Unified Budget

GAO Glossary of Terms and Definition (September 2005)

Unified Budget

Under budget concepts set forth in the Report of the President’s Commission on Budget Concepts, a comprehensive budget in which receipts and outlays from federal and trust funds are consolidated. When these fund groups are consolidated to display budget totals, transactions that are outlays of one fund group for payment to the other fund group (that is, interfund transactions) are deducted to avoid double counting. The unified budget should, as conceived by the President’s Commission, take in the full range of federal activities. By law, budget authority, outlays, and receipts of off-budget programs (currently only the Postal Service and Social Security) are excluded from the current budget, but data relating to off-budget programs are displayed in the budget documents. However, the most prominent total in the budget is the unified total, which is the sum of the on- and off-budget totals.

(See also NonbudgetaryOff-BudgetOn-Budget.)

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Unified Budget: A comprehensive display of the Federal budget. This display includes all revenues and all spending for all regular Federal programs and trust funds. The 1967 President’s Commission on Budget Concepts recommended the unified budget and it has been the basis for budgeting since 1968. The unified budget replaced a system of the budgets that existed before 1968 (an administrative budget, a consolidated cash budget, and a national income accounts budget).

[The Congressional Budget Process: An Explanation, Appendix J (Glossary), Committee on the Budget of the U.S. Senate, S. Prt. 105-67 (Revised December 1998).]



Unfunded Mandate


Unobligated Balance