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Military Operations: Background Screenings of Contractor Employees Supporting Deployed Forces May Lack Critical Information, but U.S. Forces Take Steps to Mitigate the Risk Contractors May Pose

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The U.S. military has long relied on contractors to provide a variety of goods and services to U.S. forces around the world, including those located in Iraq and Afghanistan. These services range from maintaining advanced weapon systems and setting up and operating communications networks to providing gate and perimeter security, interpreting foreign languages, preparing meals and doing laundry for the troops. The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) uses contractors for a variety of reasons, including a lack of skilled and qualified military personnel and the need to conserve scarce skills to ensure that they will be available for future deployments. DOD estimates that it has more than 50,000 contractor employees in support of operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Depending on the types of services being offered, contractor employees may be U.S. citizens, or third country nationals, and contractors are often encouraged to hire host country nationals to help rebuild local economies and get local nationals back to work. While contractor employees can provide significant benefits to U.S. forces, contractor employees can also pose a risk to U.S. troops. For example, the terrorists who attacked the U.S.S. Cole were suspected to be contractor employees associated with its refueling operations. This attack led military officials to realize the risk that contractors could pose to the safety and security of U.S. installations and military personnel. The risk is increased when U.S. forces are involved in a military operation against an insurgency, as they are in Iraq. Background screenings of contractor employees can provide some insight into the likelihood that the employee may cause harm to U.S. troops and may deter some criminals and terrorists from working at U.S. installations. Although DOD is not required to screen contractor employees, in some situations, ...
Date: September 22, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

DOD T&A System Controls: Military Leave Records and Approval of Leave Requests

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the internal control requirements in Title 6, "Pay, Leave, and Allowances of the GAO Policy and Procedures Manual for Guidance of Federal Agencies" as they relate to the Air Force's Air Mobility Command's employee time and attendance (T&A) system, focusing on whether: (1) military leave records must be maintained in paper form containing handwritten signatures; and (2) it is permissible to have the supervisor approve staff leave requests on the Air Force's proposed T&A system by using an user identification code or a password in lieu of the electronic signature required in Title 6."
Date: September 22, 1999
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense Acquisitions: Joint Forces Command's Limited Acquisition Authority

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In recent years, Congress has expressed concern that urgent joint warfighting requirements are not always met in the most expeditious manner, particularly command and control and blue-force-tracking capabilities that reduce the chances of friendly-fire casualties. In the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 (P.L. 108-136), Congress gave the U.S. Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) Limited Acquisition Authority (LAA) to address these and other joint-warfighting challenges. LAA is an authority aimed at ensuring that measures to meet urgent, unanticipated joint warfighting needs are conceived, developed, and fielded in an expeditious manner. Enacted for a 3-year period, LAA will expire after September 30, 2006. The Act required GAO to determine the extent to which LAA has been used. Specifically, we focused on (1) how JFCOM used the authority during fiscal years 2004 and 2005, (2) the processes and procedures JFCOM developed to implement the authority, and (3) the challenges of implementing it. In covering these areas, we did not evaluate the quality of the projects undertaken or the value added of the equipment provided to the warfighter under LAA."
Date: November 22, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

DOD Financial Management: Weaknesses in Controls over the Use of Public Funds and Related Improper Payments

Description: A publication issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Defense (DOD) is required to design and implement effective internal controls, including controls over its use of public funds ("funds controls") and controls over its payment processes ("payment controls"). As a steward of the public's resources, DOD is responsible and accountable for (1) using public funds efficiently and effectively and for the purposes and within the time frames and amounts prescribed by law, (2) making payments to the right parties in the correct amount within allowable time frames and recouping any improper payments, and (3) accurately recording and reporting on its transactions and use of public funds. GAO's testimony focuses on (1) challenges DOD faces in its funds control, and their effect on the reliability of DOD's financial information, especially the budgetary information in DOD's Statement of Budgetary Resources and (2) weaknesses in DOD's payment controls that put the department at risk of making improper payments. This statement is based on our prior work and reports issued by the department's Inspector General (DOD IG). The panel requested that GAO provide its perspective on the status of DOD's process for identifying and reporting on improper payments, examples of Antideficiency Act violations within DOD along with the causes of these violations, and the effect of problem disbursements on DOD's ability to report reliable information on its financial statements."
Date: September 22, 2011
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Limitations in DOD's Evaluation Plan for EEO Complaint Pilot Program Hinder Determination of Pilot Results

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In August 2004, pursuant to Section 1111 of the fiscal year 2001 Department of Defense authorization act, the Secretary of Defense authorized components of the United States Air Force (USAF), the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), and the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) to implement an equal employment opportunity (EEO) complaint pilot program to reengineer the EEO complaint process to, among other things, reduce complaint processing time and reinforce management accountability. The program was exempt from the procedural requirements of 29 C.F.R. Part 1614 and other regulations, directives, or regulatory restrictions prescribed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). As required by the legislation, in May 2006, GAO reported on the implementation of the pilot programs and found that two of the three pilot initiatives operated consistent with existing EEOC requirements, with a specific emphasis on alternative dispute resolution (ADR). USAF's pilot operated outside of EEOC regulations, as authorized under the legislation. We identified limitations in the Department of Defense's (DOD) evaluation plan for the pilot program that, if not addressed, would limit the likelihood that the evaluation would yield sound results. For example, the plan did not have well-defined or clear objectives or set criteria for determining if the pilots had met objectives. Accordingly, we made recommendations to DOD on ways to develop a sound evaluation plan that would more accurately and reliably assess the pilot programs' results and thereby support effective program and policy decisions. DOD made some changes to the evaluation plan based on our recommendations. USAF and DeCA's pilot programs ended on September 30, 2007; DLA ended its pilot on September 30, 2006. As required by the legislation, GAO evaluated the pilots at the conclusion of the program. Our objectives were to (1) describe the key ...
Date: February 22, 2008
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

DOD's Overseas Infrastructure Master Plans Continue to Evolve

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In 2004, President Bush announced what was described as the most comprehensive restructuring of U.S. military forces overseas since the end of the Korean War. Soon thereafter, the Department of Defense (DOD) issued a report titled Strengthening U.S. Global Defense Posture. This report defined the key tenets of the integrated global presence and basing strategy, which outlines troop and basing adjustments overseas. Although the strategy is intended to make the overseas posture of the United States more flexible and efficient, it will require new facilities costing billions of dollars, some of the cost to be borne by the United States and some by other nations. As plans for overseas basing began to emerge, the Senate Appropriations Committee expressed concern about the use of military construction funds for projects at overseas bases that may soon be obsolete or closed because of changes being considered by DOD and the military services. Accordingly, the Senate report accompanying the fiscal year 2004 military construction appropriation bill directed DOD to prepare detailed, comprehensive master plans for changing infrastructure requirements at U.S. military facilities in each of the overseas regional commands. The Senate report directed the master plans to identify precise facility requirements and the status of properties being returned to host nations. Additionally, the Senate report stated that the plans should identify funding requirements as well as the division of funding responsibilities between the United States and host nations. The Senate report also directed us to monitor the master plans developed and implemented for the overseas regional commands and to provide the congressional defense committees with assessment reports each year. For this report, we assessed the Office of the Secretary of Defense's (OSD) most recent guidance to overseas regional commands and its use ...
Date: August 22, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

DOD Financial Management: The Army Faces Significant Challenges in Achieving Audit Readiness for Its Military Pay

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "We found that the Army could not readily identify a complete population of Army payroll accounts for fiscal year 2010, given existing procedures and systems. The Army and DFAS-IN did not have an effective, repeatable process for identifying the population of active duty payroll accounts. In addition, the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC), DOD’s central source for personnel information, did not have an effective process for comparing military pay account files to military personnel files to identify a valid population of military payroll transactions. For example, it took 3 months and repeated attempts before DFAS-IN could provide a population of service members who received active duty Army military pay in fiscal year 2010. Similarly, it took DMDC over 2 months to compare the total number of fiscal year 2010 active duty payroll accounts to its database of personnel files. "Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government" requires all transactions and other significant events to be clearly documented and the documentation readily available for examination. DOD’s "Financial Improvement and Audit Readiness (FIAR) Guidance" sets out key tasks essential to achieving audit readiness, including defining and identifying the population of transactions for audit purposes. The "GAO/PCIE Financial Audit Manual" provides guidance concerning typical control activities, such as independent checks on the validity, accuracy, and completeness of computer-processed data. Without effective processes for identifying a complete population of Army military pay records and comparing military pay accounts to personnel records, the Army will have difficulty meeting DOD’s 2014 Statement of Budgetary Resources audit readiness goal and its 2017 goal for a complete set of auditable financial statements."
Date: March 22, 2012
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Depot Maintenance: Air Force Waiver to 10 U.S.C. 2466

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Air Force's 50-percent ceiling waiver for depot maintenance, focusing on the: (1) extent to which the Air Force's justification for the waiver was due to its planned use of temporary contracts to support transitioning workloads; and (2) potential for the ceiling to be exceeded in fiscal years 2000 and 2001."
Date: May 22, 2000
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense Acquisitions: Navy and Marine Corps Pilot Program Initiatives to Reduce Total Ownership Costs

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "This is the third in a series of GAO reports evaluating the military services' efforts to reduce weapons systems operating and support costs. GAO previously reported on Army and Air Force efforts. This report evaluates the Navy and Marine Corps pilot programs. GAO found that the Navy and Marine Corps have begun several efforts to reduce weapon system operating and support costs. For example, they are using an open architecture design method that reduces the cost of component replacement and changes later in system life. In addition, the Navy has other related objectives and initiatives that could significantly reduce operating and support costs. Through these and other initiatives, the Navy and Marine Corps have reported progress in reducing operating and support cost in its pilot programs."
Date: May 22, 2001
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Use of Legislative Incentive for Performance-Based Contracting Unknown

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Defense (DOD) spent about $93 billion in fiscal year 2002 to acquire various types of services, such as base operations, logistical support, and information technology. To achieve greater cost savings and better outcomes when agencies acquire these and other services, Congress and the executive branch have encouraged greater use of performance-based contracting. Performance-based contracts specify the desired outcomes and allow the contractors to determine how best to achieve those outcomes, rather than prescribe the methods contractors should use. In October 2000, Congress sought to provide an incentive for the use of performance-based contracts through legislation giving DOD temporary authority to treat certain performance-based service contracts as contracts for commercial items. Contracts for commercial items may be awarded using streamlined procedures under Part 12 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). This authority is scheduled to expire in October 2003. As required by the October 2000 legislation, we reviewed DOD's implementation of the temporary authority, including the interim and final implementing regulations, public comments on the interim regulation, and other DOD documents. We also discussed with DOD officials the extent to which the authority had been used. We conducted our review from September 2002 through February 2003 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards."
Date: May 22, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Tactical Aircraft: DOD's Cancellation of the Joint Strike Fighter Alternate Engine Program Was Not Based on a Comprehensive Analysis

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Defense (DOD) expects to purchase about 2,400 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) aircraft, with potential international sales of 2,000 to 3,500 aircraft. When the number of aircraft engines and spare parts expected to be purchased is considered--along with the lifetime support needed to sustain the engines--the future financial investment will be significant. DOD implemented the JSF alternate engine development program in 1996 to provide competition between two engine manufacturers in an effort to achieve cost savings, improve performance, and gain other benefits. Since then, DOD has invested $1.2 billion in the alternate engine program, and, in August 2005, it awarded a $2.4 billion contract for system development and demonstration of an alternate engine. However, in its fiscal year 2007 budget submission, DOD proposed canceling the alternate engine program. Concerned whether this decision was based on sound analysis, Congress asked us to review DOD's rationale for canceling the program and the analysis supporting it, including the life cycle savings, benefits, and risks assessed."
Date: May 22, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Homeland Defense: Actions Needed to Address Management of Air Sovereignty Alert Operations to Protect U.S. Airspace

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "This testimony discusses GAO's recently issued report on the North American Aerospace Defense Command's (NORAD) and the Department of Defense's (DOD) air sovereignty alert (ASA) operations. According to the National Strategy for Aviation Security, issued in March 2007, and officials from U.S. intelligence agencies with whom we met, air attacks are still a threat to the United States and its people. To address this threat, NORAD and DOD have fully fueled, fully armed aircraft and trained personnel on alert 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, at 18 ASA sites across the United States. Of the 18 sites, 16 are maintained by Air National Guard (ANG) units and 2 are maintained by active duty Air Force units. If warranted, NORAD can increase personnel, aircraft, and the number of ASA sites based on changes in threat conditions. The Air Force provides NORAD with personnel and equipment, including F-15 and F-16 aircraft, for these operations. ASA units are tasked to conduct and train for both expeditionary missions (e.g., military operations in Iraq) and ASA operations. This testimony will discuss whether (1) NORAD routinely conducts risk assessments to determine the appropriate operational requirements; (2) the Air Force has implemented ASA operations as a steady-state mission, which would require programming funding and measuring readiness, in accordance with NORAD, DOD, and Air Force guidance; and (3) the Air Force has developed a plan to address the recapitalization challenges to sustaining ASA operations for the future."
Date: April 22, 2009
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense Logistics: The Army Needs to Implement an Effective Management and Oversight Plan for the Equipment Maintenance Contract in Kuwait

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Defense (DOD) relies on contractors to perform many of the functions needed to support troops in deployed locations. For example, at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait the Army uses contractors to provide logistics support for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Contractors at Camp Arifjan refurbish and repair a variety of military vehicles such as the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, armored personnel carriers, and the High-Mobility, Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV). However, while contractors provide valuable support to deployed forces, we have frequently reported that long-standing DOD contract management and oversight problems increase the opportunity for waste and make it more difficult for DOD to ensure that contractors are meeting contract requirements efficiently, effectively, and at a reasonable price. This report discusses information about Task Order 1 that we developed during our review. Our objectives were to (1) evaluate the contractor's performance of maintenance and supply services under Task Order 1, (2) determine the extent to which the Army's quality assurance and contract management activities implement key principles of quality assurance and contract management regulations and guidance, and (3) determine the extent to which the Army is adequately staffed to perform oversight activities."
Date: January 22, 2008
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense Acquisitions: Analysis of Costs for the Joint Strike Fighter Engine Program

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) is the linchpin of future Department of Defense (DOD) tactical aircraft modernization efforts because of the sheer size of the program and its envisioned role as the replacement for hundreds of aircraft that perform a wide variety of missions in the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps. DOD implemented the JSF alternate engine development program in 1996 to provide competition between two engine manufacturers in an effort to achieve cost savings, improve performance, and gain other benefits. This testimony focuses on GAO's cost analysis performed in response to Section 211 of the John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007. We examined the following areas: (1) sole-source and competitive scenarios for development, production, and sustainment of the JSF engine, (2) results of past engine programs and their related strategies, and (3) impact on the industrial base in the event of the complete cancellation of the JSF alternate engine program. DOD did not provide comments on our findings."
Date: March 22, 2007
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Operation Iraqi Freedom: DOD Should Apply Lessons Learned Concerning the Need for Security over Conventional Munitions Storage Sites to Future Operations Planning

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "GAO is releasing a report today on lessons learned concerning the need for security over conventional munitions storage sites which provides the basis for this testimony. Following the invasion of Iraq in March 2003--known as Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)--concerns were raised about how the Department of Defense (DOD) secured Iraqi conventional munitions storage sites during and after major combat operations. This testimony addresses (1) the security provided by U.S. forces over Iraqi conventional munitions storage sites and (2) DOD actions to mitigate risks associated with an adversary's conventional munitions storage sites for future operations on the basis of OIF lessons learned. To address these objectives, GAO reviewed OIF war plans, joint doctrine and policy, intelligence reports, and interviewed senior-level DOD officials."
Date: March 22, 2007
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

VA and DOD Health Care: Factors Contributing to Reduced Pharmacy Costs and Continuing Challenges

Description: Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Defense (DOD) pharmacy expenditures have risen significantly, reflecting national trends. The increase in pharmacy costs would have been even greater if not for the efforts taken by VA and DOD. GAO identified four important factors that have contributed to reduced pharmacy spending by VA and DOD. First, the two departments have used formularies to encourage the substitution of a lower-cost drug that is determined to be just as effective as a higher-cost drug. Second, VA and DOD have been able to effectively employ different arrangements to pay for or purchase prescription drugs at substantial discounts. Third, VA has significantly reduced the cost of dispensing prescription refills by using highly automated and less expensive consolidated mail outpatient pharmacy (CMOP) centers to handle a majority of the pharmacy workload instead of VA hospital and clinic pharmacies. Fourth, VA and DOD have reduced costs by leveraging their combined purchasing power by jointly buying prescription drugs. Nevertheless, one of the most important challenges is the joint procurement of brand name drugs. Although brand name drugs account for the bulk of prescription drug expenditures, most of VA/DOD joint contracts have been for generic drugs. Generic drugs are easier to contract for because these products are already known to be chemically and therapeutically alike. Contracting for brand name drugs is more difficult because of the scientific reviews needed to gain clinical agreement on therapeutic equivalence of competing drugs. Joint purchasing of brand name drugs is also more difficult due to the significant differences between the VA and DOD health care systems in patient populations; national formularies; and prescribing patterns of providers, some of whom are private physicians."
Date: July 22, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense Health Care: Opportunities to Reduce TRICARE Claims Processing and Other Costs

Description: Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed opportunities to reduce claims processing and other costs of the Department of Defense's (DOD) managed health care program--TRICARE, focusing on: (1) the cost of processing TRICARE claims; (2) opportunities that potentially can reduce costs and improve service to beneficiaries, namely increased anti-fraud efforts and more joint procurement of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA); and (3) the process beneficiaries use to make medical appointments."
Date: June 22, 2000
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Pilot Project to Expand Merchandise Sold in Commissary Stores Will Likely Have a Negligible Impact on the Exchange Dividend

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Defense (DOD) has three military exchanges--the Army and Air Force Exchange Service, the Navy Exchange, and the Marine Corps Exchange--that operate retail and other specialty stores. During fiscal years 2000 through 2004, the three exchanges provided more than $300 million annually, an average of 55 to 70 percent of their profits, in the form of a dividend to support the military services' morale, welfare, and recreation programs. DOD, through the Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA), also operates commissaries that sell groceries and authorized household products at the lowest practical price, charging patrons only for the cost of goods sold plus a 5 percent surcharge. The funds generated by the surcharge are used to construct new and modernize existing commissaries. The Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005 authorized the Secretary of Defense to conduct a pilot project involving the sale of film, one-time use cameras, and telephone cards in not less than 10 commissary stores for a period selected by the Secretary, but not less than 6 months. Previously, these items had only been sold by the exchanges. Concerns were expressed by some associated with the exchanges that allowing the commissary stores to sell these items could adversely affect the exchange dividend, which could reduce the funding for the military services' morale, welfare, and recreation programs. The legislation also included a requirement that we examine that issue. In response to the 2005 act, we determined (1) the status of the pilot project to sell film, one-time use cameras, and telephone cards in select commissaries; and (2) the potential impact that the pilot project could have on the exchange dividend."
Date: December 22, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department