Future Years Defense Program

1996 Program Is Considerably Different From the 1995 Program Gao ID: NSIAD-95-213 September 15, 1995

This report compares the Defense Department's (DOD) fiscal year 1995 and 1996 Future Years Defense Programs. Specifically, GAO discusses (1) what major program changes were made from 1995 to 1996, (2) what the implications of these changes are for the future, and (3) whether the 1996 program complies with statutory requirements.

GAO found that: (1) the FY 1996 FYDP, which covers FYs 1996-2001, is considerably different from the 1995 FYDP, which covers FYs 1995-99; (2) the total program increased by about $12.6 billion in the 4 common years of both plans (FYs 1996-99); (3) approximately $27 billion in planned weapon system modernization programs for these 4 years have been eliminated, reduced, or deferred to the year 2000 and beyond; (4) the military personnel, operation and maintenance, and family housing accounts increased by over $21 billion during the common period and continue to increase to 2001 to support Defense's emphasis on readiness and quality-of-life programs; (5) the net effect is a more costly defense program, despite substantial reductions in DOD's weapon modernization programs between 1996 and 1999; (6) Defense plans to compensate for the decline in procurement during the early years of the 1996 FYDP by substantially increasing procurement funding in 2000 and 2001; (7) the Secretary of Defense plans to pay for the increased future modernization with a combination of savings from infrastructure reductions and acquisition reforms and from real budget growth; (8) GAO's analysis shows that the 1996 FYDP does not reflect reduced infrastructure costs, primarily because of funding increases for base operation and management headquarters functions and quality-of-life programs; however, the Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 1996 includes over $24 billion more for Defense than requested in the President's budget for FYs 1996-2001; (9) the additional budget amounts are expected, in part, to lessen the need for Defense to reduce or defer weapon modernization programs to meet other near-term readiness requirements; (10) assuming the funds are appropriated, Congress will specify how Defense is to spend some of the added funds; however, DOD may have an opportunity to restore some programs that were reduced or deferred to 2000 and beyond; and (11) the additional near-term funding could mitigate the need for DOD to increase out-year budgets.

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