Enormous and Untold Damage

Budget uncertainty, in particular unresolved budget numbers for Fiscal 2014, is taking its toll on the ability of Defense Department cost estimators to help build the Pentagon’s long-term budget plans and get the most out of every taxpayer dollar, said Jamie Morin, the Air Force’s assistant secretary of financial management and comptroller. “Right now, we’re in the midst of a 2015-to-’19 planning horizon with absolutely no idea what we’re going to be doing in 2014, if and when we end the [federal government’s partial] shutdown and get to start executing 2014. That is enormously difficult,” Morin told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Oct. 10 during the hearing on his nomination to be director of the Pentagon’s Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation Office. “The instability really puts at risk that entire well-articulated, effective set of institutions that strive to squeeze that maximum amount of combat capability out of each taxpayer dollar. It’s doing enormous and untold damage to the institution,” he said. President Obama in September nominated Morin to lead the CAPE. Morin would replace Christine Fox who has managed the CAPE office since November 2009. (Morin’s responses to advance questions.)