Defense Department officials are still deciding whether to furlough more than 700,000 civilian employees, DoD Comptroller Robert Hale said April 18 during a budget briefing . Meanwhile,the Air Force plans to layoff 1,000 civilians, according to an Air Force statement that says the reductions in force "are not related to the current sequestration actions."
More than a decade's worth of research pointing toward cost savings to be had by making Defense Department satellite control systems interoperable has gone unimplemented, says the Government Accountability Office in an April 18 report (.pdf). The increase in dedicated infrastructure "reflects more of a preference by satellite program managers than a need," auditors say Air Force officials told them.
The Defense Information Systems Agency announced April 16 it has achieved initial operational capacity as the commercial cloud computing middleman for the Defense Department--despite its acknowledgment that it has yet to fully approve for DoD use any FedRAMP-authorized commercial cloud service providers.
"These are people who have come to DARPA for a short time to do something big," DARPA's Arati Prabhakar said, "and when they see these program delays, when they're told under furlough that you can't work one day a week...those are enormous negatives for these driven individuals."
Funding for the Defense Department office of the chief information officer would go down in the coming fiscal year, as would funding for the deputy chief management officer and many defensewide technology efforts, shows data from the fiscal 2014 budget request the Obama administration sent to Congress April 10.
That request total is nominally an increase from the $140.9 billion agencies spent in fiscal 2012. But when adjusted for White House-projected inflation, the 2014 request represents a 2.76 percent drop from 2012.
President Obama's fiscal 2014 budget requests $526.6 billion for the Defense Department, including $155.8 billion for the Navy, $144.4 billion for the Air Force and $129.7 billion for the Army. By function, the budget includes $209.4 billion for operation and maintenance, $137.1 billion for military personnel and $99.3 billion for procurement.
The request, which does not include the classified intelligence agency IT request nor embedded IT systems in things such as weapons systems and satellites (and has other accuracy limitations as well), amounts to $81.996 billion. When taking into account Office of Management and Budget projections for inflation, the fiscal 2014 proposed spend is slightly less than current year amount under the continuing resolution.
If the government were to follow GAO's advice to correct the 162 areas of inefficiency GAO has found in its three annual reports since 2011, it could save tens of billions of dollars, says this year's report, released April 9. The Defense Department, for instance, could save $82 million if its combat uniform acquisition process were less fragmented, the report says.
There needs to be close scrutiny of DoD's organizational chart and command structures, Hagel said. The way the military is run now dates back to the early years of the cold war and the last major re-organization was the Goldwater-Nichols Act, which focused on establishing a clear chain of command with little consideration given to cost or efficiency, Hagel said.