Analysis / Acquisition, Budget

Actual Obligation Rates versus Comptroller Projected Obligation Rates

This report from the CSIS Defense Budget Analysis program seeks to enhance understanding of the formulation and accuracy of Department of Defense (DoD) Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) projected obligation rates in the defense acquisition sector. These projections are published annually for each appropriation account in the Financial Summary Tables released by the office of the DoD Comptroller. This paper compares the Comptroller projected obligation rates for procurement and research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) accounts with actual obligation rates, as well as budget execution benchmarks compiled by the Comptroller’s office. This analysis assesses the reliability of the projections and their consistency with other DoD targets, identifies trends in the accuracy of obligation rates across different accounts, and attempts to isolate factors that may influence the formulation and accuracy of the projections.

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This report is made possible by the generous support of the Naval Postgraduate School’s Acquisition Research Program.

(Photo Credit: U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Andrew Langholf)