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The Defense Department (DoD) has operated under a continuing resolution (CR) for 11 out of the last 12 fiscal years, freezing spending at the previous year’s level. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) studied the impact that operating under a CR has on DoD.

  • Operating under a CR is not ideal or particularly efficient, but DoD has adapted and figured out how to manage during them, said Elizabeth Field, director of defense capabilities and management issues at GAO.
  • Field said the department sets spending plans for multiple scenarios before the beginning of a fiscal year and changes contract timing to work around CRs.
  • In acquisition reports GAO reviewed, seven out of 45 referred to a CR as a problem for those programs, and none of the adverse procurement effects predicted actually came true, said Field.

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