Pentagon buries evidence of $125 billion in bureaucratic waste (1 Viewer)

Dave

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The Pentagon has buried an internal study that exposed $125 billion in administrative waste in its business operations amid fears Congress would use the findings as an excuse to slash the defense budget, according to interviews and confidential memos obtained by The Washington Post.

Pentagon leaders had requested the study to help make their enormous back-office bureaucracy more efficient and reinvest any savings in combat power. But after the project documented far more wasteful spending than expected, senior defense officials moved swiftly to kill it by discrediting and suppressing the results.

The report, issued in January 2015, identified “a clear path” for the Defense Department to save $125 billion over five years. The plan would not have required layoffs of civil servants or reductions in military personnel. Instead, it would have streamlined the bureaucracy through attrition and early retirements, curtailed high-priced contractors and made better use of information technology.

The study was produced last year by the Defense Business Board, a federal advisory panel of corporate executives, and consultants from McKinsey and Company. Based on reams of personnel and cost data, their report revealed for the first time that the Pentagon was spending almost a quarter of its $580 billion budget on overhead and core business operations such as accounting, human resources, logistics and property management.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/inve...b0774c1eaa5_story.html?utm_term=.7478a6ef3656


It looks like some people need to be fired and this money put to better use. Horrible, but sadly not surprising.:jpshakehead:
 

Saint_Ward

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It said no layoffs, but it mentions early retirements...

I'm all for streamlining and more IT services (except for perhaps critical areas where you don't want an electronic trail) though. But, I don't like seeing people "retired early" just because there is argument about their use.
 

DJ1BigTymer

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How many in Congress would actually sign off on most of those changes? After all, they are the ones responsible for all of it in the first place. A lot of those jobs would not exist if they were not benefiting workers/facilities in their districts.
 

crosswatt

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I'll just say that, while it may seem salacious, it's really just top heavy command structures and interagency/interdepartmental charges that make up the lion's share of this. And it isn't a difficult fix. I don't know why they're trying to keep it quiet.
 

WhoDatPhan78

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At one of my duty stations in the Army I managed the ammo account for A division sized unit.

Our field units were allocated a certain amount of ammo per year for training. Every year at near the end of the fiscal year, they would blow through everything that was left out of fear they wouldn't get the same amount next year.

It was extremely frustrating for me because my argument was that if they didn't need it, they wouldn't need it next year.

We're talking MLRS rocket systems, artillery...

it was hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions that was being wasted.


This goes on throughout the military. Defense is by far the part of government that wastes the most and is held the least accountable for that waste.
 

Saint_Ward

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I'll just say that, while it may seem salacious, it's really just top heavy command structures and interagency/interdepartmental charges that make up the lion's share of this. And it isn't a difficult fix. I don't know why they're trying to keep it quiet.
Well, a hypothesis (I didn't read the article, so forgive me) is that some of these changes aren't allowed to be enacted without Congressional approval, so the fear is they'd see the budget cut, but not be able to fix the waste.

Or the waste is really things that end up funding black ops, so they just look like waste and we need to stop talking about it before someone from the CIA makes us go night night.
 

superchuck500

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I'll just say that, while it may seem salacious, it's really just top heavy command structures and interagency/interdepartmental charges that make up the lion's share of this. And it isn't a difficult fix. I don't know why they're trying to keep it quiet.
I suspect it is because DOD was hoping for budget increases under the new administration (either Trump or Clinton would have been open to defense spending increases). But when you go asking for more money, you should have your house in order. An internal report identifying $125 billion in wasteful spending makes it too easy for both the doves and the austerity people to criticize DOD's management of funds - even if it is not unexpected and fairly easy to fix (presuming that's true - I'm not sure sure it is. A lot of those things are cultural and organizational culture change is challenging).
 

sinner mike

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At one of my duty stations in the Army I managed the ammo account for A division sized unit.

Our field units were allocated a certain amount of ammo per year for training. Every year at near the end of the fiscal year, they would blow through everything that was left out of fear they wouldn't get the same amount next year.

It was extremely frustrating for me because my argument was that if they didn't need it, they wouldn't need it next year.

We're talking MLRS rocket systems, artillery...

it was hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions that was being wasted


This goes on throughout the military. Defense is by far the part of government that wastes the most and is held the least accountable for that waste.
The same is true for parts and fuel for navy squadrons and air wings. At the end of the fiscal year we would fly like crazy in order to use all of the fuel allotted so that we would have the same amount the following year.
 

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At one of my duty stations in the Army I managed the ammo account for A division sized unit.

Our field units were allocated a certain amount of ammo per year for training. Every year at near the end of the fiscal year, they would blow through everything that was left out of fear they wouldn't get the same amount next year.

It was extremely frustrating for me because my argument was that if they didn't need it, they wouldn't need it next year.

We're talking MLRS rocket systems, artillery...

it was hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions that was being wasted.


This goes on throughout the military. Defense is by far the part of government that wastes the most and is held the least accountable for that waste.
This. Right. Here.

I was the Ordnance Chief of the last squadron that I was stationed before I got out of the Marines. So, I know full well the ammunition allocation we had for the year to include .50 cal ammo, decoy flares and chaff, rockets, Hellfire missiles(when we were a combined squadron for a MEU), etc.

I would try everything to get the squadron leadership to do more gun shoots and such for training, but was never really successful save for a few times. But, OHO NO, when the fiscal year was getting close to ending, they would schedule all kinds of stuff to burn through all the allotted ammo because if you didn't shoot it, they would divide it among the other units and you wouldn't get the same allotment for the next fiscal year.

Drove me insane.
 

superchuck500

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This. Right. Here.

I was the Ordnance Chief of the last squadron that I was stationed before I got out of the Marines. So, I know full well the ammunition allocation we had for the year to include .50 cal ammo, decoy flares and chaff, rockets, Hellfire missiles(when we were a combined squadron for a MEU), etc.

I would try everything to get the squadron leadership to do more gun shoots and such for training, but was never really successful save for a few times. But, OHO NO, when the fiscal year was getting close to ending, they would schedule all kinds of stuff to burn through all the allotted ammo because if you didn't shoot it, they would divide it among the other units and you wouldn't get the same allotment for the next fiscal year.

Drove me insane.
This happens throughout government - civilian agencies do the same thing. Part of it is due to the budgeting process that presumes a program's needs are static . . . but the reality is that there are ups and downs. But the budget process doesn't allow for that - it tries to limit funds to years of least need, and it is much easier to lose future budget by underspending current funds than it is to get a budget increase for a particular need in a future year (unless it is a requirement that comes with its own funding). So managers have to treat their budget like turf that they will lose if they don't spend - and when they have those increased needs in some years, they would be underfunded and not likely to get it.
 

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This. Right. Here.

I was the Ordnance Chief of the last squadron that I was stationed before I got out of the Marines. So, I know full well the ammunition allocation we had for the year to include .50 cal ammo, decoy flares and chaff, rockets, Hellfire missiles(when we were a combined squadron for a MEU), etc.

I would try everything to get the squadron leadership to do more gun shoots and such for training, but was never really successful save for a few times. But, OHO NO, when the fiscal year was getting close to ending, they would schedule all kinds of stuff to burn through all the allotted ammo because if you didn't shoot it, they would divide it among the other units and you wouldn't get the same allotment for the next fiscal year.

Drove me insane.
What drives me nuts is that the Navy and Airforce complain about not having enough spare parts for planes, so they're having rotation issues (along with sailors/pilots being over worked), so why not look at those situations where you end up blowing through ammo, fuel, etc.. and fine, do it.. then next year, buy less ammo, fuel, etc.. and buy more bolts, tie rods, and other normal engine parts you expect to need in the depot.. can't they re-allocate their own internal supplies?
 

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What drives me nuts is that the Navy and Airforce complain about not having enough spare parts for planes, so they're having rotation issues (along with sailors/pilots being over worked), so why not look at those situations where you end up blowing through ammo, fuel, etc.. and fine, do it.. then next year, buy less ammo, fuel, etc.. and buy more bolts, tie rods, and other normal engine parts you expect to need in the depot.. can't they re-allocate their own internal supplies?
I'm not educated enough on the subject to make an informed opinion. I was just in charge of my little corner of the unit.

I do know that sometimes the DOD lets contracts lapse for parts manufacturers for legacy aircraft due to new aircraft coming on line or whatever, so they're left cannibalizing parts from older planes or even going so far as to take parts off of a museum aircraft to get another plane flying again.

Staphory will probably be a better person to discuss all of that.
 

DJ1BigTymer

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What drives me nuts is that the Navy and Airforce complain about not having enough spare parts for planes, so they're having rotation issues (along with sailors/pilots being over worked), so why not look at those situations where you end up blowing through ammo, fuel, etc.. and fine, do it.. then next year, buy less ammo, fuel, etc.. and buy more bolts, tie rods, and other normal engine parts you expect to need in the depot.. can't they re-allocate their own internal supplies?
It is because those aircraft parts are not interchangeable by design. Not even the nuts and bolts. The manufacturers have to be able to turn a profit after the A/C are delivered.
 

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It is because those aircraft parts are not interchangeable by design. Not even the nuts and bolts. The manufacturers have to be able to turn a profit after the A/C are delivered.
I'm well aware of that, since I work in the aircraft repair and parts business.

However, I'm sure plenty of MS (or AN, AS) fasteners are found on various flight hardware.

I know you can't predict what will break, but often on certain aircraft they know what tends to go out, or since they likely have a few planes cannibalized, or grounded due to repairs, they can order parts for that current year.

It's one of those things where they probably have $10M they can spend, but have $40M worth of parts they need. So, it shouldn't be hard to make some decisions.

But my main point was for the depots to say "hey, it's great you want to give us more ammo, but XYZ would be more useful next year"
 

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