January 12, 2024
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  • Chairman Arrington, Task Force Chairmen Yakym & Bergman, Send Letter to PPBE Reform Commission on Improving DoD’s Budget and Budget Process

    WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Chairman Jodey Arrington (R-TX), Budget Oversight Task Force Chair Jack Bergman (R-MI), and Budget Process Reform Task Force Chair Rudy Yakym (R-IN) sent a letter to the Commission on Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution (PPBE) Reform with the goal of creating an open line of communication to improve Department of Defense (DoD) budget and budget process. The letter also invites the Commission to testify before the House Budget Committee to discuss their findings. 

    Per the letter, the Committee’s goal is to work with the Commission to modernize the Department’s budget and budget process, which the Committee believes would accomplish three goals: 

    • Build trust in the Department. 
    • Building trust starts with transparency and accountability. The Department just failed its 6th audit in a row. Until 2018, the Department never completed one. The 2023 audit was only able to account for half of the Department’s $3.8 trillion in assets — leaving $1.9 trillion in unaccounted assets — more than the entire discretionary budget Congress passes every year. The Department needs to be able to account for all of its funding. This includes transparent accounting and funding information for past, current, and future threats and conflicts. 

    2. Help educate and inform the American people about National Security. 

    • The Department’s current budgeting processes and practices have been over-engineered. Across all the services, the Department’s budget materials rely on separate — but equally outdated — systems that cannot provide real-time data or be easily shared with other services, auditors, Congress, and the American public. Easily accessible and transparent information on funding needs to be available and updated regularly. A priority for the Department should be implementing a user-friendly online dashboard to easily look up unclassified funding information, including ever-evolving National Security threats/challenges, requirements, and objectives. 

    3. Help Congress budget better for national security.

    • Delayed enactment of appropriations bills and the regular use of continuing resolutions (CRs) have hindered the Department’s ability to effectively budget. While the Department does not have control over the congressional budget process, it does have control over the tens of thousands of pages of often confusing and outdated budget documents it sends to Congress — which adds to the complexity of funding the Department appropriately and on time. 

    Section 1004 of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) established the Commission on Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution (PPBE) Reform to analyze and make recommendations on how to improve the budgeting processes and practices of the U.S. Department of Defense. While the Commission has released initial findings, the final report is expected in March of 2024. 

    Click HERE to read the full letter.