The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has issued guidance setting the rules under which agencies will operate during the FY2013 Continuing Resolution (CR), enacted in late September (H.J. Res. 117). Under this guidance, OMB will apportion (distribute funds to agencies to be available for obligation) funds automatically to appropriations accounts during the CR period, unless language in the CR provides for specific levels of funding or special rules.
The annualized amount provided in the FY2013 CR is the “rate for operations provided in the applicable appropriations acts for fiscal year (FY) 2012 and under the authority and conditions provided in such Acts,” according to the OMB memo. This amount is net of rescissions. Funding for projects and activities for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) will be amounts in the FY2013 budget request.
OMB calculates the automatic apportionment rate by multiplying the annualized amount by the percentage of the year covered in the CR. In this case the automatic apportionment rate is 48.77 percent to cover the period October 1, 2012 through March 27, 2013. However, if the historical rate for obligations normally obligated during the time period is lower than the automatic rate, the “historical seasonal rate” will be used. OMB will amend these automatic apportionments should sequestration be required on January 2, 2013.
The CR also provides for a .612 percent across-the-board increase over the FY2012 level for most agencies. However, OMB requires agencies to submit a written request for this increase. Some activities in the Departments of Interior, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education are also required to take a small across-the-board reduction.
Not all programs receive funding during the CR period. Agencies cannot obligate funds (unless given OMB approval) for programs for which no funding was included in an FY2013 appropriations bill that has been passed or reported out of committee in the House or the Senate.
OMB notes that the CR provides limited authority (in Section 112) to mitigate civilian furloughs during the CR period Apportionments for civilian personnel compensation and benefits can be apportioned at an “accelerated rate.” However, OMB advises that agencies must receive pre-approval to receive a higher rate.
The CR also does not allow for "new starts" (programs not funded in FY2012) or for an increase in production rates above the FY2012 level.
The OMB memo addresses specific CR issues of interest in a “Frequently Asked Questions” format in Attachment A of the memo. Requests for more information on how the CR affects an agency component and its programs should be directed to comptroller/financial management or general counsel offices.