Navy Ship Procurement: Alternative Funding Approaches - Background and Options for Congress [Updated February 21, 2006]   [open pdf - 137KB]

From the Summary: "Some observers have proposed procuring Navy ships using incremental funding or advance appropriations rather than the traditional full funding approach that has been used to procure most Navy ships. Supporters believe these alternative funding approaches could increase stability in Navy shipbuilding plans and perhaps increase the number of Navy ships that could be built for a given total amount of ship-procurement funding. The issue for the 109th Congress is whether to maintain or change current practices for funding Navy ship procurement. Congress's decision could be significant because the full funding policy relates to Congress's power of the purse and its responsibility for conducting oversight of defense programs. For Department of Defense (DOD) procurement programs, the full funding policy requires the entire procurement cost of a usable end item (such as a Navy ship) to be funded in the year in which the item is procured. Congress imposed the full funding policy on DOD in the 1950s to strengthen discipline in DOD budgeting and improve Congress's ability to control DOD spending and carry out its oversight of DOD activities. […] Using incremental funding or advance appropriations could, under certain circumstances, marginally reduce the cost of Navy ships. Under certain other circumstances, however, it could increase costs. Options for Congress include maintaining current ship-procurement funding practices; strengthening adherence to the full funding policy; increasing the use of incremental funding; beginning to use advance appropriations; and transferring lead-ship detailed design and nonrecurring engineering costs to the research and development account. Arguments could be made in support of or against each of these options. This report will be updated as events warrant."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL32776
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