David Norquist, the Pentagon comptroller and acting deputy defense secretary, said during an event at The National Interest in Washington, D.C., the department has received its topline figure. DOD photo by Army Sgt. Amber Smith?.
The Pentagon has a topline for its Fiscal 2020 budget request after conflicting guidance from the White House as to whether the budget should increase or be cut, but that figure won’t be previewed before the official rollout, a top Pentagon budget official said Wednesday.
David Norquist, the Pentagon comptroller and acting deputy defense secretary, said during an event at The National Interest in Washington, D.C., that the department has received its topline figure and to “stay tuned.”
The department planned a $733 billion budget proposal for Fiscal 2020, an increase from the current $716 billion. However, the White House in November ordered departments to prepare for a budget cut down to about $700 billion. Shortly after, Trump reversed course in early December and told then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to submit a $750 billion budget proposal.
The Pentagon plans to roll out its budget request next month, complete with all the necessary details.
Also on Wednesday, Norquist said the Pentagon has already begun a second audit of its total finances following its first-ever audit that found billions in unaccounted for spending over the past five years. A Defense Department Inspector General report released Tuesday states the Pentagon lost out on $28 billion over five years beginning in Fiscal 2014 because it let the authority to spend the money expire.
“We have already started the second audit, and we will keep doing this year after year because the accountability is worth it,” Norquist said.