The U.S. Defense Department will slow payments to prime contractors in the coming week in an attempt to increase its on-hand cash as defense spending cuts loom.
Pentagon officials said changing these payment processes combined with other initiatives will add about $1 billion, or a few days worth, of available cash within working capital spending accounts. DoD will begin notifying contractors of these payment changes in the coming days.
The Pentagon is facing a $46 billion reduction to its 2013 budget between March and September should across-the-board defense spending cuts, known as sequestration, go into effect.
Also complicating matters is that DoD is operating under a continuing resolution, which freezes spending at 2012 budget levels, creating an $11 billion shortfall from planned 2013 spending. The continuing resolution also keeps funds aligned in the same accounts as 2012, meaning new programs cannot start and ones that have been terminated are still receiving money.