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Application of FY 14 Monies vs. FY 13

January 17, 2014

How much more BA appropriations monies will FDA have to spend in FY 14 compared to the post-sequester spending levels of FY 13?

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Which functions/activities within FDA saw growth in the FY 14 appropriations? Not surprisingly, all functions saw growth compared to the post-rescission, post-sequester funding in FY 13. A complete comparison to FY 13 and FY 12 is contained in the chart above. It is important to note that FDA’s Congressionally-approved BA appropriation for FY 14 is almost identical to the Administration’s request, made in February 2013 (see this attachment, p. 73 of the original request). So, it can properly be said that the BA appropriations reflect priorities set by FDA and concurred in by Congress.

Compared to FY 12 total (FDA’s previous best year), FY 14 is about $55 million higher. About half is allocated to growth in food safety (CFSAN, CVM), NCTR, and Office of the Commissioner. The other half reflects increases in White Oak consolidation and rent costs. With regard to the latter, this funding is essential to assuring efficient and productive workplaces for FDA staff and creating a unified location for the agency’s medical product work.

What is the $9 million for building and facilities used for? The $9 million is primarily for repair of the FDA’s physical plant, which is spread across a number of different locations here in Maryland and elsewhere. It is the type of stuff that most people wouldn’t notice unless the roof was leaking in their offices. Yet, these funds play a vital role in keeping existing workspace habitable and functional for the important work being done by FDA employees.

How is FDA likely to spend the restored FY 13 sequestered user fees? The restored user fees will go back to the appropriate programs and be used for the intended purpose of each fee. Beyond that, we can only point to two very general rules about the use of one-time funds (i.e., ones that will not be in the next year’s base). First, agencies don’t want to create new projects or hire additional staff if they can’t maintain funding for them in subsequent years. Second (and following from the first point), such monies are usually spent to accelerate existing workplans, rather than create new programs or priorities.

Note: This week’s analysis and commentary was written by Steven Grossman, the deputy executive director of the Alliance for a Stronger FDA.

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