Department of Homeland Security

Good Cents

To solve a problem you must first find the origin of the issue. Since we are trying to increase government efficiency and save tax payers dollars we need to look at how our government employees look at our internal budgets and spending plans. If you compare how one entity's (the USCG) specific units receive a budget and then follow through spending it against how private businesses conducts their spending plan is ridiculous. We are given a small amount of money to plan our yearly budget. We then receive "fall out" funds at random times and are expected to purchase whatever we can in a small timeframe or lose that money. Not only will we lose the money if we don't spend it but we are less likely to receive extra money in the next fiscal year. As an operational unit we have unexpected costs that arise unexpectedly as well as times when we don't need that extra money. My proposal to solve this issue is a multipart plan. First, see if it is feasible to create "roll over" accounts that allow units to access "fall out" funds from prior fiscal years. Each unit would have its own account; when that "roll over" account reached a pre-determined max limit the extra money would roll back into the general budget. Also stiffer penalties need to be enacted for indiscriminate spending. If you were to enter a bank and steal one thousand dollars you would be penalized; why is it not the same thought process for the "theft" of tax payer dollars? When purchasing officials buy random items just to spend down the budget, that is indiscriminate spending. The level of accountability is lacking in the extreme. While this proposal does not provide instant gratification it will pay dividends in the future.

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Idea No. 11026