W. House: DoD Officials Must Vow Secrecy on Budget
By JOHN T. BENNETT
Published: 19 Feb, 2009
The Obama administration has directed defense officials to sign a pledge stating they will not share 2010 budget data with individuals outside the federal government.
In an undated non-disclosure agreement obtained by Defense News, the administration tells defense officials that “strict confidentiality” must be practiced to ensure a “successful” and “proper” 2010 defense budget process.
The secrecy pact comes as dozens of Bush-era Pentagon appointees remain on the job, asked to stay on by the Obama administration until replacements are confirmed to ensure continuity during wartime.
The Pentagon and Office of Management and Budget have agreed on a fiscal 2010 defense budget top line figure of $537 billion. That level is nearly $50 billion lower than the $585 billion defense plan created during the final months of the Bush administration, and $24 billion higher than the already enacted $513 billion 2009 defense budget.
The pledge covers any data about the 2010 budget, including: “planning, programming and budgeting system documents and databases, and any other information” that concerns the administration’s internal discussions about “the nature and amounts of the president’s budget for fiscal year 2010, and any supplemental budget request during the current fiscal year.”
The administration is requiring defense officials to promise they will not divulge the kinds of information covered in the document “to any individual not authorized to receive it.”
“Under no circumstances will I disclose such information outside the Department of Defense and other government agencies directly involved in the defense planning and resource-allocation process, such as the Office of Management and Budget,” the agreement said.Politics | Tags: Bush administration, Defense Department, George W. Bush, Obama administration, Office of Management, Office of Management and Budget, Presidency of George W. Bush, United States Department of Defense | Comment (0)