of former GAO Authorities
(including 5 U.S.C. § 5584 and 31 U.S.C. § 3702)
In two statutes enacted in 1995 and 1996, Congress transferred a number
of functions that had been previously assigned to the General Accounting
Office (GAO). These statutes were Section 211 of the Legislative Branch
Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 1996 (Public Law 104-53) and the General
Accounting Office Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-316). Congress transferred
these functions initially to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB),
and Congress granted OMB broad discretion to delegate these authorities
to other agencies. As explained below, OMB has delegated these former GAO
functions to other agencies.
As a follow-up to the enactment of Section 211 of the FY1996 Legislative
Branch Appropriations Act, the OMB Director issued a Determination Order
on June 28, 1996, that delegated the former GAO functions to a number of
Federal agencies. A copy of the OMB determination order is attached below.
In the General Accounting Office Act of 1996, Congress “codified”
into statute the delegations that OMB made in the Determination Order of
June 28, 1996. In addition, the General Accounting Act of 1996 made a number
of additional delegations.
As a follow-up to the enactment of the General Accounting Office Act of
1996, the OMB Director issued a Determination Order on December 17, 1996,
that delegated the former GAO functions to a number of Federal agencies.
A copy of the OMB determination order is attached below. Of particular note,
this determination order included the delegations of the functions under:
- 5 U.S.C.
§ 5584(a)(1): “Waiving of erroneous payments function [by
an 'authorized official' under Section 5584(a)(1)] is delegated to the
Executive Branch agency that made the erroneous payment.”
- 31 U.S.C.
§ 3702(a)(4): “The claims settlement authority contained
in [Section 3702] and not otherwise transferred by that section to the
Secretary of Defense, the Director, Office of Personnel Management,
or the Administrator of General Services, is delegated to the Executive
Branch agency out of whose activity the claim arose.”
On March 17, 1997, the Acting Comptroller General issued a memorandum (B-275605)
that summarized the former GAO functions and the transfers that Congress
and OMB made in the statutes and determination orders discussed above. A
copy of the GAO memorandum is attached below.
Subsequently, in a Delegation of Authority dated May 5, 1997, the OMB Director
delegated to agencies within the Legislative Branch and the Judicial Branch
the claims settlement authority in 31 U.S.C. § 3702(a)(4), and the
related authority to render advance decisions under 31 U.S.C. § 3529,
regarding claims involving Legislative and Judicial agencies. A copy of
the OMB delegation memorandum is attached below.
Finally, in a Delegation of Authority dated July 7, 1998, the OMB Director
delegated to the Administrative Office of the United States Courts the authority
under 5 U.S.C. § 5584(a)(1) to waive the collection of erroneous payments
made by the Judicial Branch. A copy of the OMB delegation memorandum is
(all attachments are in PDF format)
Determination Order of June 28, 1996
OMB Determination Order of December 17, 1996
OMB Delegation of Authority of May 15, 1997
OMB Delegation of Authority of July 7, 1998
GAO Memorandum of March 17, 1997