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What are non-appropriated funds?

Bureaupat cuts through the govspeak

By Bureaupat Oct 07 2009, 09:06 PM

Dear Bureaupat,

I have heard the term "non-appropriated funds" in recent meetings. I'm embarrassed to ask what these are, as I don't want my peers to think that I'm not in-the-know. Can you please help me out?

Dear Enlightened,

There is nothing worse than not knowing all the government lingo and then having to sit through all the drivel without even being able to follow the conversation.

I've been there, but I've always been the one who interrupted and asked the question. Sometimes it's served me well and other times, not so well, so I'm glad you came to me first.

Most people are unaware, but there are several day-to-day services in government that use that use "non-appropriated funds" for their operation. For the record, these have nothing to do with "inappropriate funds," the kind that might be, say, kept in a freezer.

Generally, but not exclusively, the accounting practices and financial statements that relate to federal entities are financed by annual or periodic appropriations by Congress.

While appropriations-funded agency operations are in the preponderance, several federal activities that provide intragovernmental services and goods, spending billions of dollars annually, are financed by other than annual appropriations, hence the name "non-appropriated fund" activities.

Typically you will find non-appropriated funds within the Department of Defense (DoD). These funds generated by DoD military and civilian personnel and their dependents and used to augment funds appropriated by the Congress to provide a comprehensive, morale-building welfare, religious, educational, and recreational program, designed to improve the well-being of military and civilian personnel and their dependents.

Now you are in the know, so you can hang with the big dawgs.

Yours in Gov,



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