Department of Defense's Compliance with Statutory Requirements for Funding Military Operations Where Funds Were Not Provided in Advance

GAO-02-903R: Published: Jul 19, 2002. Publicly Released: Jul 19, 2002.

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Section 127a, title 10 of the United States Code provides the Department of Defense (DOD) with two options for funding nontraining deployments and operations when Congress has not provided funds in advance. These options involve waiving reimbursements for support services and transferring amounts from other DOD accounts. Section 127a prescribes specific procedures to be followed by DOD when these funding options are used; requires DOD to notify Congress of and report on certain new contingency operations; and states that the Comptroller General of the United States shall from time to time, and when requested by a Committee of Congress, conduct a review to determine whether DOD is complying with the statutory requirements and limitations. GAO found that DOD has complied with the requirements contained in section 127a. Since the current notification and reporting requirements of section 127a were enacted in 1996, DOD has provided congressional notification for four operations, involving Bosnia, Kosovo, hurricane relief in Central America, and East Timor. DOD has rarely used the funding options provided in section 127a. It used the section 127a funding option allowing waiver of reimbursement for units providing support once, for Bosnia operations in fiscal year 1996, and has never used the option allowing transfer of funds. However, DOD has used other options to fund contingency operations, such as using funds that were planned to be spent later in a fiscal year and seeking supplemental appropriations.

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