Congress says DARPA can't "responsibly manage" requested FY09 increase

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Sad but interesting. Peter Harsha at the CRA’s Policy Blog with a snippet from continuing resolution explanatory statement regarding the proposed less-than-requested DARPA ’09 budget

The fiscal year 2009 budget request for DARPA is $3,285,569,000, an increase of $326,493,000, more than 10 percent, over the fiscal year 2008 appropriated program of $2,959,076,000. In recent years, DARPA has repeatedly underexecuted its funded program level, executing a fiscal year 2005 program that was nine percent below the appropriated program and a fiscal year 2006 program that was twelve percent below the appropriated program.

…While DARPA’s continued underexecution can partially be explained by its fiscally responsible management approach of withholding funds from projects that fail to demonstrate progress, doubts exist about DARPA’s ability to responsibly manage such a large increase. Therefore, the bill provides $3,142,229,000, a reduction of $143,340,000 from the request.

Still more than the ’08 budget, so they haven’t gotten a really hard spanking. But DARPA has committed the fundamental sin in the federal government: don’t never ever spend less than your budget.


  1. Do the right thing, and get slapped down. No good deed will go unpunished.

    The irony of the juxtaposition of this article/post and the financial crisis is interesting. One is slapped down due to good financial management and oversight, one is rewarded due to poor financial management and oversight.