Department of Homeland Security

Eliminate Spend Down

I have seen a lot of entries here calling for a stop to spending down at the end of the fiscal year. However, this is not just an end of year problem but a quarterly one as well. I work on the financial end of this organization and every quarter we are told to be near a certain amount spent or else. The notion of use it or lose with our money is a terrible way of treating our units. Instead of punishment for not spending just take the money and put it towards our deficit. When you award each agency with their yearly budget, award them based on the size of the unit. Every certain type of unit receives the same type of percentage (i.e. stations receive 10%, air stations 30%, sectors 20% etc.) At the end of the year if a particular unit has money left over, pull it and give it to a unit that NEEDS it. Not for Oakley’s or other gear to make them look "cool". I am aware that reviewing spending gives us a better idea of what we will need in the future, but when it comes to money it doesn't work that way. There is no way for us to know when a boat will break or when we will run out of a particular item. To judge us based on what we had purchased previously is unsat. Instead, use our past fiscal years as a guideline only and make an estimate as to what we need based on other factors such as inflation and price increases by government contracted companies. Or take our money that is left over and put into a giant savings account for each individual agency. This way, if our budget ends up being higher than anticipated we can tap into our savings to help us. This can eventually lead to lower budgets for agencies and cut down on these massive annual budgets we always hear about in the media. In order to save on a grand scale we need to start at the smallest source. Don’t punish the units for smart fiscal spending. Instead, reward them with a sort of mutual assistance. This way, if our budgets are not ready come 01OCT we have a source of funding for those who really need it.

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Idea No. 11056