National Defense Budgeting and Financial Management

Policy & Practice

Philip J. Candreva, Naval Postgraduate School

In Press 2017

The U.S. Department of Defense accounts for over half of federal government discretionary spending and over 3% of GDP. Half of all federal employees work for the Department. The annual budget for the military not only provides for those salaries, it covers the baseline and wartime operating expenses of the force, and hundreds of billions of dollars of investment in new capabilities and technologies. Given the materiality of the defense function and amount of resources it consumes, the processes for budgeting for defense and managing the funds is important to understand.

This text provides a fully integrated view of defense budgeting. It takes the position that defense budgeting is a specific instance of public budgeting, and public budgeting is a specific instance of public policy. In order to fully understand how the nation budgets for defense, it first lays a theoretical and conceptual foundation for public policy and public budgeting. That is followed by an assessment of the political and policy context for defense, including the overarching federal budget process and role of Congress in setting defense policy. Only then does the text explore the specifics of defense budgeting: how, by whom, and why the budget is crafted. Beyond the topic of budgeting – formulating, requesting, and legitimating the request for funds – the book tackles financial management topics. Included are discussions of federal appropriations law, funds management, accounting requirements, intragovernmental business transactions, and contemporary topics of defense policy such as funding overseas contingency operations in an era of deficit control legislation.

This book is an appropriate reference for both students and practitioners of defense budgeting and financial management. It would also be appropriate in a general public budgeting course. Most public budgeting texts focus on state and municipal governments and there are few that address the federal system. This book fills that gap and provides a specific example of federal budgeting.

Foreword by The Honorable Douglas A. Brook. Preface. Part A—Foundations for Defense Budgeting 1. Theoretical and Conceptual Foundation for Defense Budgeting. 2. An Empirical Foundation for Defense Budgeting. Part B—Political and Policy Context for Defense Budgeting 3. Federal Budget Process. 4. Congress and the Defense Budget. 5. Defense Budgeting Is Different (Or Is It?) Part C—Formulating and Managing the Defense Budget 6. Budget Process Participants and Organization. 7. The Planning, Programing, Budgeting, and Execution System. 8. Budget Formulation and Review. 9. Budget Execution in the Department of Defense. 10. Accounting and Financial Management. 11. Other Topics in Defense Budgeting and Financial Management. Glossary. Acronyms. Subject Index. Chapters have learning objectives, study questions, and exercises.