Defense-Wide FY 2019 Discretionary and IT Budget Request Snapshot

Published: April 04, 2018

Federal Market AnalysisBudgetDEFENSEInformation Technology

The Department of the Defense submitted a $115.8B fiscal 2019 discretionary budget request for Defense Agencies, with $15B for information technology, including both classified and unclassified national security systems.

This post references recently released data contained in the Department of Defense’s fiscal 2019 IT Overview.

The White House released its fiscal 2019 budget request in early February 2018. The portion of the request for Defense Agencies (i.e., Defense-Wide) is the fourth largest total discretionary budget among all Department of Defense (DoD) components. The Defense-Wide information technology (IT) budget request is the largest among all DoD components.

The new budget focuses resources on areas of critical need for Defense Agencies, including combat support services, telecommunications, facilities maintenance, health care, and cybersecurity. If passed intact by Congress and signed into law, the fiscal 2019 budget promises to deliver higher funding after the instability of multiple Continuing Resolutions (CR) in fiscal 2018.

Total Discretionary Funding and Priorities

The proposed fiscal year (FY) 2019 budget provides $115.8B in total discretionary budget authority for Defense Agencies, a 4.9% increase over funds appropriated for FY 2018.

Defense-Wide Discretionary Funding Highlights (Base + OCO)

  • O&M: $81.3B, an increase of $47.3B vs. FY 2018. The Defense Agencies receiving the highest funding include $9.6B for U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), $3B for the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, and $2.2B for the Defense Information Systems Agency.
  • RDT&E: $22.7B, an increase of $700M vs. FY 2018. Defense Agencies receiving the highest RDT&E funding are the Missile Defense Agency ($6.8B), the Office of the Secretary of Defense ($4.7B), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency ($3.4B) and the Chemical and Biological Defense Program ($1B).
  • Procurement: $7.5B, an increase of $2.1B vs. FY 2018. Agencies receiving the most Procurement funding are U.S. SOCOM ($3.0B), the MDA ($2.7B), and DISA ($790M).

The budget also requests $33.7B for the Defense Health Program.

The Defense-Wide FY 2019 IT Budget Request

The DoD has been limiting visibility into its IT budget over the last several administrations, hiding an increasing percentage of spending behind classified programs and budgets. For FY 2019, the OMB no longer allows unclassified IT systems categorized as “National Security Systems” to be publicly viewable. The net result for FY 2019 is that Defense Agencies are requesting $15B for IT (per DoD’s IT Overview), but visibility into program details is unavailable.

An FY 2019 IT budget of $15B (for classified and unclassified systems) is approximately $500M more than the $14.47B that Defense Agencies received in FY 2018. Versus FY 2017, the FY 2019 request is up significantly by $2.2B.

In terms of the Operations and Maintenance (O&M) and Development, Modernization, and Enhancement (DME) splits we only have visibility into approximately $7.7B of the Defense-Wide IT budget request due to the limitations mentioned above. Furthermore, details on the IT budget for FY 2018 remain murky given the very recent passage of the FY 2018 Omnibus bill, which did not contain separate documentation specifically on IT. Comparing the same figures for FY 2017, therefore, Defense-Wide IT O&M for FY 2019 comes in at $6.6B, which is an increase of $944M vs. FY 2017. For DME the total is $1.1B, an increase of $365M vs. FY 2017.

O&M and DME Priorities

Here is a look at a few priority programs seeing large increases:

  • O&M: The Pentagon Joint Service Provider (+$478M), Non-DISN Telecommunications (+$95M), DoD Healthcare Management System Modernization (+$141M), and the DHA Risk Management Framework (+$121M).
  • DME: DoD Healthcare Management System Modernization (+$252M), the Joint Service Provider (+112M), and the Defense Health Agency Legacy Data Repository (+$18M).