Coast Guard: Observations on the Fiscal Year 2009 Budget, Recent Performance, and Related Challenges Page: 2 of 40
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Accountability. Integrity. Reliability
Highlights of GAO-08-494T, a testimony
before the Subcommittee on Oceans,
Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard,
Committee on Commerce, Science, and
Transportation, U.S. Senate
Why GAO Did This Study
The U.S. Coast Guard, a multi-
mission maritime military service
within the Department of
Homeland Security, has requested
more than $9 billion for fiscal year
2009 to address its responsibilities
for homeland security missions
(such as undocumented migrant
interdiction) and non-homeland
security missions (such as
environmental protection). Integral
to conducting its missions, is the
Deepwater program-a 25-year,
$24 billion effort to upgrade or
replace vessels and aircraft. This
* budget request and trends, and
* challenges in balancing
operations across multiple
* Deepwater affordability,
management, and its impact on
GAO's comments are based on
products issued from 1997 to 2008.
This testimony also discusses on-
going work related to patrol boat
operations. To conduct its work,
GAO analyzed documentation and
interviewed relevant officials.
GAO has made recommendations
to DHS in prior reports to develop
strategic plans, better plan the use
of its human capital, establish
performance measures, and
improve program operations. DHS
has generally concurred with these
recommendations and is making
progress to address them. We
provided a draft of this information
to DHS and the Coast Guard and
incorporated technical comments
To view the full product, including the scope
and methodology, click on GAO-08-494T.
For more information, contact Stephen
Caldwell at (202) 512-9610 or
Observations on the Fiscal Year 2009 Budget, Recent
Performance, and Related Challenges
What GAO Found
The Coast Guard's fiscal year 2009 budget request is approximately 7 percent
higher than its fiscal year 2008 enacted budget, generally because of proposed
increases in both operating expenses and acquisition, construction, and
improvements funding. The Coast Guard expects to meet its performance
goals for 6 of its 11 mission areas for fiscal year 2007, similar to the
performance it reported for fiscal year 2006. The Coast Guard also continues
to develop additional measures to better understand the links between
resources expended and results achieved.
The Coast Guard continues to face challenges balancing its various missions
with its finite resources and has had difficulties funding and executing both its
homeland security and non-homeland security missions. GAO's work has
shown that the Coast Guard's homeland security requirements continue to
increase and that it has been unable to keep up with these rising security
demands. For example, the Coast Guard is not meeting its requirements for
providing vessel escorts and conducting security patrols. The Coast Guard is
also facing additional requirements to conduct more inspections of maritime
facilities and provide security at a growing number of facilities that import
The Deepwater acquisition program continues to be a source of challenges
and progress for the Coast Guard. In terms of affordability, the magnitude of
Deepwater funding-representing about 11 percent of the agency's proposed
fiscal year 2009 budget-presents a long-term challenge. In terms of
management, the Coast Guard has made changes to improve program
management by moving away from reliance on a system integrator, increasing
government monitoring of program outcomes and competitively purchasing
selected assets. In terms of operations, delays in the procurement of new
patrol boats have increased resource requirements to maintain older legacy
patrol boats and keep them operating.
The Coast Guard must balance its finite resources across security and other missions.
Source: U.S. Coast Guard.
IUnited States Government Accountability Office
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United States. Government Accountability Office. Coast Guard: Observations on the Fiscal Year 2009 Budget, Recent Performance, and Related Challenges, text, March 6, 2008; Washington D.C.. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc292988/m1/2/: accessed April 25, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.