Acquisition, procurement, and contracting were on the minds of members of the House Budget Committee Wednesday, as Defense Undersecretary Robert Hale answered questions about the FY 2010 request included in President Obama’s budget.
The Pentagon’s primary purchasing agency is steeling itself for the possible impact of large-scale changes to its budget in the weeks and months ahead as DoD prepares the 2012 budget. The Defense Logistics Agency used a recent conference to inform the vendor community about its plans to save money.
Continuing to operate at 2010 funding levels under a continuing resolution would be a crisis for the military, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Monday. He made the remarks at a briefing detailing DoD’s proposed budget for 2012.
Military officials detail the impact of a full-year continuing resolution on DoD. Defense Deputy Secretary Lynn said the department would meet payroll and medical bills, but have to cut acquisition and training programs.
Services and components in the Defense Department are being told they will be permitted to retain any savings they find through better management of acquisition programs. Undersecretary of Defense Ashton Carter says the decision would provide an incentive for program managers to make effective use of a now-mandatory initiative known as ”will-cost and should-cost management.”
The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee said Thursday he will include language implementing the Defense Department’s request to increase insurance fees for military retirees. That position is at odds with the panel’s subcommittee on military personnel, which on Wednesday unanimously approved language which would prohibit the increase.
In reports and testimony to Congress, the Government Accountability Office finds DoD has built a credible plan to meet a Congressionally-mandated full financial audit by 2017. However, the audit agency is skeptical the military branches will be able to implement the plan in time.
The Pentagon is telling lawmakers military retirees’ share of health care costs is going to have to increase if it’s going to meet the budget targets Congress and the President handed over with last year’s budget control act.
The Air Force’s comptroller poured $1 billion into a new enterprise resource planning system with virtually nothing to show for it after seven years. The service is restricting the ERP with details to come in the next few weeks.
DoD’s top financial manager says the Pentagon is pressing forward to meet Congressional edicts for auditable financial statements. But constant federal budget emergencies are sapping huge amounts of energy from the financial workforce tasked with preparing for audit.