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Refers to an authority under a law given by the legislature to the executive to spend public funds for a specified purpose.

Annual appropriations are made through annual budget laws. Supplementary budgets/appropriations are sometimes granted subsequent to the annual law if the annual appropriation is insufficient to meet the purpose.

“Standing appropriation” is sometimes used for authority extending beyond a single budget year under separate legislation (such as social security legislation). In some countries, such as the United States, the term “authorization” is used to denote a general law setting up a program and permitting appropriation but not giving any specific authority to spend. In most countries, agencies and departments require specific executive authorization (“apportionment, allotment, or warrant”) to actually incur an obligation against appropriation.

Source Publication:
IMF, 2007, Manual on Fiscal Transparency, IMF, Washington DC, Glossary.

Statistical Theme: Financial statistics

Created on Monday, July 23, 2007

Last updated on Thursday, July 26, 2007