GAO: Pentagon’s Sequestration Strategy Could Mean Higher Costs

By trying to lessen the impact of sequestration, the Defense Department could face higher costs in the near future.

National Journal
Jordain Carney
Nov. 8, 2013, 8:57 a.m.

The Pentagon’s de­cision to min­im­ize the se­quester’s budget im­pact dur­ing the 2013 fisc­al year could cost the De­fense De­part­ment money in the long run, ac­cord­ing to a Gov­ern­ment Ac­count­ab­il­ity Of­fice re­port.

Un­der se­quest­ra­tion the De­fense De­part­ment had its dis­cre­tion­ary-spend­ing budget cut by $37 bil­lion—from about $527 bil­lion to $490 bil­lion—dur­ing the last fisc­al year. But, with con­gres­sion­al ap­prov­al, it ac­ted to lessen the im­pact, in­clud­ing mov­ing money between ac­counts. By do­ing so, DOD “was able to pro­tect or min­im­ize dis­rup­tions in cer­tain key areas,” ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

But the De­fense De­part­ment will likely feel the full im­pact of se­quest­ra­tion dur­ing the cur­rent fisc­al year, and some of­fi­cials told GAO that the de­part­ment’s de­cisions in the 2013 fisc­al year could res­ult in in­creased costs over the next few years.

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