Title 35
Public Finance

Chapter 3
State Budget

R.I. Gen. Laws 35-3-24



 35-3-24.  Control of state spending.


(a) All department and agency heads and their employees are responsible for ensuring that financial obligations and expenditures for which they have responsibility do not exceed amounts appropriated and are spent in accordance with state laws.

(b) Persons with the authority to obligate the state contractually for goods and services shall be designated in writing by department and agency heads.

(c) In the event of an obligation, encumbrance, or expenditure in excess of amounts appropriated, the department or agency head with oversight responsibility shall make a written determination of the amount and the cause of the overobligation or overexpenditure, the person(s) responsible, and corrective actions taken to prevent reoccurrence. The plan of corrective actions contained within the report shall detail an appropriate plan to include, but not limited to, such issues as the implementation of waiting lists, pro-rata reduction in payments and changes in eligibility criteria as methods to address the shortfall. The report will be filed within thirty (30) days of the discovery of the overobligation or overexpenditure with the budget officer, the controller, the auditor general, and the chairpersons of the house and senate finance committees.

(d) In the event a quarterly report demonstrates an obligation, encumbrance, or expenditure in excess of amounts appropriated, the department or agency head with oversight responsibility shall file monthly budget reports with the chairpersons of the house and senate finance committees for the remainder of the fiscal year. The monthly budget reports shall detail steps taken towards corrective actions and other measures to bring spending in line with appropriations. In addition, the budget officer and controller shall ensure that the department's or agency's obligations, encumbrances, and expenditures for the remainder of the fiscal year result in the department or agency ending the fiscal year within amounts appropriated.

(e) The controller shall not authorize payments for additional staff, contracts, or purchases for any department or agency not projected to end a fiscal year within amounts appropriated unless necessitated by immediate health and safety reasons, which shall be documented upon discovery and reported, along with anticipated or actual expenditures, to the chairpersons of the house and senate finance committees within fifteen (15) days.

(f) A state employee who has knowingly and willingly encumbered, obligated, or authorized the expenditure of state funds in excess of amounts appropriated for those purposes or entered into contracts without proper authorization may be placed on disciplinary suspension without pay for up to thirty (30) days in accordance with 36-4-36.

(g) A state employee who knowingly, willfully, and repeatedly authorizes actions resulting in encumbrances or spending of state funds in excess of amounts appropriated may be fined up to one thousand dollars ($1,000) and/or terminated from employment.

(h) Upon receipt of any budgetary information indicating an obligation, encumbrance, or expenditure in excess of the amounts appropriated, the chairperson of the house or senate finance committee may request a written report to be submitted by the director of administration within ten (10) calendar days. The report shall indicate if the obligation, encumbrance, or expenditure in excess of the amounts appropriated resulted in any disciplinary action or other penalty in accordance with subsection (f) or (g) of this section. If not, the report shall explain why no disciplinary action or other penalty was imposed in accordance with subsection (f) or (g).

History of Section.
P.L. 1991, ch. 6, art. 6, 1; P.L. 2001, ch. 77, art. 19, 1; P.L. 2019, ch. 88, art. 2, 5.