doi:10.3849/1802-7199

JONES, L.R., McCAFFERY, J.L. Budgeting, Financial Management, and Acquisition Reform in The U.S. DoD

Bohuslav PERNICA

About the Author

Author(s):

JONES, L. R., McCAFFERY, J. L.

Jones   McCaffery obalka, an image opens in a new window

Title:

Budgeting, Financial Management, and Acquisition Reform in The U.S. Department of Defense

Place of Publishing:

Charlotte (Nord Carolina)

Published by:

Information Age Publishing

Year:

2008

Printed Pages:

720

ISBN:

978-1-59311-870-9

There are many books about budgeting but just a few of them deal with the budgeting concerning national defense. Although defense spending is usually not a great item of the national budget, it represents an important part of the state power and as well as other spending, it concerns public funds. It is proven by the book Budgeting, Financial Management, and Acquisition Reform in the U.S. Department of Defense by Jerry L. McCaffery and Lawrence R. Jones, a volume in the Research in Public Management series edited at the Naval Postgraduate School. After the monographs The Budgeting and Financial Management in the Federal Management (2001), and The Budgeting and Financial Management for National Defense (2004), this is the third book where both authors deal with the budgeting and financial management issues in the U.S. public management. This time, they have paid their close attention to the evolution of budgeting and finance management at the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) ranging from the beginning of the Cold War to the post Cold War period, the Global War on Terror (GWOT) era.

The book is split into 14 chapters dealing with crucial issues of planning, programming, budgeting, and executing the U.S. defense spending. On 664 pages, close attention is paid to history and development of federal government budgeting, peculiarities of budgeting for national defense and peculiarities of national defense spending, behavior of principal defense budgeting process participants (President and OMB, Congress, the Pentagon, and the Commands), and organization of work within DoD and three services (Army, Navy, Air Force) on the managing and controlling of defense spending, including defense authorization, appropriation and outlays. These complex processes have been based on the Planning, Programming, and Budgeting System (PPBS) since 1960’s, which was implemented into DoD and services under McNamara, and 2003, it was reformed, and renamed as the Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Executing System (PPBES). In this way, the evolution of budgeting and financial management of the U.S. defense spending is presented within the time period spanning from the Vietnam War to the GWOT.

Most explications concern the downsizing era of the 1990’s, during which the U.S. defense budget was cut down, and the post 11/9/2001 era, during which the defense spending rose because of the GWOT. How the PPBS had worked before the launch of the GWOT and how the PPBES and financial management worked thereafter has been usually shown in detail on the navy PPBS/PPBES process and organization of acquisition process at the Department of Navy. In this way, the book contains an excellent framework for analyzing the budget and business processes managing by the U.S. DoD. The description of these processes can be very interesting for budget analysts over the NATO being familiar with the difficulties of fighting a major war with peacetime budgetary and procurement rules.

This comprehensive framework gets through to the personnel involved in defense budgeting, defense finance management, and defense acquisition pros and cons practice and theories of budgeting in public sector, especially in national defense. This explication is well illustrated by a number of tables and figures. Unfortunately, some are bad quality, because of their bitmap format. Some captions are illegible, alike some monochrome charts. The pleasure of reading can be compounded a little by a lot of acronyms too; some acronyms are missing in Appendix A. This is a weakness of the book. A big strength of the monograph is in comprehensive explication of theoretical and practical aspects of planning, programming, preparing, and executing defense budget. The authors make reference to a good deal of case studies, analyses, and budgeting classics, such as The politics of the budgetary process by Wildavsky, as well.

Where it is necessary to present the complexity and many-sidedness of the management of defense public spending, the authors supplement their explanation sensibly by statements of some defense budget participants. Those are not only Congress and Senate committee members but also closer observers of the defense budget process, such as comptrollers, budget claimants, or budget analysts – commissioned officers doing their tour of duty in the Pentagon. How difficult it can be to serve as a budget analyst in the rank of a major, or lieutenant making a strategic budget decision, can be exposed by the following statement: “When political decisions are made, weenies like me have to get $50 million out of a program. Sometimes we only have a day or couple of hours to do it in, so we make the cut and say, ‘Tell us what impact this will have on your program.’ You have to be prepared to be the bad guy here (in the budget office).” It seems the practice in public finance is quite the same across the world. If only for this reason it is worth learning how the pork-barrel in the defense budget in the U.S. can be treated, what problem is represented by unexpected balances in the defense budget funded by Treasury bonds uselessly, why the last month, or quarter were the highest spending parts of the fiscal year, and if a war should be funded by supplemental appropriations or rather the war cost should be a part of national budget.


Title in English:

Jones, L. R., McCaffery, J. L.: Budgeting, Financial Management, and Acquisition Reform in The U.S. Department of Defense

Title in Czech/Slovak:

-

Author(s):

Bohuslav Pernica

Type:

Book Review

Language:

English

Abstract:

-

Journal:

Obrana a strategie (Defence & Strategy)

Publisher:

University of Defence

ISSN:

ISSN 1214-6463 (print) and ISSN 1802-7199 (on-line)

DOI:

10.3849/1802-7199.08.2008.02.107-108

Issue:

Volume 8, Number 2 (December 2008)

Pages:

107-108

Received: 15 October 2008

Accepted: 24 October 2008

Published online: 15 December 2008


Created 16.12.2008 20:43:29 | read 8006x | Hlavacek

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