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GAO Report on OMB Withholding of Ukraine Security Assistance Whistleblower Complaint on Ukraine (Kelly Smith, comp.) 1 (1/16/2020)

handle is hein.presidents/usgvtwht0291 and id is 1 raw text is: 




GAOU.S. GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE
441 G St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20548



          Decision


          Matter of:  Office of Management and Budget-Withholding of Ukraine Security
                      Assistance

          File:       B-331564

          Date:       January 16, 2020

          DIGEST

          In the summer of 2019, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) withheld from
          obligation funds appropriated to the Department of Defense (DOD) for security
          assistance to Ukraine. In order to withhold the funds, OMB issued a series of nine
          apportionment schedules with footnotes that made all unobligated balances
          unavailable for obligation.

          Faithful execution of the law does not permit the President to substitute his own
          policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law. OMB withheld funds
          for a policy reason, which is not permitted under the Impoundment Control Act (ICA).
          The withholding was not a programmatic delay. Therefore, we conclude that OMB
          violated the ICA.


          DECISION

          In the summer of 2019, OMB withheld from obligation approximately $214 million
          appropriated to DOD for security assistance to Ukraine. See Department of Defense
          Appropriations Act, 2019, Pub. L. No. 115-245, div. A, title IX, § 9013, 132 Stat.
          2981, 3044-45 (Sept. 28, 2018). OMB withheld amounts by issuing a series of nine
          apportionment schedules with footnotes that made all unobligated balances for the
          Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative (USAI) unavailable for obligation. See Letter
          from General Counsel, OMB, to General Counsel, GAO (Dec. 11, 2019) (OMB
          Response), at 1-2. Pursuant to our role under the ICA, we are issuing this decision.
          Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974, Pub. L. No. 93-344,
          title X, § 1015, 88 Stat. 297, 336 (July 12, 1974), codified at 2 U.S.C. § 686. As
          explained below, we conclude that OMB withheld the funds from obligation for an

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