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Contract Authority

A form of budget authority under which contracts or other obligations may be incurred in advance of appropriations or receipts. Because contract authority does not provide funds to pay obligations, a subsequent appropriation is required or receipt collections must be used to liquidate obligations. Appropriations to liquidate contract authority are not considered budget authority because the funds are not available for obligation. Section 401 of the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act, with few exceptions, limits new contract authority to the extent or amount provided by appropriation acts.

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