Need to know: An Army acquisition budget FAQ

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by Army AL&T and DASA PPR Staff 

Q: What are the key characteristics of a sound justification document?

A: A sound justification document clearly explains the source of the requirement, the schedule for meeting the requirement, the funds necessary to meet the requirement and the strategy to obligate and execute the requested funding. Further, a sound justification will clearly address any changes in requirements, schedule and funding from the previous year’s justification.

Q: I have a question about the budget, the budget process, or a year of execution bill needed to get DA approval for reprogramming already appropriated money. Whom should I contact?

  1. I am a product manager for a PEO. Can my staff and I expect to hear directly from congressional staffers about details of my program, or do their questions all go to someone in ASA(ALT)?
  2. It is possible for program offices to hear directly from staffers. It is imperative that program managers (PMs) develop and receive appropriate approval for responses as rapidly as possible, because if a staffer is calling directly, that means they are actively considering a mark, an addition or decrement to the requested funding, and they will not wait long for a response.
  3. In terms of building professional relationships, are there certain people in the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill who I will be working with on budget issues on a regular basis as a PM?
  4. On a regular basis, PMs should maintain contact with the following people and organizations:
  • DASA PPR: budget and execution analyst and financial synchronization officer.
  • Office of the Deputy for Acquisition Systems Management: your program’s Department of the Army systems coordinator.
  • G-8 Force Development Directorate: Staff synchronization officer.
  • Army Budget Office: appropriation sponsors.

With regard to Capitol Hill, PMs should always work through their command and/or ASA(ALT) Congressional Affairs.

  1. Is there any recommended reading on the budget process?
  2. Defense Acquisition University offers online classes that are easily accessible to the Army Acquisition Workforce. Also, the book “How the Army Runs: A Senior Leader Reference Handbook,” is available in print and digitally.

This article is published in the Summer 2019 issue of Army AL&T magazine.

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