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Pentagon's Budget Process Needs 'Fundamental Restructuring,' Panel Says

March 11, 2024

Valerie Insinna

Breaking Defense

F-22 fighter jets rest on a massive $100 bill in this graphic. (Breaking Defense)

By Valerie Insinna, March 6, 2024 / Breaking Defense

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon requires a “fundamental restructuring” of its budget-making process and new authorities to make funding more flexible in order for the department to be able to quickly respond to new threats or adopt critically needed tech, according to a new report by congressionally mandated bipartisan commission.

The almost 400-page report, published today, was written by the Commission on Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution (PPBE), draws on two years of research and more than 400 interviews, and resulted in 28 recommendations, half of which are denoted as key changes.

Among them are reforms that would allow the Defense Department to address long-held complaints about the current budget process, including giving it new authorities to move money amongst weapons programs or to start new programs even while under a continuing resolution. That’s currently forbidden, and a CR, like the one the military is currently under, keeps spending exactly as it was the previous year.

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