of these fees? (3) What cbanges
           have occurred in the growth of these programs since the enacnnent of BEA? (4) What are the budget issues to
           consider in creating or expanding user fees as a source of funding'?



    TIlLE: INVESTING FEDERAL RETIREMENT TRUST FUNDS IN EQUITIES (935214)
           KEY QUESTIONS: 1) What are the current investment policies of Social Security and olber federal trust
           funds?; 2) What are the investtnenr practices of other public pension plans? 3) What are the implications of
           stock investing for a) budget deficits/debt; b) budgeting/accounting Pl2CticeS; c) Social Security trust fund
           earnings; and d) capiral markets and national savings?



    1TILE: CREDIT REFORM: LESSIONS LEARNED FROM BUDGET TREATMENT OF CREDIT ESTIMATES (935211)
           KEY QUESTIONS: 1) When and how often have agencies fe-estimated subsidy costs? 2) Have agencies
           complied with OMB Circular A·l1? 3) What have agencies reported as the causes of each re-estimate (interest.
           default, fees, and other)'? 4) What is the trend in size and reponed causes of re-estimates'? 5) What follow-on
           questions should be explored in furure work?



    TIlLE: BUDGETARY TREATMENT OF FEDERAL INSURANCE PROGRAMS (935118)
           KEY QUESTIONS: GAO was asked to review the budgetary treatment of federal insurance programs.
           Specifically, we were asked (0 (I) assess wbether the current casb budget prOVides complete information for
           decision making. (2) identify approacbes for using accrual concepts, (3) highligbt tradeoffs. and (4) discuss
           implementation issues.



    1TILE: CAPITAL DECISION-MAKING LEADING PRACTICES (935230)
           KEY QUESTIONS: (I) What key processes bave been implemented by federal, slale and local entities, and
           private sector businesses, that bave measurably improved their ability to plan, budget., procure and manage
           capital'? (2) How can these leading practices be applied to the federal government experience?
Budget Issues




    'irrr.E:   STATE FISCAL RESPONSES TO WELFARE REFORM (93$135)

               KEY QUESTIONS: Welfare reform significantly changes the fiscal relationship between the federal
               government and the states in providing a safety net State planning for economic downturns will affect its ability
               to f1tW1ce its programs without additional federal aid. Emergency requests for additional resources would have
               an adverse impact on efforts to achieve and maintain a balanced budget How have state budgetary resources,
               including federal aid, been reallocated since welfare reform? What plans have stales made to assure
               programmatic stability in times of fiscal and economic suess, ego "rainy day" funds? To what extent have states
               used, or plan to use, provisions in tbe new welfare law, such as the "Contingency Fund for State Welfare
               Programs" and loans if lhey need additional funds?



GOVERNMENT RFSTRUCI1JRING
    TIlLE: NA110NAL PARK SERVICE - LINKING PLANNING AND BUDGETING UNDER GPRA (9JSZJ6)
               KEY QUESTIONS: Under the Government Penormance and Results Act (GPRA), agencies are required 10
               align their annual performance plans with their budgets to demonstrate wbat results are 10 be achieved with
               available resources. The National Park Service's incremental budget process provides a case study in the
               challenges to be overcome in shifting from a budget process in whicb last year's bUdget is a given to one that is
               linked 10 results to be achieved. Key Questions: 1) What processes does NPS use to plan and budgel for ilS
               operations and execute its budget'? 2) Are NPS' budgel formulation and execution processes linked to its
               strate&ic and operational planning processes under GPRA? 3) What challenges does NPS face in linking its
               plani!.lg and budgeting processes'?



OTIlER ISSUE AREA WORK· BI
    TIlLE: BUDGET flJNCTJON, ORIGINS AND TRENDS (9JSnJ)
               KEY QUESTIONS: (1) What are the origins of the budget function structure? (2) How bave the budget
               functions changed over time'? (3) What are the current and likely future uses of budget functions? (4) What
               are funding trends by superfunction. function and subfunction?




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