DARPA Funding Dropping Due to New Program Structure
Defense Tech relays a story from Inside Defense reports that the Pentagon’s comptrollers have slashed Darpa’s budget by about 10% ($300 million) for the next fiscal year, with another $200 million cut to follow in FY 2009. The reason: indirectly, it’s the new, much tighter project management oversight structure. While funding for the agency has risen since 9/11, the number of program managers hasn’t increased as fast. Combined with the new process, that “has slowed execution of DARPA’s funding… resulting in a significant decline in obligations and expenditures.” When a bureaucracy isn’t spending money, it tends to lose that budget. Meanwhile, DARPA programs like the WALRUS airship that have the potential to solve key near and long-term force structure problems go unfunded with no explanation.