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New Start

Initiation or resumption of a program, project, or activity (PPA) that was not authorized or funded by Congress in the preceding fiscal year. The term or issue of new starts arises when the Federal government operates under a continuing resolution. Questions to ask when assessing whether a PPA meets the definition of a new start are as follows. a. Was funding requested and/or appropriated for the PPA in the preceding fiscal year? If no, it is a new start; if yes, it is not a new start. b. What level of detail in both the congressional budget justification and the appropriations committee reports is the PPA budgeted for and appropriated? For example, a line-item construction project is budgeted for and appropriated separately (a new start); a general plant project is not. Because funding requests for general plant projects are consolidated and appropriated in a lump sum, they are considered part of an ongoing minor construction program. c. What is the estimated cost of the PPA? For some PPAs, the cost estimate will help determine whether it should be budgeted as a separate project (and treated as a new start) or funded within an ongoing program. GPP and major items of equipment (MIEs) are two good examples. (1) If the estimated cost of a proposed construction project is less than $5,000,000, it is budgeted for as a GPP and grouped with other new and ongoing GPPs as a lump sum request (not a new start). (2) If the estimated cost is above $5,000,000, the project is budgeted for as an individual line-item construction project and considered a new start. (3) Proposed items of capital equipment with estimated cost exceeding $2,000,000 are considered MIEs and must be budgeted for separately and are considered new starts. (4) Capital equipment of estimated cost less than $2,000,000 is aggregated and budgeted for as a lump sum amount and treated as on ongoing program. d. For more information on the level of detail required for requesting and justifying funding for a particular PPA, refer to the DOE Budget Formulation Handbook.

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