An analysis of obligation patterns for the Department of Defense operations and maintenance appropriations
Kozar, Mark Joseph.
San Miguel, Joseph
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Present appropriation accounting systems are one of the top seven problems facing the Department of Defense according to Deputy Secretary of Defense William Perry. As part of the process of evaluating the potential benefits of a proposed single year accounting system, this research study analyzes obligation patterns of the DoD's Operations and Maintenance (O and M) appropriations between fiscal years 1977 and 1992. Although trends for the entire fiscal year are discussed for 11 appropriations, the analysis focuses more attention on the increase in obligations during the fourth quarter and the reasons for this surge. The patterns, and particularly the peak in obligations near the end of the fiscal year, are assessed in terms of the incentives provided to managers by the current laws and policies governing the obligation of appropriated funds. Finally, the advantages and disadvantages of the single year accounting system are presented as a means to possible change the present incentive structure.
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