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GAO: Navy Should Notify Congress of Rationale for Weapon System Budget Decisions

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The Government Accountability Office has recommended that the Department of Defense require the U.S. Navy to submit to congressional defense committees its rationale for budget requests that do not seek funding for procurement quantities listed in multiyear contracts

GAO made the recommendation after it found that budget requests for three of the seven reviewed critical weapon system programs in fiscal years 2021 and 2022 had reductions in quantities when compared to multiyear procurement contracts, according to a report published Monday.

Those three weapons programs are DDG 51 destroyers, V-22 aircraft and Virginia-class submarines.

For the DDG 51 program, the FY 2022 budget request included funds to buy one of the two destroyers in the program’s multiyear contracts. The service did not request funds for the second vessel but sought $33 million to pay for the government’s cancellation liability for its decision to reduce its purchase to one destroyer.

Failure to notify Congress of the Navy’s rationale for budget request decisions can “hamper the ability of the committees to oversee programs and make decisions without having to request supplemental information and explanations from the Navy,” the GAO report reads.

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