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Misappropriation Act


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Misappropriation Act


Alternate Definition

A law (United States Code, Title 31, Section 1301) applicable to DoD personnel managing appropriated funding (taxpayer resources). This act, also known as the "Purpose Statute," requires that appropriated funds be used only for the objects (purposes and programs) for which appropriations were made. Congress has the "Power of the Purse," and the Constitution specifically references use of appropriations ("No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by Law").

General Information

Program Offices shall only use taxpayer funds for the specific purpose (requirement) they were appropriated by Congress.  For example, if a Program Office has a Procurement-related requirement, the Program Office should use available Procurement appropriated funds to cover the requirement.  In this example, the Program Office should not utilize other available appropriations (RDT&E, O&M, etc.) because the Program Office does not have available Procurement appropriated funds. 

Best Practices

  • Program Offices, including the Program Management and Financial Management, must ensure appropriated funds are used only for the purposes and programs for which appropriations are made.
  • Budget documents (also known as budget forms or budget exhibits) are the official documents which support the Program Offices' specific use of appropriated funds per their unique requirements.
  • The "purpose" or intended use of appropriated funds should be validated, via separation of duties, during the organization's funds certification process so that the Program Office can ensure the Misappropriation Act is not violated.  Also, as a part of the organization's funds certification process, any commitment of funds (administrative reservation of appropriated funds) shall only be completed with key supporting documents that support the appropriation category and account in question.