First, it is recommended that the PM consult with the organization's general counsel before taking action.
31 U.S.C. 1301 (Misappropriation Legal Language) stipulates that the U.S. Treasury cannot provide payment of funds except under the auspices of an appropriation derived from an act of Congress. Specifically, 31 U.S.C. 1301(a) articulates "that public funds may be used only for the purpose or purposes for which appropriated." The statute prohibits charging authorized items to the wrong appropriation and unauthorized items to any appropriation.
Further, 31 U.S.C. 1301(a) articulates that appropriations shall be applied only to the objects for which the appropriations were made except as otherwise provided by law. The agency's budget request is an essential reference standard for deciding the proper purpose and the relationship of expenditure to an appropriation. A three-part test for determining the appropriate purpose for spending appropriated funds is:
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