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Glossary of Terms
Glossary of Terms
A law that permits agencies to expend public funds, which must be passed by both Houses of Congress and signed by the President (or passed over the President’s veto) to take effect. Appropriations are required under Article I, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution, which provides that “no money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in consequence of Appropriations made by Law.” Most appropriations acts are subdivided into specific amounts of funding (accounts) to be spent on set categories of activities over specified amounts of time, usually one or two years. A supplemental appropriation is one enacted in between annual cycles, often to meet specific additional emergency requirements unforeseen at the time regular appropriations measures were enacted.
Enacted bills can be found here
The basic unit of an appropriations act, generally reflecting each unnumbered paragraph in the act. Congress appropriates funds to specific accounts, typically for certain programs, projects, and activities. The
Foreign Assistance Reference Guide
provides a short summary and examples of each Department of State and USAID appropriation account.
The fiscal year in which an Appropriation Act is enacted.
The activities followed to formulate an agency’s contribution to the President’s Budget (the budget request). This process varies across agencies, and may include activities related to the development of plans for work and request for funds for operations at the country and sector level, resulting in a detailed Congressional Budget Justification. Some U.S. agencies, especially those for whom foreign assistance is not their main mission, do not plan to this level of detail before submitting their budget requests. For these agencies, budget planning for country-level programs begins once Congress and the President have approved the appropriations bills. The planned tab depicts an agency’s base year appropriations, supplemental appropriations, and request data.
Compacts are multi-year agreements between the Millennium Challenge Corporation and an eligible country to fund specific programs targeted at reducing poverty and stimulating economic growth.
Congressional Budget Justification:
A detailed justification of the President’s Budget Request.
Continuing Resolution (CR):
An appropriation act that provides budget authority for federal agencies and/or specific activities to continue operations when Congress and the President have not completed action on the regular appropriation acts by the beginning of the fiscal year. A CR maybe enacted for the full year, up to a specified date, or until regular appropriations are enacted. A CR usually specifies a maximum rate at which obligations may be incurred based on levels specified in the resolution.
Amounts paid by federal agencies, by cash or cash equivalent, during the fiscal year to liquidate government obligations. "Disbursement" is used interchangeably with the term "outlay."
Executive Budget Summary:
A document that accompanies the President’s Budget Request to provide a more detailed summary of the agency’s budget request. It precedes the Congressional Budget Justification.
Fiscal Year (FY):
A term that is used to differentiate a budget or financial year from the calendar year. It is commonly abbreviated as FY. The U.S. Government's fiscal year begins on October 1 of the previous calendar year and ends on September 30 of the year with which it is numbered. For example FY 2010 is October 1, 2009 through September 30, 2010.
An implementing mechanism is a legally binding relationship established between the implementing agency and an implementing agent to carry out USG-funded programs. Types of implementing mechanisms include grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, activities (for appropriate agencies such as MCC, DOJ, etc.), or USG employees providing direct technical assistance (for appropriate agencies such as DOJ, OTA, etc.), etc.
The agency to which foreign assistance funds are appropriated.
Obligated funds are those funds which have been applied to activities and are referred to obligations because they obligate the Federal Government to make outlays either immediately or in the future. Obligations may include a range of transactions, e.g., contracts, grants, guarantees, assistance agreements, etc. The obligated tab depicts funding that an agency has reported as being assigned to a program, project, contract, or initiative.
Agency organizational units include:
Country Office: a country specific overseas office working to implement programs;
Regional Office: an organizational unit providing support that crosses geographic boundaries, can be U.S.-based or overseas; and,
Functional Office: an organizational unit which manages sector specific or global programs.
An annual submission from the President to both Houses of Congress
that provides a comprehensive outline of all programs the President proposes to execute in the following fiscal year, and how much money is requested for their pursuit. The President’s Budget is required to be submitted by the first Monday in February, in accordance with the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, as amended.
The President’s Budget submission to both Houses of Congress that provides a com¬prehensive outline of all programs the President proposes to execute in the following fiscal year, and how much money is requested for each.
Data is classified into one of several distinct sectors that describe what the program does and enables the aggregation, comparison, and analysis of data without double counting.
The sector framework is available here
. The common structure is currently under review to accommodate data from all U.S. agencies that implement foreign assistance. Please continue to check back as we phase in an updated sector framework.
Spent funds refer to government outlays, disbursements, and expenditures. These are measures of government spending and include the amount of checks issued, cash disbursed, interest accrued, and net of refunds and reimbursements. They are payments to liquidate obligations (other than the repayment of debt). The spent tab depicts government outlay, disbursement, and expenditure data.
Threshold programs are smaller grants awarded by MCC to countries that come close to passing the criteria in order to receive a Compact grant and are firmly committed to improving their policy performance.