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CONTROL's fight against evil is constantly hampered by what the Chief describes as a "limited budget" which, for example, makes it impossible for him to accede to the contract demands of the spies' union, the GSCA [Episode #32: "Strike While the Agent is Hot"].

Indeed, on occasion, the Chief finds himself over budget, unable to give Max a deserved raise [Episode #39: "Rub-A-Dub-Dub... Three Spies in a Sub"] and, in an extreme case, forcing him to lay off five agents [Episode #102: "The Day They Raided the Knights"]. He eventually agrees to let a reporter from Weeknews magazine do a story on CONTROL in the hope that the publicity will lead to an increased budget [Episode #81: "Operation Ridiculous"].

In addition to this ongoing state of affairs, Congress actually cuts CONTROL's budget twice - the first time requiring agents to economize on bullets, exploding capsules and suicide pills [Episode #48: "Cutback at CONTROL"] and the second time putting all agents on part-time [Episode #65: "Maxwell Smart, Private Eye"].

Another cutback sees all CONTROL agents having to pay for their guns, knives and ammunition out of their own personal pockets. However, this is not expected to amount to much because both KAOS and CONTROL have agreed to cut down on violence [Episode #96: "The Laser Blazer"].

The situation is so precarious that, on another occasion, KAOS's theft of a single payroll leaves CONTROL without enough capital to continue operating, with the Chief resorting to running the organization out of an elevator, and then Max and 99's apartment, until an alternate source of funds can be obtained [Episode #117: "The Treasure of C. Errol Madre"].

It is not until years later, when 99 is elected to the Congressional committee overseeing CONTROL's budget that full funding is achieved, including agents, a satellite and funny costumes, and allowing Max (who is now the Chief) to promote their son Zach from Research to full agent status [GS95 Episode #1: "Pilot"].