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Base Budget Obligations vs. Non-Recurring Obligations

A critical factor in building a spending plan for the future is the differentiation between base budget (permanent) obligations and non-recurring (temporary) obligations.  The budget amounts listed on Allocation Letters are separated into these two components.  Base budgets are intended to support on-going costs, but non-recurring budgets are intended to support costs that are not expected to recur in the future.  Problems occur when a cost originally supported with a non-recurring allocation continues into future years.

A similar problem can occur when utilizing resource savings.  The type of savings should be matched to the type of obligation.  For example, salary savings generated from temporarily vacant positions should only be used to support non-recurring obligations.  If the dollars are used to support a cost that will be in existence next fiscal year, but the position from which the savings was generated will be filled, there will be no resources available to support the new cost.