Defense Budget:

Need for Continued Visibility Over Use of Contingency Funds

GAO-01-829: Published: Jul 6, 2001. Publicly Released: Jul 6, 2001.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Neal P. Curtin
(757) 552-8100
contact@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

Since the end of the Persian Gulf War in February 1991, the Department of Defense (DOD) has reported over $25 billion in incremental costs for its overseas contingency operations. These operations include the enforcement of no-fly zones, humanitarian assistance, and peace enforcement operations. The majority of these costs ($22 billion) have been incurred in the Balkans (Bosnia and Kosovo) and Southwest Asia. In fiscal year 2001, U.S. military forces are continuing to participate in a number of contingency operations, primarily in the Balkans and Southwest Asia. In this report, GAO reviews (1) the adequacy of DOD's incremental contingency operations funding for all ongoing contingency operations in fiscal year 2001, (2) DOD's estimated contingency operations costs for fiscal year 2002, and (3) the ramifications of DOD's plan to change the method for funding its operations in Southwest Asia. GAO found that (1) existing funds are sufficient to cover DOD's estimated costs for ongoing contingency operations for fiscal year 2001, (2) in June 2001, the administration submitted a revised fiscal year 2002 budget for DOD, which included $4 billion for ongoing operations in the Balkans and Southwest Asia, and (3) the positive ramification is that appropriating funds directly to the services' appropriations accounts could provide an added incentive to better control costs. The negative ramifications are the possible loss of visibility for Southwest Asia funds because of the substantial movement of funds within the services' operation and maintenance accounts as has occurred over a period of two years, and the possible discontinuance of cost reporting for operations in Southwest Asia.

Matters for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In final legislative action on supplemental appropriations for fiscal year 2001, Congress did not include the $32 million originally requested for contingency operations.

    Matter: Regarding supplemental funding for fiscal year 2001, Congress may wish to consider the $32 million that was included in the supplemental funding request for increased Army military personnel contingency operations costs as withdrawn, on the basis of the amended supplemental request.

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Administration's review of its policy toward Iraq is still underway. In appropriating funds for fiscal year 2002 military operations, Congress moved all funds for Southwest Asia and Balkan operations into the services budgets, and reduced overall funding in part to promote more prudent use of such funds. GAO believes that this action satisfies the intent of its recommendation.

    Matter: Regarding the fiscal year 2002 budget for Southwest Asia operations, upon completion of the Iraq policy review Congress may wish to have DOD provide an updated budget estimate reflecting the results of the policy review.

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Any congressional action would be part of the fiscal year 2002 appropriations legislation for the Department of Defense. This legislation is moving through the legislative process, and final action is not expected before September 2001. In appropriating funds for fiscal year 2002 military operations, Congress moved all funds for Southwest Asia and Balkan operations into the services budgets, and reduced overall funding in part to promote more prudent use of such funds. GAO believes that this action satisfies the intent of its recommendation.

    Matter: Regarding maintaining visibility over funding for operations in Southwest Asia, Congress may wish to direct that (1) appropriate committees be provided with written notification if funds identified for operations in Southwest Asia are obligated for any other purposes and (2) DOD continue to report monthly on the costs of its operations in Southwest Asia.

 

Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Sep 22, 2016

Sep 21, 2016

Sep 19, 2016

Sep 12, 2016

Sep 8, 2016

Sep 7, 2016

Sep 6, 2016

Aug 25, 2016

Looking for more? Browse all our products here