Coast Guard Spending Plans Case Study

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1. The Coast Guard needs to standardize and enforce spend plans and eliminate current spend down practices. During the course of any given fiscal year, usually during the fourth quarter, units throughout the Coast Guard tend to go on a buying frenzy colloquially known as spend down.
2. Spend down is an inefficient, wasteful, and very costly manner of managing limited Coast Guard resources. It gets even more complicated if the federal government is on a continuing resolution which is more the rule than the exception these days. But that’s an entirely different matter for which we as an organization have no control over anyway.
3. How spend down usually works is that the local comptroller’s office, in conjunction with the command will establish
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We as an organization should have mandatory spend plans. We could even tailor the spend plans by unit type if needed. An updated, standardized spend plan would be beneficial for units to use in anticipation of the new fiscal year. Spend plans are currently being done at units but it’s either under the units own initiative, or as directed locally as part of the budget build process. These spend plans are not enforced in any way and therefore have little oversight for accuracy and compliance. A standardized, enforceable version would ensure compliance and transparency. A reportable, accurate, and complete spend plan would eliminate the need for spend down because the units will have properly planned for their anticipated needs and submit their dollar amounts…show more content…
The stages of Kotter’s process that would be most challenging for implementing these changes would be #2 Guiding Coalition, and #5 Not Removing Obstacles.
15. The reason #2 of Kotter’s process would be challenging is that at many levels in the Coast Guard, but most notably at the Headquarters level is that there are so many separate programs and directorates that have an impact with regards to Coast Guard finances that it is nearly impossible to eliminate egos, hidden agendas, and simple scheduling conflicts.
16. The reason #5 of Kotter’s process would be a challenge goes hand in hand with reason #2. There are obstacles in place at several levels organizationally and across directorates that can include lack of buy in at all levels, lack of cooperation between directorates, and potential statutory or regulatory obstacles that I am unaware of.
17. The Coast Guard needs to standardize and enforce spend plans and eliminate spend down. Spend down has proven to be a wasteful, inefficient, and costly way to manage Coast Guard funds. Enforcing and standardizing spend plans, factoring in funding for contingencies will result in efficiencies in man hours, better audit compliance, and
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