Budgetary Latitude and Reprogramming

253 FW 3
FWM Number
Amended Date(s)
Originating Office
Division of Budget and Performance

3.1 Purpose. This chapter establishes policy and guidance for budgetary latitude and reprogramming within the Service.

3.2 Authorities.

A. Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, 31 U.S.C. 1005.

B. Fiscal Year 1995 Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Committee Conference Report. (House Report No. 103-740) The report is available from the Division of Budget.

3.3 Definitions.

A. Budgetary Latitude: The ability to deviate from the programs enacted in annual appropriations. This concept applies to reallocations of funds, reorganization, and other departures from the programs described in the budget justification, the appropriation act, committee reports, or other supporting documentation.

B. Reprogramming. Any significant departure from the program described in the Service's budget justifications, including proposed reorganizations even without a change in funding. It includes the reallocation of funds from one budget activity to another; and where either House or Senate Appropriations Committee report displays an allocation of an appropriation below the activity level, that more detailed level shall be the basis for reprogramming. For construction and land acquisition accounts, a reprogramming constitutes the reallocation of funds from one project identified in the justifications or Committee reports to another.

3.4 Budgetary Latitude.

A. Commitments. The annual budget justifications are the Service's representation to the Congress of the purpose and manner in which funds will be spent during the approaching fiscal year. They represent commitments by the President, the Secretary, and the Director as to the future course and level of programs of the Service. The justifications, testimony and statements for Appropriations Committees hearings, and Congressional actions including reports, embody the principal constraints and commitments for the correct use of appropriated funds that must be honored in carrying out programs.

B. Latitude. It is recognized that, because budget justifications precede the availability of funds and unanticipated events occur during the fiscal year, operating situations may arise that require changes in even the most carefully formulated plans. Accordingly, the Appropriations Committees have established guidance for reprogramming to allow reasonable flexibility in adjusting to such changes (see 3.5.)

C. Constraints. The Appropriations Committees have also established criteria for reprogramming to insure that commitments are met and Congress notified of significant changes (see 3.6.) In addition, the Service has established procedures for approving reprogramming actions that fall below the Congressional thresholds (see 3.7.)

3.5 Reprogramming Guidelines.

A. A reprogramming should be made only when an unforeseen situation arises; and then only if postponement of the project or the activity until the next appropriation year would result in actual loss or damage. Mere convenience or desire should not be factors for consideration.

B. Any project or activity that is deferred through reprogramming shall not later be accomplished by means of further reprogramming; but, instead, funds should again be sought for the deferred project or activity through the regular appropriations process.

C. Reprogramming should not be employed to initiate new programs or to change allocations specifically denied, limited, or increased by the Congress in the Appropriations Act or accompanying reports. In cases where unforeseen events or conditions are deemed to require such changes, proposals shall be submitted in advance to the Committees, regardless of amounts involved, and be fully explained and justified.

3.6 Congressional Reprogrammings

A. Criteria. The House and Senate Appropriations Committees require the following actions to be submitted in writing prior to implementation:

(1) Reprogrammings exceeding $1,000,000 annually or that result in an increase or decrease of more than 10% annually in affected programs.

(2) For construction projects, reprogrammings exceeding $2,000,000 or 25% per project.

(3) All reallocations that result in a construction project being cancelled or deferred.

(4) Acquisition of land for more than the approved appraised value (as addressed in section 301(3) of Public Law 91-646) except for condemnations and declarations of taking.

(5) Filings of declarations of taking of land.

(6) Assessments levied against any program, budget activity, subactivity, or project funded by the Interior Appropriations Act.

(7) Reorganizations, even without a change in funding.

(8) Significant departures from the program described in the budget justifications.

(9) Changes in any limitation, directive, or earmarking contained in either the House or Senate report which is not contradicted by the other report nor specifically denied in the conference report.

B. Procedures.

(1) Reprogramming proposals to the House and Senate Committees will be prepared as Secretarial correspondence. (See Exhibit 1.)

     (a) Within the Service, proposals, including regional proposals, will be surnamed by the relevant Assistant Director, and the Chief, Division of Budget before being approved and surnamed by the Director. In addition, reprogramming proposals for construction will be surnamed by the Division of Engineering and for land acquisition by the Division of Realty, and their respective Assistant Directors.

     (b) Upon approval by the Director, proposals will be surnamed by the Assistant Secretary - Fish and Wildlife and Parks, the Departmental Office of Budget, and the Office of Management and Budget before being signed and transmitted by the Assistant Secretary - Policy, Management and Budget.

(2) Reprogramming proposals submitted to the Committees for prior approval shall be considered approved after 30 calendar days if the Committees have posed no objection. As a courtesy, the approval deadline will be extended if specifically requested by either Committee.

(3) Once approved by both Committees, the Division of Budget will notify the affected members of the Directorate in order that they may proceed with implementation. Reallocations of funding will be implemented through the Work Activity Guidance (253 FW 2.)

C. Quarterly Report. The Division of Budget will prepare a quarterly report to the Committees (Report Control Symbol R253-3A) through the Departmental Office of Budget which identifies all reprogrammings, including cumulative totals for the fiscal year, and any significant shifts of funding among object classifications.

3.7 Service Reprogrammings

A. Criteria.

(1) The Director must approve any reprogrammings that exceed $500,000 annually in an affected activity, subactivity, element, or project.

(2) Regional Directors must approve any reprogrammings up to and including $500,000 annually in an affected activity, subactivity, element, or project in their Regions.

(3) Assistant Directors must approve any reprogrammings up to and including $500,000 annually in an affected activity, subactivity, element, or project under their supervision in Headquarters.

B. Procedures.

(1) Reprogramming proposals requiring the Director's approval will be submitted in writing and follow the format in Exhibit 2.

     (a) They will be surnamed by the relevant Assistant Director; the Divisions of Construction and Realty, if affected; and the Division of Budget before they are forwarded to the Director.

     (b) Once approved by the Director, the originating office will be notified by the Division of Budget and, to the extent applicable, the reprogramming will be implemented through the Work Activity Guidance.

     (c) The Division of Budget will incorporate the reprogramming information into the quarterly reprogramming report to the Congress (see 3.6C.)

(2) Reprogramming proposals approved by Regional and Assistant Directors:

     (a) That affect the allocations in the Work Activity Guidance will be immediately provided in writing to the Division of Budget for incorporation in the WAG and the next quarterly reprogramming report to the Congress.

     (b) That affect allocations to field stations will be incorporated by Regional Directors in the next Congressional District Report and Field Station List as a part of the next year's budget justifications.

Attachments (Exhibits, Amendments, etc)