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entitled 'Coast Guard: Station Spending Requirements Met, but Better 
Processes Needed to Track Designated Funds' which was released on May 
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Report to the Subcommittees on Homeland Security, Senate and House 
Committees on Appropriations:

United States General Accounting Office:

GAO:

May 2004:

Coast Guard: 

Station Spending Requirements Met, but Better Processes Needed to Track 
Designated Funds:

GAO-04-704:

GAO Highlights:

Highlights of GAO-04-704, a report to the Subcommittees on Homeland 
Security, Senate and House Committees on Appropriations 

Why GAO Did This Study:

The Coast Guard conducts homeland security and search and rescue 
operations from nearly 200 shoreside stations along the nation’s coasts 
and waterways. After several rescue mishaps that resulted in the deaths 
of civilians and station personnel, Congress recognized a need to 
improve performance at stations and appropriated additional funds to 
increase stations’ readiness levels. For fiscal year 2003, the Coast 
Guard received designated funds of $15.7 million specifically to 
increase spending for stations’ staffing, personal protection equipment 
(such as life vests and cold weather protection suits), personnel 
retention, and training needs. Congress directed GAO to determine if 
the Coast Guard’s fiscal year 2003 outlays for stations increased by 
this amount over fiscal year 2002 expenditure levels. GAO also assessed 
the adequacy of the processes used by the Coast Guard to account for 
the expenditure of designated funds.

What GAO Found:

According to our analyses of available data, and anecdotal and other 
information, it appears that the Coast Guard spent at least $15.7 
million more to improve readiness at its multimission stations in 
fiscal year 2003 than it did the previous year. However, this statement 
cannot be made with certainty, because the Coast Guard’s databases do 
not fully identify expenditures at the station level. GAO worked with 
the Coast Guard to develop expenditure estimates for the stations, 
using budget plans and available expenditure data, and this effort 
produced full or partial estimates for three of the four categories—
staffing, personal protection equipment, and personnel retention 
efforts. For these three categories, fiscal year 2003 expenditure 
estimates were at least $20.5 million more than the previous year, or 
about $4.8 million more than the $15.7 million designated 
appropriation. Although estimates could not be developed for training 
expenditures, other available information indicates that training 
levels increased in fiscal year 2003. Taken together, these results 
suggest that the Coast Guard complied with Congress’ direction to 
increase spending for stations by $15.7 million.

Federal management guidelines and internal control standards call for 
greater accountability for designated—earmarked—appropriations than was 
provided by the processes the Coast Guard had in place to track these 
funds. The purpose of an earmark is to ensure agencies spend a certain 
amount of their appropriated funds for a specific purpose. Guidelines 
and standards indicate that agencies should account for the obligation 
and expenditure of earmarked appropriations—a step the Coast Guard 
thoroughly implemented only for personal protection equipment. Coast 
Guard officials developed a plan showing how they planned to spend the 
earmark, but such a plan, while useful as an indication of an agency’s 
intentions, is not sufficient to show that the earmark was expended in 
accordance with congressional direction.

Coast Guard Response Boat and a Multimission Station: 

[See PDF for image]

[End of figure]

What GAO Recommends:

To provide greater assurance that appropriated funds are spent as 
Congress directs, GAO recommends that the Coast Guard develop processes 
to accurately and completely account for the obligation and expenditure 
of designated appropriations. The Coast Guard agreed with the need for 
such processes and said it would examine ways to implement them.

www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-04-704.

To view the full product, including the scope and methodology, click on 
the link above. For more information, contact Margaret Wrightson at 
(415) 904-2200 or wrightsonm@gao.gov.

[End of section]

Contents:

Letter:

Results in Brief:

Background:

Expenditures for Stations Cannot Be Fully Determined, but Estimates 
Appear to Exceed the Required Increase:

Better Accountability of Expenditures Is Needed to Ensure That Earmarks 
Are Appropriately Spent:

Conclusions:

Recommendation for Executive Action:

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation:

Appendix I: Scope and Methodology:

Appendix II: Estimated Costs and Fiscal Year Differences for Stations 
by Earmark Category:

Fiscal Year 2003 Station Estimated Expenditures by Category:

Increases in Levels of Effort from Fiscal Year 2002 to Fiscal Year 2003 
Indicate Earmark Compliance:

Appendix III: GAO Contacts and Staff Acknowledgments:

GAO Contacts:

Staff Acknowledgments:

Tables:

Table 1: Comparison of Levels of Effort at Stations, Fiscal Years 2002 
and 2003:

Table 2: Cost of Basic and Cold Weather PPE Used by Station Personnel:

Table 3: Examples of Indirect Retention Efforts by Stations in Fiscal 
Year 2003:

Table 4: Comparison of Number and Cost of Active Duty Personnel 
Assigned to Stations, Fiscal Years 2002 and 2003:

Figures:

Figure 1: Station Crew Member Wearing Cold Weather PPE:

Abbreviations:

DHS: Department of Homeland Security: 
OIG: Office of Inspector General, Department of Transportation:
PPE: Personal Protection Equipment:

United States General Accounting Office:

Washington, DC 20548:

May 28, 2004:

The Honorable Thad Cochran: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Robert C. Byrd: 
Ranking Minority Member: 
Subcommittee on Homeland Security: 
Committee on Appropriations: 
United States Senate:

The Honorable Harold Rogers: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Martin Olav Sabo: 
Ranking Minority Member: 
Subcommittee on Homeland Security: 
Committee on Appropriations: 
House of Representatives:

The nearly 200 Coast Guard multimission stations that dot the nation's 
coastline and interior waterways play an important role in two main 
Coast Guard missions--finding and rescuing mariners in danger on the 
water and protecting the nation's coastline as part of the overall 
homeland security effort. In 2001, a review conducted after a series of 
search and rescue mishaps found that readiness at these stations was 
decreasing.[Footnote 1] In response, Congress began a multiyear funding 
effort designed to increase staffing, training, and equipment levels at 
the stations. As part of this effort, Congress provided a $15.7 million 
earmark[Footnote 2] in the Coast Guard's fiscal year 2003 appropriation 
specifically to support multimission station operations. In doing so, 
Congress also directed us to review Coast Guard expenditures to 
determine if fiscal year 2003 outlays (levels of effort) for stations 
had increased compared with fiscal year 2002 levels by this 
amount.[Footnote 3] This report discusses the results of our analysis 
of Coast Guard spending in four categories of station activity--
staffing,[Footnote 4] personal protection equipment,[Footnote 5] 
personnel retention efforts, and training. It also provides our 
assessment of the adequacy of the processes used by the Coast Guard to 
account for earmarked expenditures. This report is the first of two 
reviews looking at multimission station operations. The second, which 
focuses on station readiness issues, will be issued in the summer of 
2004.

Our work is based on an analysis of Coast Guard budget and expenditure 
data, including special data runs prepared by the Coast Guard, surveys 
of field units, and verification of supporting information from a 
selected sample of multimission stations. As discussed below, the 
resulting data were limited in a number of respects. However, we did 
determine that, where available, the data were sufficiently reliable 
for the purpose of providing general estimates of expenditures. 
Appendix I explains in more detail the scope of our work, the 
methodology we used, and the ways in which we went about assessing the 
reliability of the data. We conducted our work from August 2003 to 
April 2004 and did so in accordance with generally accepted government 
auditing standards.

Results in Brief:

Based on our analysis of available quantifiable data--actual and 
estimated--as well as anecdotal and other qualitative information we 
were able to obtain, it appears that the Coast Guard spent at least 
$15.7 million more to improve readiness at its multimission stations in 
fiscal year 2003 than it did the previous year. However, this statement 
cannot be made with certainty, because the Coast Guard's databases do 
not fully identify expenditure data at the station level. Lacking such 
data, we worked with the Coast Guard to develop expenditure estimates 
through the use of budget plans and available estimated and actual 
expenditure information. This effort produced full or partial estimates 
for three of the four categories--staffing, personal protection 
equipment, and personnel retention efforts. A comparison of these 
estimates for fiscal years 2002 and 2003 indicated that the fiscal year 
2003 total was at least $20.5 million more than the total for the 
previous year, or about $4.8 million more than the $15.7 million 
earmark. The Coast Guard was not able to develop estimates for the 
fourth category--training--despite extensive efforts to do so. However, 
available anecdotal information indicates that the amount of training 
provided to station personnel in fiscal year 2003 increased. Taken 
together, these results suggest--but do not clearly demonstrate--that 
the Coast Guard complied with the mandate.

Federal management guidelines and internal control standards call for 
greater accountability for earmarked appropriations than was 
demonstrated by the Coast Guard. These guidelines and standards 
indicate that agencies should account for the obligation and 
expenditure of earmarked appropriations both as a sound accounting 
practice and to demonstrate compliance in the event of an audit. 
Although the Coast Guard had taken steps to account for personal 
protection equipment expenditures, it did not have adequate processes 
in place to account for earmarked funds spent on station staffing and 
training. Coast Guard officials had also developed a plan to show how 
they intended to spend the earmark, but such a plan, while useful as an 
indicator of Coast Guard intentions, is not sufficient to show that the 
earmark was expended in accordance with congressional direction.

We are recommending that the Secretary of the Department of Homeland 
Security direct the Commandant of the Coast Guard to develop, in 
accordance with fiscal year 2004 departmental guidelines, processes to 
accurately and completely account for the obligation and expenditure of 
earmarked appropriations. In commenting on a draft of this report, 
Coast Guard officials generally agreed with this recommendation.

Background:

Multimission stations, formerly referred to as small boat stations, are 
involved in all Coast Guard missions, including search and rescue, 
recreational and commercial fishing vessel safety, marine environmental 
response, and law enforcement activities such as drug and migrant 
interdiction. Search and rescue has traditionally been the stations' 
top priority. However, after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 
2001, the Coast Guard elevated the maritime homeland security mission 
to a level commensurate with the search and rescue mission.

Congress's actions to provide the Coast Guard with an additional $15.7 
million for these stations in fiscal year 2003 was part of a longer-
standing effort to address readiness concerns. In 2001, Congress 
directed the Department of Transportation's Office of Inspector General 
(OIG)[Footnote 6] to conduct a thorough review of the operational 
readiness capability of stations, following a series of accidents 
involving search and rescue efforts initiated at these 
stations.[Footnote 7] The OIG reported that readiness levels at 
stations had been deteriorating for more than 20 years and were 
continuing to decline. In response, Congress provided an earmarked 
appropriation in fiscal year 2002 and directed the Inspector General to 
review the use of the earmarked funds.[Footnote 8] The OIG found that 
the Coast Guard generally complied with the intent of the earmark but 
also concluded that improving operational readiness at stations would 
require a substantial and sustained investment. The OIG also 
recommended that to improve congressional oversight of expenditures, 
the Coast Guard should make improvements to its accounting system to 
allow for the tracking of certain station expenditures.[Footnote 9]

Since the additional funding efforts began, in fiscal year 2002, Coast 
Guard officials told us they have, among other actions, added 
approximately 1,100 personnel[Footnote 10] to stations, increased 
levels of personal protection equipment for station personnel, and 
started to replace old and nonstandard boats with new standard boats. 
In December 2002 the Coast Guard also developed, in response to a 
recommendation from the OIG in its 2001 report[Footnote 11] and at the 
direction of the Senate Appropriations Committee,[Footnote 12] a draft 
strategic plan to guide the recruiting and hiring of personnel. In its 
2002 report, the OIG criticized the plan for being too general in 
nature, specifically regarding how and when the Coast Guard will 
increase staffing, training, equipment, and experience levels at 
stations.

Expenditures for Stations Cannot Be Fully Determined, but Estimates 
Appear to Exceed the Required Increase:

Because the Coast Guard's automated databases are not set up in such a 
way that they can fully identify expenditure data at the station level, 
we were unable to fully determine expenditures for all four categories. 
However, through a combination of data runs and unit surveys performed 
at our request, the Coast Guard was able to estimate staffing and 
personnel retention expenditures, and develop actual expenditure data 
for personal protection equipment (PPE). Within these three categories, 
the Coast Guard estimates it spent at least $291 million in fiscal year 
2003. The information available by category was as follows:

* Staffing: The Coast Guard incurred estimated costs of $277.6 
million[Footnote 13] for 5,474 active duty personnel[Footnote 14] 
assigned to stations during fiscal year 2003.

This figure does not include costs for the 1,657 reserve personnel 
assigned to stations, or an unknown number of auxiliary personnel.

* PPE: Reported expenditures for this category totaled $7.5 
million.[Footnote 15]

* Personnel retention: Expenditure data for all aspects of this 
category are not available. However, in one specific category--
reenlistment bonuses--the Coast Guard expended $5.9 million for bonuses 
to boatswain's mates and machinists assigned to stations.

* Training:[Footnote 16] Coast Guard officials attempted to identify 
estimated costs of training station personnel at national training 
centers during fiscal year 2003 but could not provide reliable data for 
this category. Officials told us the Coast Guard has separate databases 
that track costs incurred by the national training centers, but do not 
have a database that can identify training costs expended on personnel 
after they have been assigned to stations. Further, expenditures 
incurred by stations in providing on-the-job training (a significant 
component of total training provided to station personnel) were not 
available because the Coast Guard, like many agencies, does not track 
time spent on this type of training.

Using fiscal year 2002 data derived through similar analyses, we 
determined that estimated station expenditures for fiscal year 2003 
exceeded fiscal year 2002 levels by at least $20.5 million--or $4.8 
million more than the $15.7 million earmarked appropriation. Table 1 
shows the differences in estimated expenditures (levels of effort) by 
fiscal year for the three categories that had available data.[Footnote 
17] Only partial data were available on personnel retention, and no 
data were available on training expenditures. Although expenditure data 
for all personnel retention efforts were not available, the Coast Guard 
was able to provide annual expenditure data for reenlistment bonuses 
offered to selected multimission station personnel. Other information 
we gathered in discussions with Coast Guard personnel indicates that 
the Coast Guard's levels of effort in station training also increased 
during fiscal year 2003. In fiscal year 2003, the Coast Guard increased 
the number of instructors and classrooms at two national training 
centers, which provide training to station and other personnel, in 
order to increase the number of total students graduated. Appendix I 
describes our methodology for developing these estimates, and appendix 
II contains a more detailed description of the data in each category.

Table 1: Comparison of Levels of Effort at Stations, Fiscal Years 2002 
and 2003:

Dollars in millions.

Staffing; 
Fiscal year 2002 estimated costs: $263.2[A]; 
Fiscal year 2003 estimated costs: $277.6[A]; 
Difference: $14.4.

PPE; 
Fiscal year 2002 estimated costs: $2.5[B]; 
Fiscal year 2003 estimated costs: $7.5[C]; 
Difference: $5.0.

Retention; 
Fiscal year 2002 estimated costs: $4.8[D]; 
Fiscal year 2003 estimated costs: $5.9[D]; 
Difference: $1.1.

Total; 
Fiscal year 2002 estimated costs: $270.5; 
Fiscal year 2003 estimated costs: $291.0; 
Difference: $20.5. 

Source: Coast Guard.

[A] Data based on a personnel cost formula.

[B] Data based on budget estimates.

[C] Data based on survey of PPE expenditures by stations, groups, and 
districts.

[D] Partial data--reflects amount of reenlistment bonus expenditures 
distributed to station boatswain's mates and machinists.

[End of table]

Because complete comparative data could not be identified for all four 
categories, we cannot say with certainty that Coast Guard expenditures 
for multimission stations in fiscal year 2003 were at least $15.7 
million above fiscal year 2002 levels. However, we believe this is a 
reasonable conclusion based on the following:

* Although the staffing data provided to us are based on budget cost 
formulas, we determined that the data are sufficiently reliable for the 
purpose of demonstrating increases in staffing levels between the two 
years.

* Discussions with station officials indicate that station personnel 
have sufficient levels of PPE. In its fiscal year 2002 audit, the OIG 
reported that the Coast Guard did not provide PPE for 69 percent of the 
personnel added to stations during fiscal year 2002. Our visits to a 
limited number of stations--8 out of 188 stations--and discussions with 
station personnel, indicated that all active and reserve personnel 
assigned to these stations--even newly assigned personnel--had received 
what they considered to be an appropriate level of PPE (basic and cold 
weather).[Footnote 18]

* Although available quantitative data were limited for this category, 
over the past few years the Coast Guard has implemented a variety of 
financial incentives aimed at improving personnel retention.

* Training officers at the 8 stations we visited indicated that 
training for station personnel did not decrease in fiscal year 2003 
compared with the prior year. In addition, in fiscal year 2003 the 
Coast Guard increased training resources in two areas--the boatswain's 
mate training school increased its training output by over a third, and 
unit training provided by headquarters to station personnel also 
increased.

Better Accountability of Expenditures Is Needed to Ensure That Earmarks 
Are Appropriately Spent:

The Coast Guard did not have adequate processes in place to 
sufficiently account for the expenditure of the entire $15.7 million 
earmarked fiscal year 2003 appropriation or to provide assurance that 
these earmarked funds were used appropriately, as set forth by federal 
management and internal control guidelines. The purpose of an earmark 
is to direct an agency to spend a certain amount of its appropriated 
funds for a specific purpose. Federal guidelines and government 
internal control standards indicate that agencies should account for 
the obligation and expenditure of earmarked appropriations both as a 
sound accounting practice and to demonstrate compliance in the event of 
an audit. The expectation that agencies will be able to effectively 
demonstrate compliance in their use of earmarked funds stems from the 
following:

* Office of Management and Budget Circulars:[Footnote 19] These 
circulars hold that agencies' management controls should reasonably 
ensure that laws and regulations are followed.

* The Federal Managers' Financial Integrity Act:[Footnote 20] This act 
establishes specific requirements regarding management controls and 
directs agency heads to establish controls to reasonably ensure that 
obligations and costs comply with applicable laws.

* Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government:[Footnote 
21] These standards specify that internal controls should provide 
reasonable assurance that an agency is in compliance with applicable 
laws and regulations. They also direct that internal controls and 
transactions should be clearly documented and the documentation should 
be readily available for examination.

Further, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the parent agency 
for the Coast Guard, recently issued budget execution guidance that 
encourages component agencies to identify the obligation and 
expenditure of earmarked funds separately from other appropriated 
funds.[Footnote 22] (This guidance was issued in fiscal year 2004 after 
the Coast Guard had obligated the fiscal year 2003 earmark.) In 
response to a recommendation made in our recent report on the 
reprogramming of Federal Air Marshal Service funds,[Footnote 23] DHS 
has agreed to make this a requirement.

The Coast Guard told us at the onset of our review that it did not have 
adequate processes in place to collect data with respect to earmarked 
expenditures. Although officials had taken steps to account for PPE 
expenditures (because purchase receipts could be easily 
tracked),[Footnote 24] they did not have adequate processes in place to 
account for earmarked funds spent on staffing and training needs at the 
station level. Consequently, the Coast Guard could not demonstrate 
conclusively that it was complying with the earmark. Basically, the 
Coast Guard's databases were not designed for this purpose and would 
have to be modified to provide actual expenditure data for stations, 
according to Coast Guard officials. On the basis of lessons learned 
from the OIG's audit in fiscal year 2002, which faulted the Coast Guard 
for not having cost accounting systems in place to allow for the 
tracking of certain multimission station expenditures, Coast Guard 
officials developed a plan to show how various allocations would add up 
to $15.7 million if expended. The plan, although useful as an indicator 
of the Coast Guard's intentions, is not sufficient to show that the 
Coast Guard had expended the earmarked appropriation as directed. Coast 
Guard officials also told us that, in response to the OIG's 2002 
recommendation to allow for the tracking of certain station 
expenditures, they are assisting DHS in developing a new enterprise-
wide financial system called "electronically Managing enterprise 
resources for government effectiveness and efficiency" (eMerge2). As 
part of the overall system requirements, the Coast Guard expects that 
eMerge2 will be able to identify, track, and report costs related to 
earmarked appropriations. However, as of April 2004 the system was 
still in design[Footnote 25] and the Coast Guard was unable to provide 
us with system specifications prior to the issuance of this report.

Conclusions:

On the basis of available data and other information, the Coast Guard 
appears to have met the Congress's requirement to spend at least $15.7 
million more on multimission stations in fiscal year 2003 than in 
fiscal year 2002. However, the Coast Guard does not have adequate 
processes in place to track actual expenditures related to earmarks. 
Rather, agency officials could provide only estimates for much of the 
station expenditures. Without the ability to accurately and completely 
account for these expenditures, the Coast Guard cannot assure that it 
complied with the earmark. Moreover, Congress's ability to hold the 
Coast Guard accountable for future earmarks is seriously diminished. In 
light of our recent recommendation to DHS on the need to track 
earmarks--and its subsequent concurrence--we believe the Coast Guard 
should take immediate steps to ensure that future accounting systems 
include the capability to track earmarks.

Recommendation for Executive Action:

To improve the Coast Guard's ability to respond to congressional 
oversight and to provide greater assurance that earmarked funds are 
used appropriately, we recommend that the Secretary of Homeland 
Security direct the Commandant of the Coast Guard to develop, in 
accordance with the fiscal year 2004 departmental guidelines, processes 
to accurately and completely account for the obligation and expenditure 
of earmarked appropriations.

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation:

We requested comments on a draft of this report from the Secretary of 
Homeland Security or his designee. On May 14, 2004, Coast Guard 
officials, including the Chief, Office of Budget and Programs, provided 
us with oral comments, with which the DHS GAO Liaison concurred. Coast 
Guard officials generally agreed with the facts and our recommendation 
to better track earmarked expenditures. We did not review the Coast 
Guard's financial databases to determine if modifications to them would 
be necessary to better track earmarked expenditures (obligations). 
Coast Guard officials, however, expressed concern that developing 
better procedures to track some station expenditures (obligations), 
such as those for staffing or training, will prove challenging and 
could be costly due to the need to significantly modify their financial 
systems. Officials stated that accounts are centrally managed and 
specific expenditures would not be easily tracked at the station level. 
The Coast Guard officials said they plan to explore this issue more 
thoroughly and to examine how organizations with comparable activities 
have overcome similar obstacles to tracking earmarked funds. The 
officials also provided a number of technical clarifications, which we 
incorporated where appropriate.

We will send copies of this report to interested congressional 
committees and subcommittees. We will also make copies available to 
others on request. In addition, the report will be available at no 
charge on GAO's Web site at http://www.gao.gov.

If you or your staffs have any questions about this report or wish to 
discuss the matter further, please contact me at (415) 904-2200 or 
Randall B. Williamson at (206) 287-4860. Additional contacts and key 
contributors to this report are listed in appendix III.

Signed by: 

Margaret T. Wrightson: 
Director, Homeland Security and Justice Issues:

[End of section]

Appendix I: Scope and Methodology:

We used a variety of approaches in our work to determine the amount of 
the general appropriation the Coast Guard expended on multimission 
stations in fiscal year 2003 across the four areas covered by the 
earmark--staffing, personal protection equipment (PPE), personnel 
retention and training--and whether this amount exceeded by $15.7 
million the level of effort expended in fiscal year 2002. Because 
Congress directed that we review the amount of general appropriations 
expended on station readiness needs, we did not review expenditures of 
funds received through supplemental appropriations. We determined at 
the outset of our work that Coast Guard databases did not contain 
information that would allow us to fully report on station expenditures 
for the four earmark categories. To identify available information and 
possible limitations of the information, we worked extensively with 
Coast Guard headquarters officials from the Offices of Budget and 
Programs; Financial Analysis; Boat Forces; Resource Management; 
Workforce Management; Personnel Command; and Workforce Performance, 
Training and Development. We also obtained documentation from 
headquarters, stations, groups, and districts.

After reviewing the reliability of available data and the feasibility 
of Coast Guard officials' proposals for gathering additional data, we 
agreed on a combination of expenditure and allocation data, which would 
be collected through special data runs, analyses, and unit surveys. 
Coast Guard officials provided data for three of the four categories. 
Although officials attempted to develop information on training costs, 
they were not able to produce reliable data. Some of the information we 
needed was obtained not at headquarters but at specific Coast Guard 
sites, which we judgmentally selected according to size, location, and 
type.[Footnote 26]

The specific data and analyses used to develop estimates on each of the 
four categories, were as follows:

* Staffing: To determine the number and cost of personnel assigned to 
multimission stations, we requested Coast Guard personnel expenditure 
data for fiscal years 2002 and 2003, but we were told that expenditure 
data were not available at the station level. To develop estimated 
staffing costs, Coast Guard officials merged information from personnel 
and position databases to identify the number of personnel assigned to 
stations[Footnote 27] and then applied a personnel cost 
formula[Footnote 28] to arrive at total estimated costs. Developing 
estimates was complicated because the fiscal year 2002 data were 
developed from a different database than the fiscal year 2003 data, and 
because the Coast Guard has more personnel assigned to stations than 
actual authorized (or funded) positions, a variance that requires 
periodic adjustment of the databases. However, after discussing these 
factors at length with Coast Guard officials, we determined that the 
data developed by the Coast Guard were sufficiently reliable for the 
purpose of providing estimates of expenditures for fiscal years 2002 
and 2003. The methodology and process for developing the data were 
contributed to by the following Coast Guard offices: Budget and 
Programs, Resource Management, Workforce Management, and Personnel 
Command.

* PPE: To obtain fiscal year 2003 expenditure data for this category, 
we asked the Coast Guard to survey all 188 stations and their oversight 
units. Each station and unit was asked to provide the total amount of 
fiscal year 2003 funds spent on PPE for personnel assigned to the 
station during the year. These totals included expenditures made for 
station personnel at the group and district levels as well. To verify 
the accuracy of these data, we reviewed original expenditure 
documentation for a judgmentally selected sample of 29 
stations.[Footnote 29] On the basis of this documentation, we 
independently quantified PPE expenditures for each station. Our count 
of total PPE purchases at the 29 stations was 9 percent higher than the 
total provided by the Coast Guard (our count was 4 percent less than 
the Coast Guard's after removing expenditures for one outlier station). 
Coast Guard officials attributed the difference to errors made by 
station personnel when compiling the expenditure data. As a result of 
these differences, however, we refer to the total expenditure for 
fiscal year 2003 as an estimate. Because Coast Guard officials 
considered gathering expenditure data for fiscal year 2002 as too labor 
intensive for station personnel, given their current workloads, we used 
the Coast Guard's data on planned PPE expenditures for fiscal year 
2002. After reviewing possible limitations in the PPE data provided, we 
determined that the data provided were sufficiently reliable for the 
purpose of providing estimates of expenditures. The PPE planning data 
were provided to us by the Offices of Boat Forces and Budget and 
Programs.

* Personnel retention: We were not able to determine total retention 
expenditures because the Coast Guard does not specifically track these 
costs, and retention efforts encompass a diverse array of direct and 
indirect activities. We were able to identify certain direct 
activities--selective reenlistment bonus expenditures for multimission 
stations and various financial incentives available to Coast Guard 
personnel--and some indirect incentives. After reviewing how data 
provided by the Personnel Services Center on selective reenlistment 
bonus expenditures were collected and maintained, we determined that 
the data were sufficiently reliable for the purposes of this report. 
The personnel retention expenditure data were provided to us by the 
Office of Budget and Programs.

* Training: The Coast Guard was unable to provide actual or estimated 
expenditure data for training multimission station personnel in fiscal 
years 2002 and 2003. Officials from the Office of Budget and Programs 
and the Office of Workforce Performance, Training, and Development told 
us at the outset of our review that they would not be able to identify 
total training costs because the Coast Guard does not track the amount 
of time station personnel devote to on-the-job training (which accounts 
for a significant amount of total training). Headquarters officials 
attempted to obtain data on the estimated annual costs for training 
station staff at the Coast Guard's national training centers by cross-
referencing data from multiple databases and applying a cost formula. 
However, Coast Guard officials identified a number of serious anomalies 
in the data and concluded the data were too unreliable to be used.

To determine whether the Coast Guard had adequate processes in place to 
account for the expenditure of the $15.7 million earmarked 
appropriation, we interviewed and obtained documentation from stations, 
groups, and districts. We also interviewed and obtained documentation 
from officials in the following headquarters offices: Boat Forces, 
Budget and Programs, and Financial Analysis. Further, we studied the 
Coast Guard's funding plan, which showed how the earmark was intended 
to be spent. We also reviewed federal management guidelines and 
government internal control standards to identify earmark 
accountability requirements that apply to agencies.

[End of section]

Appendix II: Estimated Costs and Fiscal Year Differences for Stations 
by Earmark Category:

The $15.7 million earmark presented to the Coast Guard in its fiscal 
year 2003 appropriation called for funds to be spent across four 
categories of multimission station needs--staffing, PPE, personnel 
retention, and training. In determining the amount of funds spent by 
the Coast Guard in 2003 on station needs and whether this amount 
exceeded the fiscal year 2002 level of effort by $15.7 million, we also 
developed cost information for three of the four categories. Coast 
Guard officials attempted but were unable to develop reliable data on 
the cost of training station personnel during fiscal years 2002 and 
2003. This appendix has two main sections. The first presents 
additional information about estimated station expenditures in the 
areas of staffing, PPE, and personnel retention in fiscal year 2003, 
and the second contains additional information about the changes that 
occurred between fiscal years 2002 and 2003.

Fiscal Year 2003 Station Estimated Expenditures by Category:

Using a combination of estimated and actual expenditure data, we 
determined that estimated fiscal year 2003 costs for staffing, PPE, and 
personnel retention efforts at stations amounted to at least $291 
million.

Staffing:

The Coast Guard could not provide us with the actual amount of fiscal 
year 2003 appropriation funds spent on station staffing because the 
agency's automated databases do not fully identify personnel 
expenditures at the station level.[Footnote 30] However, using a 
combination of budget and personnel data, officials were able to 
estimate that in fiscal year 2003 the Coast Guard incurred costs of 
$277.6 million[Footnote 31] to support 5,474 active duty station 
personnel.[Footnote 32] This estimate does not include costs for the 
1,657 reserve personnel[Footnote 33] assigned to stations in fiscal 
year 2003, nor does it include the costs of volunteer auxiliary 
personnel who assisted in station operations during the year.[Footnote 
34] The Coast Guard did not calculate estimated expenditures for 
reservists because of the complex and labor-intensive nature of the 
analysis.

Personal Protection Equipment:

Coast Guard officials determined that the agency spent approximately 
$7.5 million in fiscal year 2003 on PPE for station personnel. As shown 
in table 2, the cost of a total basic PPE outfit in fiscal year 2003 
was $1,296. The cost of a cold weather PPE outfit, which is used by 
personnel working at stations where the outdoor temperature falls below 
50 degrees Fahrenheit, was $1,431. (Figure 1 shows a station crew 
member in cold weather PPE.) A May 2002 Coast Guard Commandant 
directive emphasized the importance of proper supplies and use of PPE 
as one of the top priorities of Coast Guard management. In this 
directive, the Commandant cited an internal research report that 
attributed 20 percent of the total risk facing boat personnel to 
exposure to extreme weather conditions. The directive also states that 
the use of appropriately maintained PPE could improve Coast Guard's 
operational capability.

Table 2: Cost of Basic and Cold Weather PPE Used by Station Personnel:

Item: Basic PPE: Electronic location device; 
Cost: $285.

Item: Basic PPE: Anti-exposure suit; 
Cost: $232.

Item: Basic PPE: Protective footwear; 
Cost: $139.

Item: Basic PPE: Life vest; 
Cost: $125.

Item: Basic PPE: Rain gear; 
Cost: $120.

Item: Basic PPE: Strobe light; 
Cost: $70.

Item: Basic PPE: Survival vest; 
Cost: $60.

Item: Basic PPE: Helmet; 
Cost: $53.

Item: Basic PPE: Sunglasses; 
Cost: $45.

Item: Basic PPE: Deck shoes; 
Cost: $44.

Item: Basic PPE: Parachute bag; 
Cost: $35.

Item: Basic PPE: Goggles; 
Cost: $27.

Item: Basic PPE: Work gloves; 
Cost: $22.

Item: Basic PPE: Survival knife; 
Cost: $18.

Item: Basic PPE: Personal marker light; 
Cost: $8.

Item: Basic PPE: Signal mirror; 
Cost: $8.

Item: Basic PPE: Whistle; 
Cost: $5.

Item: Basic PPE: Subtotal; 
Cost: $1,296.

Item: Cold weather PPE[A]: Dry suit; 
Cost: $750.

Item: Cold weather PPE[A]: Thermal underwear; 
Cost: $480.

Item: Cold weather PPE[A]: Glove system; 
Cost: $89.

Item: Cold weather PPE[A]: Thermal socks; 
Cost: $35.

Item: Cold weather PPE[A]: Insulated footwear; 
Cost: $31.

Item: Cold weather PPE[A]: Neoprene hood[B]; 
Cost: $28.

Item: Cold weather PPE[A]: Balaclava[C]; 
Cost: $18.

Item: Cold weather PPE[A]: Subtotal; 
Cost: $1,431.

Total; 
Cost: $2,727.

Source: Coast Guard.

[A] According to the Coast Guard, personnel at 135 (72 percent) of the 
188 multimission stations require cold weather PPE in addition to basic 
PPE.

[B] Worn by crewmembers when entering water that is 50 degrees 
Fahrenheit or lower.

[C] Fleece or polypropylene head covering worn by crewmembers when 
additional thermal protection is required.

Note: Costs are for fiscal year 2003.

[End of table]

Figure 1: Station Crew Member Wearing Cold Weather PPE:

[See PDF for image]

[End of figure]

Personnel Retention:

The Coast Guard provided data demonstrating how it promotes personnel 
retention through a variety of direct and indirect incentives. Direct 
incentives include financial benefits that personally benefit the 
individual, while indirect incentives include projects, such as 
facility improvements, that may indirectly contribute to retention by 
increasing staff morale. Coast Guard officials provided expenditure 
data for selected direct incentives provided to station personnel in 
fiscal year 2003 because officials could not quantify the total amount 
of funds expended on direct incentives. Likewise, the total amount 
expended on indirect incentives cannot be readily identified because of 
the numerous and varied nature of the efforts.

Coast Guard's direct financial incentives include selective 
reenlistment bonuses. During fiscal year 2003, the Coast Guard spent 
$5.9 million on 312 selective reenlistment bonuses for station 
personnel--$4.2 million of this went to boatswain's mates while the 
remaining $1.7 million went to machinery technicians. A variety of 
other financial benefit improvements were also recently implemented:

* Between fiscal year 2003 and fiscal year 2004 the Coast Guard 
increased the surfman[Footnote 35] pay premium by 33 percent.

* Since fiscal year 2000 the average portion of housing costs paid by 
personnel has decreased annually, going from 18.3 percent in fiscal 
year 2000 to 3.5 percent in 2004; in 2005 this expense will be reduced 
to zero.

* Since fiscal year 2002 enlisted personnel have been entitled to a 
basic allowance for food. Before fiscal year 2002 they received no 
funds for food purchased outside of a Coast Guard galley (kitchen).

* Since fiscal year 2002 first-term enlisted personnel have received a 
"dislocation allowance" that provides funds for rental deposits and 
other incidentals that may occur when personnel are required to move.

* Since fiscal year 2003 junior personnel have been able to ship 
greater weights of household goods when transferring stations.

* During fiscal year 2004 the death gratuity issued to assist survivors 
of deceased Coast Guard active personnel doubled.[Footnote 36]

Multiple indirect Coast Guard efforts also serve as personnel retention 
tools by improving staff morale. At our request, Coast Guard officials 
asked 29 (15 percent) of the 188 multimission stations to provide data 
on estimated expenditures incurred for projects that indirectly 
contributed to staff retention. For the 24 stations that responded, 
infrastructure and lifestyle improvements totaled over $350,000 in 
fiscal year 2003. Improvements cited by multimission stations include 
such items as new furniture, sports equipment, televisions, satellite 
TV service, and entertainment systems. According to a Coast Guard 
official, the source of funds for these improvements can be station, 
group, or district operating budgets or donations by Coast Guard 
support groups. Table 3 shows examples of some of the projects cited by 
the 24 survey respondents.

Table 3: Examples of Indirect Retention Efforts by Stations in Fiscal 
Year 2003:

Stations[A]: A; 
Improvement: Barbecue grill; 
sports equipment; 
and galley, foyer and barracks furniture; 
Cost: $62,691.

Stations[A]: B; 
Improvement: New barbecue, television and entertainment system, 
learning center computer, furniture; 
Cost: $10,003.

Stations[A]: C; 
Improvement: Fitness center memberships, cable television service, 
carpeting and radio for weight room, common room computer; 
Cost: $6,422.

Stations[A]: D; 
Improvement: Physical fitness equipment; 
Cost: $2,656.

Source: Coast Guard.

[A] Stations are assigned pseudonyms A - D.

[End of table]

Increases in Levels of Effort from Fiscal Year 2002 to Fiscal Year 2003 
Indicate Earmark Compliance:

While we could not determine with certainty the difference in estimated 
expenditures (levels of effort) expended on stations between fiscal 
years 2002 and 2003 because of financial system limitations, the 
information available suggests that the difference amounted to at least 
$20.5 million. The following discusses estimated differences in fiscal 
year 2002 and 2003 staffing, PPE, and personnel retention costs for 
multimission stations.

Staffing:

As shown in Table 4, the Coast Guard increased staffing at multimission 
stations by an estimated 466 personnel (9.3 percent) in fiscal year 
2003. The estimated cost of this staffing increase was $14.4 million 
above the level of effort expended for staffing in fiscal year 2002.

Table 4: Comparison of Number and Cost of Active Duty Personnel 
Assigned to Stations, Fiscal Years 2002 and 2003:

Dollars in millions.

Number of personnel; 
Fiscal year 2002: $5,008; 
Fiscal year 2003: $5,474; 
Difference: $466.

Estimated total cost; 
Fiscal year 2002: $263.2; 
Fiscal year 2003: $277.6; 
Difference: $14.4. 

Source: Coast Guard.

[End of table]

Personal Protection Equipment:

According to the Coast Guard, the agency estimates it spent 
approximately $5 million more for PPE than it planned to spend during 
fiscal year 2002. We used fiscal year 2002 planned allocation data for 
this expenditure comparison because Coast Guard officials considered a 
survey of stations to collect fiscal year 2002 expenditure data--
similar to the survey conducted for the fiscal year 2003 expenditure 
data--too burdensome for station personnel, given their current 
workload.

Coast Guard officials told us that historically the amount of funds 
allocated for station PPE at the beginning of a fiscal year is not 
enough to fund PPE for all station personnel estimated to need it 
during the year. The Coast Guard's method for allocating PPE funds to 
stations uses the number of positions authorized to stations as a 
primary factor in determining the amount of funds allocated to 
individual stations. Because Coast Guard stations have more personnel 
assigned to them than authorized positions, in the past personnel not 
assigned to an authorized position were typically not included in PPE 
allocation calculations. To address this shortfall, the Coast Guard 
initially planned to allocate $3 million of the earmarked funds in 
fiscal year 2003. During 2003 the Coast Guard had added another $2.6 
million of the earmarked funds, bringing the total to $5.6 million.

Personnel Retention:

Reenlistment bonuses issued to boatswain's mates and machinery 
technicians assigned to stations increased by $1.1 million from fiscal 
year 2002 to fiscal year 2003. During fiscal year 2002, the Coast Guard 
issued $4.8 million in bonuses to the two classes of station personnel; 
the amount issued in fiscal year 2003 rose to $5.9 million. 
Expenditures for other, more indirect, forms of retention activities, 
such as station infrastructure improvements, are not tracked annually 
and therefore are not available for comparative purposes.

Training:

The Coast Guard was not able to identify training costs for 
multimission station personnel for fiscal year 2002 or fiscal year 2003 
despite extensive efforts. Officials told us the Coast Guard has 
separate databases in place to track training costs by national 
training center, but it does not have a database that identifies costs 
for station personnel. The Coast Guard conducted several queries from 
available databases but the resulting data were not accurate.[Footnote 
37] The lack of available training cost data precluded us from making a 
comparison of annual expenditure data in this area. However, some 
information indicates that levels of effort expended on training 
station personnel increased in fiscal year 2003. For example, Coast 
Guard's boatswain's mate training school increased its training output 
by over a third in fiscal year 2003.

[End of section]

Appendix III: GAO Contacts and Staff Acknowledgments:

GAO Contacts:

Margaret T. Wrightson (415) 904-2200 
Randall B. Williamson (206) 287-4860:

Staff Acknowledgments:

In addition to those named above, Cathleen A. Berrick, Barbara A. 
Guffy, Dorian R. Dunbar, Ben Atwater, Joel Aldape, Marisela Perez, 
Stan G. Stenersen, Michele C. Fejfar, Casey L. Keplinger, 
Denise M. Fantone, and Shirley A. Jones made key contributions to this 
report.

FOOTNOTES

[1] Office of Inspector General, Department of Transportation, Audit of 
the Small Boat Station Search and Rescue Program, MH-2001-094 
(Washington, D.C.: September 14, 2001) and June 13, 2001, Testimony by 
the Honorable Kenneth M. Mead, Inspector General, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, CC-2001-184.

[2] An earmark refers to funds set aside within an appropriation for a 
specified purpose. In addition to setting aside funds, the earmark 
might also provide spending floors by stating that not less than a 
certain amount must be used for the specified project.

[3] P.L. 108-7, Division 1, Title 1 (Consolidated Appropriation 
Resolution, 2003). The specific language for the appropriation reads as 
follows: "Not less than $15,686,000 shall be used solely to increase 
staffing at search and rescue stations, surf stations and command 
centers; increase the training and experience level of individuals 
serving in said stations through targeted retention efforts; revise 
personnel policies and expand training programs; and to modernize and 
improve the quantity and quality of personal safety equipment, 
including survival suits, for personnel assigned to said stations." The 
specific language for our review reads as follows: "The Comptroller 
General of the United States shall audit and certify to the House and 
Senate Committees on Appropriations that the funding described in the 
preceding proviso is being used solely to supplement and not supplant 
the Coast Guard's level of effort in this area in fiscal year 2002."

[4] Staffing costs include estimated salary, travel, medical, training, 
and administrative expenses.

[5] Coast Guard personnel use personal protection equipment to protect 
against various dangers, such as inclement weather and cold water 
exposure. Personal protection equipment includes items such as life 
vests, helmets, goggles, gloves, cold weather protection suits, thermal 
underwear, and electronic location devices.

[6] The Coast Guard was located within the Department of Transportation 
until it was transferred to the Department of Homeland Security on 
March 1, 2003.

[7] House of Representatives Conference Report 106-940, Department of 
Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2001, (P.L. 
106-346). At the time, the Coast Guard was a Department of 
Transportation agency.

[8] P.L. 107-87, Title I, (Department of Transportation and Related 
Agencies Appropriations Act, 2002).

[9] Office of Inspector General, Department of Transportation, Audit of 
the Use of Fiscal Year 2002 Funds to Improve the Operational Readiness 
of Small Boat Stations and Command Centers, MH-2003-028 (Washington, 
D.C.: March 3, 2003).

[10] This figure reflects the number of active duty personnel assigned 
to stations, rather than the number of authorized positions.

[11] OIG, MH-2001-094, p. iii.

[12] Senate Report 107-38, Senate Committee on Appropriations, in 
report accompanying the Department of Transportation and Related 
Agencies Appropriations Act, 2002 (P. L. 107-87).

[13] This estimate was developed using a personnel cost formula, which 
the Coast Guard uses to budget for future personnel costs. The formula 
produces an average cost per person per pay grade.

[14] This figure does not reflect the Coast Guard's authorized staffing 
level for multimission stations, which is significantly lower (4,589 
positions). At the end of fiscal year 2003, the Coast Guard had 
assigned 885 personnel, or 16.2 percent of total personnel at the 
stations, without placing them in authorized, permanent positions. We 
did not review the impact of this personnel management practice on 
Coast Guard's overall staffing structure. However, because the 
assignment of these personnel to stations is potentially more temporary 
than that of other personnel, there is no assurance that the Coast 
Guard will maintain staffing levels in the future. The Coast Guard, in 
fact, could not assure us that the fiscal year 2003 staffing level of 
5,474 would be maintained at stations. Although the Coast Guard's goal 
is to have a one-to-one match between personnel and positions, it has 
been necessary to assign a greater number of less experienced staff to 
the stations, above authorized staffing levels, to develop required 
numbers of senior staff (Coast Guard officials estimate it takes three 
junior personnel to produce one senior crew member). Officials told us 
the Coast Guard staffs stations above authorized levels in order to (1) 
"grow" junior personnel into more senior positions by providing 
"operational" on-the-job training opportunities, and (2) compensate for 
staff attrition. Many of the less experienced staff will eventually 
leave the agency or be reassigned. According to officials, the Coast 
Guard is adding about 300 additional authorized positions to stations 
in fiscal year 2004, and if staffing levels remain constant, this 
action will reduce the number of personnel assigned without an 
authorized position to approximately 585 personnel. In its 2002 report, 
the OIG questioned this practice and noted that the temporary status of 
such personnel makes it unclear whether they will continue to serve as 
dedicated station resources. The Coast Guard agreed with this 
conclusion. The Coast Guard could not assure us that the staffing level 
of 5,474 personnel would be maintained at stations.

[15] From a statistical perspective, this figure is best presented as 
an estimate due to indications of minor errors in Coast Guard's 
recording of PPE expenditure amounts for fiscal year 2003 (see appendix 
I). 

[16] We focused on training completed by station personnel after they 
were assigned to stations, which did not include basic training (boot 
camp).

[17] Because of data limitations, complete 2-year comparative cost 
estimates are available only for staffing and PPE. Partial cost 
estimates are available for personnel retention activities in the form 
of selected reenlistment bonuses, and no estimated data are available 
on station training costs. 

[18] Station officials told us that many of the auxiliary personnel who 
volunteer at these stations have also received PPE.

[19] Office of Management and Budget Circular No. A-11, Section 150.3, 
and Circular No. A-123.

[20] P.L. 97-255.

[21] U.S. General Accounting Office, Standards for Internal Control in 
the Federal Government, GAO/AIMD-00-21.3.1 (Washington, D.C.: November 
1999).

[22] Department of Homeland Security, Budget Execution Guidance for 
Fiscal Year 2004, p. 8.

[23] In our March 31, 2004, report we recommended that the Secretary of 
Homeland Security require component agencies to separately identify 
obligations and expenditures of earmarked funds, which they must be 
able to report. In response, DHS stated that it agreed with "the 
essence of GAO's suggestions regarding the tracking of earmarked funds 
with special codes and will incorporate this into [the Department's] 
fiscal year 2005 Budget Execution guidance. In addition, [the 
Department is] taking this requirement into consideration in the 
development of new financial management systems." See U.S. General 
Accounting Office, Budget Issues: Reprogramming of Federal Air Marshal 
Service Funds in Fiscal Year 2003, GAO-04-577R (Washington, D.C.: March 
31, 2004).

[24] The Coast Guard did request station personnel to retain receipts 
of PPE expenditures for fiscal year 2003. However, because the data 
were not stored in a centralized location, it required a special data 
call to stations, at our request, to obtain the information.

[25] Officials told us DHS expects to complete the design phase--during 
which the component agencies will finalize their requirements--by the 
end of June 2004. Implementation of the system is scheduled for October 
2004 through 2006. 

[26] We conducted site visits to the following stations: Los Angeles-
Long Beach, San Francisco, Golden Gate, and Vallejo in California; Cape 
Disappointment in Washington; Tillamook Bay in Oregon; New York City in 
New York; and Sandy Hook in New Jersey. We also visited the following 
groups: Los Angeles-Long Beach and San Francisco in California; Astoria 
in Oregon; and Activities New York in New York.

[27] This was necessary because no single Coast Guard database could 
identify (1) where personnel were located (for example, at a station or 
at headquarters), (2) the number of positions funded through general 
appropriations, and (3) the number of new and upgraded station 
positions actually filled. The Coast Guard is pursuing efforts to merge 
its data systems by fiscal year 2005 to allow data regarding location 
of personnel, position, and associated costs to be obtained with one 
query.

[28] The personnel cost formula produces estimates that are an 
aggregate of the average costs incurred by individuals within a pay 
grade. The formula averages each of the costs (salary, travel, medical, 
training, and administrative) necessary to support an individual in a 
position at a specific pay grade. The average cost figure for each pay 
grade includes a range of actual costs that vary depending on 
individuals' length of service, time in grade, etc. 

[29] At the beginning of fiscal year 2003 Coast Guard headquarters 
officials directed all stations to retain receipts of PPE purchases in 
the event of a GAO audit. We requested that each of the 29 stations 
selected submit supporting documentation for all fiscal year 2003 PPE 
purchases (we did not ask for supporting documentation for purchases 
made for these stations by their group or district). Our criteria for 
selecting the 29 stations were based on number of personnel, location 
(for example, cold or warm weather station), and operation hours 
expended per mission. 

[30] No one Coast Guard database can provide data on general 
appropriation amounts spent for personnel assigned to stations.

[31] This figure includes only funds expended from Coast Guard's fiscal 
year 2003 general appropriation; it does not include expenditures from 
other funding sources, such as homeland security appropriations. 
According to Coast Guard officials, fiscal year 2002 general 
appropriations were not available in fiscal year 2003 because Coast 
Guard expends virtually all appropriation funds in the first year. 

[32] This figure reflects the number of personnel assigned to stations; 
as of September 30, 2003, 4,589 positions were authorized for stations.

[33] As of September 30, 2003, reserve personnel at multimission 
stations made up approximately 23 percent of the stations' workforce.

[34] Approximately 36,000 auxiliary personnel Coast Guard-wide 
participate in activities ranging from search and rescue to boating 
safety education. Coast Guard officials could not identify the total 
number of auxiliary personnel who assist at stations because of the 
dynamic and fluid nature of this volunteer group.

[35] A surfman is a coxswain--boat driver--who is qualified to pilot 
boats in heavy weather and high surf conditions.

[36] National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2004 (P.L. 108-
136).

[37] Coast Guard officials told us that their Yorktown Training Center 
(which provides training for boatswain's mates and boat drivers) is 
developing a pilot model that will identify costs for training students 
according to unit, asset, and mission. This model may serve as a 
template for future accounting systems used by training centers at 
Petaluma (which provides administrative support training) and Cape May 
(which provides basic training to new personnel).

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