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entitled 'Department of State's Counternarcotics Performance 
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GAO-11-564R: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 
Washington, DC 20548: 

May 26, 2011: 

The Honorable Claire McCaskill: 
Chairman: 
Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight: 
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs: 
United States Senate: 

Dear Madam Chairman: 

Subject: Department of State's Counternarcotics Performance Management 
System: 

Our recent reviews of U.S counternarcotics programs in Mexico and 
Afghanistan highlighted the need to improve the programs' performance 
measures to track progress.[Footnote 1] The Department of State 
(State) received over $1 billion in its fiscal year 2010 appropriation 
for international counternarcotics assistance programs. The vast 
majority of this funding--about 90 percent in fiscal year 2010--
supports counternarcotics programs in five countries--Mexico, 
Afghanistan, Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia. State's Bureau of 
International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) is primarily 
responsible for implementing U.S. assistance programs involving 
eradication of illicit crops, interdiction of drug trafficking, and 
drug demand reduction, which represented about 85 percent of State's 
counternarcotics appropriation in fiscal year 2010.[Footnote 2] INL 
implements a large share of its funding through contractors, primarily 
for aviation support for eradication and interdiction efforts. 

You asked us to review State's performance measures for its 
counternarcotics programs. On March 10, 2011, we briefed your staff on 
our preliminary findings in which we described State's performance 
management system, including State's standard indicators for measuring 
the performance of counternarcotics assistance in recipient countries 
and requirements for posts to develop project-specific performance 
measures. Following the briefing, in subsequent correspondence with 
your office, we agreed to provide to you the information presented in 
the briefing, updated with additional material, that describes (1) how 
State measures the performance of its international counternarcotics 
assistance efforts, and (2) the nature of its counternarcotics 
contracts and whether these contracts are linked to State's 
performance management system. This report provides a summary of the 
observations conveyed at this briefing and updated briefing slides as 
an enclosure. 

To conduct this work, we reviewed relevant State and Office of 
National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) documents related to guidelines 
on performance measurement and analyzed State's appropriations for 
counternarcotics programs reported in State's annual Congressional 
Budget Justification document.[Footnote 3] We also interviewed INL and 
ONDCP officials regarding performance indicators for State's 
counternarcotics activities. In addition, we analyzed State's 
counternarcotics contracting data and discussed State's use and 
oversight of counternarcotics contracts with INL officials. To assess 
the reliability of the contracting data, we compared State-provided 
contract obligations in fiscal year 2009 for selected countries with 
information in the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS). We found 
State's data on contracting and funding to be sufficiently reliable 
for the purposes of describing various types of State's 
counternarcotics contracts and the level of State's counternarcotics 
funding for recipient countries. 

We conducted this work from November 2010 to May 2011, in accordance 
with all sections of GAO's Quality Assurance Framework that are 
relevant to our objectives. The framework requires that we plan and 
perform the engagement to obtain sufficient and appropriate evidence 
to meet our stated objectives and to discuss any limitations in our 
work. We believe that the information and data obtained, and the 
analysis conducted, provide a reasonable basis for any findings and 
conclusions in this product. 

Summary: 

State measures the performance of its counternarcotics activities 
based on information provided by the Narcotic Affairs Sections (NAS) 
at overseas posts on both high-level indicators and project-level 
indicators. State currently has nine standard indicators for its 
eradication, interdiction, and drug demand reduction programs, which 
overseas posts report on, if applicable, to the Office of the Director 
of U.S. Foreign Assistance in annual Performance Plans and Reports. 
[Footnote 4] These reports include targets and results, and form the 
basis for State's annual reporting of results to ONDCP.[Footnote 5] In 
addition to these standard indicators, INL requires posts to develop 
project-specific performance measures and include them in letters of 
agreement (LOA) with recipient countries. According to State 
officials, INL is developing new guidelines for monitoring and 
evaluation, which would require posts to develop a performance 
management plan that defines each project's performance measures and 
establishes an approach for periodic monitoring.[Footnote 6] INL also 
reports results of its counternarcotics efforts for each country in 
its annual International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR), 
although this report does not necessarily identify performance targets 
in its country narratives. 

According to INL officials responsible for contract management, INL 
generally does not link the performance of individual contracts to its 
overall program performance assessments, in part because performance 
measures in contracts relate specifically to fulfillment of contract 
requirements rather than broad program goals. For example, performance 
measures in the aviation equipment and support contracts define 
targets for availability of aircraft and the number of flights to be 
conducted, not drug interdiction or eradication targets. In addition 
to aviation equipment and support, which constitute the bulk of 
contract obligations related to counternarcotics efforts, other INL 
counternarcotics contract activities include meal services and lodging 
for counternarcotics personnel, and commodities, such as fuel and 
vehicles. According to INL officials, State does not have a 
centralized inventory of counternarcotics contracts. Instead, contract 
data at State are disaggregated between the Narcotics Affairs Sections 
at overseas posts and the governmentwide FPDS. An INL official noted 
that INL has begun the process of developing its own database of 
counternarcotics contracts. Overseas posts are generally responsible 
for setting contract requirements and conducting contract oversight of 
counternarcotics activities.[Footnote 7] 

Agency Comments: 

We provided a draft of this report to State, which provided technical 
comments that we incorporated as appropriate. State did not provide 
formal comments. 

Should you or your staff have questions regarding this report, please 
contact me at (202) 512-4268 or fordj@gao.gov. Contact points for our 
Offices of Congressional Relations and Public Affairs may be found on 
the last page of this report. GAO staff that made key contributions to 
this report are listed in enclosure II. 

Sincerely, 

Signed by, 

Jess T. Ford Director, International Affairs and Trade: 

Enclosures (2): 

[End of section] 

Department of State's Counternarcotics Performance Measures: 

May 2011: 

Objectives, Scope, and Methodology: 

Objectives: 

* How does State measure the performance of its counternarcotics 
assistance efforts? 

* To what extent can State identify the nature of its counternarcotics 
contracts and are these contracts linked to State's performance 
management system? 

Scope and Methodology 

* To determine how State measures performance of its counternarcotics 
efforts, we reviewed relevant documents and interviewed officials from 
State and the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) regarding 
standard and project-specific performance indicators. 

* To determine whether State links contracts to its performance 
management system, we interviewed State officials on the use and type 
of counternarcotics contracts, and reviewed State-provided data on 
contract obligations in fiscal year 2009 for selected countries, which 
we compared with information in the Federal Procurement Data System 
(FPDS), a governmentwide contracting database, to verify their 
reliability. 

Background: Recent Relevant GAO Recommendations: 

Afghanistan (GA0-10-291, March 2010): 
* State should develop performance measures and interim targets to 
assess Afghan capacity to independently conduct public information 
activities. 

Mexico (GAO-10-837, July 2010): 
* State should incorporate into the strategy for implementing the Merida
Initiative outcome performance measures that indicate progress toward 
strategic goals.[Footnote 8] 

Transit Countries (GA0-08-784, July 2008): 
* State should report the results of U.S.-funded counternarcotics 
initiatives more comprehensively and consistently for each country in 
the annual International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR). 

Figure 1: Background: Fiscal Year 2010 State Appropriations for 
Counternarcotics (All Accounts): 

[Refer to PDF for image: pie-chart] 

Colombia: $390 million; 
Afghanistan: $281 million; 
Mexico: $249 million; 
Peru: $69 million; 
Bolivia: $39 million; 
All other countries: $97 million; 
Total for all countries $1.044 billion. 

Source: GAO analysis of State data.			 

Note: The chart includes funding from Economic Support Fund and 
Development Assistance accounts, implemented by USAID for alternative 
development programs, but excludes centrally managed accounts and 
Overseas Contingency Operations funding. 

[End of figure] 
	
Figure 2: Background: Fiscal Year 2010 State Appropriations for		
Counternarcotics (INCLE Account): 

[Refer to PDF for image: pie-chart] 
		
Afghanistan: $281 million; 
Mexico: $249 million; 
Colombia: $200 million; 
Peru: $40 million; 
Bolivia: $20 million; 
All other countries: $82 million; 
Total for all countries $872 million. 

Source: GAO analysis of State data. 

Note: The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement 
Affairs (INL) implements counternarcotics programs with International 
Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement (INCLE) funds. The chart 
excludes funding implemented by USAID, centrally managed accounts, and 
Overseas Contingency Operations funding.	 

[End of figure] 

Background: State-Funded Counternarcotics Programs: 

The Foreign Assistance Standardized Program Structure defines four 
counternarcotics program areas: 

* Implemented by State/INL:
1) Eradication of illicit crops; 
2) Interdiction of illicit drugs; 
3) Drug demand reduction. 

* Implemented by U.S. Agency for International Development:
4) Alternative development and alternative livelihoods in the Andean 
region and Afghanistan. 

Objective 1: State's Standard Counternarcotics	Indicators: 

Eradication: 
* Hectares (Ha) of drug crops eradicated in U.S. government (USG)-
assisted areas. 

Interdiction: 
* Kilos of illicit narcotics seized by host government in USG-assisted 
areas.
* Kilos of precursor chemicals seized by host government in USG-
assisted areas[A]. 

Drug demand reduction: 
* Number of drug demand research studies completed with USG assistance; 
* Number of drug prevention programs supported with USG assistance; 
* Number of people reached with drug prevention messages in USG-
assisted areas; 
* Number of people trained as drug treatment counselors with USG 
assistance; 
* Number of new treatment beds created with USG assistance; 
* Number of treatment beds supported with USG assistance. 

Source: State.	 

[A] Precursor chemicals are used to make narcotic drugs and 
psychotropic substances.	 

[End of table] 

Objective 1: State's System for Measuring Performance: 

Narcotics Affairs Sections in overseas posts are primarily responsible 
for assessing performance of counternarcotics efforts in recipient 
countries. 

* Posts report to the Office of the Director of U.S. Foreign 
Assistance on applicable counternarcotics standard indicators in annual
Performance Plans and Reports. 

* Posts may report on counternarcotics-related targets and results in 
annual Mission Strategic and Resource Plans. 

* State requires posts to develop and include performance measures for 
counternarcotics projects in letters of agreement with recipient 
countries. 

* State's annual International Narcotics Control Strategy Report 
includes country narratives reporting results of counternarcotics 
efforts. 

Objective 1: Efforts to Revise Counternarcotics Performance Indicators: 

* ONDCP is developing a new performance reporting system for drug 
control agencies, including State. 

* The Office of the Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance is leading an 
effort to revise the foreign assistance standard performance 
indicators, including counternarcotics indicators. 

* INL is developing new guidelines for monitoring and evaluation. 

 The guidelines would require project-level performance measures and 
a plan for periodic monitoring and evaluation. 

Objective 2: State's Counternarcotics Contracting Activities: 

Majority of fiscal year 2009 funding for State's counternarcotics 
contracts relates to aviation equipment and support. 

* The contractor provides global aviation support in seven countries. 

* Aviation contracts include output performance measures, such as 
number of flights conducted and availability of aircraft. 

* We found in 2007 that INL's oversight of these contracts met State 
and contract-specific requirements and standards (GAO-07-264, February 
2007). 

Other contracting includes meals and lodging for counternarcotics 
personnel, and commodities. 

* Commodities purchased include fuel, vehicles, and office equipment. 

* The performance of commodity contracts is measured by whether a 
commodity was delivered according to contract requirements and 
delivery time frames. 
	
Table 2: State Counternarcotics and Law Enforcement Contract 
Obligations for Selected Countries in Fiscal Year 2009: 

Country: Colombia; 
Fiscal year 2009 contract obligations: $295,380,000. 

Country: Mexico;	
Fiscal year 2009 contract obligations: $18,036,000. 

Country: Bolivia;	
Fiscal year 2009 contract obligations: $11,272,000. 

Country: Peru;	
Fiscal year 2009 contract obligations: $7,920,000. 

Country: Guatemala;	
Fiscal year 2009 contract obligations: $5,399,000. 

Country: Ecuador;	
Fiscal year 2009 contract obligations: $4,341,000. 

Country: Haiti;	
Fiscal year 2009 contract obligations: $130,000. 

Source: GAO analysis of State data provided to the Senate Subcommittee 
on Contracting Oversight, Committee on Homeland Security and 
Governmental Affairs for countries in the Western Hemisphere. 

Note: State gathered these data beginning in February 2011 in response 
to an information request from the Senate Subcommittee on Contracting 
Oversight, Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. 
Data do not include obligations for less than $100,000. The data 
include contract obligations for law enforcement assistance, which 
State did not disaggregate from assistance specifically related to 
counternarcotics assistance. 

[End of table] 

INL generally does not link individual contract performance metrics to 
overall assessments of counternarcotics program outcomes. 

Posts are generally responsible for setting contract requirements and 
conducting contract oversight. 

INL does not have a comprehensive inventory of counternarcotics 
contracts. 

* Data on contracts come from the Federal Procurement Data System and 
posts. 

* INL intends to develop its own database of counternarcotics 
contracts. 

[End of enclosure I] 

Enclosure II: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

GAO Contact: 

Jess T. Ford, Director, International Affairs and Trade, (202) 512-
4268 or fordj@gao.gov: 

Staff Acknowledgments: 

In addition to the individual named above, Juan Gobel, Assistant 
Director; Howard Cott; Teresa Heger; Farhanaz Kermalli; and Adam Vogt 
made key contributions to this report. 

[End of Enclosure II] 

Footnotes: 

[1] See GAO, Merida Initiative: The United States Has Provided 
Counternarcotics and Anticrime Support but Needs Better Performance 
Measures, [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-837] 
(Washington, D.C.: July 21, 2010), and Afghanistan Drug Control: 
Strategy Evolving and Progress Reported, but Interim Performance 
Targets and Evaluation of Justice Reform Efforts Needed, [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-291] (Washington, D.C.: Mar. 9, 
2010). 

[2] INL generally implements its counternarcotics programs with 
funding through the International Narcotics Control and Law 
Enforcement (INCLE) account. The U.S. Agency for International 
Development (USAID) implements most of the remaining State 
counternarcotics appropriation through either the Development 
Assistance account or the Economic Support Fund account for 
alternative development programs in Afghanistan and Andean countries. 

[3] ONDCP is a component of the Executive Office of the President 
established in 1988 to set policies, priorities, and objectives for 
the nation's drug control program. 

[4] Additional standard indicators apply to alternative development 
programs implemented by USAID. According to a cognizant State 
official, the Office of the Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance is 
leading an effort to revise the standard indicators for all foreign 
assistance objectives by the summer of 2011. 

[5] ONDCP Circular: Drug Control Accounting, (May 1, 2007) requires 
drug control program agencies to annually submit to the Director of 
ONDCP a performance summary report, which includes performance 
measures, targets, and results. As of April 2011, ONDCP was in the 
process of developing a new performance reporting system. 

[6] As of April 2011, INL was piloting the use of these guidelines for 
new counternarcotics projects in the Caribbean and in West Africa, 
according to INL officials. 

[7] In 2007, we found that State's oversight of its aviation support 
contracts met State's and contract-specific oversight and management 
requirements. See GAO, State Department: State Has Initiated a More 
Systematic Approach for Managing Its Aviation Fleet, [hyperlink, 
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-07-264] (Washington, D.C.: Feb. 2, 
2007). 

[8] The Merida Initiative provides training and equipment to help 
address the problem of increasing crime and violence in Mexico and	
Central America. 

[End of section] 

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