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PennWATCH

Glossary

Agency:

Any department, authority, public corporation, quasi public corporation, commission, board, institution, state college or university, and any other public agency created by the Commonwealth, other than units of local government and school districts.

Annual Salary:

Amount resulting from the summation of the employee's biweekly salary on an annual basis.

Appropriation:

Legislation requiring the Governor’s approval authorizing an agency, department, board, commission or institution to spend a specified amount of money for a stated purpose or purposes during a particular period of time, usually one fiscal year.

Appropriation Amount:

The amount provided in an enacted appropriation bill or executively authorized and issued in approved Expenditure Symbol Notification letters.

Appropriation Year:

The fiscal year in which funds have been appropriated or authorized. For example, an appropriation within the General Appropriations Act for the period 07/01/12-06/30/13 would be within Fiscal Year 2012-13 and would be assigned to Approp Year 2012.

Augmentation:

Monies such as institutional billings or fees credited to a specific appropriation of state revenues. An augmentation can usually be spent for those purposes authorized for the appropriation which it augments.

Budget:

A statement of the state's program plan, the resources necessary to support that plan, a description of how and for what purposes the resources are to be used and a projection of the effects of the programs on people and the environment.

Budget Amount:

The amount of funding available in an appropriation, including augmentations.

Capital Expense:

In accordance with the Pennsylvania State Constitution, agency construction projects which cannot be financed by current revenue appropriations and which meet the definition of a capital project must be authorized in law before being implemented. Capital projects consist of all new construction, land acquisition, or renovations to existing structures which change the use or function or increase the usefulness with a cost of $100,000 or more; and major rehabilitation projects to existing capital assets which do not change use or function but which constitute a betterment or improvement to the original facility costing in excess of $300,000.

Category (also known as major object):

A group of expenditure classifications within an appropriation. Categories of expenditures in Pennsylvania budget terms are: Personnel Services, Operational Expenses, Fixed Assets, Grants, Non-Expense Items, Miscellaneous Expenditure Transfers and Debt Service/Investments

Commitment Item:

A classification of expenditures or revenues used to identify the type of expenditure or source of revenues that are planned/budgeted and/or expended or received.

Complement:

A term synonymous with state personnel or workforce, more often used in the context of positions rather than employees or persons employed.

Debt Service / Investment:

A major category of expenditure used to account for the payment of Commonwealth general obligation debt service (principle and interest) and authority rentals.

Employee Count:

The number of filled salary and wage positions.

Executive Authorization:

An authorization made in the name of the Governor to spend money from funds which had been previously appropriated through blanket action of the General Assembly. Usually this term is used in connection with the special funds.

Expenditure:

An accounting entry indicating a disbursement has been made.

Federal Funds:

This category contains monies received from the federal government. Federal funds are usually received under a federal program providing funding dedicated to a particular purpose, such as Medicare, education support or highway construction.

Fiscal Year:

A twelve-month period beginning July 1 and ending June 30 of the following calendar year which is used as the state’s accounting and appropriation period.

Fixed Asset Expense:

Assets of a long-term character and nonconsumable in nature that are intended to be held or used. These include land, buildings, and their related improvements, equipment, furniture and fixtures, and construction in process.

Fund:

An independent fiscal and accounting entity comprising a source of money set aside by law for the purpose of carrying on specific activities in accordance with special regulations, restrictions or limitations. A fund is created by legislation. The General Fund is the fund from which most state programs are financed.

Fund Source:

Indicates whether the source of the payment is state or federal funds.

General Fund:

The fund into which the general (non-earmarked) revenues of the state are deposited and from which monies are appropriated to pay the general expenses of the state budget.

Grants:

Includes all payments made by the state to political subdivisions, individuals, institutions and organizations for which no direct services are rendered to the state.

Investments, Loans and Other Revenues:

This category contains all monies and revenues derived from commonwealth investment holdings, bank loans and the issuance of Revenue or General Obligation Bonds.

Miscellaneous Expenditure Transactions:

A major category of expenditure used to account for transfers of expenditures that occur based on a cumulative amount calculated by category rather than individual adjustments by subcategory. The expenditures transferred are originally incurred and paid from one appropriation and subsequently transferred to another appropriation, usually from state to federal funds.

Non-Expense Items:

A major category of expenditure used to account for the disbursement of funds that are not considered an expense of the Commonwealth, such as loans or reimbursements between funds or state agencies.

Non-Tax Revenue:

This category includes all non-tax revenue collected by the commonwealth. The primary revenue sources are licenses and fees, escheats (unclaimed property), and transfers from other funds including liquor store profits.

Operational Expense:

A major category of expenditure used to account for the cost of commodities, substances, or manufactured articles which are used or consumed in current operations or processed in the construction or manufacture of articles. Also includes the costs for contracted services, rentals, as well as equipment, leased software, expendable tools, and other articles not meeting the criteria for machinery and equipment in the definition of fixed assets.

Payee:

The vendor that received the funds.

Payment:

An accounting entry indicating a disbursement has been made. Same as expenditure.

Payment Date:

The date the payment was issued by Treasury to the payee, either by check or direct deposit.

Personnel Services:

The cost of salaries, wages, state share of payroll taxes and employee benefits paid to or on behalf of state officials, employees and annuitants.

Position:

The job classification title assigned to the employee's position solely for payroll and human resources purposes.  Titles referencing engineers, geologists and/or surveyors do not imply nor are intended to represent the employee as having a professional licensure or certification.

Program Performance Measure:

A general term applied to any of the substantive measures found in the agency programs. Included are impacts, outcomes, output/activity indicators, efficiency measures and need and/or demand estimators.

Revenue:

Monies received from taxes, fees, fines, federal grants, bond sales and other sources deposited in the state treasury and available as a source of funds to state government. Federal revenues are typically received as a reimbursement for eligible grant expenditures incurred by the state.

Salaried Employee:

A position requiring the full- or part-time employment of at least one person on a regularly scheduled basis for a period of time exceeding six months.

Special Fund:

Funds, other than the General Fund, that were created to more closely relate specific revenue sources to specific programs or activities.

A fund in which revenues raised from special sources named by law are deposited (earmarked revenue).  Such revenue an be spent only for purposes prescribed by law and for which the revenues were collected.  Examples are:  Motor License Fund, Game Fund and Boat Fund.

Sub-Category (aka commitment item or minor object):

A grouping of expenditures that are like or similar in nature and are breakdowns within the broader category (major object) classification.

Taxes, Penalties, and Interest:

This category contains all commonwealth-level taxes as well as associated penalties and interest. In the General Fund, the primary tax revenue sources are personal income tax, sales/use tax, and the corporate net income tax. In the Motor License Fund, the primary tax revenue sources are the liquid fuels taxes.

Total Annual Compensation:

The total amount paid annually to an employee as reflected on State wages box number 16 of their W-2 statement. The term includes wages, as well as overtime and other forms of payment and may exclude certain employee payments not subject to state tax.

Wage:

An hourly or daily rate paid to an employee for time worked.

Wage Employee:

A position requiring the full- or part-time employment of one person, either on a regular schedule for a limited duration of time or on an intermittent or irregularly scheduled basis without regard to the employment duration.

Workforce:

Persons employed by the commonwealth.