Cyclopedia of Congressional Budget Law

Agency Mission


The term agency mission is used in budget law, specifically in the list of requirements for the Presidential Budget submission, but has not exact definition. It generally indicates the purpose for which and executive branch instrumentality has been created. Some agencies have a purpose included in their organic authorizing statute, but most do not.

GAO Glossary of Terms and Definition (September 2005)

Agency Mission

Term used in section 1105(a)(22) of title 31 of the United States Code, which outlines content requirements for the President’s budget submission to Congress. Section 1105 requires that the President’s budget contain a statement of agency budget authority in terms of agency missions, but this section offers no definition. The term is generally accepted to refer to the purpose of the programs of the agency and its component organizations. In the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) budget functional classification system, agency missions are distinguished from national needs. National needs are generally described as major functions, while agency missions are generally described in the context of subfunctions. (See also Functional Classification.)


 Presidential Budget Requirements in 31 USC 1105


(a) On or after the first Monday in January but not later than the first Monday in February of each year, the President shall submit a budget of the United States Government for the following fiscal year. Each budget shall include a budget message and summary and supporting information. The President shall include in each budget the following:

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(22) a statement of budget authority, proposed budget authority, budget outlays, and proposed budget outlays, and descriptive information in terms of—

(A) a detailed structure of national needs that refers to the missions and programs of agencies(as defined in section 101 of this title); and

(B) the missions and basic programs.

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