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New GAO Report on OCO Funding for O&M Base Requirements

New GAO Report on OCO Funding for O&M Base Requirements

Bill Kobren
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) today issued a new report of interest entitled GAO-18-202R: “Defense Budget: Obligations of Overseas Contingency Operations Funding for Operation and Maintenance Base Requirements”

According to the GAO, “the Department of Defense (DOD) reported obligating the $9.1 billion that Congress authorized in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 as operation and maintenance (O&M) overseas contingency operations (OCO) funding for base requirements. These obligations were largely for base programs and activities, such as for headquarters, maintenance, and transportation costs. O&M base requirements encompass the continuing annual costs of DOD’s routine operations that would be incurred whether or not a contingency operation took place—including operating support for installations, training and education, civilian personnel, maintenance, contracted services, and defense health. In the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, and the explanatory statement accompanying it, Congress subsequently appropriated $8.6 billion of the $9.1 billion authorized, as base funds rather than as OCO funds, while the remaining $500 million was appropriated as OCO funds for base requirements. DOD reported obligating these funds largely as was designated in the explanatory statement accompanying the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016. GAO did not make any recommendations in the report and DOD did not have any comments on this report.”