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Administrative changes designed to achieve a more useful relationship between planning and the later phases of PPBS appear appro priate. To this end, requiring the JSPD or its major portions to be fiscally constrained appears to be desirable.
A resource-constrained JSPD would also provide a better strategy document to be used in evaluating the Service POM submissions. OSD and OJCS would be able to analyze the extent to which Service programming is consistent with the strategy. In particular, this would greatly enhance the role that the Strategic Plans and Resource Analysis Agency in OJCS could play in the program review process.
The most negative aspect of this option is that it will force the JCS to establish priorities among the competing strategic interests of the Services. Formulating a resource-constrained strategy will involve difficult choices. It is not clear that the current JCS system with its institutional deficiencies is capable of meeting this challenge.
Another disadvantage of this option appears to be the possibility of a loss of objective and comprehensive assessments of U.S. de fense needs, the full identification of which might not be possible if such assessments were totally constrained by fiscal realities. This possible disadvantage could be eliminated by continuing to prepare such assessments early in the planning process but to clearly separate them from the Joint Strategic Planning Document. o Option 2B-alter the strategic planning process to have the
JSPD submitted after and based upon the Defense Guidance This option appears to be highly desirable. At present, DoD does not have a true strategy document in the resource allocation process. JSPD is not a strategy document, because it fails to make ends and anticipated means proportional.
Having the JSPD submitted after the Defense Guidance would place the strategy document in its logical position in the resource allocation process. By preceding the Defense Guidance, as the JSPD currently does, it formulates strategy before either the desired ends or anticipated means are specified.
Even if the JSPD followed the Defense Guidance and were required to be based upon it, problems with strategy formulation may continue. Most likely in this regard would be the setting of objectives (ends) in the Defense Guidance which are not proportional to projected force capabilities (means). This would be a perpetuation of the "objectives-force mismatch” discussed in Section E. However, requiring the JSPD to be resource-constrained may highlight this mismatch and lead to the setting of realistic objectives in subsequent versions of the Defense Guidance. 3. OPTIONS FOR DEALING WITH THE PROBLEM OF AN ABSENCE OF
REALISTIC FISCAL GUIDANCE As noted earlier, the absence of realistic fiscal guidance antedates the more recent disagreements between the Congress and the Executive Branch over the size of the defense budget. While fiscal guidance has long been a part of internal DoD documents which provide the foundation of annual PPBS cycles, DoD has frequently failed to establish topline projections that have been sustained through the budgetary process. o Option 3A-require the President to submit a budget that
highlights programmatic differences between Executive
Branch and congressional budget projections Because this issue is more a problem of management than structure or procedure, it follows that the potential solution should be administrative in nature. However, because of the emerging disagreements between Executive Branch and congressional budget priorities, it is not unreasonable to assume that a larger issue is at stake. Creating a formal process for budget reconciliation between Congress and the Executive Branch is an administrative response to a political and policy question. It deserves further study in a broader Separation of Powers context, but is probably not an appropriate solution in the narrow context of problems associated with PPBS. o Option 3B-provide for earlier Presidential review of the de
fense budget Earlier Presidential involvement in the PPBS cycle (perhaps in October rather than in December) could be expected to bring more realistic expectations (as the President himself defines "realistic") to bear sometime before the last days of the budgeting phase. If the President chooses to scale down DoD budget estimates, there should be more time than currently available for careful deliberation; if he endorses DoD's budget estimates, then the process can proceed more normally with fewer "excursions" and greater confidence in the process. Even so, differences between the Congress and the Executive Branch about what constitutes a "realistic" budget estimate may remain.
Option 3C-require a mid-course correction after the First Concurrent Congressional Budget Resolution or other indications
of congressional interest Current efforts to interpret congressional intent through budget resolutions and authorization and appropriation bills and to apply such projections to outyear budget estimates have been frustrated by congressional inconsistency. Even so, PPBS is the proper forum for topline budget adjustments, and programming problems will increase if the PPBS process is too insulated from broad budget trends. The application of a mid-course correction in the Executive Branch remains an important tool available to DoD leadership that could be used more aggressively to refine outyear budget projections. 4. OPTIONS FOR DEALING WITH THE PROBLEM OF THE FAILURE TO
EMPHASIZE OUTPUTS Options to solve this problem area are presented and evaluated in other chapters of this study.
5. OPTIONS FOR DEALING WITH THE PROBLEM OF THE INABILITY OF
THE JCS SYSTEM TO MAKE MEANINGFUL PROGRAMMATIC
INPUTS Options to solve this problem area are evaluated in Chapter 4 dealing with the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 6. OPTIONS FOR DEALING WITH THE PROBLEM OF INSUFFICIENT AT
TENTION IN PPBS TO EXECUTION OVERSIGHT AND CONTROL o Option 6A-expand the PPB system to include a controlling
phase To the extent that the PPB system has not been fully developed as a management control system, changes to expand the system should be made. In an organization as large and complex as the Department of Defense, mechanisms to improve management control are important and should be emphasized.
There is, at least, some recognition that the budgeting phase should include execution oversight and control. This appreciation, however, is not sufficiently widespread. Moreover, the level of necessary attention to the control function is absent. It appears that it is necessary to establish a distinct phase of PPBS to ensure sufficient execution oversight and control.
On the negative side, the PPBS cycle is already too long and complex. In addition, certain aspects of the current system, especially strategic planning, receive inadequate attention. Adding another phase to the system could exacerbate these problems. In addition, a controlling phase would require additional reporting and auditing efforts. However, it does not appear logical to conduct a structured, 15-month resource allocation process and then place limited attention on what actually happens. • Option 6B-develop the accounting and management systems
necessary to support effective execution oversight and control The current accounting and management information systems of the Department of Defense consume substantial resources, especially manpower, to maintain. There will be great resistance in DoD to increasing the burdens of accounting and information systems to support management control.
There appears, however, to be no alternative to this option. Accounting and information systems must be capable of providing decision-makers information that is critical to the allocation and control of resources. 7. OPTIONS FOR DEALING WITH THE PROBLEM OF THE LENGTH, COM
PLEXITY, AND INSTABILITY OF THE PPBS CYCLE Two options to correct this problem area have been developed. o Option 7A-redo major strategic planning documents (e.g., De
fense Guidance) less frequently to provide more time for think
ing and to require less time for the process There is no doubt that a great deal of time and energy is spent in the Pentagon-and probably thousands of manhours expended-on paperwork which is little read and which must be rewritten frequently. It clearly appears that some aspects of strategic planning are repeated with few changes from year to year. The objective of increasing staff and management assets available for other PPBS tasks through a reduction in repetitive, strategic planning require ments has merit.
It would be desirable to initiate a major and comprehensive strategic planning effort as soon as possible after the start of a new presidential term. This effort should receive the highest possible priority within DoD for its results will give overall direction to the Department's policies for several years.
In subsequent years, an extensive strategic planning effort may not be necessary, but one that focused on new problem areas (or resolution of old ones) might be more appropriate. This more narrow review would demand less time from senior policymakers and would free strategic planners from a time-consuming process to do more in-depth analyses of difficult planning issues and problems.
Careful and detailed study seems called for to determine which documents could be rewritten and updated less frequently than currently required, and which, indeed, need frequent updating. This study will not attempt to go into this matter in detail. It does appear to be a promising area for additional streamlining of the planning process.
On the other hand, certain documents which may seem to be of relatively minor importance in any immediate PPBS cycle-such as the Joint Strategic Planning Document (JSPD)-may, nevertheless, be of considerable importance in helping decision-makers to establish long-term priorities and conduct meaningful planning. Also, the preparation of such documents is an exercise which may be of significant value to those who engage in it, even if the immediate effect on planning and policy is slight. What is important is that a process emerges through which high quality first drafts of planning papers are prepared and through which the Services and mission-oriented integrators later interact to produce coherent strategy, policies, and resource allocations using these papers as vehicles.
On the whole, the 2-year planning cycle recently adopted by DoD will substantially stabilize the planning process and increase staff and management assets available for other PPBS tasks. It may be preferable to gain actual experience with this 2-year cycle before proposing additional streamlining of the planning process. • Option 7B-merge the programming and budgeting phases or
reduce the time devoted to them Many Service officials have expressed frustration over the "double jeopardy” of two separate reviews (program and budget) at the OSD level. This narrow institutional perspective is buttressed by the actual practice of reductions so large during the budgeting phase that they are tantamount to major program decisions. If more realistic budget constraints were applied earlier in the cycle, there would be less justification for program reviews being made during the budgeting phase of PPBS.
OSD officials expressed the view that, because there is such a distinct difference between the two phases, their combination would produce no net savings of time in the cycle. Jack Quetsch, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), presented this view in testimony before the Senate Committee on Armed Services:
There is a reason why these phases are separate. We can't simply look at them as separate and assume they are duplicative. In the programming phase, we are testing the candidate programs submitted by the military departments against the guidance that has been developed and against the objectives of the Department.
In the budget phase, we are testing against a wholly different set of criteria. The programs that survive that first test we then test in terms of do-ability, time phasing, pricing, and all the things that matter in putting together a good defensible and doable budget.
Even if we were to combine these two phases, we could not shorten either one of them. All you would do is get a budget submission earlier in order to give us time to do both a program and a budget review. You could not put together a good business-type budget until after you put together the program, so there would be two phases anyhow in which you would have later and less useful input from the military departments.
(Part 9, page 400) Similarly, Dr. Chu, the Director of Program Analysis and Evaluation, testified:
I am not sure that trying to consolidate those phases will, in the end, save much time. In fact, it might contribute to worse decisionmaking because you need to articulate your broad objectives before you can set down the details of a program. (Part
9, pages 400-401) Even so, the arguments are divisible. Combining the programming and budgeting phases could be justified on its own merit without necessarily reducing the time or administrative burden involved. However, no judgment on this option was considered necessary in the context of this study. H. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
This section presents the conclusions and recommendations of this chapter concerning the Planning, Programming, and Budgeting System. The conclusions result from the analyses presented in Section E (Problem Areas and Causes). The recommendations are based upon Section G (Evaluation of Alternative Solutions). Excluded from this list are recommendations that are more appropriately presented in other chapters.
Conclusions 1. The PPB system is capable
of responding to changes in policy and management style and generally supporting the management needs of DoD leadership.