Defense

October 21, 2013

Shutdown cost DOD $600 million in productivity

Claudette Roulo
American Forces Press Service

Furloughs of civilian employees as a result of the government shutdown cost the Defense Department at least $600 million in productivity, the Pentagons top financial officer said Oct. 17.

During a Pentagon news conference, DOD Comptroller Robert F. Hale said that in addition to the lost productivity, the shutdown generated a number of other costs that have yet to be calculated.

We built up interest payments, because we were forced to pay vendors late, Hale said. We had to cancel training classes, so we had to bring the people home on orders and then send them right back again.

The short-term deal signed by President Barack Obama late yesterday doesnt put the department on firm budgetary ground, Hale noted. With no flexibility to move funds between accounts, and accounts frozen at 2012 levels, he said, the department will have to be as fiscally watchful as it can.

If that’s a vague answer, it’s because things are kind of vague, he said. It’s not a good way to run a railroad.

The temporary funding measure that allowed the government to reopen prevents DOD from starting new projects, Hale said. And one of the biggest problems, he added, is that it requires the department to buy the same ships it bought last year, because Congress appropriates by ship.

Its a Ă«Groundhog Day approach to budgeting, the comptroller said.

The budget uncertainty will have an impact on staffing levels and morale, he added. If the budget stays at the level authorized under the Budget Control Act of 2011, he said, were going to have to get smaller. Hale added that the department will try to meet the staffing goals through attrition, but that either way, it will mean fewer civilian employees.

I’m a lot more worried about the morale effects, Hale said. We need some stability, and we need to keep telling [employees] they’re important, and then we need to show it through things like pay raises and no more furloughs, etc.

Without a change to the budget, there will also be military force reductions, Hale said.

I think all of us are aware that it will be a somewhat different, smaller military if we have to go through with those cuts, he added. We will be as prepared as we can, within the limits of time that we have, to be ready for a wide range of contingencies, because we know that’s what we face.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend

16T Pitch Boom reactivated to support wind tunnel tests

Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend The Pitch Boom at the AEDC 16-foot transonic wind tunnel (16T) was recently reactivated. This model support system is used in conjunction with a roll mechanism to provide a combined pitch...
 
 
army-detector

Scientists turn handheld JCAD into a dual-use chemical, explosives detector

Scientists at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., proved it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks by adding the ability to detect explosive materials to the Joint Chemical Age...
 
 

SMC stands up new Advanced Systems, Development Directorate

While space officially begins at 62 miles above the Earth’s surface, for the men and women of the Air Force space begins near sea level at the Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base,Calif. SMC is where innovative ideas are matured into space systems that deliver operational capabilities to U.S. warfighters in...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Samuel King Jr.

Navy’s first F-35C squadron surpasses 1,000 flight hours

Air Force photograph by Samuel King Jr. An F-35C Lightning II aircraft piloted by Lt. Cmdr. Chris Tabert, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101, flies the squadron’s first local sortie. The F-35C is the carrier va...
 
 

Salina, Kansas, recalls anniversary of shuttered base

It has been 50 years this month since the announcement that Schilling Air Force Base was closing rattled Salina residents. The Salina Journal, which carried news of the closure in its Nov. 19, 1964, editions, reported that the economic disaster then spared no part of the community – real estate, retail, civic involvement, church attendance,...
 
 
Navy photograph by Seaman Sabrina Fine

SEWIP block upgrade program evaluated for LCS

Navy photograph by Seaman Sabrina Fine Cryptologic Technician (Technical) Seaman Helen Hernandez monitors an SLQ-32 radar aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). Dwight D. Eisenhower is deplo...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>