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DoD Urges Congress to Rescind Requirement for Unclassified FYDP Submission

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The Department of Defense (DoD) is asking Congress to cancel the statutory requirement to develop an unclassified version of the Future Years Defense Program, the Federation of American Scientists reported Monday.

DoD offers its defense spending estimates for the next five years through FYDP and the Pentagon said it might inadvertently disclose sensitive data through the publication of unclassified FYDP.

“With the ready availability of data mining tools and techniques, and the large volume of data on the Department’s operations and resources already available in the public domain, additional unclassified FYDP data, if it were released, potentially allows adversaries to derive sensitive information by compilation about the Department’s weapons development, force structure, and strategic plans,” the Pentagon said in its proposal for the pending fiscal year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act.

FAS said the Pentagon would continue to provide Congress with the classified FYDP document but would rescind the requirement that DoD officials certify the accuracy of the data used for FYDP development.

“This requirement is unnecessary as information from these systems is already used to provide the President’s Budget,” the department wrote in its legislative proposal.