Phoenix TS

Appropriations Law Seminar Training

This training course provides students an expansive look into appropriations law.

Course Overview

Our four-day, instructor-led Appropriations Law Seminar Training course teaches students the fundamentals of appropriation law, how to determine the legal availability of appropriations, the legal obligation of funds, how to ensure the correct fund sources are charged for obligations and the correct course of action when funds must be transferred or reprogrammed. 


Currently, there are no public classes scheduled. Please contact a Phoenix TS Training Consultant to discuss hosting a private class at 240-667-7757.


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4 Days

Course Outline


  • Nature of appropriations law
  • Congressional “Power of the Purse”
  • “Lifecycle” of an appropriation
  • The Government Accountability Office (GAO): legal decisions
  • Case studies 

The Legal Framework 

  • Appropriations and related terminology
  • Some basic concepts
  • Relationship of appropriations to other types of legislation
  • Determining congressional intent
  • Case studies 

Agency Regulations and Administrative Discretion

  • Agency regulations 
  • Agency administrative interpretations
  • Administrative discretion
  • Case studies 

Availability of Appropriations: Purpose

  • DoD’s three types of acquisitions  
  • General principles
  • The “Necessary Expense” doctrine
  • Specific purpose authorities and limitations
  • Case studies 

Availability of Appropriations: Time

  • Period of availability
  • Three phases in the life cycle of appropriations
  • General principles – duration of appropriations
  • The “Bona Fide Needs” rule
  • Advance payments
  • Disposition of appropriation balance
  • Effect of litigation (and bid protests) on period of availability

Availability of Appropriations: Amount

  • Types of appropriation language
  • The antideficiency act
  • Supplemental and deficiency appropriations
  • Augmentation of appropriations
  • Case studies 

Obligation of Appropriations

  • Criteria for recording obligations
  • Continent liabilities
  • Reporting requirements
  • Deobligation
  • Case studies 

Continuing Resolutions

  • Rate for operations
  • Projects or activities
  • Case studies 

Liability and Relief of Accountable Officers

  • General principles
  • Physical loss or deficiency
  • Illegal or improper payments
  • Statutory provisions and who can grant relief for improper payments
  • Statute of limitations
  • Procedures
  • Collection action
  • Restitution, reimbursement, and restoration
  • Case studies 
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