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Title: Measuring Congressional Impact on Defense Acquisition Funding
Authors: Seamus P. Daniels, Todd Harrison
Keywords: budget
Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution (PPBE) Process
Budget Control Act
Issue Date: 21-Oct-2021
Publisher: Acquisition Research Program
Citation: Published--Unlimited Distribution
Series/Report no.: Financial Management;CSIS-FM-22-001
Abstract: This analysis seeks to assess the role of Congress in the resourcing of defense acquisition programs. Via the appropriations process, Congress exercises its oversight authority on the executive branch’s defense policy and can choose to match, modify, or eliminate the Department of Defense’s (DoD) requested funding levels for acquisition programs primarily funded by procurement and research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) accounts. Congress’ decisions in this process can have a significant impact on the executive branch’s defense plans by making adjustments to acquisition projects’ program of record. This in turn can force DoD program management teams to alter schedules and contracting actions and can have second-order effects on private sector partners in the acquisition process. To measure Congress’ impact on defense acquisition funding, this study compares the actual funding level for procurement and RDT&E accounts with the original level proposed in the administration’s budget request and identifies patterns in which accounts are regularly adjusted by Congress. It assesses procurement and RDT&E accounts between FY 2001 and FY 2020 and conducts data cuts of acquisition funding at the account, category, military department, and budget activity levels. This analysis ultimately aims to inform defense planners, acquisition officials and program managers, and industry partners of trends in congressional appropriations for defense so they can better anticipate Congress’ impact on defense acquisition funding.
Description: Financial Management
Appears in Collections:Sponsored Acquisition Research & Technical Reports

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