Legislation has been tabled in Parliament validating nearly $400 million of unauthorised spending during the year to June 2008.
If the legislation is not passed, the spending would be deemed unlawful.
The Government can only spend money in accordance with appropriations set out by an Act of Parliament.
Any overspending - or new spending - which has not been referred to in existing legislation needs to be validated.
For instance, in the last financial year the Government overspent on KiwiSaver by $134 million because the scheme was more popular than expected.
To make that spending lawful, it has to be validated by Parliament.