Partnership: The Key to PPBE Reform

The process of defense budgeting is in need of reform. For more than 60 years, both houses of Congress have been working together to pass the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) annually, which outlines the budget for the Department of Defense (DoD) for the upcoming fiscal year. 

However, in the spring of 2022, the Senate established the Commission on Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution (PPBE) Reform to evaluate the current practices of the DoD and suggest improvements for the future in an ever-changing landscape. The Commission, led by Chair Hon. Robert Hale, has made significant progress in the past few months by conducting extensive listening tours with senior leaders from Congress and the Department of Defense to discuss PPBE. 

In addition to the PPBE Reform Commission, the American Society of Military Comptrollers (ASMC) has also established a PPBE Reform Task Force to work in parallel with the legislative commission and help define a set of principles and policies to transform PPBE to meet the needs of both the executive and legislative branches in the 21st century. The DoD financial management (FM) community has a voice in the process through the ASMC task force, where all ideas and recommended changes will be considered. The task force and commission aim to improve the budgeting process to keep pace with innovation and provide better support to the military. 

The Commission has an opportunity to scale and tailor the budgeting process to match the pace of innovation, according to Vice Chair Ellen Lord. Lord, who worked on several innovation initiatives within the defense acquisition during her tenure, recognizes the significance of this opportunity. 

“If you haven’t taken the time to explore what the Commission on PPBE is doing, I’d ask you to do so.  Look at their charter and take the time to participate in the ASMC’s PPBE Reform Task Force’s surveys, along with future events and communications so that you are able to have a seat at the table and contribute to how the future of the PPBE process should look. It is important when conducting for the only change management initiatives such as the PPBE Commission to receive feedback from all levels within the defense financial management community.  Bringing forward both best practices and awareness to the pain points that occur year after year limiting the Department of Defense to maximize their federal resources and achieve mission success.   So again, do your part in following both the federal Commission and the ASMC task force reform to make sure they hear from on-the-ground FM experts.” Ellen Lord  

Tom Devine, product management director of financial management at Management Concepts, is serving on the ASMC 75th anniversary committee and knows the value of ASMC’s mission firsthand. Devine encourages defense FM professionals to get involved in the reform process by participating in the ASMC’s PPBE Reform Task Force’s surveys, events, and communications, so they can have a say in shaping the future of the PPBE process. 

It is crucial for change management initiatives such as the PPBE Reform Commission to receive feedback from all levels within the defense FM community. This will bring awareness to the best practices and pain points that occur year after year, limiting the DoD’s ability to maximize its federal resources and achieve mission success. The Commission and the task force are eager to hear from FM experts on the ground, so it is important for FM professionals to do their part by following both the federal Commission and the ASMC task force reform. 

The PPBE Reform Commission and the ASMC task force have the potential to revolutionize the defense budgeting process, making it more efficient and effective. By incorporating feedback from the FM community, the Commission and task force can ensure that the budgeting process meets the needs of the DoD in the 21st century. It is an exciting time for defense FM professionals to get involved and contribute to the future of the PPBE process. 

Management Concepts is ASMC’s exclusive training provider for the Enhanced Defense Financial Management Training Course (EDFMTC) and offers a wide variety of courses in defense financial management and PPBE. 

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Financial Management
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Tom Devine


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