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US Senate, Government Watchdog Criticize Pentagon’s $251Bln Base Management

The US Department of Defense needs to improve its reporting and management of more than a quarter of a trillion dollars per year spent on operations and maintenance around the world, a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report said.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US Senate Appropriations Committee expressed concern in its own report with the Defense Department’s fiscal year 2015 appropriations that it still did not have a clear understanding of the program funding used to support regular base activities, the GAO also observed.

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"The president requested $251 billion for [the Defense Department’s] total [Operation and Maintenance] funding, which included approximately $206 billion for… base and $45 billion for [overseas contingency operations]," the report stated on Tuesday.

However, the costs of operating the bases ran at least $14 billion, per year, or 5.6 percent, higher than the $251 million the Defense Department had requested and received, the GAO reported.

"GAO estimated base obligations since fiscal year 2009 and found that the Defense Department’s realignment of funds led to its… base obligations exceeding… enacted amounts in each fiscal year and by an annual average of 5.6 percent [$14 billion]," the report noted.

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