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Native American Housing: Tribes Generally View Block Grant Program as Effective, but Tracking of Infrastructure Plans and Investments Needs Improvement

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act of 1996 (NAHASDA) changed how the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides housing assistance to Native Americans. Congress created NAHASDA to recognize self-determination for tribes in addressing their low-income housing needs. In NAHASDA's 2008 reauthorization, Congress asked GAO to assess the program's effectiveness. This report discusses (1) how tribes have used NAHASDA funds, (2) how NAHASDA has improved the process of providing tribes with funds for housing, and (3) the extent to which NAHASDA has contributed to infrastructure improvements in tribal communities. GAO analyzed agency documentation, surveyed all tribes receiving grants in fiscal year 2008, conducted site visits with select tribes, and interviewed officials at HUD and other agencies."
Date: February 25, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.

Native American Veterans: DOL Needs a Clear Plan to Improve Employment and Training Services on Tribal Lands

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Labor (DOL) is in the early stages of implementing several of the 2010 report's recommendations, but implementation of the remaining recommendations has not occurred. The agency has begun to take steps to respond to three of the report's six recommendations: improve interagency collaboration, create an advisory subcommittee for Native American veterans, and conduct a needs assessment. To increase collaboration, DOL has conducted several listening sessions with tribal leadership and begun collaborating with agencies that serve veterans, including the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs, to learn more about how to better serve Native American veterans. With regard to an advisory subcommittee, DOL is developing a proposal to establish a subgroup for Native American veterans on its existing veterans' employment and training advisory committee, and is considering appointing a representative from the Native American veterans' community to serve on that committee. To assess need, DOL has identified a potential source for data within DOD that provides race and ethnicity and address information for returning veterans that could help better target visits to tribal land, but its plans to acquire these data are still being negotiated and could take time to finalize. However, DOL has taken little to no action on recommendations to increase outreach, pursue program flexibility, and boost economic development. DOL officials told us that leadership transitions and budget challenges have contributed to their limited response to date. In addition, since delivering the report in 2010, DOL has not developed a strategy that specifically establishes roles and responsibilities, goals, costs, and time frames for implementation of the report's recommendations."
Date: September 26, 2013
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.

Native Hawaiian Education Act: Greater Oversight Would Increase Accountability and Enable Targeting of Funds to Areas with Greatest Need

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Native Hawaiian Education Act (NHEA) seeks to develop innovative educational programs to assist Native Hawaiians. The Department of Education (Education) administers NHEA and has provided grants for a wide range of activities. Education is authorized to establish a Native Hawaiian Education Council and seven island councils to help implement NHEA. To inform reauthorization, GAO was asked to analyze (1) what is known about NHEA's impact on Native Hawaiian education, (2) Education's efforts to oversee NHEA grants, and (3) the extent to which Education and the Native Hawaiian councils have fulfilled their roles and responsibilities. To do this, GAO reviewed federal laws and regulations and departmental documents, and interviewed Education officials, council members, grantees, and experts in Native Hawaiian education."
Date: March 25, 2008
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.

NATO Enlargement: Reports on Albania and Croatia Respond to Senate Requirements, but Analysis of Financial Burdens Is Incomplete

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "On April 2, 2008, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) invited Albania and Croatia to begin accession talks for NATO membership. NATO wants new members to be democracies, have harmonious relations with neighboring countries, modernize and restructure their defense capabilities, protect civil liberties and human and minority rights, and have open market economies. The admission of new members requires ratification by two-thirds of the United States Senate. To ensure that Congress had sufficient information on the countries invited to join NATO, the Senate mandated in a 1999 resolution that the President provide Congress with information on countries seeking to join the alliance--before NATO made any decision on enlarging its membership. In particular, the President was required to assess how countries would further the principles of the North Atlantic Treaty, contribute to North Atlantic security, and affect U.S. national security interests. The President also was required to evaluate countries' eligibility for membership and estimate the military requirements and costs associated with a country's membership for both NATO and U.S. budgets. The President submitted this classified report on Albania and Croatia to Congress on March 28, 2008. Prior to signing any protocol to the North Atlantic Treaty on the accession of any country, the Senate mandated that the President provide Congress a classified and an unclassified report that provide updated information on the status of political, economic, defense, and related issues for the countries invited to join NATO in the recent round of enlargement discussions. In addition, these reports are to provide an assessment of the invited countries' likely impact on NATO's military effectiveness and an analysis of the ability of each invited country to fulfill the full range of financial burdens of NATO membership. The President submitted these reports ...
Date: September 22, 2008
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.

NATO Partnerships: DOD Needs to Assess U.S. Assistance in Response to Changes to the Partnership for Peace Program

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) established the Partnership for Peace (PfP) to increase cooperation with former Warsaw Pact members and provide many of these countries with a path to NATO membership. As NATO confronts new security challenges, including the war in Afghanistan, its relationships with partner countries have grown in scope and importance. Additionally, NATO is developing a new Strategic Concept to clarify its mission and activities, including its relationship with PfP countries and other partners. The Department of Defense (DOD)-funded Warsaw Initiative Fund (WIF) supports the goals of the PfP program. GAO was asked to review (1) how the PfP program has evolved since GAO last reported on it in 2001; (2) options NATO is considering for the future of the PfP and other partnership programs; and (3) support to PfP countries through the U.S. WIF program. GAO analyzed NATO, DOD, and State Department (State) documents; and WIF funding data. GAO also interviewed DOD, State, NATO, and selected country officials."
Date: September 30, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.

Natural Catastrophe Insurance: Analysis of a Proposed Combined Federal Flood and Wind Insurance Program

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Disputes between policyholders and insurers after the 2005 hurricanes highlight the challenges of determining the cause and extent of damages when properties are subject to both high winds and flooding. Additionally, insurers want to reduce their exposure in high-risk areas, and state wind insurance programs have grown significantly. H.R. 3121, the Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act of 2007, would create a combined federal insurance program with coverage for both wind and flood damage. GAO was asked to evaluate this potential program in terms of (1) what would be required to implement it; (2) the steps the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) would need to take to determine premium rates that reflect all future costs; and (3) how it could affect policyholders, insurance market participants, and the federal government. To address these questions, GAO analyzed state and federal programs, examined studies of coastal wind insurance issues, and interviewed federal and state regulatory officials as well as industry participants and analysts. FEMA and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners generally agreed with GAO's report findings. FEMA emphasized the challenges it would face in addressing several key issues. FEMA also provided technical comments, which were incorporated as appropriate."
Date: April 25, 2008
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.

Natural Catastrophe Insurance Coverage Remains a Challenge for State Programs

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Natural catastrophes can adversely affect U.S. residents and businesses by causing extensive property damage. The 2005 hurricanes and other recent natural disasters have had significant effects on the cost of obtaining insurance against such risks, especially in high-risk areas. As private market insurers have raised their premium rates, an increased number of residents have obtained coverage through state-sponsored natural catastrophe programs. In a previous report, GAO identified public policy goals for government involvement in natural catastrophe insurance and applied those goals to potential changes in the federal government's role. To assist Congress as it considers legislative proposals that would increase the federal role in natural catastrophe insurance coverage, Congress asked us to provide a briefing on (1) the current status of key state natural catastrophe insurance programs, and the extent to which the state programs support public policy goals identified in prior GAO reports; (2) the extent to which proposed changes to federal involvement in natural catastrophe insurance support policy goals identified in prior GAO reports; and (3) how natural catastrophe insurance is provided in selected other countries."
Date: May 17, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.

Natural Disasters: Public Policy Options for Changing the Federal Role in Natural Catastrophe Insurance

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In recent years, much attention has been focused on the roles that the private sector and federal government play in providing insurance and financial aid before and after catastrophic events. In this context, GAO examined (1) the rationale for and resources of federal and state programs that provide natural catastrophe insurance; (2) the extent to which Americans living in catastrophe-prone areas of the United States are uninsured and underinsured, and the types and amounts of federal payments to such individuals since the 2005 hurricanes; and (3) public policy options for revising the federal role in natural catastrophe insurance markets. To address these questions, GAO analyzed state and federal programs, examined studies of uninsured and underinsured homeowners and federal payments to them, identified and analyzed policy options, and interviewed officials from private and public sectors in both high- and low-risk areas of the United States. GAO also developed a four-goal framework to help analyze the available options."
Date: November 26, 2007
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.

Natural Gas and Electricity Markets: Federal Government Actions to Improve Private Price Indices and Stakeholder Reaction

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Since the 1970s, the natural gas and electricity industries have each undergone a shift toward greater competition, referred to as restructuring. This restructuring has moved these industries from regulated monopolies to markets in which competitors vie for market share and wholesale prices are largely determined by supply and demand. Amid this restructuring, private companies have published information about these markets, including reports of market prices in various locations--referred to as price indices. These indices, whether for short-term "spot" or long-term "forward" markets, are developed by surveying selected market participants who voluntarily supply price information. Market participants rely on these price indices to help them make informed decisions about trading these commodities and to evaluate new investments. In recent years, confidence in price indices has been shaken due to misreporting and other abuses. During the energy crisis in the West in 2000-2001, several market participants were found to have purposefully misreported prices in order to manipulate these indices for financial gain. In this context, GAO agreed to answer the following questions: (1) What federal regulatory and statutory efforts have been taken to improve price indices in electricity and natural gas markets? (2) Have federal efforts improved industry stakeholders' confidence in these price indices?"
Date: December 15, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.

Natural Gas: Factors Affecting Prices and Potential Impacts on Consumers

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In early December 2005, wholesale natural gas prices topped $15 per million BTUs, more than double the prices seen last summer and seven times the prices common during the 1990s. For the 2005-2006 heating season, the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts that residences heating with gas will pay 35 percent more, on average, than they paid last winter. This testimony addresses the following: (1) the factors causing natural gas price increases, (2) how consumers are affected by these higher prices, and (3) the roles federal government agencies play in ensuring that natural gas prices are determined in a competitive and informed marketplace. This testimony is based on GAO's 2002 published work in this area, updated through interviews, examination of data, and review of relevant publications. GAO's new work was conducted from December 2005 through February 2006 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards."
Date: February 13, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.

Natural Gas Flaring and Venting: Opportunities to Improve Data and Reduce Emissions

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Since 1995, the average price of natural gas in the United States has almost tripled as demand has grown faster than supply. Despite this increase, natural gas is regularly lost as it is burned (flared) and released into the atmosphere (vented) during the production of oil and gas. GAO was asked to (1) describe flaring and venting data and what the federal government could do to improve them; (2) report, on the basis of available information, on the extent of flaring and venting and their contributions to greenhouse gases; and (3) identify opportunities for the federal government to reduce flaring and venting."
Date: July 14, 2004
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.

Natural Gas Pipeline Safety: Integrity Management Benefits Public Safety, but Consistency of Performance Measures Should be Improved

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002 established a risk-based program for gas transmission pipelines--the integrity management program. The program requires operators of natural and other gas transmission pipelines to identify "high consequence areas" where pipeline incidents would most severely affect public safety, such as those occurring in highly populated or frequented areas. Operators must assess pipelines in these areas for safety risks and repair or replace any defective segments. Operators must also submit data on performance measures to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). The 2002 act also directed GAO to assess this program's effects on public safety. Accordingly, we examined (1) the effect on public safety of the integrity management program and (2) PHMSA and state pipeline agencies' plans to oversee operators' implementation of program requirements. To fulfill these objectives, GAO interviewed 51 gas pipeline operators and surveyed all state pipeline agencies."
Date: September 8, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.

Natural Gas Pipeline Safety: Risk-Based Standards Should Allow Operators to Better Tailor Reassessments to Pipeline Threats

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002 requires that operators (1) assess gas transmission pipeline segments in about 20,000 miles of highly populated or frequently used areas by 2012 for safety threats, such as incorrect operation and corrosion (called baseline assessments), (2) remedy defects, and (3) reassess these segments at least every 7 years. Under the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration's (PHMSA) regulations, operators must reassess their pipeline segments for corrosion at least every 7 years and for all safety threats at least every 10, 15, or 20 years, based on industry consensus standards--and more frequently if conditions warrant. Operators must also carry out other prevention and mitigation measures. To meet a requirement in the 2002 act, this study addresses how the results of baseline assessments and other information inform us on the need to reassess gas transmission pipelines every 7 years and whether inspection services and tools are likely to be available to do so, among other things. In conducting its work, GAO contacted 52 operators that have carried out about two-thirds of the baseline assessments conducted to date."
Date: September 8, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.

Natural Gas: Roles of Federal and State Regulators in Overseeing Prices

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, natural gas prices spiked to more than $15 per thousand cubic feet, nearly seven times higher than in the late 1990s. As a result, policymakers have increasingly focused on better understanding how prices are overseen. The prices that consumers pay for natural gas are composed of (1) the commodity price, (2) the cost of interstate transportation, and (3) local distribution charges. Oversight of these components belongs to the federal government, through the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and the states. In 1993, federal price controls over commodity prices were removed, but FERC is still charged with ensuring that prices are fair. Recently, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005) broadened FERC's authority. GAO agreed to (1) analyze FERC's role overseeing natural gas prices, (2) summarize FERC's progress in implementing EPAct 2005, and (3) examine states' role in overseeing natural gas prices. In preparing this report, GAO met with officials from 10 states that regulate gas in different ways and analyzed relevant laws and documentation."
Date: September 8, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.

Natural Hazard Mitigation and Insurance: The United States and Selected Countries Have Similar Natural Hazard Mitigation Policies but Different Insurance Approaches

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Natural hazards adversely affect hundreds of thousands of people worldwide each year and cause extensive property damage. In 2007, a year that was not considered an exceptional one for natural hazards, natural hazards caused an estimated 14,600 deaths and $70 billion in property losses. For that year, the insurance industry covered $23.3 billion in losses. In catastrophic loss years, such as 2005--the year that saw Hurricane Katrina--losses can be far greater. Scientific assessments indicate that climate change is expected to alter the frequency and severity of natural hazard events, and as a result, losses can be expected to climb. Given this scenario, examining policies that are used in other countries to reduce the loss of life and property caused by natural hazard events and examining insurance approaches that provide coverage for natural hazard losses can help identify practices in both areas that could benefit the United States. Similarly, given the ongoing challenges facing the United States, international cooperative efforts may provide instructive examples of risk management and disaster reduction. Because of Congressional interest in these areas, GAO was asked to (1) identify policies used by other countries to reduce losses caused by natural hazards; (2) examine the extent of international cooperation among selected countries, including the United States, to mitigate natural hazards; and (3) identify approaches that other industrialized countries use to insure natural hazard risk and regulate insurers."
Date: December 22, 2008
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.

Natural Hazard Mitigation: Various Mitigation Efforts Exist, but Federal Efforts Do Not Provide a Comprehensive Strategic Framework

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The nation has experienced vast losses from natural hazards. The potential for future events, such as earthquakes and hurricanes, demonstrates the importance of hazard mitigation--actions that reduce the long-term risks to life and property from natural hazard events. GAO was asked to examine (1) natural hazards that present a risk to life and property in the United States, areas that are most susceptible to them, factors that may be increasing these risks, and mitigation activities that reduce losses; (2) methods for encouraging and impediments to implementing mitigation activities; and (3) collaborative efforts of federal agencies and other stakeholders to promote mitigation. To address these objectives, GAO collected and analyzed hazard data, reviewed population information, conducted site visits to locations with comprehensive mitigation programs, and collected information from relevant agencies and officials."
Date: August 22, 2007
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.

Natural Resource Management: Opportunities Exist to Enhance Federal Participation in Collaborative Efforts to Reduce Conflicts and Improve Natural Resource Conditions

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Conflict over the use of our nation's natural resources, along with increased ecological problems, has led land managers to seek cooperative means to resolve natural resource conflicts and problems. Collaborative resource management is one such approach that communities began using in the 1980s and 1990s. A 2004 Executive Order on Cooperative Conservation encourages such efforts. GAO was asked to determine (1) experts' views on collaborative resource management, (2) how selected collaborative efforts have addressed conflicts and improved resources, and (3) challenges that agencies face as they participate in such efforts and how the Cooperative Conservation initiative has addressed them. GAO reviewed experts' journal articles, studied seven collaborative groups, and interviewed group members and federal and other public officials."
Date: February 12, 2008
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.

Natural Resources: Federal Agencies Are Engaged in Numerous Woody Biomass Utilization Activities, but Significant Obstacles May Impede Their Efforts

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In an effort to reduce the risk of wildland fires, many federal land managers--including the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management--are placing greater emphasis on thinning forests and rangelands to help reduce the buildup of potentially hazardous fuels. These thinning efforts generate considerable quantities of woody material, including many smaller trees, limbs, and brush--referred to as woody biomass--that currently have little or no commercial value. GAO was asked to determine (1) which federal agencies are involved in efforts to promote the use of woody biomass, and the actions they are undertaking; (2) how these agencies coordinate their activities; and (3) what the agencies see as obstacles to increasing the use of woody biomass, and the extent to which they are addressing the obstacles. This testimony is based on GAO's report Natural Resources: Federal Agencies Are Engaged in Various Efforts to Promote the Utilization of Woody Biomass, but Significant Obstacles to Its Use Remain (GAO- 05-373), being released today."
Date: May 24, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.

Natural Resources: Federal Agencies Are Engaged in Various Efforts to Promote the Utilization of Woody Biomass, but Significant Obstacles to Its Use Remain

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In an effort to reduce the risk of wildland fires, many federal land managers--including the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)--are placing greater emphasis on thinning forests and rangelands to help reduce the buildup of potentially hazardous fuels. These thinning efforts generate considerable quantities of woody material, including many smaller trees, limbs, and brush--referred to as woody biomass--that currently have little or no commercial value. GAO was asked to determine (1) which federal agencies are involved in efforts to promote the use of woody biomass, and actions they are undertaking; (2) how these agencies are coordinating their activities; and (3) what agencies see as obstacles to increasing the use of woody biomass, and the extent to which they are addressing these obstacles."
Date: May 13, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.

Natural Resources: Woody Biomass Users' Experiences Offer Insights for Government Efforts Aimed at Promoting Its Use

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The federal government is placing greater emphasis on thinning vegetation on public lands to reduce the risk of wildland fire. To help defray the cost of thinning efforts, it also is seeking to stimulate a market for the resulting material, including the smaller trees, limbs, and brush--referred to as woody biomass--that traditionally have had little or no commercial value. As GAO has reported in the past, the increased use of woody biomass faces obstacles, including the high cost of harvesting and transporting it and an unpredictable supply in some locations. Nevertheless, some entities, such as schools and businesses, are utilizing the material, potentially offering insights for broadening its use. GAO agreed to (1) identify key factors facilitating the use of woody biomass among selected users, (2) identify challenges these users have faced in using woody biomass, and (3) discuss any insights that these findings may offer for promoting greater use of woody biomass. In responding to a draft of this report, the Departments of Agriculture, Energy, and the Interior all generally agreed with GAO's findings."
Date: March 22, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.

Natural Resources: Woody Biomass Users' Experiences Provide Insights for Ongoing Government Efforts to Promote Its Use

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The federal government is placing greater emphasis on thinning vegetation on public lands to reduce the risk of wildland fire. To help defray the cost of thinning efforts, it also is seeking to stimulate a market for the resulting material, including the smaller trees, limbs, and brush--referred to as woody biomass--that traditionally have had little or no commercial value. As GAO has reported in the past, the increased use of woody biomass faces obstacles, including the high cost of harvesting and transporting it and an unpredictable supply in some locations. Nevertheless, some entities, such as schools and businesses, are utilizing the material, potentially offering insights for broadening its use. GAO agreed to (1) identify key factors facilitating the use of woody biomass among selected users, (2) identify challenges these users have faced in using woody biomass, and (3) discuss any insights that these findings may offer for promoting greater use of woody biomass. This testimony is based on GAO's report Natural Resources: Woody Biomass Users' Experiences Offer Insights for Government Efforts Aimed at Promoting Its Use (GAO-06-336)."
Date: April 27, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.

Navy Shipbuilding: Opportunities Exist to Improve Practices Affecting Quality

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Navy has experienced significant quality problems with several ship classes over the past several years. It has focused on reducing the number of serious deficiencies at the time of delivery, and GAO's analysis shows that the number of deficiencies--particularly "starred" deficiencies designated as the most serious for operational or safety reasons--has generally dropped. Nonetheless, the Navy continues to accept ships with large numbers of open deficiencies. Accepting ships with large numbers of uncorrected deficiencies is a standard practice and GAO found that there are varying interpretations of Navy policy with regard to when the defects should be resolved. In 2009, the Navy organization that oversees ship construction launched the Back to Basics initiative to improve Navy oversight of ship construction. However, a key output of the initiative promoting consistent and adequate quality requirements in Navy contracts has yet to be implemented."
Date: November 19, 2013
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.

Navy Shipbuilding: Significant Investments in the Littoral Combat Ship Continue Amid Substantial Unknowns about Capabilities, Use, and Cost

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "GAO found that the Navy has made progress in addressing some of the early design and construction problems on the LCS 1 and LCS 2 seaframes, and quality defects and unit costs are declining, now that the seaframes are in steady production. Based on projected learning curves, shipyard performance can be expected to continue to improve over time. This expected progress could, however, be disrupted, as the Navy is considering potentially significant seaframe design changes. For example, the Navy is currently studying changes to increase the commonality of systems and equipment between the two ship variants, primarily with regard to the ships' combat management systems, and add new capabilities. In addition, the Navy still has outstanding gaps in its knowledge about how the unique designs of the two variants will perform in certain conditions. The lead ship of the Freedom class is currently on an extended deployment to Southeast Asia, and the Navy views this as an important opportunity to demonstrate some of the ship's capabilities and allow the crew to obtain first-hand experience with operations. Yet, developmental testing of the seaframes is ongoing, and neither variant has completed shock and survivability testing, which will demonstrate that the ship designs can safely absorb and control damage. Importantly, operational testing of the LCS with its mission modules is several years away, which I will discuss later. Late discoveries of problems while the seaframes continue to be constructed could lead to further design changes."
Date: July 25, 2013
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.

Navy Shipbuilding: Significant Investments in the Littoral Combat Ship Continue Amid Substantial Unknowns about Capabilities, Use, and Cost

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) seaframe program continues to face challenges stemming from concurrent design, production, and testing activities. The Navy has taken steps to resolve problems with the lead ships, and the shipyards are beginning to realize benefits from facility improvements and experience. However, testing remains to be completed and the Navy is currently studying potentially significant design changes, such as increasing the commonality of systems between the two ship variants and changing ship capabilities. Changes at this point can compromise the positive impacts of shipyard learning, increase costs, and prolong schedules. The mission module program also has concurrency issues, and testing to date has shown considerable limitations in capabilities. The Navy is pursuing an incremental approach to fielding mission packages, but it has yet to finalize the requirements for each increment and does not plan to achieve the minimum performance requirements for the mine countermeasures and surface warfare packages until the final increments are fielded in 2017 and 2019, respectively."
Date: July 22, 2013
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.