Becoming a "Money Ninja Warrior"
I like to think of PPBE as a series of obstacle courses to defend your requirement. The first is to determine and validate program requirements. Then, each program must present and advocate those requirements to their Service(s). Once each Service has a budget position (the Program Objective Memorandum aka POM), it is presented to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Cost Assessment & Program Evaluation (OSD CAPE) and the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) . When OSD has made their final decisions, the budget becomes the President’s Budget request and it is submitted to Congress. Finally, Congress will examine, question and mark-up the President’s Budget with the aim to appropriate and authorize the budget prior to the start of the Fiscal Year. Once the budget is enacted, funding is provided to the Services who then distribute it according to their processes. Finally, money is spent to sustain our weapon systems and is captured in financial systems.
At each level, the successful Money Ninja Warrior must be prepared for questions and obstacles on multiple Fiscal Years. What obstacles are these Ninjas facing in July-September?
For FY19, Money Ninja Warriors are spending their funding and ensuring it is captured correctly in financial systems. This is important as OSD Comptroller reviews what funding was spent after closeout.
For FY20, Congress continues to examine the FY20 budget and the Money Ninja Warrior is waiting for the budget to be enacted.
For FY21, Services are in the midst of finalizing their FY21 POM positions to submit to OSD in late August. The Money Ninja Warrior must be ready to answer quick questions or budget exhibit inputs from their Service to OSD. In September, OSD CAPE will begin a series of issue teams, to examine and question the Service’s budget exhibits. The Service Money Ninja Warriors must be ready to provide data and answer OSD questions.
For FY22, many in the sustainment community are already developing their requirements based on the proposed FY20 and FY21 budgets. Program Office Money Ninja Warriors must be able to articulate these requirements with readiness impacts.
For more on how to become a Money Ninja Warrior, DAU’s CLB 009 PPBE and Budget Exhibits online training (OLT) training course provides further insights into the process. You can also find previous DoD Budget Requests on the DoD Comptroller website.