(1) “Activity” means a specific and distinguishable line of work performed by one or more organizational components of a governmental unit for the purpose of discharging a function or subfunction for which the governmental unit is responsible. For example, food inspection is an activity performed in the discharge of the health function.

(2) “Advances” means amounts of money prepared pursuant to budget authority or emergency conditions in contemplation of the later receipt of goods, services, or other assets. Advances are ordinarily made only to payees to whom an agency has an obligation, and not in excess of the amount of the obligation. A common example is travel advances which are amounts made available to employees prior to the beginning of a trip for costs incurred in accordance with the ASG travel policy.

(3) Agency. There is no single definition of the term “agency.” Any given definition usually relates to specific legislation. Generally, “execution agency” means any executive branch department, independent commission, board, bureau, office or other establishment of the American Samoa Government, including independent regulatory commissions and boards. Agency, in the broader sense, encompasses executive agencies and establishments in the judicial and legislative branches.

(4) “Agency missions” means responsibilities assigned to a specific agency for meeting territorial needs. Agency missions are expressed in terms of the purpose to be served by the programs authorized to carry out functions or subfunctions which, by law, are the responsibility of that agency and its component organizations. In contrast to territorial needs, generally described in the context of major functions, agency missions are generally described in the context of subfunctions.

(5) “Allotment” means an authorization by the head (or other authorized employee) of an agency to his/her subordinates to incur obligations within a specified amount.

(6) “Anti-deficiency act” means legislation enacted by the Legislature to prevent the incurring of obligations or the making of expenditures (outlays) in excess of amounts available in appropriations or funds; to fix responsibility within an agency for the creation of any obligation or the making of any expenditure in excess of an apportionment or reapportionment; and to assist in bringing about the most effective and economical use of appropriations and funds.

(7) “Apportionment” means a distribution made by the office of program planning and budget development of amounts available for obligation, including budgetary reserves established pursuant to law, in an appropriation or fund account. Apportionments divide amounts available for obligation by specific time periods (usually quarters), activities, projects, objects, or a combination thereof. The amounts to be apportioned limit the amount of obligations that may be incurred. In apportioning any account, some funds may be reserved to provide for contingencies or to effect savings, pursuant to the anti-deficiency act. The apportionment process is intended to prevent obligation of amounts available within an appropriations or fund account in a manner that would require deficiency or supplemental appropriations and to achieve the most effective and economical use of amounts made available for obligation.

(8) “Appropriation act” means a statute, under the jurisdiction of the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations, that generally provides authorization for agencies to incur obligations and to make payments out of the treasury for specified purposes. An appropriation act, the most common means of providing budget authority, generally follows enactment of authorizing legislation unless the authorizing legislation itself provides the budget authority. From time to time, supplemental appropriation acts are enacted to serve territorial needs.

(9) “Public enterprise fund” means expenditure accounts authorized by the Legislature or by Executive Authority to be credited with collections, primarily from the public, that are generated by, and earmarked to finance, a continuing cycle of business-type operations.

(10) “Intra-governmental revolving fund” is authorized by law or Executive Authority to carry out a cycle of intra-governmental business-type operations. They are similar to public enterprise revolving fund accounts except they are credited with offsetting collections primarily from other agencies and accounts. Some examples are working capital fund, stock fund, industrial fund, and supply fund.

(11) “Appropriation limitation” means a statutory restriction in appropriation acts that establishes the maximum or minimum amount that may be obligated or expended for specified purposes.

(12) “Balanced budget” means a budget in which receipts are equal to or greater than outlays (see also Budget Deficits and Budget Surplus).

(13) Balances of Budget Authority. Balances of budget authority result from the fact that not all budget authority enacted in a fiscal year is obligated and paid out in that same year . Balances are classified as follows:

(A) Obligated Balance. The amount of obligations already incurred for which payment has not yet been made. This balance can be carried forward indefinitely (unless restricted by policy) until the obligations are paid.

(B) Unobligated Balance. The portion of budget authority that has not yet been obligated. In l-year accounts the unobligated balance expires (ceases to be available for obligation) at the end of the fiscal year. In multiple-year accounts the unobligated balance may be carried forward and remain available for obligation for the period specified. In no-year accounts the unobligated balance is carried forward indefinitely until (I) specifically rescinded by law, or (II) until the purposes for which it was provided have been accomplished, or (III), in any event, whenever disbursements have not been made against the appropriation for 2 full consecutive years.

(14) “Budget activity” means categories within most accounts that identify the purpose, projects, or types of activities financed.

(15) “Budget amendment” means a revision to some aspect of a previous budget request, submitted to the Legislature by the Governor before the Legislature completes appropriation action.

(16) “Budget authority” means authority provided by law to enter into obligations that will result in immediate or future outlays involving Government funds, except that budget authority does not include authority to insure or guarantee the repayment of indebtedness incurred by another person or government. The basic forms of budget authority are appropriations, authority to borrow, and contract authority. Budget authority may be classified by the period of availability (l-year, multiple-year, no-year, by the timing of legislative actions (current or permanent), or by the manner of determining the amount available (definite or indefinite).

(A) Forms of budget authority are as follows:

(I) Appropriations. An authorization by an act of the Legislature that permits agencies to incur obligations and to make payment out of the treasury for specified purposes. An appropriation usually follows enactment of authorizing legislation. An appropriation act is the most common means of providing budget authority. Appropriations do not represent cash actually set aside in the treasury for purposes specified in the appropriation act; they represent limitations of amounts that agencies may obligate during the period of time specified in the respective appropriation acts.

(II) Authority to Borrow. Also called borrowing authority or authority to spend debt receipts. Statutory authority that permits an agency to incur obligations and to make payments for specified purposes out of borrowed moneys.

(III) Contract Authority. Statutory authority that permits obligations to be incurred in advance of appropriations or in anticipation of receipts to be credited to a revolving fund or other account. By definition, contract authority is unfunded and must subsequently be funded by an appropriation to liquidate obligations incurred under the contract authority, or by the collection and use of receipts.

(B) Periods of availability are as follows:

(I) One-year (Annual) Authority. Budget authority that is available for obligation only during a specified fiscal year and expires at the end of that time.

(II) Multiple-year authority. Budget authority that is available for a specified period of time in excess of one fiscal year. This authority generally takes the form of 2-year, 3-year, etc., availability, but may cover periods that do not coincide with the start or end of a fiscally year . For example, the authority may be available from 1 Jul of one year through 30 Sep of the following fiscal year (15 months). This type of multiple-year authority is sometimes referred to as “forward funding” (for distinction, see Full Funding; Multi-Year Budget Planning).

(III) No-year Authority. Budget authority that remains available for obligation for an indefinite period of time, usually until the objectives for which the authority was made available are attained.

(C) Extensions of budget authority are as follows: (I) Reappropriations. Legislative action to continue the obligational availability, whether for the same or different purposes, of all or part of the unobligated portion of budget authority that has expired or would otherwise expire. Reappropriations are counted as budget authority in the year for which the availability is extended.

(II) Continuing Resolution. Legislation enacted by the Legislature of Congress to provide budget authority for agencies and/or specific activities to continue in operation until the regular appropriations are enacted. Continuing resolutions are enacted when action on appropriations is not completed by the beginning of a fiscal year. The continuing resolution usually specifies a maximum rate of which the obligations may be incurred, based on the rate of the prior year, the executive budget request, or an appropriation bill passed by either or both houses of the legislative body.

(17) “Budget deficit” means the amount by which the Government’s budget outlays exceed its budget receipts for a given fiscal year (see also Balanced Budget; Budget Surplus).

(18) “Budget estimates” means estimates of budget authority, outlays, receipts, or other budget measures that cover the current and budget years.

(19) “Budget surplus” means the amount by which the Government’s budget receipts exceed its budget outlays for a given budget/ fiscal year (see also Balanced Budget; Budget Deficit).

(20) “Concurrent resolution on the budget” means a resolution passed by both Houses of Congress, but not requiring the signature of the President, setting forth, reaffirming, or revising the congressional budget for the United States Government for a fiscal year. Two such resolutions are required before the start of a fiscal year. The first, due by 15 May, establishes the congressional budget targets for the next fiscal year; the second, scheduled to be passed by 15 Sep, sets a ceiling on budget authority and outlays and a floor on receipts. Additional concurrent resolutions revising the previously established budget levels may be passed by Congress at any time (see also Congressional Budget; First Concurrent Resolution on the Budget; Second Concurrent Resolution on the Budget).

(21) “Congressional budget” means the budget as set forth by Congress in a concurrent resolution of the budget. By law the resolution includes:

(A) The appropriate level of total budget outlays and of total new budget authority;

(B) An estimate of budget outlays and new budget authority for each major functional category , for undistributed intergovernmental transactions and for such other matters relating to the budget as may be appropriate to carry out the purposes of the 1974 Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act;

(C) The amount, if any, of the surplus or deficit in the budget;

(D) The recommended level of federal receipts; and

(E) The appropriate level of the public debt (see also Concurrent Resolution on the Budget; President’s Budget).

(22) “Cost-based budgeting” means budgeting in terms of costs to be incurred, that is, the resources to be consumed in carrying out a program, regardless of when the funds to acquire the resources were obligated or paid, and without regard to the source of funds (i.e., appropriation). For example, inventory items become costs when they are withdrawn from inventory , and the cost of building is distributed over time, through periodic depreciation charges, rather than in a lump sum when the buildings are acquired. Cost-based budgeting, in lieu of reflecting the obligational requirements for programs, reflects costs expected to be incurred during the budget year .

(23) “Deficiency appropriation” means an appropriation made to an expired account to cover obligations that have been incurred in excess of available funds. Deficiency appropriations are rare since obligating in excess of available funds generally is prohibited by law. Deficiency appropriation is sometimes erroneously used as a synonym for supplemental appropriation (see also Anti-deficiency Act; Apportionment; Deficiency Apportionment; Supplemental Appropriation).

(24) “Deficit financing” means a situation in which the federal government’s excess of outlays over receipts for a given period is financed primarily by borrowing from the public.

(25) “Deobligation” means a downward adjustment of previously recorded obligations. This may be attributable to the cancellation of a project or contract, price revisions, or corrections of estimates previously recorded as obligations.

(26) “Fiscal policy” means ASG policies with respect to taxes, spending and debt management, intended to promote the territories macroeconomic goals, particularly with respect to employment, gross domestic product, price level stability, and equilibrium in balance of payments. The budget process is a major vehicle for determining and implementing ASG fiscal policy. The other major component of macro-economic policy is monetary policy which is determined at the federal level.

(27) “Fiscal year” means any yearly accounting period, without regard to its relationship to a calendar year. The fiscal year for the ASG begins on 1 act and ends on 30 Sep. The fiscal year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends; for example, fiscal year 1980 is the year beginning 1 act 79 and ending 30 Sep 80 (prior to fiscal year 1977, the ASG fiscal year began on 1 Jul and ended on 30 Jun).

(A) Budget Year. The fiscal year for which the budget is being considered; the fiscal year following the current year .

(B) Current Year .The fiscal year in progress.

(C) Prior Year .The fiscal year immediately preceding the current year.

(28) “Full funding” means the providing of budgetary resources to cover the total cost of a program or project at the time it is undertaken. Full funding differs from incremental funding, where budget authority is provided or recorded for only a portion of total estimated obligations expected to be incurred during a single fiscal year. Full funding is generally discussed in terms of multi-year programs, whether or not obligations for the entire program are made in the first year.

(29) “Grants” means assistance awards in which substantial involvement is not anticipated between the federal government and the state or local government or other recipient during the performance of the contemplated activity. Such assistance is not limited to a state or local government as in the case of grants-in-aid.

The two major forms of federal grants are block and categorical. Block grants are given primarily to general purpose governmental units in accordance with a statutory formula. Such grants can be used for a variety of activities within a broad functional area. Examples for federal block-grant programs are Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, Comprehensive Employment and Training Act of 1973, Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, and the 1974 Amendments to the Social Security Act of 1935 (Title XX).

Categorical grants can be used only for a specific program and are usually limited to narrowly defined activities. Categorical grants consist of formula, project, and formula-project grants.

Formula grants allocate federal funds to states or their subdivisions in accordance with a distribution formula prescribed by law or administrative regulation.

Project grants provide federal funding for fixed or known periods for specific projects or the delivery of specific services of products (see also Grant-In-Aid).

(30) Grants-in-Aid. For purposes of the budget, grants-in-aid consist of budget outlays by the federal government to support state or local programs of governmental service to the public. Grants-in-aid do not include purchases from state or local governments or assistance awards to other classes of recipients (e.g., outlays for research or support of federal prisoners). (See also Grants, Revenue Sharing).

(31) “Incremental funding” means the provision (or recording) of budgetary resources for a program or project based on obligations estimated to be incurred within a fiscal year when such budgetary resources will cover only a portion of the obligations to be incurred in completing the program or project as programmed. This differs from full funding, where budgetary resources are provided or recorded for the total estimated obligations for a program or project in the initial year of funding (for distinction, see Full Funding).

(32) “Multi-year budget planning” means a budget planning process designed to make sure that the long-range consequences of budget decisions are identified and reflected in the budget totals. Currently, multi-year budget planning in the executive branch encompasses a policy review for a 3-year period beginning with the budget year, plus projections for the subsequent 2 years. This process provides a structure for the review and analysis of long-term program and tax policy choices (see also Full Funding; Projections).

(33) “Object classification” means a uniform classification identifying the transactions of the Government by the nature of the goods or services purchased (such as personnel compensation, supplies and materials, and equipment), without regard to the agency involved or the purposes of the programs for which they are used.

(34) “Obligational authority” means the sum of (A) budget authority provided for a given fiscal year, (B) balances of amounts brought forward from prior years that remain available for obligation, and (C) amounts authorized to be credited to a specific fund or account during that year, including transfers between funds or accounts.

(35) “Obligations-based budgeting” means financial transactions involving the use of funds are recorded in the accounts primarily when obligations are incurred, regardless of when the resources acquired are to be consumed. (For distinction, see Cost-Based Budgeting.)

(36) “Obligations incurred” means amounts of orders placed, contracts awarded, services received, and similar transactions during a given period that will require payments during the same or a future period. Such amounts will include outlays for which obligations had not been previously recorded and will reflect adjustments for differences between obligations previously recorded and actual outlays to liquidate those obligations.

(37) Outlays. Obligations are generally liquidated when checks are issued or cash disbursed. Such payments are called outlays. In lieu of issuing checks, obligations may also be liquidated (and outlays occur) by the maturing of interest coupons in the case of some bonds, or by the issuance of bonds or notes (or increases in the redemption value of bonds outstanding).

Outlays during a fiscal year may be for payment of obligations incurred in prior years (prior-year outlays) or in the same year. Outlays, therefore, flow in part from unexpended balances of prior-Year budget authority and in part from budget authority provided for the year in which the money is spent. The terms expenditure and net disbursement are frequently used interchangeably with the term outlays.

(38) “Oversight committee” means the legislative committee charged with general oversight of the operation of an agency or program. In most cases, but not all, the oversight committee for an agency is also the authorizing committee for that agency’s programs (see also Authorizing Committee).

(39) “Personnel compensation” comprises gross compensation (before deduction for taxes and other purposes) for services of individuals, including terminal leave payments. This classification covers all payments (salaries, wages, fees) for personal services rendered to the Government by its officers or employees, either civil or military, and compensation for special services rendered consultants or others.

(40) “Personnel benefits” comprises cash allowances paid to civilian and military employees incident to their employment and payment to other funds for the benefit of employees. Prerequisites provided in kind, such as uniforms or quarters, and payments to veterans and former employees resulting from their employment are excluded.

(41) “Planned fiscal year” is the fiscal year immediately preceding the budget year .

(42) “Program” is generally defined as an organized set of activities directed toward a common purpose, or goal, undertaken or proposed by an agency in order to carry out its responsibilities. In practice, however, the term program has many uses and thus does not have a well-defined, standard meaning in the legislative process. Program is used to describe an agency’s mission, programs, functions, activities, services, projects, and processes.

(43) “Program evaluation,” in general, is the process of assessing program alternatives, including research and results, and the options for meeting program objectives and future expectations. Specifically, program evaluation is the process of appraising the manner and extent to which programs:

(A) Achieve their stated objectives;

(B) Meet the performance perceptions and expectations of responsible public officials and other interested groups;

(C) Produce other significant effects of either a desirable or undesirable character .

(44) “Projections ” means estimates of budget authority, outlays, receipts, or other budget amounts that extend several years into the future. Projections generally are intended to indicate the budgetary implications of continuing or proposed programs and legislation for an indefinite period of time. These include alternative program and policy strategies and ranges of possible budget amounts. Projections usually are not firm estimates of what will occur in future years, nor are they intended to be recommendations for future budget decisions. .

(45) “Reprogramming” means utilization of funds in an appropriation account for purposes other than those contemplated at the time of appropriation.

(46) “Rescission ” means the consequence of enacted legislation that cancels budget authority previously provided by the Legislature before the time when the authority would otherwise lapse; i.e., cease to be available for obligation.

(47) “Revenue sharing” means federal funds distributed by formula to states and general-purpose local governments with few or no limits on the purposes for which the funds may be used and few restrictions on the procedures which must be followed in spending the funds (see also Grants-in-Aid).

(48) “Subfunction ” means subdivisions of a budget function. For example, health care services and health research are subfunctions of the function health.

(49) “Subsidy” means, generally, a payment or benefit made by the ASG for which there is no current charge. Subsidies are designed to support the conduct of an economic enterprise or activity, such as utility operations. They may also refer to provisions in the tax laws that provide certain tax expenditures and to the provisions of loans, goods, and services to the public at prices lower than market value, such as interest subsidies.

(50) “Substantive law” means statutory public law other than appropriation law; sometimes referred to as basic law. Substantive law usually authorizes, in broad general terms, the executive branch to carry out a program of work. Annual determination as to the amount of the work to be done is usually thereafter embodied in appropriation law.

(51) “Supplemental appropriation ” means an act appropriating funds in addition to those in an annual appropriation act. Supplemental appropriations provide additional budget authority beyond the original estimates for programs or activities (including new programs authorized after the date of the original appropriation act) in cases where the need for funds is too urgent to be postponed until enactment of the next regular appropriation bill. Supplementals may sometime include items not appropriated in the regular bills for lack of timely authorizations (see also Anti-deficiency Act; Apportionment; Appropriation Act; Deficiency Apportionment; Deficiency Appropriation).

History: Rule 3-83, eff 4 Apr 83. § C.2.