, - - 'u=m=·te=d.;:;.;Sta=t=es:. . ;:G=:en=e=ra=-:;IA=C,C=-:;O=un=tin=g<. . :O=f i=ce~_/'-'~=5- '9-"d"-"· _,,",",5..::.=3 ! 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? 2
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)