The current fiscal year budget is being executed while
enactment of next year's is underway, and programming for the following budget
is in process. Planning is essentially a continuous process.
Beginning in 1986 with submission of the first two-year Defense budget (for
fiscal years 1988-89), PPBS became a nominal biennial process. Even
though DoD has complied with biennial budgeting since January 1987, Congress
authorizes most programs and fund-ing on an annual basis and appropriates
funds on an annual basis. There are a few exceptions. The most notable are
programs for which multiyear (rather than annual) procurements have been
authorized. However, even multiyear procurements must be funded by annual
appropriations. PPBS also results in periodic updates to the Future Years
Defense Program, reflecting requirements for the out-years (years beyond the
next budget year) based on DoD planning to meet national Defense objectives.
It is incumbent on program managers and other officials responsible for any
aspect of the resource allocation process to be aware of the sequence of
activities and to understand where they are at all times. Note that the PPBS
is a calendar driven system and that the acquisi-tion life cycle is event
driven. Avoiding a mismatch or disconnect between programmatic requirements
and available funding demands close attention on the part of program managers.
This may be the most challenging part of a program manager's job, and if not
managed carefully can become the greatest single source of program