Pentagon budget officials today took a new tack in urging lawmakers to get the DoD a budget quickly, saying the lack of cash for FY-11 is flying in the face of the efficiency efforts they spearheaded.
DoD Comptroller Robert Hale kicked things off by saying that a lack of '11 cash is leading to inefficiencies.
"We're talking a lot about efficiencies, unfortunately, in fiscal 11 I think we're moving in the opposite direction, in fact, I know we are; "It is causing inefficiencies." Hale told the Senate Armed Services subcommittee on readiness and management support. Some of these inefficiencies include; numerous short term contracts, hundreds of delayed military construction projects and acquisition programs, all of which cost extra money, according to Hale.
"I'm concerned that our already understaffed and under experienced contracting workforce is going to have trouble catching up in a way that's efficient," added Hale. "Anything you can do to get us a budget for fiscal 11 would be greatly appreciated."
Hale later explained that the lack of current funding may force contracting officers to rush future acquisition contests in order to meet program timelines; a scenario that could open the door for mistakes in the contracting process, something that proved chaotic in previous rounds of the Air Force's KC-X contest. Other items such as refits of Navy ships will also have to be delayed, according to Hale.
Navy Undersecretary Robert Work joined Hale in calling the lack of 2011 funds a recipe for waste.
"One of the most important things on this efficiencies drill is to try to get the CR resolved,” said Work. " An efficiencies effort has to have a baseline and with the baseline constantly changing this really causes us a problem."
The current continuing resolution funding the government is set to expire on April 8. Congressional leader have been using CRs to fund the government as they fight over the details of an official budget for FY-11.
The Pentagon officials were joined by Alaska Sen. Mark Begich (D) calling the CR "the worst thing you could ever do" to fund the government. He then pointed out hundreds of millions of dollars worth of military construction projects in Alaska being held up by the lack of 2011 cash.