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GAO Audits Defense, Energy Department Budget for Nuclear Arsenal Sustainment, Modernization

The Government Accountability Office has published its audit of an annual joint report by the Defense Department and Energy Department on the estimated budget required for the upkeep and modernization of the country’s nuclear arsenal.

The GAO stated that it had found the budget estimates in the joint report for fiscal year 2018 “generally accurate and complete based on the underlying data that DoD used to create them.” The oversight agency also said the joint report had managed to address concerns previously raised about the methodology used to arrive at the budget estimates.

The joint report is required by a provision within the fiscal year 2012 National Defense Appropriations Act. The same provision requires the GAO to review the report for completeness and accuracy.

The DoD and the DoE prepared the FY 2018 joint report based on a variety of sources, including the President’s Budget and the Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan.

The joint report, however, did not factor in the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review, which was promulgated after the report entered its final review phase.

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