Object Classification

GAO Glossary of Terms and Definition (September 2005)

Object Classification

A uniform classification identifying the obligations of the federal government by the types of goods or services purchased (such as personnel compensation, supplies and materials, and equipment) without regard to the agency involved or the purpose of the programs for which they are used. If the obligations are in a single object classification category, the classification is identified in the Program and Financing Schedule in the President’s budget. For the activities distributed among two or more object classification categories, the budget has a separate object classification schedule to show the distribution of the obligations by object classification. See also Explanation of Estimates in the “Detailed Budget Estimates” section of the President’s budget. General instructions are provided in OMB Circular No. A-11, revised. (See also Allocation. For a distinction, see Functional Classification.)

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