In its push to eliminate wasteful government spending, an influential House panel has requested that HHS provide information to account for billions of unspent dollars that the agency will carry over into the next fiscal year.
Committee questions unspent HHS funds
The House Energy and Commerce Committee is reviewing the funds of four government agencies—HHS, the Energy and Commerce departments, and the Environmental Protection Agency—because, the committee reported, total unexpended balances across the federal government are estimated to exceed $2 trillion (PDF) by the end of fiscal 2012. As part of its review, the committee is examining both obligated funds, which it defines as those that may have been assigned to a particular project but not been spent; and unobligated funds, which maybe be unspent appropriations or funding that had been obligated previously but not used and carried over to a later date.
According to the committee's letter this week to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (PDF), HHS has contributed to the overall amount with more than $175 billion in obligated balances and more than $51 billion in unobligated balances at the end of fiscal 2010.
All 31 Republican members of the committee signed the letter, which asked Sebelius to provide specific information, including a complete list of HHS programs and other expenditures and whether the funds remain unobligated; have been obligated but not expended; and the level of unspent balances that have carried over to fiscal 2012.
A spokeswoman with the Office of Management and Budget said in an e-mail the administration has no comment at this time. The committee has requested Sebelius respond by Nov. 7.
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