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Perhaps it was this history of fiscal mismanagement that brought the GAO down so harshly on the NNSA’s poor oversight of the plutonium facility.

DOE requires a review of cost overruns so that “lessons learned” can “benefit future endeavors.” But while the NNSA found what caused the price increase, it didn’t investigate why. The GAO said that despite the review of what went wrong, no one’s taking notes on how to correct practices so that wasteful mistakes can be eliminated.

“The cost drivers NNSA identified provided few details about why the drivers existed,” investigators said. “Without a root cause analysis, it is uncertain whether NNSA will be able to accurately identify underlying causes of the increases to identify and implement corrective measures and identify lessons learned to apply to other projects.”