oversight

Proposed Rescission of General Criminal Justice and Corrections Grant Funds

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1977-10-28.

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

                                          DCCUMENT       BESURME                                            -
 04017 -      r   B3054325

 fProj.os&d  escissiop of               General Criminal Justice and Correcticmns
 Grant Fundsl.   GC--78-3;              B-115398. Oct:ker 2,  1S77. 2    .        q,

 Repcrt to the Congress;                by     obert F. Keller,            Acting Comptrcller
 GeL erai.

 contact: Office of the General Counsel.
 Sudqet  Function: Miscell.aneous; Impoundment Ccntrol Act of 1974
      (1005) .
 Orqanization Concerned: Law Enforcement Assistance
     Ad minis tra tion.
 Conqressioradl Relevance: Congress.
 Authority: Impoundment Control Act of 1974, sec. 1015.                                                             -

                Th    President's        first      special     message for fiscal               year
  1978 pursuant to the Tpoundment Control Act of 1974 proposed
 the rescission           of $2.6b8 million in              general crlminal justice                  and       -
 corrections          rant funds appropriated to the Law                          ntcrcement
 Assistalnce Administration (LEAA).                      Hovever, the           roposad
 leu-slative        language submitted for congressional aprrcval with
 -,he rescissicn          request does not propcse the rescission                          o     the
 money but rther             the transfer         of the funds.
 F indlnqs/Conclusions: The                   roposal states that te funds scught
 t)r rescission          are moaeys that            reverted to the LEAA for general
application         since the St.ates and local                 governments tc which they
were allocated did not use them. Although the                                essage indicates
trat       LAA could use the moneys, the                     resident stated that a
qreatar need for the funds exists in                          ther activities            of      he
Department of Justice, Accordingly, the $2.668                                  illion has been
proposed for tranzfer to those acounts. The prcposal tc rescind
the       udqet athority           is  inconsistent            ith seeking its           transfer.
 rne tresien           snuld       have proposed a dezerral ct the                     mcneys in
the LEAA account pending congressional acticn                             on the legislative
re-quest to transfer              the tunds, By so doing, the Ccijgress has an
opportunity to demand release                     cf the funds to IEAA, and, in the
absence ot sucn congressional action,                         the budget authority                 is
preserved         o, use in either             the original       LEAA account or the
Departrent          ccouts,        deperding on t            co. 7ressionai          disposition
of      he trarsaer         request. The authority              of section 1015 ct               the
Impcundment Corn-rol Act is                  exercised to conver+ the rescissJon
propcsal to a proposed deferral                      of the $20668          .'iion.        (SC)
                         COMPTROLUL.R VENINAL. OF THE UNITED STATES
                                    WASHIN(;TON. D.C.   204U



~~    ~?~/~                             ,N-~Y
                                    October 28, 1977             RI     B-115398
                                                                        B-115398


     To the President of the Senate and the
     Speaker of the House of Representatives

           On September 23, 1977, w received copies of the
     President's first special massage for fiscal year 1978 pursuant
     to the Impoundment Control Act of 1974. In ts      essage, the
     Prek.ident proposed the rescission of $2.668 million in general
     criminal justice and corrections grant funds appropriated to
     the Department of Justice, fLaw Enforcement Assistance Admini-
     stration (LEAA). The proposed legislative language submitted
     for congressional approval with the rescission request, however,
     does no': propose the rescission of the $2.668 million but rather
     the transfer of the funds.

          The proposal states that the funds sought for rescission
     are moneys that reverted to the LEAA for general application
     since the States and local governments to which they were
     allocated did not use them. Although the message indicates
     that LEAA could use the moneys, the President stated that a
     greatcr need for the funds exists in other activities of the
     Department of Justice: salaries and expenses for general legal
     activities and salaries and expenses of the antitrust division
     of the Department. Accordingly, the $2.668 million has been
     proposed for transfer to these accounts.

          In discussing the subject rescission proposal with LEAA
     officials, we were informed that the $2.668 million repre-
     sents reversionary funds--block grant funds awarded to the
     States that are required by LEAA regulations to be returned
     if not expended withi 3 years. We were told that the $2.668
     mill '  could be used by LEAA, for example:

                         discretionary grant tc the State of
                          for a large career criminal program for
                 -         :ate agreed to us!: $1.5 million of State
                funL

              -- To       se the small State supplement program,
                 which _ir reduced substantially in fiscal year 1978
                 below the fiscal year 1977 level--from $3,000,000
                 to 1,800,000--because of a reduction in the overall


                                                                      OGC-78-3
B-115398



       LEAA appropriation for 1978. (The small State upple-
       ment program is a discretionary grant program of LEAA
       to supplement the funds available for plmnrning and
       administration by the State planning agencies of 16
       small States.) LEAA believes that these States do not
       receive sufficient funds under the statutory formula
       for planning purposes.

     We conclude from the information available to us that the
funds are not regarded as excess to the needs of the Department.
Indeed, the proposal to rescind the budget4 authority is incon-
sistent with seeking its transfer: i.e.,   f the rescission were
approved there would not be any budget  au.lority  to transfer
to the Department's accounts in which  the greater  need is
said to exist.

     We believe the President should have proposed a deferral
of the $2.668 million in the LEAA account pending congressional
action on the legislative request to transfer the funds. y
so doing, the Congress has an opportunity to demand release of
the funds to LEAA, and in the absence of such congressionial
action, the budget authority is preserved for use in either
the original LEAA account or the Department accounts, depending
upon the congressional disposition of the transfer request.

     Section 1015 of the Impoundment Control Act, among other
things, authorizes the Comptroller General to reclassify pro-
posed rescissions of budget authority to proposed deferrals
when he believes that a presidential request to rescind budget
authority should have been reported as a proposed deferral.
Accordingly, we are hereby exercising the authority of section
1015 to convert rescission proposal number R78-1 to a proposed
deferral of the $2.668 million.




                         AC*tq Comptroller General
                               of the United States




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