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American Battle Monuments Commission: New Approach to Forecasting Exchange Rates for its Foreign Currency Fluctuation Account

GAO-06-50R Published: Oct 20, 2005. Publicly Released: Oct 20, 2005.
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The conference report for the Fiscal Year 2005 Consolidated Appropriations Act required that we review the past and current methodologies used by the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to estimate exchange rates used in preparing the budgets for ABMC's foreign currency fluctuation account. This account is intended to maintain the spending power of funds appropriated for ABMC operations in the event that the U.S. dollar depreciates against the currencies used to pay for these operations, which include designing, constructing, operating, and maintaining permanent American military burial grounds in foreign countries. In light of recent low foreign currency fluctuation account levels, the appropriations committees' conferees were concerned with the failure of OMB to adequately address the effect of foreign currency rate fluctuations on ABMC in its original budget submission for fiscal year 2005, or through a supplementary budget request. In response to this mandate, we examined (1) ABMC's method of forecasting exchange rates in preparing budgets for the foreign currency fluctuation account prior to its fiscal year 2006 budget submission and OMB guidance on that method; (2) changes that occurred in the ABMC foreign currency fluctuation fund as the dollar depreciated in value relative to the currencies used by ABMC in its operations; and (3) changes that ABMC made in preparing its fiscal year 2006 budget submission.

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Budget obligationsBudgetingForeign currencyForeign currency exchangesForeign exchange ratesDepreciationAppropriated fundsBudget submissionsBudget appropriationsBudgets