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A Glossary of Terms Used in the Federal Budget Process

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) “exists to support the Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities and to help improve the performance and ensure the accountability of the federal government for the benefit of the American people.” As part of that responsibility, GAO publishes and maintains a glossary of terms, definitions, and classifications for federal budgeting. This is the current version, from September 2005, which replaced the 1993 version.



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