Coast Guard: Budget Challenges for 2001 and Beyond
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC RESOURCES COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DIV
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We are pleased to be here today to discuss challenges that the Coast Guard faces in its fiscal year 2001 and future budget requests. For fiscal year 2001, the Coast Guard is asking for 4.7 billion, representing a 14-percent increase over this years appropriations. Over the last 4 years, we have issued a series of reports and testified before this Subcommittee and others on budget challenges facing the agency. A major budget challenge facing the Coast Guard involves its Deepwater Project-an effort to replace or modernize the Coast Guards cutter and aircraft fleets and their associated support systems. This project could cost about 10 billion or more over the next 20 years. The Coast Guard is asking for 42.3 million in fiscal year 2001 for the Deepwater Project, in part to pay three teams of contractors that are developing proposals for the agencys next generation of ships and aircraft. About a year from now, in its fiscal year 2002 budget request, the agency plans to ask for 350 million for this project. Beginning in fiscal year 2003 and throughout the remaining life of the project, annual funding requests exceeding 500 million are expected. Although large in its scope, the Deepwater Project is by no means the only budget issue that the Coast Guard faces. As we have reported previously, the Coast Guard has a number of opportunities to improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of its operations. Taking advantage of these opportunities will require the Coast Guard to make some tough decisions and reconsider some fundamental positions about its operations.
- Administration and Management