Comptroller letterhead

To:                   Legislative Leadership, Judicial Branch Administrators, Elected Officials, Secretariats, and 
                        Department Heads and Chief Fiscal Officers

From:              Thomas G. Shack III, Comptroller of the Commonwealth

Date:                June 28, 2017

Subject:           FY2018 Interim Budget Guidance

 

Comptroller Memo FY#2018-03


Executive Summary

Chapter 25 of the Acts of 2017, the FY18 Interim Budget, has been signed.  This memo offers guidance on operating under an interim budget.


We anticipate beginning fiscal year 2018 without a General Appropriation Act.

The FY18 Interim Budget for $5,150,000,000.00 was signed by the Governor.  The Commonwealth will operate under interim budget authorization beginning July 1, 2017.  This one month interim budget is expected to cover department incurrence needs through July 31st or until the enactment of the FY18 General Appropriation Act, whichever occurs first.

When administering your budget under this interim budget, and especially in light of the continued fiscal constraints, it is important that you follow this guidance.  As directed in chapter 25 and further in the Expenditure Classification Handbook and A & F Administrative Bulletin #9:

Constraint by the GAA

Departments must assume, absent explicit instruction to the contrary from the Comptroller, that all activity conducted under an interim budget will be subject retroactively to the conditions and restrictions included in the GAA when eventually signed into law. Departments must not undertake any activities which they have reason to believe will not be supported by the relevant appropriations and other provisions of the GAA. In the absence of a report of a Conference Committee on the budget, and where the relevant appropriations and other provisions enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives differ materially, departments must act under their best judgment regarding the likely resolution by a Conference Committee, but should favor the most conservative reasonable prediction of the outcome. Departments should consult with A&F prior to making significant commitments which would exceed the lowest of the relevant House 1, House and Senate spending authorizations.

Departments must also recognize that fiscal constraints and policy differences may result in the Governor vetoing or reducing appropriations or other provisions of the GAA as enacted by the General Court when he signs it into law, and must manage obligations accordingly.

It is imperative that all accounts be reviewed for compliance within these limitations.

Departments should proceed with routine business, including processing invoices within 9 days to assure prompt payment discounts are taken if offered.  All activity conducted under an interim budget will be subject retroactively to the conditions and restrictions included in the GAA when signed into law. Departments must not undertake any activities which they have reason to believe will not be supported by the relevant appropriations and other provisions of the GAA, specifically any obligations which are not supported by an appropriation that appears in both the House and Senate Budgets.  Departments should direct FY18 payment requests for override to Kathy Sheppard at 617.973.2666 and Donna Roux at 617.973.2314.

If you have any questions please or Assistant Secretary for Budget Catharine Hornby at 857.400.5417 or me at 617.973.2315.

cc:        MMARS Liaisons

            Payroll Directors

            General Counsels