Under Budget

By Thomas Duffy / October 16, 2009 at 5:00 AM

According to the White House budget office, Defense Department costs for fiscal year 2009 ran .7 percent below what had been projected during a mid-session review last August. In a joint statement issued this afternoon, Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag and Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner tallied up government spending for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30:

Department of Defense -- Outlays for the Department of Defense (DOD) were $637 billion, $4.4 billion, or 0.7 percent, less than estimated in the ((mid-session review)). There is no single explanation for the differences between projected and actual outlays, but several examples illustrate the types of variance seen in accounts. For example, DOD spent $1.5 billion less than projected for the Air Force to purchase aircraft, in part because prior year supplemental appropriations provided more money than could be used to buy C-130 Hercules transport aircraft, exceeding production capacity. Other examples of lower-than-projected outlays include the contracts to purchase heavy- and medium-wheeled vehicles, where contracts were delayed or protested, slowing outlays by more than $1 billion. In some instances supplemental funds caused higher-than-expected outlays for the purchase of major defense systems, such as for the Navy's purchase of aircraft. In this instance, the purchase of planes had an outlay surge in the second year after appropriations (resulting in an outlay rate $1.3 billion higher than projected).