Budgetary Reserves


Budgetary reserves are required by law as budget authority that is available for obligation “to prevent obligation or expenditure at a rate that would indicate a necessity for a deficiency or supplemental appropriation for the period”(31 U.S.C. § 1512).

GAO Glossary of Terms and Definition (September 2005)

Budgetary Reserves

Portions of budgetary resources set aside (withheld through apportionment) by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) by authority of the Antideficiency Act (31 U.S.C. § 1512) solely to provide for contingencies or to effect savings. Such savings are made possible through changes in requirements or through greater efficiency of operations. Budgetary resources may also be set aside if specifically provided for by particular appropriation acts or other laws.

Except as specifically provided by law, no reserves shall be established other than as authorized under the Antideficiency Act (31 U.S.C. § 1512). Reserves established are reported to Congress in accordance with provisions of the Impoundment Control Act of 1974 (2 U.S.C. §§ 681–688). (See also Antideficiency ActApportionmentDeferral of Budget AuthorityRescission.)

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Budgetary Effects


Budgetary Reserves