to address a significant shortfall in the commands’ ability to incorporate operational contract support into their planning processes. According to ADUSD(PS) officials, when the contract support planner concept was developed, the services were to provide a combination of military and civilian personnel to serve as the planners. It was anticipated that the services would be able to provide these individuals by 2010. In order to jump-start the process and get the planners in place earlier, ADUSD(PD) agreed to provide the combatant commands with contractors to provide an immediate planning capability. The planners came on contract in September 2007 and were originally expected to stay through September 2009, at which time the services were expected to institutionalize the program by providing one military and one civilian billet to each combatant command to become part of the command’s staff.
DOD’s April 2008 report to Congress stated that DOD’s budget guidance included the permanent resourcing of the contract support planners with the goal of filling these positions by military personnel as soon as possible.26 ADUSD(PS) officials told us that they requested funding for one military and one civilian planner at each combatant command in the fiscal year 2010 budget submission. However, senior DOD leadership declined to provide this funding during the budget review process within DOD. According to ADUSD(PS) officials, DOD leadership believed that the combatant commands could meet this requirement without additional resources. As a result, the expected transition from contractors to a mix of military and civilian personnel has been delayed. In the meantime, the contract support planners currently at the combatant commands continue to be contractors who are funded out of appropriations provided for overseas contingency operations. We have previously reported the risks in relying on supplemental appropriations to fund long-term capabilities.27 According to ADUSD(PS) officials, DOD has funded the contract support planners in the fiscal year 2011 budget. However, the budget does not provide additional resources to fund the contract support planners but requires the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics to pay for the program using existing funds.
26 Department of Defense, Report to the Congress of the United States, Department of Defense Program for Planning, Managing, and Accounting for Contractor Services and Contractor Personnel during Contingency Operations (April 2008). This report was issued by DOD in response to the congressional mandate in section 854(c) of the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007, Pub. L. No. 109-364.
27 GAO, Supplemental Appropriations: Opportunities Exist to Increase Transparency and Provide Additional Controls, GAO-08-314 (Washington, D.C.: Jan. 31, 2008).
GAO-10-472 Warfighter Support