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
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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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