This post references recently released data contained in the Department of Defense’s fiscal 2019 IT Overview and the fiscal 2018 Consolidated Appropriations Act (FY 2018 Omnibus).
The White House released its fiscal 2019 budget request in early February 2018. The Department of the Army’s portion of the request is the third largest total discretionary and information technology (IT) budgets among the four Department of Defense (DoD) components.
The new budget focuses increased resources on areas of critical need for the Army, including readiness, facilities maintenance, platform modernization, and personnel training. If passed intact by Congress and signed into law, the fiscal 2019 budget promises to deliver higher funding after the multiple Continuing Resolutions (CR) in fiscal 2018.
Total Discretionary Funding and Priorities
The proposed fiscal year (FY) 2019 budget provides $182B in total discretionary budget authority for the Army, an 11.6% increase over funds recently appropriated for FY 2018 in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, otherwise known at the 2018 Omnibus.
Army Discretionary Funding Highlights (Base + OCO)
- O&M: $77.5B, an increase of $21.5B vs. FY 2018. The budget increases funding for readiness, including training, force operations, facilities sustainment, and installation modernization.
- RDT&E: $10.5B, a decrease of $300M vs. FY 2018. Focuses funding on Engineering and Manufacturing Development ($3.2B), Operational Systems Development ($1.9B), and Advanced Technology Development ($1B).
- Procurement: $27.8B, an increase of $1B vs. FY 2018. Prioritizes Army Other Procurement funding on Tactical Network Modernization ($469M), the Joint Battle Command – Platform ($405M), and the Handheld Manpack Small Form Radio ($352M).
Army’s FY 2019 IT Budget Request
The DoD has been limiting visibility into its IT budget over the last several administrations, hiding an increasing percentage of spending behind classified programs and budgets. For FY 2019, the OMB no longer allows unclassified IT systems categorized as “National Security Systems” to be publicly viewable. The net result for FY 2019 is that the Army is requesting $13B for IT (per DoD’s IT Overview), but visibility into program details is unavailable.
An FY 2019 IT budget of $13B (for classified and unclassified systems) is statistically flat vs. the $12.98B that the Army received in FY 2018. Versus FY 2017, the FY 2019 request is actually down by $456M.
In terms of the Operations and Maintenance (O&M) and Development, Modernization, and Enhancement (DME) splits we only have visibility into approximately $4.8B of the Army’s IT budget request due to the limitations mentioned above. Furthermore, details on the IT budget for FY 2018 remain murky given the very recent passage of the FY 2018 Omnibus bill, which did not contain separate documentation specifically on IT. Comparing the same figures for FY 2017, therefore, Army IT O&M for FY 2019 comes in at $2.7B, which is an increase of $300M vs. FY 2017. For DME the total is $1.7B, an increase of $330M vs. FY 2017.
O&M and DME Priorities
Here is a look at a few priority programs seeing large increases:
- O&M: The Integrated Personnel and Pay System–Army (+$65M), Army-Wide Information System Service Support (+$59M), and General Fund Enterprise Business Systems (+$22M).
- DME: The Installation Information Infrastructure Modernization Program (+$66M), the Integrated Personnel and Pay System–Army (+$64M), the Nett Warrior Ground Soldier System (+$60M), and Major Command Automation Systems (+$53M).
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