The United States Constitution provides that “[n]o money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law.” U.S. Constitution Article I, § 9, cl.7. The Antideficiency Act (ADA) seeks to ensure proper implementation of this constitutional requirement by prohibiting all officers and employees of the federal government from entering into obligations in advance of an appropriation.
In absence of an appropriation to continue operations, the ADA would prohibit many but not all government functions. The Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) recognize various activities that are excepted from the general prohibition against incurring obligations that would otherwise apply under the ADA (hereinafter, “excepted activities”). In respect of such excepted activities, Agencies may continue to incur obligations during a funding gap.