What is needed before the Department of Defense can spend money?


Quick Answer

According to the Department of Defense, in order to spend money the department must follow strict guidelines set by the U.S. Congress and the Government Accountability Office. In order to receive funds, the Department of Defense must submit a budget proposal for approval by Congress. Congress puts strict limits on the use of funds which are determined by "time, purpose and amount."

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Full Answer

Within the annual budgeting process, the Department of Defense submits a budget to the appropriate subcommittee. Officials must spend the funds within the fiscal year for which there is approval. The Department of Defense receives an allotment of funds for particular purposes set in the budget request for a specific amount. Once the Department of Defense receives the budget allocation from Congress, it is free to spend the appropriated funds within the specific guidelines. The Department of Defense must keep records and submit forms for each expenditure to increase accountability.

Much of the funding the Department of Defense spends is a part of a competitive contracting system. The Department of Defense must request funds for contract services through the budgetary process as well. Those with contracts do have the option to submit requests for payment of services as well.

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