This is the accessible text file for GAO report number GAO-04-362R 
entitled 'Posthearing Questions Related to the Department of Defense's 
Management of the Chemical Agents and Munitions Destruction Program' 
which was released on January 05, 2004.

This text file was formatted by the U.S. General Accounting Office 
(GAO) to be accessible to users with visual impairments, as part of a 
longer term project to improve GAO products' accessibility. Every 
attempt has been made to maintain the structural and data integrity of 
the original printed product. Accessibility features, such as text 
descriptions of tables, consecutively numbered footnotes placed at the 
end of the file, and the text of agency comment letters, are provided 
but may not exactly duplicate the presentation or format of the printed 
version. The portable document format (PDF) file is an exact electronic 
replica of the printed version. We welcome your feedback. Please E-mail 
your comments regarding the contents or accessibility features of this 
document to

This is a work of the U.S. government and is not subject to copyright 
protection in the United States. It may be reproduced and distributed 
in its entirety without further permission from GAO. Because this work 
may contain copyrighted images or other material, permission from the 
copyright holder may be necessary if you wish to reproduce this 
material separately.

January 5, 2004:

The Honorable Jim Saxton:


Subcommittee on Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities:

Committee on Armed Services:

House of Representatives:

Subject: Posthearing Questions Related to the Department of Defense's 
(DOD) Management of the Chemical Agents and Munitions Destruction 

On October 30, 2003, I testified before your committee at a hearing on 
DOD's Chemical Agents and Munitions Destruction Program.[Footnote 1] 
This letter responds to your request that I provide answers to 
posthearing questions from you and Congressman Mike Rogers. The 
questions and responses follow.

Question from Chairman Jim Saxton:

1. As noted in both Mr. Hinton's and Mr. Wakefield's statements, the 
Assembled Chemical Weapons Assessment (ACWA) program is managed 
separately from the chemical stockpile destruction program, as directed 
by Congress, and maintenance of a separate program contributes to a 
complex program management structure. In his statement Mr. Wakefield 
said that the Department of Defense is looking at further streamlining 
the management of the chemical demilitarization program and now desires 
to consolidate the ACWA program manager under the Army's Chemical 
Materials Agency.

How does the current division of the program structure between the 
Chemical Materials Agency and the Project Manager for the Assembled 
Chemical Weapons Alternative adversely affect the program and how would 
consolidation of these two activities as proposed by Mr. Wakefield 
improve the overall management of the program? What legislative action 
would be required to make such a change?

Our previous work has shown that the division in the program's 
structure between the ACWA program and the chemical stockpile 
destruction program has contributed to ineffective coordination and 
communication, inefficient efforts, and obscured accountability. For 
example, in 2000, we reported that the chemical demilitarization 
program had a complex structure that separates management roles, 
responsibilities, and accountability for achieving program results that 
contributed to ineffective coordination and communication between ACWA 
and the rest of program.[Footnote 2] In 2002, we also reported that 
there were barriers to communicating lessons learned between ACWA and 
the rest of the program, resulting in duplication of efforts.[Footnote 
3] As long as this separation exists between ACWA and the rest of the 
program, the management structure will remain complex and difficult to 

While our previous work has not commented on whether the ACWA program 
should be consolidated with the rest of the program, we believe that 
consolidating these two programs could result in some improvements in 
program management, provided that the consolidated program also 
develops and implements an overarching strategy and implementation 
plan. While consolidation should provide a number of benefits--such as 
simplifying the management structure, reducing duplication of efforts, 
and improving coordination and communication--these benefits will be 
limited if the program does not successfully develop a roadmap for 

Finally, as acknowledged by DOD in its statement to the Committee, 
consolidating the two programs requires amending existing legislation 
mandating independent management of the ACWA program and directing the 
program manager for ACWA to manage the chemical demilitarization 
activities at Blue Grass and Pueblo Depot. For example, the Department 
of Defense Appropriations Act, 2003 (Pub. L. No. 107-248 (2002)), which 
designates the program manager for ACWA to be the manager for Blue 
Grass and Pueblo activities, and earlier ACWA legislation must be 
amended to reflect the program management changes DOD seeks.

Question from Congressman Mike Rogers:

2. To my knowledge, the latest detailed GAO report that was issued 
specifically on Chemical Weapons Stockpile Emergency Preparedness in 
Alabama was issued in July 1996. At that time, the Army had allocated 
$46 million of Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program 
(CSEPP) funding for Alabama. Today that figure has tripled. Are current 
summaries available that assess the current funding and status of CSEPP 
funding in Alabama? Additionally, the 1996 report included the impact 
of federal, state, and local management on Alabama's program. Have 
those findings changed significantly in 7 years, and if so, how?

The amount of funding provided from the Army to the Federal Emergency 
Management Agency (FEMA) for enhancing emergency preparedness for the 
communities surrounding the stockpile at Anniston, Alabama has grown 
substantially since the $46 million cited in our 1996 report[Footnote 
4]. In 2001, we reported the total amount of funding provided to the 
state of Alabama had increased to about $108 million--an increase of 
about $62 million from 1996.[Footnote 5] However, Alabama was still 
lacking five critical items (overpressurization, tone alert radios, 
coordinated plans, CSEPP staffing, and shelter in place kits) that 
would require additional funding. According to FEMA officials, about 
another $74 million will have been directly provided to Alabama by the 
end of fiscal year 2003--for a total of about $182 million for fiscal 
years 1989-2003.

In addition to the funding provided directly to Alabama, FEMA has 
provided funding for federally managed contracts on behalf of Alabama 
and to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for collective protection 
constuction projects in Alabama. According to FEMA, it has provided 
$63.6 million during fiscal years 1989-2003 for this indirect support 
which, when added to the direct funding mentioned above, totals about 
$246 million. This funding support has contributed to improvements in 
the status of community preparedness in Alabama. As of October 2003, 
Alabama was reporting that 7 of its 12 performance benchmarks are in 
compliance, and that the other 5, while not complete, are either on 
track for completion or only have minor problems. However, more funding 
than what is currently planned for Alabama may be needed to fully 
correct these problems. As I mentioned in my statement to the 
Committee, while about $41 million in direct funding is allocated to 
Alabama for fiscal years 2004 and 2005, FEMA identified unfunded 
requirements of about $38 million over the same period.

GAO's work performed since the mid-1990s related to CSEPP managagement 
issues have shown that, at the federal level, the Army and FEMA have 
made significant progress in correcting management weaknesses, although 
there have been setbacks along the way. Since 1996, our work has not 
specifically focused on management issues related to the Anniston site, 
however, information concerning Anniston was included in our body of 
CSEPP work. The following chronicles past GAO work related to 
management issues:

In 1996, we reported that there was a lack of CSEPP progress in Alabama 
because of management weaknesses at the federal level and inadequate 
action by state and local agencies. More specifically, we reported that 
the Army was slow to achieve progress because: (1) management roles and 
responsibilities were fragmented and unclear, (2) planning guidance was 
incomplete and imprecise, (3) budget processes lacked teamwork, and (4) 
financial controls were ineffective. In addition to progress being 
hampered by management weaknesses at the federal level, we reported 
that some state and local actions had contributed to delays in 
implementing a number of critical projects, such as issuing tone radios 
and conducting demographic studies.

In a 1997 follow-up review that assessed the status of CSEPP in all 10 
states, we reported that while the Army and FEMA had acted to improve 
program management, the effectiveness of these actions had been limited 
by differences regarding their respective roles and 
responsibilities.[Footnote 6]

Subsequently, we reported in 2001 that the Army and FEMA had improved 
their joint management of the program by improving working relations 
with each other and more clearly defining roles and responsibilities. 
However, we reported that they had not been as successful in their 
working relations with some states and local communities. With regard 
to Alabama, we reported that unresolved issues remained involving 
overpressurization projects and coordinated plans. These issues 
resulted in gaps in emergency response capabilities and were unresolved 
due to a lack of agreement between the Army, FEMA, and local officials.

Lastly, in 2003, we reported that frequent shifts in program leadership 
had contributed to confusion among participants in program areas, 
including CSEPP, contributing to delays in Alabama.[Footnote 7] 
Moreover, we also reported that the Army and some key Alabama 
stakeholders were not able to satisfactorily resolve issues such as the 
adequacy of protection plans [overpressurization projects] prior to the 
planned agent operations start date at Anniston, delaying operations 
many months. FEMA officials are now confident that most of the past 
issues related to Alabama are largely resolved and that working 
relations between the Army, FEMA, and the states have improved.

In responding to these questions, we relied primarily on our past work. 
For additional information on our work on DOD's chemical 
demilitarization program,

please contact me on (202) 512-4300 or Ray Decker, who directed this 
work, on (202) 512-6020.


Henry L. Hinton, Jr.

Managing Director,

Defense Capabilities and Management:

Signed by Henry L. Hinton, Jr.: 



[1] U.S. General Accounting Office, Chemical Weapons: Better Management 
Tools Needed to Guide DOD's Stockpile Destruction Program, GAO-04-221T 
(Washington, D.C.: October 30, 2003).

[2] U.S. General Accounting Office, Chemical Weapons Disposal: 
Improvements Needed in Program Accountability and Financial Management, 
GAO/NSIAD-00-80 (Washington, D.C.: May 8, 2000).

[3] U.S. General Accounting Office, Chemical Weapons: Lessons Learned 
Program Generally Effective but Could Be Improved and Expanded, GAO-02-
890 (Washington, D.C.: September 10, 2002).

[4] U.S. General Accounting Office, Chemical Weapons Stockpile: 
Emergency Preparedness in Alabama Is Hampered by Management Weaknesses, 
GAO/NSIAD-96-150 (Washington, D.C.: July 23, 1996).

[5] The $108 million reflects funding for fiscal years 1989 through 
2000. See U.S. General Accounting Office, Chemical Weapons: FEMA and 
Army Must Be Proactive in Preparing States for Emergencies, GAO-01-850 
(Washington, D.C.: Aug. 13, 2001).

[6] U.S. General Accounting Office, Chemical Weapons Stockpile: Changes 
Needed in the Management of the Emergency Preparedness Program, GAO/
NSIAD-97-91 (Washington, D.C.: June 11, 1997).

[7] U.S. General Accounting Office, Chemical Weapons: Sustained 
Leadership, Along with Key Strategic Management Tools, Is Needed to 
Guide DOD's Destruction Program, GAO-03-1031 (Washington, D.C.: Sept. 
5, 2003).