GAO Glossary of Terms and Definitions (September 2005)
Current Services Estimates
Estimates submitted by the President of the levels of budget authority and outlays for the ensuing fiscal year based on the continuation of existing levels of service. These estimates reflect the anticipated costs of continuing federal programs and activities at present levels without policy changes. Such estimates ignore all new presidential or congressional initiatives, including reductions or increases that are not yet law.
With the proposed budget each year, the President must transmit current services estimates and the economic assumptions upon which they are based. Updated current services estimates are also included in the Mid-Session Review of the President’s budget, but are not identified by that title and are confined to those programs that are essentially automatic (that is, they exclude programs controlled through annual appropriations). The current services data in the Mid-Session Review are identified as being for “mandatory and related programs under current law.”
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) also prepares similar estimates. For a more detailed discussion of this term, see “Current Services Estimates” in the Analytical Perspectives of the President’s budget. (See also Baseline; Multiyear Budget Planning.)