B 265948 
Obligation figures in the report represent binding agreements, such as
orders placed or contracts awarded, that will require payment immediately
or in the future. The definitions for expenditures used by agencies
responding to our inquiry varied from agency to agency. Expenditure was
generally used to mean the issuance of checks, disbursement of cash, or
other liquidation of an obligation. For example, the Defense Nuclear
Agency reported expenditures as being disbursements. However, other
agencies, such as the Europe Newly Independant States (
NIS
) Bureau at
USAID
 included accruals amounts due to be paid in its expenditure
figures.
Significant amounts of funds were appropriated to one department or
agency but spent by another. To avoid double counting, we asked agencies
not to report obligation and expenditure information for funds transferred
to other agencies. We also cross checked funding transfer information
from agencies where funds started with information from agencies that
received the funds. In instances where funds were transferred between
agencies, the figures in our report show obligations and expenditures as
reported by the agency that received the funds.
In some cases, more than one department or agency was responsible for
implementing portions of the same program. In those instances, we
showed how much each agency spent on their portion of the program,
regardless of where the funds were initially appropriated. For example,
DOD
 funds transferred to the Department of Energy (
DOE
) for fissile
material storage facility design are reported as 
DOE
 obligations and
expenditures. However, 
DOD
 funds that 
DOD
 spent itself for the same
program are reported as 
DOD
 obligations and expenditures.
To determine the Office of Management and Budget's (
OMB
) budget
function classification for agency programs, we asked agencies to provide
the appropriation source used to finance their programs. We then assigned
OMB
 budget function classifications to the appropriation sources, based on
our knowledge about the purposes of each program and budget account
descriptions in the U.S. budget.
We captured only program costs. We did not ask agencies to provide
salary and overhead costs involved in implementing programs, except in
those instances where overhead and/or salary costs were billed to another
agency as part of an interagency agreement. We also did not attempt to
capture the cost of official visits related to the conduct of diplomacy or
Gore Chernomyrdin activities.
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