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Saturday, July 13, 2013 12:13 PM

Defense Department Pleads For Money It Does not Need, Then Looks For Ways to Spend; 650,000 Defense Employees Furloughs Started Monday

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The Washington Post has some interesting details of emails sent by Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) contracting and budget officers to their colleagues.

Our available funding balances remain large in all appropriations — too large to spend” just on small supplemental funds often required by existing contracts, the June 27 e-mail said. DISA’s budget is $2 billion.

“It is critical in our efforts to [spend] 100% of our available resources this fiscal year,” said the e-mail from budget officer Sannadean Sims and procurement officer Kathleen Miller. “It is also imperative that your organization meets its projected spending goal for June. . .

The Washington Post reports ...

In these days of sequester and downsizing and such, that policy seems a bit out of place. (Although it could be seen as a stimulus effort.)

[The emails] appears to contradict a September 2012 memo from the Pentagon’s undersecretary for acquisition Frank Kendall, and comptroller Robert Hale, who urged that “spending money primarily to avoid reductions in future budget[s]” is not the way to go.

A DISA spokesperson e-mailed to say that these e-mails are “common practice among government agencies” and that many congressional “financial and procurement timelines . . .are designed to ensure that agencies” spend 80 percent of their funds before the last two months of the fiscal year, or by August 1.

The June 27 e-mail laid out an aggressive and detailed spending timetable to achieve that goal, but acknowledged the parlous budgetary times in which we live. “Due to the furlough schedule, exceptions to our schedule will be on a case-by-case basis . . .”
650,000 Defense Employees Furloughs Started Monday

With thanks to the budget sequester, Defense furloughs started July 8, with some 650,000 workers off one day each week through September 21. The result is a 20% pay cut.

Expect Republican hypocrites to howl about the job losses while being totally unconcerned about any other cuts that might also cause job losses.

Government is supposedly too big everywhere except when it's not.

My Take On the Cuts

The defense department should have thought twice about those memos telling departments to spend every cent they had right before the sequester kicked in.

Then again, perhaps 650,000 furloughs is just a tiny down payment for what needs to happen to a very bloated military sector.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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