Code of the District of Columbia

§ 47–355.02. Limitations on expenditures and obligating amounts.

A District agency head, deputy agency head, agency fiscal officer, agency budget director, agency controller, manager, or other employee may not:

(1) Make or authorize an expenditure or obligation exceeding an amount available in an appropriation for an agency, fund, or capital project;

(2) Obligate the District for the payment of money before an appropriation is made or before a certification of the availability of funds is made, unless authorized by law; provided, that this paragraph shall not prohibit the acceptance of voluntary services or employment of personal services exceeding that authorized by law during emergencies involving the safety of human life or the protection of property;

(3) Approve a disbursement without appropriate authorization;

(4) Defer recording a transaction incurred in the current fiscal year to a future fiscal year;

(5) Allow an expenditure or obligation to exceed apportioned amounts;

(6) Fail to submit a required plan or projection in a timely manner;

(7) Knowingly report incorrectly on spending to date or on projected total annual spending;

(8) Fail to adhere to a spending plan through overspending that is greater than 5% of the agency’s budget, or $1 million, regardless of the percentage, or, for capital projects, 5% of the project's budget or $1 million, regardless of the percentage; or

(9) Make or authorize an expenditure or obligation for one capital project from another capital project.


(Apr. 4, 2003, D.C. Law 14-285, § 2, 50 DCR 940; Mar. 14, 2007, D.C. Law 16-293, § 2(a), 54 DCR 1083; Sept. 20, 2012, D.C. Law 19-168, § 1102(b), 59 DCR 8025; Dec. 13, 2017, D.C. Law 22-33, § 8022(a), 64 DCR 7652.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 47-355.06 and § 47-355.07.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 16-293 rewrote the section, which formerly read:

“A District agency head, deputy agency head, agency chief financial officer, agency budget director, agency controller, manager, or other employee may not:

“(1) Make or authorize an expenditure or obligation exceeding an amount available in an appropriation or fund;

“(2) Involve the District in a contract or obligation for the payment of money before an appropriation is made unless authorized by law;

“(3) Approve a disbursement without appropriate authorization; or

“(4) Defer recording a transaction incurred in the current fiscal year to a future fiscal year.”

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-168 substituted “agency, fund, or capital project” for “agency or fund” in (1); added “provided, that this paragraph shall not prohibit the acceptance of voluntary services or employment of personal services exceeding that authorized by law during emergencies involving the safety of human life or the protection of property” in (2); added (9); and made related changes.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 8022(a) of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-167, Oct. 24, 2017, 64 DCR 10802).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 8022(a) of Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2017 (D.C. Act 22-104, July 20, 2017, 64 DCR 7032).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 1102(b) of Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-383, June 19, 2012, 59 DCR 7764).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 1102(b) of Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-413, July 25, 2012, 59 DCR 9290).

Mayor's Orders

Allocation of Spending (FY 2010), see Mayor’s Order 2010-24, February 5, 2010 ( 57 DCR 1276).