Military Operations:

Fiscal Year 2003 Obligations Are Substantial, but May Result in Less Obligations Than Expected

GAO-03-1088: Published: Sep 17, 2003. Publicly Released: Sep 17, 2003.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Neal P. Curtin
(757) 552-8100
contact@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

The Global War on Terrorism (GWOT)--principally involving operations in Afghanistan and Iraq--is being funded in fiscal year 2003 by Congress's appropriation of almost $69 billion, including almost $16 billion in a transfer fund called the Iraqi Freedom Fund. To assist Congress in its oversight of funding for GWOT, GAO examined the obligation of GWOT funds and the implications for additional funding in fiscal year 2003 and the President's request for fiscal year 2004 funds for several operations in Southwest Asia that were canceled after the budget was submitted.

While funds obligated by DOD for GWOT, including the war with Iraq, in fiscal year 2003 are substantial--about $39 billion through June 2003--the funds appropriated by Congress appear to be sufficient for fiscal year 2003, and some of the services may not obligate all of the funds they were appropriated for fiscal year 2003. For example, at the end of June 2003, with 75 percent of the fiscal year completed, the services' percentage of GWOT operation and maintenance funds that had been obligated ranged from a low of 65 percent for the Army to a high of 78 percent for the Marine Corps. In contrast, the percentage of military personnel funds obligated by the three-fourths of-the-fiscal-year mark by the services ranged from 72 to 75 percent of GWOT appropriations. The military services believe they will obligate all the fiscal year 2003 funds appropriated to them. In addition, the services have received billions of dollars more in transfers from the Iraqi Freedom Fund. But GAO's analysis suggests that they may not need all the funds transferred as well as further transfers in fiscal year 2003 for operation and maintenance, since considerable unobligated fiscal year 2003 funds remain in their direct appropriations. Since DOD terminated Operations Desert Spring and Northern and Southern Watch in Southwest Asia in March 2003, the funds ($1.4 billion) that were included in the President's fiscal year 2004 budget to support those operations next year may no longer be necessary.

Status Legend:

More Info
  • Review Pending-GAO has not yet assessed implementation status.
  • Open-Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-implemented-Actions that satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-not implemented-While the intent of the recommendation has not been satisfied, time or circumstances have rendered the recommendation invalid.
    • Review Pending
    • Open
    • Closed - implemented
    • Closed - not implemented

    Matter for Congressional Consideration

    Matter: Because Operations Northern Watch, Southern Watch, and Desert Spring were canceled in March 2003, after the President's fiscal year 2004 budget submission, Congress may wish to delete the funds requested for this purpose from the fiscal year 2004 DOD appropriations.

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Congress eliminated the funds that were the subject of the recommendation from the President's budget request for fiscal year 2004.

    Recommendations for Executive Action

    Recommendation: To ensure that funds already appropriated, including funds transferred from the Iraqi Freedom Fund, to the military services for GWOT are fully utilized and that additional funds are not transferred to the military services' operation and maintenance and military personnel accounts from the Iraqi Freedom Fund until they are needed, the Secretary of Defense should ensure that all funds transferred to the services' operation and maintenance accounts that are not likely to be obligated by the end of fiscal year 2003 are transferred back to the Fund as allowed by the Wartime Supplemental Appropriation.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD agreed with this recommendation as stated in the issued report and subsequently the Navy and the Marine Corps transferred funds back to the Iraqi Freedom Fund that it did not expect to need in fiscal year 2003.

    Recommendation: To ensure that funds already appropriated, including funds transferred from the Iraqi Freedom Fund, to the military services for GWOT are fully utilized and that additional funds are not transferred to the military services' operation and maintenance and military personnel accounts from the Iraqi Freedom Fund until they are needed, the Secretary of Defense should monitor the obligation of funds in the services' operation and maintenance accounts, including the GWOT funds.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD agreed with this recommendation as stated in the issued report and subsequently the Navy and the Marine Corps transferred funds back to the Iraqi Freedom Fund that it did not expect to need in fiscal year 2003.

    Recommendation: To ensure that funds already appropriated, including funds transferred from the Iraqi Freedom Fund, to the military services for GWOT are fully utilized and that additional funds are not transferred to the military services' operation and maintenance and military personnel accounts from the Iraqi Freedom Fund until they are needed, the Secretary of Defense should closely review the executability of further funding transfers from the Iraqi Freedom Fund to ensure the funds will be obligated as planned.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD agreed with this recommendation as stated in the issued report and subsequently the Navy and the Marine Corps transferred funds back to the Iraqi Freedom Fund that it did not expect to need in fiscal year 2003.

    Jul 17, 2014

    Jul 14, 2014

    Jul 11, 2014

    Jul 9, 2014

    Jul 8, 2014

    Jun 30, 2014

    Jun 26, 2014

    Looking for more? Browse all our products here