Status of Efforts To Estimate and Budget for Army Weapon System Sustainment Costs

NSIAD-85-157: Published: Sep 26, 1985. Publicly Released: Sep 26, 1985.

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GAO reviewed the Army's efforts to improve the accuracy and use of sustainment cost estimates in weapon system budgeting.

GAO found that: (1) the Army did not have a good database to use as a basis in preparing budget estimates; (2) the Army collected costs by functions or organizational units rather than by individual weapon systems; (3) the Army still lacked a solid basis for budgeting sustainment costs because of the different results data collection efforts produced; and (4) the sustainment cost estimate prepared by the program manager did not agree with the analyst's estimate for the planning, programming, and budgeting process. GAO also found that: (1) historical cost data can be useful in making estimates on future systems; (2) the Army has developed a consolidated sustainment cost methodology to integrate into the budget process; (3) the Army has implemented resource management initiatives intended to make project office cost estimates and budget estimates consistent; (4) the project office is required to update cost estimates at least annually; and (5) a comparative analysis will be done of the cost estimate and the budget estimate for each major weapon system three times a year.

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