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The Fatal Defect in the Federal Accounting System : Public Budgeting and Finance , December 17, , 2002

December 17, 2002

Public Budgeting and Finance

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From the abstract: “For many years, the federal accounting system has focused on obligations. Beginning in1949, several blue-ribbon committees recommended changing the focus to expenses. Focusing on expenses provides more useful information than focusing on obligations for both planning and control purposes. Unfortunately, the House Appropriations Committee continues to make appropriations on an obligation basis. The Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB) has developed a system that focuses on both expenses and obligations that was supposed to be operational in 1997 but in fact will not be operational until 2003 at the earliest. Even then, users will not pay much attention to the expense focus if funds continue to be appropriated on an obligation basis.”


Anthony, Robert N.


Public Budgeting and Finance


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