From DVIDS, a story on the Defense Department’s Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Chief, Ashton Carter:
The Defense Department’s chief acquisition officer added his voice to calls for Congress to approve the DOD appropriations bill, Feb. 16, for fiscal 2011.
Of course, put this all in perspective: the lack of an appropriations bill precedes this Congress which was just seated in January. It started with the previous Congress.
"It’s Feb. 16, and we don’t have an appropriations bill for the department for fiscal ’11," Carter said. "Each and every program manager in the department is having to upset carefully calibrated plans, stop or slow activities only to start them later, or deferring the commencement of important new programs.
"The result is not only delay," he continued. "It’s inefficient and uneconomical to proceed in this herky-jerky fashion with our programs and procurements."
The process now not only is inefficient, "it’s anti-efficient," Carter said, noting that the process adds a dollop of cost to everything the acquisition field does.
As it is, the current Congress not only has to deal with the failure of the prior Congress to provide an appropriations bill, they also have to deal with the just-delivered FY2012 President’s Budget.
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has called for more than a month for Congress to pass the appropriations bill. If the department is forced to operate under a continuing resolution for the rest of fiscal 2011, it would mean an unanticipated cut of $23 billion. On Feb. 14, Gates called on Congress to pass a bill giving DOD $540 billion for fiscal 2011.
Hopefully Mr. Carter and Secretary Gates’ successor will start the drum-beat on the FY2012 budget before January or February 2012 and help avoid the situation that has occurred this FY.