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Carter: Continuing Resolutions ‘Miserably Inefficient’ for Pentagon

Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Ashton Carter, Photo: Defense.gov

“Efficiency” has been the buzzword circulating throughout the Defense Department ever since Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates introduced his cost-savings plan in August designed to repurpose funding within the department.

But Congress’ inaction on 2011 spending bills and the resulting continuing resolutions are “miserably inefficient” for the Pentagon, said Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Ashton Carter at a missile defense conference this week.

The stopgap measures, which limit funding and disrupt projects, affect even the best-managed of the department’s programs, he explained.

“They were already on a razor’s edge –- that’s where you want them,” he said, according to an Armed Forces Press Service report. “You knew exactly what you were doing, exactly when you were going to do it and exactly how you were going to do it.”

But now, those projects and programs are subject to a CR’s disruptions and delays, he said.

“It wastes money,” he said. “Billions of dollars will be the cost of having to slow down something now, only to accelerate it later because the funding wasn’t available.”

The CR’s slowdowns are particularly unfortunate, he suggested, because, starting with Gates’ efficiency initiatives, DoD has already taken strides to get its fiscal house in order, or to “sharpen our managerial game,” as Carter put it.

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