Command Accountability and Execution Review (CAER) Program
CAER. What is it?
The Command Accountability and Execution Review (CAER) Program is the U.S. Army's premier fiscal stewardship program. CAER provides commanders with visibility of the command fiscal health that did not exist prior to the implementation of this program. It holds leaders, at every echelon, responsible and accountable for stewardship of the tax dollars they receive and provides them with the tools to be successful.
CAER focuses on three areas of financial management:
• Operations and Management (O&M) De-obligations - O&M is only available for one year, when de-obligated, these funds are not legally available for incurring any new purchases.
• Under-execution of the O&M budget - Ensuring all funding provided by Congress is applied to top priority requirements in the fiscal year directly affects Army readiness.
• Uncollected Reimbursables - When Army provides services to other agencies, reimbursement for those services ensures Army money supports the Army priorities.
What are the current and past efforts of the Army?
In the past two decades, fiscal stewardship efforts have lacked process standardization, tools, and training required to be successful. To address this vulnerability, on Dec. 14, 2017, the Secretary of the Army directed the establishment of CAER to maximize the Army’s purchasing power, requiring active management of O&M funds by leaders and to decrease the number of de-obligations. The CAER program relies heavily on leadership involvement with detailed reviews at three echelons: Command, Headquarters, Department of the Army (HQDA), and across the DOD enterprise. After 48 months of CAER the results are concrete. We are changing the Finance and Comptroller culture from one of executing budgets to one of optimizing commander purchasing power and enabling mission readiness while driving modernization analytics across the enterprise and subordinate echelons to more effectively inform senior leaders and teams across all levels.
Since the successful implementation of CAER in FY18, the Army continues to demonstrate significant year over year improvements, delivering up to 70% improvement thru FY20 1st 5 Expired Months as compared to the most recent FY15 cancelled year. This performance improvement trend has been demonstrated across all top spending problem areas, eliminating Transportation, and with more work to be done in remaining areas. Army Senior Leadership is laser focused on maximizing every dollar towards the enterprise priorities and leveraging CAER Big Data Analytics capabilities, dashboard tools, cloud computing, and data quality automation in the year of execution and in the FYDP to effectively and successfully continue to deliver bottom line results enabling the enterprise’s mission readiness and modernization priorities. CAER has also successfully established feedback loop mechanisms to inform the POM build and senior leaders through purchasing power performance metrics associated with on top MDEP drivers. Army has also institutionalized CAER into Army regulations (AR 1-1), Army leadership schools, and MILPERS appropriation to further cement this continued success into the future and continue to build upon this success, and lessons learned, to improve training, reduce de-obligation risk, and optimize purchasing power to build readiness and lethality.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned?
The Army is committed to optimizing the money it receives by efficiently executing its budget. It is the Army’s responsibility to make every dollar count, while continuing to increase readiness and lethality, and expanding and institutionalizing these modernized intelligent capabilities and best practices to other appropriations and PEGs
Why is this important to the Army?
CAER enables commanders to maximize every dollar they receive to build readiness and lethality. Prudent execution of the Army’s budget allows the Army to pursue its modernization goals. These actions enable the Army to support the National Defense Strategy, by optimizing the value of every dollar.