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Fiscal Matters
Excess Obligations

A state agency may not incur a financial obligation exceeding the amount appropriated to it by the General Appropriations Act (GAA) for the respective objects or purposes named in the Act.

If the state auditor determines an agency has violated this prohibition, the state auditor must certify that fact and the amount of the over-obligation to the Comptroller's office. The Comptroller's office is then required to deduct the amount of the over-obligation from the salary or other compensation due the responsible disbursing or requisitioning officer or employee. The Comptroller's office must apply the deducted amount to payment of the obligation.


There is one exception to the prohibition against incurring excess obligations. An agency may enter into an installment purchase arrangement if the Statewide Procurement Division (SPD) of the Comptroller’s office determines and certifies the arrangement is cost-effective.

Note: SPD may only authorize an installment purchase or lease of automated information system equipment if:

  • The agency has a biennial operating plan on file with the Legislative Budget Board (LBB) including any amendments to the plan, and
  • The LBB has approved the plan.

See also: Contracts that Extend Beyond the Life of Appropriations

Sources [+]

Texas Constitution Article XVI, Section 10; Article IX, Section 6.03 and Article X, Section 2(a) of the General Appropriations Act; Texas Government Code Section 2151.003(2). But see Opinion of Texas Attorney General No. WW-96 (1957).