Given the language of the Congressional decrement, can a BTR be approved and completed without prejudice for the specific risk reduction initiative? Is there specific language in the FMR supporting this?
The question centers around reprogramming an amount that was previously cut. A question that has to be answered did Congress cut the program or not fund the specific item? The answer lies in 10 U.S. Code Section 2214 - Transfer of funds: procedure and limitations. This law states:
(a) Procedure for Transfer of Funds.— Whenever authority is provided in an appropriation Act to transfer amounts in working capital funds or to transfer amounts provided in appropriation Acts for military functions of the Department of Defense (other than military construction) between such funds or appropriations (or any subdivision thereof), amounts transferred under such authority shall be merged with and be available for the same purposes and for the same time period as the fund or appropriations to which transferred.
(b )Limitations on Programs for Which Authority May Be Used.—Such authority to transfer amounts—
(1)may not be used except to provide funds for a higher priority item, based on unforeseen military requirements, than the items for which the funds were originally appropriated; and
(2)may not be used if the item to which the funds would be transferred is an item for which Congress has denied funds.
(c)Notice to Congress.— The Secretary of Defense shall promptly notify the Congress of each transfer made under such authority to transfer amounts.
(d)Limitations on Requests to Congress for Reprogrammings.—Neither the Secretary of Defense nor the Secretary of a military department may prepare or present to the Congress, or to any committee of either House of the Congress, a request with respect to a reprogramming of funds—
(1)unless the funds to be transferred are to be used for a higher priority item, based on unforeseen military requirements, than the item for which the funds were originally appropriated; or
(2)if the request would be for authority to reprogram amounts to an item for which the Congress has denied funds.
If Congress directed the cut then in bullet (b) (2) may not be used if the item to which the funds would be transferred is an item for which Congress has denied funds, answers the question. Was the specific item the Risk Reduction? You will need to do some research to determine if this is a new requirement or the requirement that was decremented. If the cut was at the HQ level or a lower level than Congress you may be allowed to reprogram the funds.
I strongly suggest you contact the Comptroller and Legal Office for an opinion on this situation.