GAO Glossary of Terms and Definitions (September 2005)

Allocation

For the purposes of budgeting, an allocation means a delegation, authorized in law, by one agency of its authority to obligate budget authority and outlay funds to another agency. (The appropriation or fund from which the allocation is made is generally referred to as the parent appropriation or fund.) An allocation is made when one or more agencies share the administration of a program for which appropriations are made to only one of the agencies or to the President. When an allocation occurs, the Department of the Treasury establishes a subsidiary account called a “transfer appropriation account,” and the agency receiving the allocation may obligate up to the amount included in the account. The budget does not show the transfer appropriation account separately. Transactions involving allocation accounts appear in the Object Classification Schedule, with the corresponding Program and Financing Schedule, in the President’s budget. For an illustration of the treatment of Object Classification—With Allocation Accounts, see OMB Circular No. A-11. (See also Object Classification; Transfer; Transfer Appropriation (Allocation) Accounts under Accounts for Purposes Other Than Budget Presentation.)

For purposes of section 302(a) of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 (2 U.S.C. § 633(a)), an allocation is the distribution of spending authority and outlays to relevant committees based on the levels contained in a concurrent resolution on the budget. (See also Committee Allocation.)

For purposes of section 302(b) of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 (2 U.S.C. § 633(b)), an allocation is the distribution of spending authority and outlays to relevant subcommittees based on the levels contained in the concurrent resolution on the budget. (See also Subcommittee Allocation.)

For funds control purposes, an allocation is a further subdivision of an apportionment.

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