This key area deals with the financial manager’s knowledge of the law regarding availability of appropriations as to purpose, time and amount, applicable Comptroller General decisions, special purpose laws (Credit Reform, Foreign Assistance, Arms Export Control Acts), penalties and sanctions applicable under law, Anti-Deficiency Act (as applied to appropriations limitation), allotment or project executions, authorization and appropriation acts including their inter-relationship and respective roles, reporting and notification requirements..
As a Federal employee, you have taken an oath of office: to uphold the Constitution and laws of the United States. As a financial manager, you are responsible for complying with all laws of Federal appropriations. To accomplish this goal, you must understand the basic legal framework of federal appropriations to ensure each obligation and expenditure of public funds satisfies all requirements of the law. Upon completion of your fiscal law training, you will understand the keys to your success as a financial manager are understanding issues of purpose, time, and amount. These keys will guide you in resolving the myriad financial management issues that are your responsibility.
Among these issues you may be responsible for are: the bona fide needs rule, operating/capital leases, expense/investment criteria, continuing resolution authority, liability of accountable officials, transfers and reprogramming, funding gaps, payments and collections, revolving funds, etc. These keys will also assist you in avoiding every fiscal misadventure leading to violations of the Anti-Deficiency Act that will adversely affect your career. You will learn that provisions of the Anti-Deficiency Act are the teeth Congress provides for ensuring that you and your agency comply with the laws of Federal appropriations. You will learn that provisions of this Act contain administrative and criminal sanctions intended to remind us of our oath of office and the high demands expected of those who labor in the financial management vineyards.
One of the best and most current web sites, which provides an excellent fiscal law course, is maintained by the Army Office of General Counsel, Ethics and Fiscal Law section. It covers all items listed above in detail and you can access it at Additionally, there is a “must read” volume of the DoD FMR, Volume 14, entitled “Administrative Control of Funds and Anti-Deficiency Act Violations” (March 1998), go to It contains all of the information on violations, examples, and requirements for investigations and reporting. It also includes extracts from the US Code and OMB Circular A-11.
The United States Army Judge Advocate General School, Contract and Fiscal Law Division, located in Charlottesville, Virginia, offers a one week fiscal law course three times a year — in addition to a distance learning fiscal law course broadcast via satellite from Maxwell AFB. These courses give instruction on the legal, practical, and administrative problems involved in funding government contracts. They also have a short course in procurement fraud. Go to for more info.
Finally, there is an “Internet Law Library” that allows you to look up any legal citation in the US Code and to read the original text. This is located at
Test Study Preparation References
US Code references can be found at
FMR references can be found at
Title Subject/Notes
 41 USC 11  Contracting Under Feed and Forage Act
 31 USC 1301  Budget Process, Appropriations, General
 31 USC 1304  Judgment Fund Use
 31 USC 1341, 1342  Anti-Deficiency Act, Voluntary Service Limitation
 31 USC 1551 et seq  Closing Accounts
 31 USC 1553  Availability of Appropriations
 31 USC 1502  Balances Available
 31 USC 1301  Necessary Expense
 31 USC 1349  Anti-Deficiency Punishments
 31 USC 1501  Statute of Frauds
 31 USC 1511  Appropriation Accounting
 31 USC 1514  Apportionment
 31 USC 1517  ADA Violation for Over-Obligation
 31 USC 1531  Restrictions Remain on Transferred Funds
 31 USC 1535, 1536  The Economy Act
 31 USC 1552  Expiring Appropriations
 31 USC 1553  Closing Accounts
 31 USC 3302, 1301  Augmentation of Appropriations
 31 USC 3325  Disbursing Officials Liability
 31 USC 3328  Check Entitlement
 31 USC 3527 Relief for Loss of Funds
31 USC 3702 Assignment Claims Act
 31 USC 3717 Debt Collection Act of 1982
 31 USC 3727 Assignment Claims Act
 31 USC 3729 False Claims Act
 31 USC 3902 Prompt Payment
 31 USC 3702 Assignment Claims Act
 10 USC 114 Auth for Spending in Addition to Appropriations Act
 10 USC 127 Emergency & Extraordinary Expenses
10 USC 2307 Payments
 10 USC 2410a  Miscellaneous Procurement
 10 USC 401  Humanitarian and Civic Assistance
 10 USC 2805 Construction Limits
 10 USC 2701 Environmental Restoration
 10 USC 2703 Environmental Restoration
 10 USC 2803 Emergency Construction
 10 USC 1341 Anti-Deficiency
10 USC 2208 Working Capital Funds
 10 USC 2410  Contract Payment
 10 USC 2801 Minor Construction Cost Limits
 10 USC 2667 Real Property, Leases
 10 USC 2805 Minor Construction Cost Reporting Requirements
 10 USC 2811 Major Repair Cost Limits
 5 USC 4501-4507 Government Employees Incentive awards Act
 4 USC 23 Project Orders
 2 USC 681 Impoundment Control Act
 OMB Cir A-11 Preparation, Submission and Execution of the Budget
 GAO RedBook Principles of Appropriation Law
 FMR Vol 5 Disbursing Policy & Procedures
 FMR Vol 7a Military Pay Policy & Procedures