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entitled 'Military Personnel: Progress Made in Implementing 
Recommendations to Reduce Domestic Violence, but Further Management 
Action Needed' which was released on May 24, 2006. 

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Report to Congressional Committees: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 

GAO: 

May 2006: 

Military Personnel: 

Progress Made in Implementing Recommendations to Reduce Domestic 
Violence, but Further Management Action Needed: 

GAO-06-540: 

GAO Highlights: 

Highlights of GAO-06-540, a report to congressional committees. 

Why GAO Did This Study: 

Due to concerns about domestic violence in the military and its adverse 
effect on mission readiness, Congress required the Department of 
Defense (DOD) to establish a task force to assess the servicesí 
response to domestic violence and recommend improvements. The task 
force issued three reports containing 194 recommendations. The Fiscal 
Year 2004 National Defense Authorization Act required GAO to review 
DODís progress in implementing the recommendations. This report 
discusses (1) DODís ability to report on domestic violence incidents 
and disciplinary actions, (2) the resources DOD has provided to 
implement the recommendations, and (3) DODís specific actions to ensure 
victim confidentiality and the education of commanding officers, senior 
enlisted personnel, and chaplains. GAO also examined whether DOD has 
established an oversight framework to monitor implementation. 

What GAO Found: 

DODís ability to report on domestic violence incidents and disciplinary 
actions taken by commanders is hampered because the systems that the 
department uses to collect domestic violence information do not contain 
complete data. DODís domestic violence database does not capture data 
from all law enforcement systems and, therefore, does not provide a 
complete accounting of reported incidents and actions taken by 
commanders. Notwithstanding the task forceís recommendation to report 
on the number of domestic violence incidents, DOD and the services have 
not developed any plans to address the data limitations, which do not 
allow for visibility over domestic violence incidents. Without complete 
information on reported incidents of domestic violence and the steps 
taken by commanders to address these incidents, DOD will not know the 
size and nature of the problems or be able to assess the effectiveness 
of its actions. 

DOD has provided about $23 million to implement the recommendations and 
has made progress in this regard. Specifically, GAO identified 94 
recommendations of varying potential importance as completed, 60 as 
pending further action, and 40 in which no action had been taken 
because DOD either disagreed with the recommendations or determined 
that they were not applicable to the department. Nonetheless, DOD faces 
challenges in completing the pending recommendations in a timely manner 
because of potential shortages of essential personnel in the office 
overseeing implementation. In addition, DODís method of communicating 
its policy changes resulting from the recommendations has not ensured 
consistent practices and widespread understanding of the policies among 
DOD and the services. 

While DOD is taking steps toward ensuring confidentiality for victims 
and to train its personnel on domestic violence issues, additional 
efforts are needed. To ensure victim confidentiality, DOD issued a 
policy, effective April 22, 2006, allowing victims to report domestic 
violence to specified people without notifying command. In addition, 
DOD issued guidance requiring training and is providing several 
educational options. However, data regarding which chaplains have 
completed training are not available because the department and the 
services do not track this training. Chaplains play a special role in 
assisting domestic violence victims and, without complete training 
data, DOD may be unable to determine if chaplains have been provided 
the needed resources to assist victims. 

DOD has not established an oversight framework to monitor compliance 
with and evaluate implementation of the task force recommendations. 
While the task force recommended and DODís draft domestic violence 
instruction requires monitoring and evaluation of domestic violence 
efforts, DOD has not established a process to do so. Without an overall 
management framework, DOD and Congress have limited visibility and 
oversight to evaluate DODís implementation efforts and make needed 
improvements. 

What GAO Recommends: 

GAO recommends that DOD take actions to address domestic violence data 
deficiencies, provide adequate personnel and a strategy for 
communicating its policy changes, maintain chaplain training data, and 
establish an oversight framework. DOD agreed with the thrust of our 
recommendations, with the exception of one that dealt with policy that 
DOD stated involved privacy concerns. 

[Hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-06-540]. 

[End of Section] 

Contents: 

Letter: 

Results in Brief: 

Background: 

DOD's Ability to Report on Domestic Violence Incidents and Commander 
Actions Is Hampered by Incomplete Data: 

Resources Provided and Progress Made, but Challenges Exist to 
Implementing the Remaining Task Force Recommendations: 

Steps Taken to Ensure Confidentiality and Provide Domestic Violence 
Training, but Additional Efforts Needed: 

DOD Has Not Established an Oversight Framework to Monitor Compliance 
and Evaluate Implementation of Recommendations: 

Conclusions: 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

Appendix I: Scope and Methodology: 

Appendix II: Resources Provided to Implement Task Force 
Recommendations: 

Appendix III: 194 Defense Task Force on Domestic Violence 
Recommendations: 

Appendix IV: DOD's Directive-Type Memoranda and Policy Implementing the 
Task Force Recommendations: 

Appendix V: Comments from the Department of Defense: 

Appendix VI: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

Tables: 

Table 1: Installations Visited During the Review: 

Table 2: Resources and Projects to Implement Task Force 
Recommendations: 

Table 3: Community Collaboration Recommendations: 

Table 4: Education and Training Recommendations: 

Table 5: Offender Accountability Recommendations: 

Table 6: Victim Safety Recommendations: 

Table 7: Other Recommendations: 

Table 8: DOD's Memoranda Implementing Task Force Recommendations: 

Figure: 

Figure 1: Defense Task Force on Domestic Violence Recommendations by 
Themes and Implementation Status: 

Abbreviations: 

DOD: Department of Defense: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 

Washington, DC 20548: 

May 24, 2006: 

The Honorable John Warner: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Carl Levin: 
Ranking Minority Member: 
Committee on Armed Services: 
United States Senate: 

The Honorable Duncan L. Hunter: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Ike Skeleton: 
Ranking Minority Member: 
Committee on Armed Services: 
House of Representatives: 

Congress and the Department of Defense (DOD) have expressed concerns 
about domestic violence in the military and its adverse effect on unit 
morale and mission readiness. DOD defines domestic violence as "[a]n 
offense under the United States Code, the Uniform Code of Military 
Justice, or State law that involves the use, attempted use, or 
threatened use of force or violence against a person of the opposite 
sex, or a violation of a lawful order issued for the protection of a 
person of the opposite sex, who is (a) a current or former spouse; (b) 
a person with whom the abuser shares a child in common; or (c) a 
current or former intimate partner with whom the abuser shares or has 
shared a common domicile." Further, to separate criminal from 
noncriminal incidents, DOD's definition of domestic abuse encompasses 
(1) domestic violence as defined above, or (2) a pattern of behavior 
resulting in emotional/psychological abuse, economic control, and/or 
interference with personal liberty that is directed toward a person of 
the opposite sex who meets the same criteria as defined for domestic 
violence.[Footnote 1] Serious adverse consequences for servicemembers 
who commit acts of domestic violence can range from nonjudicial 
punishments that could remove a servicemember from normal duties to 
criminal sanctions that could result in imprisonment. 

Following a number of reported high-profile domestic violence cases 
involving soldiers who killed their spouses, Congress required DOD to 
take several actions to address concerns about domestic violence in the 
military. Specifically, the National Defense Authorization Act for 
Fiscal Year 2000 required DOD to, among other things, (1) establish a 
central database of information on domestic violence incidents reported 
to a commander, military law enforcement, or officials responsible for 
clinical treatment or support services and the action(s) taken by the 
commanding officers when disciplinary measures were required, and to 
report this information to the administrator of the database annually; 
and (2) establish a Defense Task Force on Domestic Violence to assess 
the military's response to domestic violence and make recommendations 
for improvement.[Footnote 2] The task force issued three reports over 
the next 3 years, which collectively contained almost 200 
recommendations. To highlight its concerns, the task force stated in 
its first report that domestic violence is an offense against the 
institutional values of the military services of the United States that 
degrades the overall readiness of our armed forces. 

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004[Footnote 3] 
required us to review DOD's progress in implementing the task force 
recommendations. In accordance with that act and agreements with your 
offices, this report discusses (1) DOD's ability to report on domestic 
violence incidents in the military and disciplinary actions taken by 
commanders to address these incidents, (2) the extent to which DOD has 
provided resources to the office overseeing the implementation of the 
task force's recommendations and the extent to which the 
recommendations have been implemented, and (3) the specific actions 
that DOD has taken on recommendations to ensure the confidentiality for 
victims of domestic violence and the education of commanding officers, 
senior enlisted personnel, and chaplains. The report also discusses the 
extent to which DOD has established an oversight framework to guide and 
evaluate its implementation of the recommendations. 

To determine DOD's ability to report on domestic violence incidents in 
the military and command disciplinary actions, we reviewed and analyzed 
information on and reports from DOD's Defense Incident-Based Reporting 
System, which contains data on criminal incidents of domestic violence, 
and the Family Advocacy Program Central Registry.[Footnote 4] In 
addition, we reviewed DOD's three reports to Congress on reported 
domestic violence incidents in the military, which were issued in 
November 2001 for fiscal year 2000 data, February 2003 for fiscal year 
2001 data, and July 2004 for fiscal year 2002 data. To assess the 
reliability of the data in DOD's systems, we (1) reviewed existing 
information about the data and the system that produced them and (2) 
interviewed agency officials knowledgeable about the data. We concluded 
that the data from the Defense Incident-Based Reporting System database 
were not reliable enough to enable DOD to accurately report on the 
number of domestic violence incidents in the military. 

To determine the extent to which DOD (1) provided resources to the 
office overseeing implementation, (2) implemented the task force 
recommendations, and (3) established an oversight framework, we 
interviewed knowledgeable DOD officials, including those in DOD's 
Family Violence Policy Office and Family Advocacy Program Office, and 
analyzed relevant documents and data. These documents and data included 
budget information; DOD's strategic plan for implementing the task 
force recommendations; DOD's Reports on Implementation of 
Recommendations of the Defense Task Force on Domestic Violence 
submitted on August 8, 2005, and February 15, 2006; training materials 
for chaplains and commanding officers; and related metrics, applicable 
laws, regulations, policy memoranda, and other documents DOD and the 
services used to support implementation of the task force's 
recommendations and evaluation of that implementation. 

Additionally, we visited at least 2 military installations for each 
service in the United States and 5 overseas, for a total of 15 
installations. During these visits, we conducted nongeneralizable small 
group discussions with and obtained supporting documentation from 
various installation officials, including commanding officers, 
chaplains, victim advocates, family advocacy program managers, and 
staff judge advocates. We also conducted focus groups with military 
police and senior enlisted personnel at these installations. We 
performed our work in accordance with generally accepted government 
auditing standards from July 2005 through March 2006. More details on 
our scope and methodology are presented in appendix I. 

Results in Brief: 

DOD's ability to report on domestic violence incidents and disciplinary 
actions taken by commanders is hampered because the systems that the 
department uses to collect domestic violence information do not contain 
complete data. Specifically, in an effort to satisfy the requirement in 
the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000, DOD, in 
June 2000, established the central domestic violence database in its 
Defense Incident-Based Reporting System (which contains criminal 
incidents). However, our analysis revealed that this database does not 
contain complete data that would enable DOD to accurately report on the 
number of domestic violence incidents in the military and the command 
disciplinary actions that were taken. DOD officials informed us that 
its domestic violence database of criminal incidents lacks complete 
data because some of the services' law enforcement systems that feed 
into it are not yet operational. In addition, we determined that a 
number of installations were not reporting command disciplinary actions 
into the law enforcement data systems as required by DOD guidance. In 
its 2002 report to Congress on reported domestic violence incidents, 
DOD stated that of the 2,173 Army and Air Force incidents for which 
sufficient evidence existed to take disciplinary action, 1,027, or 47 
percent, had no actions identified. Notwithstanding the task force 
recommendation and the legislative requirement to report on the number 
of incidents, DOD has not developed plans to address the data 
limitations. Without complete data on reported incidents of domestic 
violence and the steps taken by commanding officers to address these 
incidents, Congress and DOD will lack the visibility and information 
needed to understand the magnitude of the domestic violence problem, 
identify domestic violence trends, and address emerging issues. To 
ensure that complete data exist and can be reported annually as 
required, we are recommending that DOD (1) develop a comprehensive 
management plan to address deficiencies in the domestic violence data 
captured in its law enforcement systems, and (2) take appropriate steps 
to ensure that command actions related to domestic violence incidents 
are entered in the law enforcement systems as required. DOD generally 
concurred with these recommendations. 

DOD has provided funding that has been used to implement many of the 
task force's recommendations, but personnel shortages and ineffective 
communication of related policies have hindered the department's 
efforts. Since fiscal year 2003, DOD has provided the Family Violence 
Policy Office approximately $23 million to implement the task force's 
recommendations. Among its investments, DOD used the money to fund a 
contract to provide additional victim advocate and shelter services and 
training for various DOD professionals. This funding helped the 
department implement many of the task force recommendations during the 
past 3 years. Specifically, our analysis of the status of DOD's actions 
to implement the task force's recommendations showed that 94 had been 
completed, 60 had pending actions, and 40 had no actions planned 
because DOD either disagreed with the recommendations or determined 
they were not applicable to the department. Despite the funding to date 
and reported progress, personnel shortages and ineffective 
communication of its policies could hinder DOD's efforts to implement 
the pending task force recommendations and to improve its response to 
domestic violence. Although retaining key personnel is a good internal 
control principle, as of March 2006, DOD had not fully staffed the 
office overseeing implementation of the task force recommendations. 
According to officials in the Family Violence Policy Office, without 
adequate personnel, they will not be able to implement all of the 
pending recommendations in a timely manner. In addition, DOD's method 
of communicating its new domestic violence guidance has produced 
inconsistent practices among DOD and the services. DOD issued 16 
interim directive-type memoranda to implement changes in response to 
the task force recommendations. The department communicated these 
memoranda to the services via mail to the Service Secretaries offices 
and e-mail or Web pages. However, some installation officials stated 
that memoranda and guidance sent by e-mail and Web pages were not 
reaching their level in a timely manner and had ultimately resulted in 
them not knowing about and, thus, not consistently following current 
policies and guidance. For example, in response to a task force 
recommendation, DOD initially allowed distribution of military 
protective orders to law enforcement and family advocacy personnel, but 
reversed this policy due to privacy concerns. This policy change, 
however, was not effectively communicated, causing many inconsistent 
practices throughout the installations we visited. Without an overall 
communication strategy that promotes clear and consistent policy among 
DOD and the services, there may continue to be inconsistencies in 
knowledge on DOD's domestic violence guidance. We are recommending that 
DOD (1) develop a plan to ensure adequate personnel are available to 
implement the remaining task force recommendations and (2) establish a 
strategy for communicating its policies, to include clearly 
articulating its policy regarding the distribution of military 
protective orders. In commenting on a draft of our report, DOD 
concurred with the first recommendation. However, due to privacy 
concerns, DOD partially nonconcurred with an earlier version of the 
second recommendation, which asked the department to reconsider the 
task force's recommendation on providing copies of the military 
protective orders to law enforcement and family advocacy officials. 
Since DOD stated that it has considered the issue of providing the 
protective orders and continues to believe there are privacy concerns, 
we modified our original recommendation to emphasize the department's 
need to clearly communicate its policy regarding distribution of 
military protective orders. 

DOD is taking steps, such as issuing policy, to address the task 
force's specific recommendations to ensure confidentiality for victims 
and to train its commanding officers, senior enlisted personnel, and 
chaplains; however, the department's final policy on confidentiality 
did not take effect until April 2006, and additional efforts are needed 
to ensure that appropriate training is received. In its efforts to 
ensure confidentiality, DOD issued its Restricted Reporting Policy for 
Incidents of Domestic Abuse on January 22, 2006. This policy is to 
allow victims to report incidents of domestic abuse to health care 
providers, victim advocates, and other specified people so that victims 
can benefit from access to medical care or victim advocacy services and 
support without initiating the investigative process or notifying the 
victim's or alleged offender's commanding officer. The intent of the 
policy is to encourage victims to seek help that they might not 
otherwise receive because they feared for the family's overall 
financial welfare and that the alleged offender's military career might 
be jeopardized. However, the policy did not take effect until April 22, 
2006. With respect to its training efforts, DOD has issued guidance 
requiring training for commanding officers, senior enlisted personnel, 
and chaplains. The military services are providing educational options 
for commanding officers and senior enlisted personnel such as Web-based 
training and training events held at the installations. In addition, 
chaplains, who have a special role in assisting domestic violence 
victims, are receiving training at their basic officer's course, and 
periodically through continuing professional military education. 
However, complete data on which chaplains have received training are 
not available. Without complete data, DOD can not be assured of the 
extent to which these personnel have been trained and provided with 
resources that will assist them in effectively dealing with domestic 
violence issues. Some Army and Navy chaplains told us that they may 
notify command about domestic violence cases identified during a 
privileged communication. According to the Army regulation,[Footnote 5] 
however, such communications given to chaplains as a formal act of 
religion or as a matter of conscience are protected and are not to be 
disclosed without permission of the person making the communication. A 
breach of this confidence would be contrary to the Army regulation. 
Without additional guidance and emphasis within chaplain training to 
clarify this issue, DOD will be unable to ensure that all chaplains are 
prepared to handle private information provided by victims or 
offenders, which could deter both victims and offenders from seeking 
assistance. Accordingly, we are recommending that DOD, in conjunction 
with the services, (1) develop procedures and metrics to ensure that 
accurate, consistent, and timely domestic violence training data are 
collected for chaplains; and (2) develop additional guidance and 
training materials for chaplains clarifying their privileged 
communication responsibilities. DOD did not concur with the first 
recommendation and partially nonconcurred with the second 
recommendation, both of which were originally directed to the Under 
Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness and family advocacy 
program officials. DOD commented that these two recommendations were 
more appropriately directed to the Military Departments. We agree. We 
have revised our report to direct the recommendations to the services. 
However, in our view, these recommendations are also appropriately 
directed to the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, 
who has oversight responsibility and stewardship for domestic violence 
issues. 

While some progress has been made in implementing the task force 
recommendations, DOD has not established an oversight framework to 
monitor compliance with the recommendations and evaluate its 
implementation efforts. DOD's draft domestic violence instruction 
requires the Military Community and Family Policy office to monitor 
compliance with and periodically evaluate domestic violence efforts. 
However, the draft instruction does not communicate how this should be 
done. Although DOD officials told us that the service headquarters 
monitor and evaluate the performance of the family advocacy program 
offices through their accreditation process, they acknowledged that the 
service accreditation reports are not sent to DOD and that the 
department has limited visibility into the services' domestic violence 
efforts. Further, the Family Violence Policy Office has not established 
a formal process for monitoring and reporting progress of the overall 
implementation of the task force recommendations. Without an overall 
management framework and a process for monitoring and reporting on 
implementation of the recommendations, DOD and Congress have limited 
visibility and oversight to evaluate implementation efforts and make 
needed improvements and thus, ensure the success of its efforts. We are 
recommending that DOD develop and implement, in conjunction with the 
services, a DOD-wide oversight framework that includes a results- 
oriented evaluation plan for assessing the effectiveness of the 
implemented recommendations, and a process for monitoring and reporting 
on ongoing implementation efforts. DOD concurred with this 
recommendation. 

DOD's comments and our evaluation of them are discussed in detail in a 
later section of this report. The full text of the department's written 
comments is contained in appendix V. 

Background: 

Following a number of high-profile domestic violence cases involving 
soldiers stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, who killed their wives, 
Congress, in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2000, required 
the Secretary of Defense to establish the Defense Task Force on 
Domestic Violence. The task force was chartered as a 3-year effort to 
assist the Secretary of Defense in identifying ways to prevent domestic 
violence in the military, when possible, and in responding more 
effectively when domestic violence occurs. In March 2000, 24 members 
were appointed to the task force. These members included 12 senior 
officials from the four services and 12 senior officials from the 
civilian sector who were experts in the area of domestic violence. 

The act also required the task force to develop a strategic plan for 
DOD that included recommendations for improving DOD's domestic violence 
efforts in areas such as victim safety programs, domestic violence 
training for military commanders, and domestic violence responses at 
overseas military installations. The task force also assessed and made 
recommendations regarding the roles and responsibilities that command, 
chaplain, law enforcement, legal, and medical personnel have with 
regard to addressing domestic violence incidents. From February 2001 
through February 2003, the task force issued three reports containing 
194 recommendations for improving DOD's response to domestic violence. 

The task force identified four primary themes with regard to the 
recommendations made in the three reports: 

* Community collaboration--addresses coordination and collaboration 
issues among all military organizations, such as family advocacy and 
legal offices, in relation to domestic violence, as well as 
coordination between military and civilian communities. 

* Education and training--addresses training issues for commanding 
officers, senior enlisted personnel, Family Advocacy Program staff, and 
first responders, such as military police. 

* Offender accountability--identifies measures to improve individual 
offender accountability and program accountability, as well as improve 
dispositions and case management. 

* Victim safety--addresses issues related to victim safety programs, 
confidentiality for victims, and other policies to enhance victim 
safety. 

In January 2003, within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense 
for Personnel and Readiness, the Military Community and Family Policy 
Office established the Family Violence Policy Office to coordinate 
implementation of the task force's recommendations, many of which were 
aimed at improving DOD's Family Advocacy Program. The Family Advocacy 
Program, also under the Military Community and Family Policy Office, 
provides services that contribute to the health of military families, 
treats victims of domestic violence, and offers rehabilitation and 
treatment for abusers. The Family Advocacy Program Director works in 
conjunction with service headquarters managers to oversee the execution 
of the program within each service. 

DOD's Ability to Report on Domestic Violence Incidents and Commander 
Actions Is Hampered by Incomplete Data: 

DOD's ability to report domestic violence incidents involving 
servicemembers and the disciplinary actions taken by commanders is 
hampered because the data systems that the department uses to collect 
domestic violence information contain incomplete data. The National 
Defense Authorization Act of 2000[Footnote 6] required DOD to develop a 
centralized domestic violence database of information on incidents of 
domestic violence involving members of the Armed Forces. This includes 
domestic violence incidents reported to a commander, a law enforcement 
authority of the Armed Forces, or a family advocacy program official. 
Under the act, the Secretaries of the military departments are required 
to report this information annually to the administrator of the 
database. DOD is also required, under Section 591, to report 
information from the database, along with its responses to each of the 
three task force reports.[Footnote 7] In an effort to satisfy the 
legislation, DOD established the central domestic violence database 
within its Defense Incident-Based Reporting System.[Footnote 8] This 
database contains domestic violence incidents that are criminal in 
nature including: infractions of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, 
state law, or violation of a protection order. 

Although DOD established the central domestic violence database in June 
2000,[Footnote 9] it is not yet fully operational and it does not 
contain complete information about reported incidents of domestic 
violence. DOD officials stated that the information contained in the 
database on the number of incidents is not complete because some of the 
law enforcement systems used by the services that feed into the central 
database are not yet operational. These are the Air Force's Office of 
Special Investigation system, which is expected to be operational by 
August 2006; the Army's Judge Advocate General Office system, which is 
still in development; and the Air Force's Judge Advocate General Office 
system, which is expected to be operational by June 2006. As a result, 
the central domestic violence database does not contain any information 
about domestic violence incidents that would be captured in these 
systems. 

The central domestic violence database captures incidents of a criminal 
nature that were responded to by military law enforcement personnel; 
but it does not contain information on incidents reported to Family 
Advocacy personnel such as emotional abuse or domestic violence 
incidents that occur off the installation. To obtain this information, 
as required in the act,[Footnote 10] DOD must supplement data from the 
Defense Incident-Based Reporting System with data from the Family 
Advocacy Program Central Registry, which contains clinical data on 
domestic violence incidents. However, the Central Registry data system 
previously provided incomplete domestic violence data because until 
January 2006, the Central Registry only contained reported incidents of 
abuse involving current spouses. It did not contain domestic violence 
data as defined by DOD's 2004 definition that involved former spouses 
and intimate partners with whom the alleged offender shared a child or 
a common domicile. Therefore, prior to 2006, DOD did not provide 
complete information on all reported instances of domestic violence. 

DOD used information from the two systems in preparing its reports to 
Congress on the number of incidents of domestic violence in the 
military and commanders' actions taken in responding to them during 
fiscal years 2000 through 2002. However, DOD officials who have 
responsibility for gathering these data acknowledged that the 
statistics contained in these reports were questionable. Moreover, they 
informed us that since the last report to Congress on fiscal year 2002 
incidents, no attempts had been made to match up the information from 
the two systems, despite a June 8, 2000, memorandum from the Office of 
the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness that 
directed them to do so. Our analysis confirmed that neither system had 
complete data to enable DOD to accurately determine the extent of 
reported domestic violence incidents in the military. 

Beyond these concerns, our review of information in the Defense 
Incident-Based Reporting System and supporting service law enforcement 
systems revealed that a number of installations were not reporting 
disciplinary actions taken by the commanders as required.[Footnote 11] 
For example, in the fiscal year 2002 report that DOD released to 
Congress, DOD reported that of the 2,173 Army and Air Force incidents 
for which sufficient evidence existed to take disciplinary action, 
1,027, or 47 percent had no actions listed. DOD and service 
instructions require that command disciplinary actions be entered into 
the law enforcement systems. Moreover, these systems contain a data 
field to record commanders' actions in responding to domestic violence 
incidents. However, during our site visits, we found that some 
commander disciplinary actions were not being entered into the data 
field and some of the law enforcement officials we interviewed stated 
that they were unaware that they were required to do so. These 
officials acknowledged the importance of including this information to 
provide visibility over what disciplinary actions had been taken and 
that there was a field available in the system for them to do so. At 
one installation, we found that hard copies of the commander 
disciplinary actions were maintained in a file in the Provost 
Marshall's office, but this information had not been entered into the 
law enforcement database. 

Officials who oversee the DOD central domestic violence database and 
the Central Registry data system, as well as Family Violence Policy 
Office personnel, are aware of the problems with obtaining complete 
information about domestic violence incidents and commander 
disciplinary actions. However, officials in the Office of the Under 
Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness have not developed a 
plan for correcting the deficiencies and ensuring that (1) the central 
database on domestic violence in the Defense Incident-Based Reporting 
System and service law enforcement systems have complete and accurate 
data and (2) all commander disciplinary actions related to domestic 
violence incidents are reported into these systems. Without complete 
data on reported incidents of domestic violence and the steps taken by 
commanding officers to address these incidents, Congress and DOD will 
lack the visibility and information needed to understand the magnitude 
of the domestic violence problem, identify domestic violence trends, 
and proactively address these issues as they emerge. 

Resources Provided and Progress Made, but Challenges Exist to 
Implementing the Remaining Task Force Recommendations: 

Over the past 3 years, DOD provided the Family Violence Policy Office 
about $23 million, which it has used to make progress toward 
implementing many of the task force's recommendations. Nonetheless, two 
challenges--shortages in critical staff and ineffective strategies for 
communicating new domestic violence policies--threaten progress and 
limit assurance of consistent application of its new policies. 

Resources Provided for Office Overseeing Implementation of 
Recommendations: 

From fiscal year 2003 through fiscal year 2005, the Military Community 
and Family Policy Office provided the Family Violence Policy Office 
with approximately $23 million to implement the task force's 
recommendations. The largest portion, about $17 million, was for 
funding a contract to provide victim advocate services and shelter 
services to victims of domestic violence. Program analysts from the 
Military Community and Family Policy Office told us that this contract 
provides on-call services from within the local community, supporting 
approximately 45 full-time and 40 part-time on-call advocates each 
month. The Family Violence Policy Office was also provided 
approximately $3 million to train various DOD professionals in 2005. 
The cost of this training included funds for a contractor to perform 
conference planning, facilitation, and administrative management 
support services for these events . Additionally, the Family Violence 
Policy Office was provided $400,000 to develop a DOD-wide domestic 
violence public awareness campaign. Appendix II provides a detailed 
breakdown of the expenditures of the Family Violence Policy Office in 
implementing the task force recommendations. 

Progress Made in Implementing Domestic Violence Recommendations: 

Our analysis of DOD's actions in implementing the task force 
recommendations shows that DOD, as of March 2006, had implemented 
almost two-thirds of the recommendations they planned to carry out. 
While this shows progress, the recommendations vary in their relative 
importance to improving DOD's efforts to address domestic violence; and 
thus, the implementation of some recommendations may not have as 
significant an impact on DOD's efforts as will the implementation of 
others. Notwithstanding this point, of the 194 recommendations made by 
the task force, we found DOD had completed actions on 94 
recommendations, had actions pending on 60 recommendations, and had not 
taken actions on 40 recommendations because the department either 
disagreed with the recommendations, the recommendation was not 
applicable to the department, or DOD felt that the recommended action 
was already undertaken. We counted recommendations as completed if we 
found evidence of action taken on the recommendation by DOD. Actions 
taken included guidance, policy memoranda, training materials, or other 
supporting documentation DOD issued to implement the task force 
recommendation. Additionally, we found, for the most part, 
documentation, focus group discussions, or interviews that showed the 
service and installation levels were implementing or had efforts to 
begin implementing DOD's guidance on the completed actions. 

Figure 1 shows our analysis of DOD's implementation status of the 194 
recommendations. The recommendations are grouped by the four primary 
task force themes previously discussed in this report; recommendations 
that did not fit directly into one of these themes were classified as 
"other." The "other" category contains items such as issues related to 
overseas installations and program management.[Footnote 12] 

Figure 1: Defense Task Force on Domestic Violence Recommendations by 
Themes and Implementation Status: 

[See PDF for image] 

[End of figure] 

As figure I shows, DOD has made the most progress in implementing 
recommendations pertaining to community collaboration and victim 
safety. DOD officials stated that their original focus was placed on 
addressing victim safety issues, in particular, because it was critical 
to ensure victims are protected from further abuse. A listing of all 
194 recommendations and our analysis of DOD's status in completing them 
are included in appendix III. 

The Family Violence Policy Office believed that they had completed more 
recommendations than we identified in our analysis. Specifically, DOD 
officials provided a department-level status matrix that indicated that 
they had completed 121 of the 194 task force recommendations. Our 
numbers differ because DOD identified 27 of the recommendations as 
complete when we found DOD actually had stated that it did not agree 
with 26 of the recommendations or took no action because the 
recommendation was already being done or did not apply to them, and one 
recommendation was still pending. For example, the task force 
recommended that DOD centrally track military protective orders. DOD 
essentially disagreed with the recommendation, stating that it had 
determined that it would not be feasible to centrally record and track 
military protective orders because there were too few such orders to 
justify creating another database. Nevertheless, DOD categorized this 
recommendation as complete, while we categorized this recommendation as 
one with which they disagreed. We have grouped the 26 recommendations 
and the one pending action with those that were identified as requiring 
no action and pending, respectively in appendix III, which shows our 
analysis of DOD's status for the recommendations. 

Limited Personnel in Office Overseeing Implementation: 

Despite its investment to date and reported progress, potential 
personnel shortages in the DOD office implementing the recommendations 
could hinder the department's timely implementation of the remaining 
recommendations. The personnel in this office have an essential role in 
implementing the domestic violence recommendations, with responsibility 
for, among other things, (1) drafting, revising, and coordinating DOD 
policy in response to domestic violence recommendations; (2) drafting 
training curricula and monitoring implementation of those curricula for 
family advocacy program staff, health care officials, and law 
enforcement, among others; and (3) drafting and coordinating public 
affairs strategies to inform the military community about the revised 
DOD response to domestic violence in the military. 

Officials in the Military Community and Family Policy Office and those 
in the Family Violence Policy Office told us that, originally in 2003, 
five positions had been provided for the team implementing the task 
force recommendations. This included one permanent position for the 
office supervisor; one term position for a program analyst; and three 
positions for senior-level officers on detail assignments from the 
services--one each from the Army, Navy, and Air Force. Position 
descriptions for military personnel stress that these individuals were 
to serve as military experts in implementing domestic violence 
programs. However, officials in the Family Violence Policy Office told 
us the Navy officer retired in 2004, and the Air Force officer was 
detailed to another OSD position in 2005. The Navy did not "backfill" 
or replace its position, stating that the position was needed within 
their service, and officials in the Family Violence Policy Office 
stated that OSD had placed the Air Force position within another area 
of DOD because OSD had a greater need for that position there. Thus, 
since 2005, the Family Violence Policy Office has been reduced to three 
positions. 

During our review, officials in the Family Violence Policy Office 
stated that the officer detailed from the Army is expected to retire in 
May 2006 and the term position is expected to expire in July 2006. The 
office had requested and obtained approval from the OSD Military 
Community and Family Policy Office to fill the Army position and renew 
the term position, stating that these positions were needed to complete 
implementation of the remaining recommendations in a timely manner. The 
officials further noted that the remaining recommendations they will be 
implementing are more challenging than those already implemented and 
will require personnel experienced in domestic violence issues. For 
example, they explained that implementation of the recommendations 
aimed at revamping the Case Review Committee and the Offender 
Intervention require more research and analysis with experts within and 
outside of DOD. Without adequate personnel, the officials estimate that 
it may take more than 3 years to implement the remaining 60 task force 
recommendations. However, as of March 2006, officials in the Family 
Violence Policy Office told us that approval to fill the soon-to-be- 
vacant positions had not been obtained from the final approval 
authority at Washington Headquarters Services. Retaining key personnel 
who can affect the ability of a program to function effectively is a 
good internal control principle.[Footnote 13] 

Implementation Policies Not Effectively Communicated: 

DOD also faces a challenge in effectively communicating the policies 
that it has developed in response to the task force's recommendations. 
DOD's method of communicating its policy changes has not been effective 
in ensuring consistent practices or promoting widespread understanding 
of the new policies among DOD and the services. 

As of March 2006, DOD had issued 16 directive-type memoranda as interim 
guidance to quickly communicate information about changes resulting 
from implementation of the task force recommendations. (See app. IV for 
a list of these memoranda). Almost all of the directive-type memoranda 
set target dates for DOD to issue later guidance implementing the 
interim policies. In most cases, final guidance such as a directive was 
expected to be issued within 180 days after each memorandum was signed; 
however, as of March 2006, the final guidance had not been issued and 
most of the interim guidance is now more than 2 years old. Since the 
memoranda are interim guidance, they have been communicated to the 
services and throughout DOD through mail to the Service Secretaries and 
informally via e-mails and special Web pages[Footnote 14] rather than 
being formally posted on the official DOD directives Web site.[Footnote 
15] Under internal control guidance, organizations should consistently 
apply policies, and sound management practices of leading organizations 
offer federal agencies a methodology for establishing effective 
communications to promote consistency.[Footnote 16] However, some DOD 
and service officials we met with stated that existing DOD guidance was 
not always consistent with the directive-type memoranda implementing 
the task force recommendations and that this inconsistency has 
sometimes caused confusion at the installation level. In addition, we 
found that information in the directive-type memoranda was not always 
communicated to the installations in a timely manner and had resulted 
in some of the officials not knowing about and, thus not following 
current policies consistently. 

We identified several inconsistencies in implementing the 
recommendations as a result of DOD's policy changes not being 
communicated effectively, including the following: 

* DOD's Family Advocacy Program Directive 6400.1 has not been updated 
to reflect DOD's interim guidance that implements the task force 
recommendations, even though a number of the task force recommendations 
had called for these changes to be made in this directive. Family 
Advocacy officials told us they will not update their directive until 
the Family Violence Policy Office issues a new instruction, 
incorporating all of the interim guidance issued in the directive-type 
memoranda. As a result, some DOD and service officials stated that 
inconsistent guidance from these two offices has been a source of 
confusion. A prime example is that while DOD's new definition of 
domestic violence was issued in 2004, staff at some of the 
installations we visited said that they did not become aware of the 
definition until late 2005 or January 2006. Consequently, some victims 
of domestic violence who were covered under the new definition, since 
2004, may not have been considered for services. 

* The task force also recommended that DOD establish a policy that 
written copies of military protective orders be forwarded immediately 
to both law enforcement and family advocacy officials. While DOD 
initially issued a policy in March 2004 allowing distribution to law 
enforcement, it reversed this policy in July 2004 due to concerns with 
the military protective order's use and dissemination. DOD's August 8, 
2005, status report on recommendations further stated that the Privacy 
Act[Footnote 17] does not allow distribution of the military protective 
orders to family advocacy and law enforcement. This policy change, 
however, was not effectively communicated, causing many inconsistent 
practices throughout the installations we visited. For example, 
contrary to the July 2004 guidance, DOD's September 2005 domestic 
violence training materials provided to commanders, judge advocates, 
and law enforcement personnel contained information on leadership 
responsibilities, which stated that a copy of each order is to be 
forwarded to law enforcement and family advocacy. Further, policy 
information on DOD's Web sites that allowed the orders to be 
distributed to law enforcement was not changed until we notified DOD 
officials of the inconsistency. Additionally, we found inconsistent 
practices between the services. For example, the Army's 
regulations[Footnote 18] allowed distribution of the protective orders 
to family advocacy and law enforcement officials. On the other hand, 
the Navy did not provide copies to family advocacy. However, a Navy 
instruction,[Footnote 19] which predated the DOD July 2004 guidance, 
allowed distribution to law enforcement. Navy officials stated that 
their guidance will be revised to reflect DOD requirements not to 
provide copies to law enforcement, upon release of DOD's Domestic 
Violence instruction. Finally, our discussions with OSD and service 
lawyers revealed that they believe providing copies of protective 
orders to family advocacy and law enforcement officials would not be a 
violation of the Privacy Act. 

* The task force recommended that "DOD mandate the military services to 
provide awareness education to military spouses regarding the 
transitional compensation program."[Footnote 20] DOD said that no 
action was required on this recommendation "[s]ince Congress 
established the transitional compensation program; the services have 
routinely educated dependent family members about it." However, during 
our installation visits we found inconsistent communication of this 
information. Discussion groups with victim advocates and interviews 
with family advocacy officials revealed that a few installations 
elected not to inform military members or spouses about transitional 
compensation until a specific victim had a documented, validated 
domestic violence case in which they would be eligible to receive 
benefits. The victim advocates stated that this was done to prevent 
potential abuse of the program. Some of the other installations were 
quite liberal about providing information on the program. They said 
they felt providing the information may encourage more people to come 
forward if they knew help was available. 

* The task force also recommended that DOD develop guidance for 
commanding officers on how to properly document domestic violence 
issues in separation papers to help facilitate transitional 
compensation. The directive-type memorandum issued by DOD to implement 
this recommendation states that commanding officers should be trained 
on transitional compensation, but it does not specifically require 
training them on how to "properly document separation papers." Some 
victim advocates at installations we visited said that commanding 
officers do not always use proper documentation to ensure that victims 
will receive transitional compensation and that some victims have been 
denied these funds because of lack of documentation. DOD officials in 
the Family Violence Policy Office told us that guidance on waiver 
requirements, as recommended by the task force, is included in a draft 
instruction from the Military Personnel Policy Directorate on 
transitional compensation. We found inconsistencies in victim 
advocates' knowledge of the waiver associated with transitional 
compensation requirements because this information had not been 
effectively communicated to the advocates. 

DOD officials in the Family Violence Policy Office, Family Advocacy 
Program Office, as well as officials in the four services acknowledged 
that communication could be a problem and may result in 
inconsistencies. They also noted that formal instructions take years to 
draft and coordinate and that mailing the interim guidance to service 
secretaries, e-mailing it to key points of contacts, and placing the 
guidance on the Web pages were the best avenues to follow. However, in 
our view, without an overall communication strategy that provides a 
clear and consistent understanding of policy among DOD and the 
services, there may continue to be confusion and inconsistencies among 
DOD and the services on implementing the task force's recommendations. 

Steps Taken to Ensure Confidentiality and Provide Domestic Violence 
Training, but Additional Efforts Needed: 

DOD is taking steps to address specific task force recommendations to 
ensure confidentiality for victims of domestic violence and to train 
commanding officers, senior enlisted personnel, and chaplains on how to 
respond to such incidents. In its efforts to ensure confidentiality, 
DOD has developed a restricted reporting policy that allows victims to 
report incidents of domestic abuse, which includes domestic violence, 
to health care and victim advocacy specialists without mandatory 
disclosure to command or law enforcement officials. However, the policy 
was not implemented until April 2006. Further, in its efforts to 
provide additional domestic violence training, DOD issued guidance 
requiring training for commanding officers, senior enlisted personnel, 
and chaplains, but tracking and documenting these training efforts have 
not always occurred. 

New Restricted Reporting Policy Not Yet in Force: 

The task force had a number of recommendations asking DOD to explore 
options for creating a system of confidential services, privileged 
communications, and exemptions to mandatory reporting. The goal of 
these recommendations was to provide victims of domestic violence with 
access to a credible avenue for receiving support, information, 
options, and resources to address the violence in their lives. In 
response to the task force's recommendations, on January 22, 2006, DOD 
issued its Restricted Reporting Policy for Incidents of Domestic Abuse 
to ensure that domestic violence victims are protected, treated with 
dignity and respect, and provided with support, advocacy, and care. 

Under the new policy, victims can choose either unrestricted reporting 
or restricted reporting. Unrestricted reporting uses current reporting 
channels--e.g., chain of command, Family Advocacy Program, or law 
enforcement--and is for victims of domestic abuse who want to pursue an 
official investigation of an incident. Restricted reporting allows 
adult victims of domestic abuse to disclose the abuse to health care 
providers, victim advocates, or supervisors of victim advocates, and 
receive medical treatment and victim advocacy services without 
notifying the alleged offender's commanding officer or law enforcement. 
The new policy allows victims to receive relevant information, medical 
attention, and support while having additional time to make a more 
informed decision about reporting the incident. The task force found 
that victims were often reluctant to seek services because they had 
fears about the potential adverse impact the reported incident may have 
on the servicemember's career and the family's financial well-being, as 
well as concerns about their personal safety. 

However, the restricted reporting policy did not take effect until 
April 22, 2006, in order for the services to have time to develop 
consistent policies and an implementation strategy. Consequently, at 
the time of our review, it was too soon to assess what effects this 
policy will have on reported cases of domestic violence. The new 
policy, nonetheless, was a topic of great concern during our 
discussions at the 15 installations included in our study. Installation 
commanders, commanding officers, legal officers, provost marshals or 
heads of security forces, chaplains, family advocacy program managers, 
victim advocates, and health care providers all shared their views 
about the advantages and disadvantages of the restricted reporting 
policy. Their views varied considerably and ranged from unequivocal 
support for the policy, to uncertainty because of licensing and ethical 
concerns, to outright objection. 

Those who expressed support for the policy said they did so because 
they felt the policy promoted victim confidentiality, safety, and 
support. Some unit commanders, for example, stated that the policy 
would allow the victims to receive medical care and time to decide if 
they wanted to press charges. In addition, chaplains at some 
installations voiced approval for the policy because it opened another 
avenue for victims to receive assistance without getting others 
involved. 

Conversely, officials who objected to the restricted reporting policy 
said they did so because they believed the policy would not encourage 
victims to "officially" report the incident, and thus would send the 
wrong message to aggressors, as well as diminish the commanding 
officers' ability to hold offenders accountable. Specifically, legal 
officers serving as prosecutors and commanding officers at several 
installations told us that they objected to the policy because, while 
permitting victims to receive some types of assistance was positive, it 
allowed aggressors to remain free from disciplinary actions and to be 
able to continue the pattern of domestic violence. The legal officers 
also expressed concern about the evidence that would not be captured at 
the crime scene when domestic violence occurs because the incident was 
not reported immediately. 

One area of concern raised during our installation visits dealt with 
specific licensing issues and ethical dilemmas. For example, health 
care providers expressed concerns that the new restricted reporting 
policy may conflict with state licensing requirements mandating them to 
report incidents of domestic violence to civilian authorities. They 
also expressed reservations about the policy in cases where they had to 
provide medical aid to a severely injured individual who appeared to be 
untruthful about the source of the injury. While this policy is similar 
to DOD's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program policy, many 
officials in our discussion groups said that similar reporting may not 
be appropriate. According to these individuals, the perpetrator of 
sexual assault does not usually reside with the victim; therefore 
unreported incidents are less likely to place a victim in a situation 
for further abuse, unlike domestic violence where a victim would return 
home to the alleged abuser. Some of the health care providers expressed 
concerns that they might be placed in a position in which they had to 
send a battered victim back into a dangerous situation. 

During the time of our installation visits--i.e., from October 2005 
through February 2006--the restricted reporting policy was issued and 
addresses some of the concerns and issues from our discussion groups. 
For example, the policy states that confidentiality will be suspended 
for specific reasons, such as to prevent or lessen a serious and 
imminent threat to the health or safety of the victim or another person 
or when required by state statute. While some of the issues are 
addressed in the policy, the level of support this policy will provide 
victims of domestic violence, the potential impact restricted reporting 
will have on law enforcement investigations, as well as the impact the 
policy will have on a commander's ability to hold perpetrators 
accountable, will be determined during implementation. 

Additional Efforts Are Needed to Ensure Training Is Received: 

Beyond confidentiality, the task force made over 10 recommendations 
that focused on training for commanding officers, senior enlisted 
personnel, and chaplains to respond to domestic violence issues. To 
respond to the task force recommendations to train commanding officers 
and senior enlisted personnel, DOD issued guidance directing the 
services to require these officials to receive such training. 
Specifically, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for 
Personnel and Readiness issued a directive-type memorandum titled 
"Domestic Abuse Response and Intervention Training for Commanding 
Officers and Senior Enlisted Personnel" in February 2004. This 
memorandum required training on specified topics, such as dynamics of 
domestic violence, common misconceptions of victim safety, and 
responses to alleged domestic abuse. The military services are 
addressing this requirement by providing several educational options, 
including Web-based training, training at the professional military 
education schools, and training at installations led by instructors. 

In addressing the task force recommendation to train chaplains, the 
Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness 
issued a directive-type memorandum titled "Domestic Abuse Training for 
Chaplains" on January 29, 2004, which required training for chaplains 
on specified topics. One of the primary topics that chaplains received 
training on was privileged communication,[Footnote 21] because of the 
special role chaplains play in providing assistance to victims of 
domestic violence. Chaplains we spoke with said they received this 
training at their basic officer's course, periodically through 
continuing professional military education, and at installations. 

While training on domestic violence issues is being provided to 
commanding officers, senior enlisted personnel, and chaplains, DOD does 
not have complete data on which chaplains have received training 
because the Military Community and Family Policy Office did not require 
tracking or documenting training provided to chaplains. Although 
internal control guidance states that management should document and 
track agency initiatives to ascertain if they are achieved and provide 
follow-up actions, the Family Violence Policy Office and Family 
Advocacy Office did not develop training metrics. Without accurate 
training data and documentation, DOD lacks visibility over whether 
chaplains have been adequately trained and are being provided with 
resources that will assist them in handling domestic violence issues. 

Furthermore, during our discussion groups with chaplains, which 
included a mix of experienced and junior officers, we found that some 
chaplains did not fully understand their responsibilities concerning 
privileged communication. For example, the Army regulation states that 
such privileged communication is not to be disclosed to third persons 
other than those to whom disclosure furthers the purpose of the 
communication, or to those reasonably necessary for the transmission of 
the communication. The regulation also states that the chaplain and 
chaplain assistant will not divulge privileged communication without 
the written consent of the person(s) authorized to claim the privilege. 
Some Army and Navy chaplains we interviewed stated that they may notify 
the chain of command about a privileged communication. For example, one 
chaplain mentioned that there was no Army requirement that chaplains 
report information discussed during a privileged communication and 
others stated that the current Army regulation for chaplains speaks to 
this. The chaplain further stated that some Army chaplains had decided 
for themselves what they would and would not report and would explain 
this to people that they counseled. A Navy chaplain also stated that 
under certain conditions he would notify the commanding officer if an 
individual admitted being involved in domestic violence, even if the 
person made the statement as a matter of religious conscience. Other 
chaplains in our discussion groups told us that a breach of privileged 
communication could ruin the reputation of chaplains and lead to no one 
seeking their help. 

The task force, in its 2002 report, also had similar findings and 
recommended that DOD issue guidance clarifying clergy confidentiality. 
An official at the Chaplain Board told us that, since it takes so long 
to issue DOD-wide guidance, DOD is not likely to issue additional 
guidance addressing confidentiality and privileged communication 
because the services have issued guidance, which is consistent with the 
Military Rules of Evidence.[Footnote 22] However, when we discussed 
privileged communication with chaplains, many referred to service 
guidance, as well as the Military Rules of Evidence; but some were 
unclear as to what their responsibilities were. Additional guidance and 
emphasis during chaplain training could facilitate a consistent 
understanding by chaplains of their responsibilities regarding 
confidentiality. Without taking action, DOD may be unable to ensure 
that all chaplains are prepared to handle private information provided 
by victims or offenders, which could deter both from seeking 
assistance. 

DOD Has Not Established an Oversight Framework to Monitor Compliance 
and Evaluate Implementation of Recommendations: 

DOD has not established an oversight framework to monitor compliance 
with and evaluate implementation of the task force recommendations on 
domestic violence. The task force's initial 2001 report recommended 
that DOD strategically use regional oversight and monitoring visits at 
both the DOD and service levels to improve the department's oversight 
of its efforts to address domestic violence. DOD's draft domestic abuse 
instruction requires the Military Community and Family Policy Office of 
the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness to monitor 
compliance with the instruction and periodically evaluate domestic 
violence efforts. The draft instruction, however, does not communicate 
how this should be done and the Military Community and Family Policy 
Office has not established a formal process for doing this. 

Officials in the Family Violence Policy Office stated that action on 
the task force recommendation for oversight is pending and told us they 
were exploring options for addressing it, such as having the DOD 
Inspector General perform reviews every 2 or 3 years. These officials 
and those from the Family Advocacy Program told us that the services' 
headquarters monitor and evaluate their own installation family 
advocacy program offices through their accreditation 
processes.[Footnote 23] However, they acknowledged that the service 
accreditation reports are not sent to DOD and that the department has 
limited visibility into service domestic violence efforts. The Military 
Community and Family Policy Office is considering asking officials from 
the Family Advocacy Program Office and the Family Violence Policy 
Office to go on some of the services' accreditation visits to provide 
oversight of the implementation efforts. The task force mentioned, 
however, that to be effective, program evaluation must be ongoing and 
fully integrated. 

Although the DOD Family Advocacy Office has established output metrics 
that somewhat relate to certain recommendations, DOD has not 
established results-oriented performance measures that could enable it 
to evaluate compliance with the recommendations. One example of an 
established DOD metric is the number of briefings to new unit 
commanders and senior enlisted personnel on domestic abuse and child 
abuse. A DOD Family Advocacy Program official stated that this metric 
is intended to be an output measure related to the Government 
Performance and Results Act[Footnote 24] and is only indirectly related 
to a recommendation in the task force reports. This metric is not a 
results-oriented performance measure that would capture the results or 
evaluate the effectiveness of the briefings in increasing these 
officers' awareness of domestic violence issues. Without an overall 
management framework for monitoring and reporting on implementation, 
DOD and Congress will continue to have limited visibility and oversight 
to evaluate the changes associated with the recommendations and to make 
improvements. As a result, DOD may be unable to ensure that all of the 
accepted task force recommendations are implemented to produce the 
desired improvements in assisting domestic violence victims and holding 
offenders accountable. 

Conclusions: 

Understanding the size and nature of domestic violence is essential to 
DOD's ability to improve its response to this important issue. Yet the 
department currently lacks the information needed to determine reported 
domestic violence incidents. To date, DOD does not have a database 
containing complete information on reported incidents and what actions 
are being taken to discipline those who commit these violent acts. In 
addition, the lack of sufficient personnel threatens the timely 
implementation of the pending task force recommendations. Further, the 
absence of clear and effective communication of the policy changes made 
in response to the task force recommendations has hindered 
servicemembers' awareness of their responsibilities in providing 
assistance to victims and holding offenders accountable. The failure to 
track the training of the chaplains who respond to domestic violence 
incidents impairs DOD's visibility over whether chaplains are being 
provided with the tools to effectively deal with domestic violence and 
understand their obligations concerning privileged communications. 
Finally, the absence of an oversight framework limits DOD's ability to 
assess its efforts to achieve the desired results in improving the 
prevention of and response to domestic violence. Without further 
management action to address all of these deficiencies, DOD may be 
unable to effectively identify and respond to concerns about domestic 
violence among servicemembers. 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

To enhance implementation of the task force recommendations and improve 
the effectiveness of domestic violence efforts, we recommend that the 
Secretary of Defense direct the Under Secretary of Defense for 
Personnel and Readiness to take the following seven actions: 

* Develop, in conjunction with the service secretaries, a comprehensive 
management plan to address deficiencies in the data captured in DOD's 
domestic violence database that focuses on ensuring that accurate and 
complete data exist and that all instances in the Defense Incident- 
Based Reporting System and Family Advocacy Program Central Registry are 
matched and reported annually, as required in DOD's Manual 7730.47-M; 

* take appropriate steps, in conjunction with the service secretaries, 
to ensure all commander actions related to domestic violence incidents 
are entered in law enforcement systems; 

* develop a plan to ensure adequate personnel are available to 
implement pending task force recommendations; 

* establish a communication strategy for effectively informing DOD and 
service officials about new guidance implementing the task force 
recommendations, to include: 

* issuing a revised DOD family advocacy program directive that is 
consistent with interim guidance for implementing the task force 
recommendations; and: 

* clearly articulating its policy regarding the distribution of 
military protective orders using a method that will ensure consistent 
application by all services and DOD; 

* develop, in conjunction with the service secretaries, procedures and 
metrics to ensure that accurate, consistent, and timely domestic 
violence training data are collected for chaplains; 

* develop, in conjunction with the service secretaries, chaplain 
guidance and training materials that highlight and clarify chaplain 
responsibilities concerning privileged communication; and: 

* develop and implement, in conjunction with the services, a DOD-wide 
oversight framework that includes a results-oriented evaluation plan 
for the implemented recommendations, and a process for ongoing 
monitoring of and reporting on implementation. 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

In written comments on a draft of our report (reprinted in app. V), DOD 
expressed concern that GAO had attempted to define, differentiate, and 
prioritize what it considered important task force recommendations and 
had focused on perceived deficiencies rather than progress. The 
department further noted that GAO's review had assumed that DOD should 
implement all recommendations of the task force exactly as written and 
stated that after each report the department clearly indicated the 
recommendations it agreed with, did not agree with, and would study. 
DOD also stated that it never suggested that it could not or would not 
modify any of the task force recommendations. DOD noted that GAO had 
sought to penalize the department for deviating from the narrowest 
reading of individual recommendations. We disagree. To the contrary, 
our report is very clear on the progress the department has made in 
implementing the recommendations. Moreover, the scope and methodology 
for our study (explained in app. I) clearly details the approach that 
we used to assess this progress. Further, in mentioning that the 
recommendations vary in their relative importance to improving DOD's 
efforts to address domestic violence issues, we simply noted that the 
implementation of some recommendations may not have as significant an 
impact on DOD's efforts as will the implementation of others. 
Additionally, we did not assume that DOD could not modify task force 
recommendations. As the report states, when counting recommendations as 
being completed by DOD, we included instances where actions taken to 
implement the recommendations were different from language that the 
task force suggested. Specifically, we stated that completed actions 
were grouped into two categories: (1) actions that DOD took that 
directly implemented the task force recommendations and (2) completed 
actions taken that DOD believed met the intent of the recommendation. 
We also made it clear in our report that there were 40 recommendations 
that DOD did not take action on because they did not agree with the 
recommendation, the recommendation was not applicable to DOD, or the 
recommended action was already being done. In addition, we noted in the 
report that there were 60 recommendations where DOD had actions 
pending. 

Regarding our recommendations, DOD concurred that the department would 
take steps to ensure commander actions related to domestic violence are 
entered into law enforcement databases, develop a plan to ensure 
adequate personnel are available to implement pending task force 
recommendations, and establish an oversight framework to monitor 
progress and implementation of the task force recommendations. DOD 
stated that it had issued policy requiring documentation of commander 
actions, conducted training to communicate this policy, and would 
continue to aggressively communicate this policy to the services. DOD 
also indicated that it was committed to providing resources to 
implement the task force recommendations and had requested extensions 
for current personnel to do so. We believe this approach could satisfy 
the intent of our recommendation if DOD has a defined plan to provide 
personnel in the event the requested personnel extensions are not 
granted. DOD said it is developing an initial oversight process to 
monitor progress and implementation and it anticipates completion will 
be in fiscal year 2007 or 2008. As DOD develops this oversight process, 
we reiterate the need for it to include results-oriented performance 
measures that can enable it to evaluate compliance with the 
recommendations. 

DOD partially concurred with our recommendation calling for the Under 
Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness to develop a 
comprehensive management plan to address data deficiencies in DOD's 
domestic violence database. DOD stated that this recommendation is more 
appropriately directed to the Military Departments, noting that it 
requires the services to submit data, but that the systems used by the 
services are insufficient and unfunded. We agree. While we believe the 
recommendation is appropriately directed to the Under Secretary of 
Defense for Personnel and Readiness, who has oversight and stewardship 
for the department's centralized domestic violence database, we have 
expanded our recommendation to include the services. 

DOD partially nonconcurred with our recommendation to establish a 
communication strategy for informing DOD and service officials about 
new guidance, to include issuing a revised family advocacy program 
directive and reconsidering the task force recommendation on providing 
military protective orders to law enforcement and family advocacy 
officials and communicating associated policies to the services. 
Specifically, DOD agreed with the need to issue a revised Family 
Advocacy Program Directive. However, the department disagreed with the 
need to reconsider the task force's recommendation to provide military 
protective orders. DOD stated that it has considered the issue of 
providing the protective orders to law enforcement and family advocacy 
officials and continued to believe there are privacy concerns. Given 
its position, we are no longer recommending that the department 
reconsider the task force's recommendation in that regard. However, 
because of inconsistent practices found among the services regarding 
whether distribution of these orders was allowed to law enforcement and 
family advocacy personnel, we continue to believe that the department 
needs to clarify and more effectively communicate its policy on this 
issue and, therefore, we are revising our recommendation to emphasize 
this point. 

DOD partially nonconcurred with our recommendation to develop, in 
concert with the Family Advocacy Director and four service family 
advocacy program managers, guidance and training materials clarifying 
chaplain responsibilities regarding privileged communications. DOD 
stated that the family advocacy program managers were not the 
proponents of chaplains' privileged communications. We agree and have 
modified our recommendation to include the services, as well as the 
Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. DOD also stated 
that each military department has policy addressing clergy 
confidentiality and DOD does not contemplate developing such a policy. 
DOD further stated that it has issued policy requiring this training 
and noted that DOD and the services will continue to address this issue 
at relevant training events. Because we, like the task force, found 
some chaplains did not fully understand their responsibilities 
concerning privileged communications, we continue to believe that DOD 
needs to issue a departmentwide policy on privileged communications, 
and that DOD and the services need to develop training materials that 
highlight and clarify chaplain responsibilities for these 
communications. 

DOD nonconcurred with our recommendation to develop, in concert with 
the Family Advocacy Director, four service family advocacy program 
managers, and the chaplaincy board, procedures and metrics to ensure 
that accurate, consistent, and timely domestic violence training data 
are collected for chaplains. DOD stated that the family advocacy 
program managers were not the proponents of chaplain training and that 
this recommendation is more appropriately directed to the Military 
Departments. We agree. While we believe the recommendation is 
appropriately directed to the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel 
and Readiness, who has oversight over domestic abuse matters, we have 
modified our recommendation to include the services. In addition, DOD 
further stated that it is inappropriate for the department to engage in 
routine operator-level activity such as tracking training statistics. 
However, it is important to note that the Under Secretary of Defense 
for Personnel and Readiness has established metrics for tracking 
domestic abuse training for commanding officers and senior enlisted 
personnel and, in light of this fact, we continue to believe that the 
Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness should also 
maintain procedures and metrics on domestic abuse training for 
chaplains, who play a critical role in assisting domestic violence 
victims. 

We are sending copies of this report to the Secretary of Defense and 
the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. We will 
also make copies available to others upon request. In addition, the 
report will be available at no charge on the GAO Web site at 
[Hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov]. 

Should you or your staff have any questions about this report, please 
contact me at 202-512-6304. Contact points for our Offices of 
Congressional Relations and Public Affairs may be found on the last 
page of this report. Key contributors to this report are listed in 
appendix VI. 

Signed by: 

Valerie C. Melvin: 
Acting Director, Defense Capabilities and Management: 

[End of section] 

Appendix I: Scope and Methodology: 

In conducting our review of the Department of Defense's (DOD) progress 
in implementing recommendations from the Defense Task Force on Domestic 
Violence, we contacted officials at the Office of the Under Secretary 
of Defense for Personnel and Readiness' Family Violence Policy Office 
and Family Advocacy Program, Defense Manpower Data Center; Army's 
Military Community and Family Support Center; Commander of Naval 
Installations; Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for 
Force Management and Personnel; and Marine Corps Family Advocacy 
Program Office. We made 15 site visits to installations in the United 
States, Germany, Japan, and South Korea to collect documentation to 
assess the status of DOD's efforts to implement the Defense Task Force 
on Domestic Violence's recommendations. We selected locations based on 
the number of incidents of spouse abuse reported to the Family Advocacy 
Program office from 2000 through 2004,[Footnote 25] suggestions from 
DOD and service officials, and location--i.e., at least two 
installations per service domestically and at least one per service 
overseas. At each of these locations, we interviewed key personnel in 
positions such as installation commanders, provost marshals, 
commanders, legal officers, victim advocates, family advocacy managers, 
health care officials, chaplains, military police, and senior enlisted 
personnel because they were identified by the task force as having 
specific responsibilities pertaining to victim safety or offender 
accountability. Table 1 lists all of the installations we visited. 

Table 1: Installations Visited During the Review: 

Service: Army; 
Installation: Fort Bragg, North Carolina. 
Installation: Service: Fort Hood, Texas. 
Installation: Service: Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. 
Installation: Service: Yongsan Garrison, South Korea. 

Service: Navy; 
Installation: Naval Station, Norfolk, Virginia. 
Installation: Service: Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, Florida. 
Installation: Service: Naval Station, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. 
Installation: Service: Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan. 

Service: Marine Corps; 
Installation: Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, California. 
Installation: Service: Marine Corps Base, Hawaii. 
Installation: Service: Camp S. D. Butler, Japan. 

Service: Air Force; 
Installation: Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. 
Installation: Service: Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii. 
Installation: Service: Ramstein Air Base, Germany. 
Installation: Service: Kadena Air Base, Japan. 

Source: GAO. 

[End of table] 

To determine DOD's ability to report on domestic violence in the 
military and the disciplinary actions taken by commanders to address 
these incidents, we reviewed and analyzed laws, directives, and other 
DOD and service policies and guidance for reporting domestic violence 
incidents including DOD's Manual for Defense Incident-Based Reporting 
System 7730.47-M and DOD's Manual for Child Maltreatment and Domestic 
Abuse Incident Reporting System 6400.1-M-1. We also reviewed and 
analyzed DOD domestic violence data obtained from the Defense Incident- 
Based Reporting System, Family Advocacy Program Central Registry, and 
reports to Congress on DOD domestic violence. To assess the reliability 
of the criminal and clinical data systems, we (1) reviewed existing 
information about the data and systems that produced them and (2) 
interviewed agency officials knowledgeable about the data. We also 
reviewed information on the collection methods used to gather, record, 
and report the data mentioned above and verified the reliability of the 
data in the Defense Incident-Based Reporting System and Family Advocacy 
Program Central Registry. We concluded that the data from both data 
systems were not complete enough to provide an accurate number of 
domestic violence incidents or commander actions. 

To determine the extent to which DOD has implemented the 
recommendations of the task force as well as the amount of resources 
provided to the office responsible for implementing the 
recommendations, we reviewed Defense Task Force on Domestic Violence 
reports and spoke with members of the defense task force that made the 
recommendations to DOD. In addition, we prepared a matrix summarizing 
the recommendations; obtained DOD's status in implementing the 
recommendations,[Footnote 26] along with supporting documentation and 
evidence to corroborate implementation; and we interviewed or conducted 
focus groups with officials at the selected installations mentioned 
above to understand the guidance and training received by the officials 
and assess how they are implementing the recommendations. We also 
obtained from the installations supporting documentation for many of 
the implemented recommendations, including copies of memoranda of 
agreements with civilian law enforcement agencies, training materials, 
and guidance on military and civilian protection orders. Furthermore, 
we interviewed officials at the DOD Family Violence Policy Office, the 
office responsible for implementing the recommendations, and examined 
budget information to ascertain the funding and resources provided to 
this office. 

To facilitate the data-gathering process for all four 
questions,[Footnote 27] we developed and pretested our questions and 
data collection instruments at Fort Mead and Andrews Air Force Base, 
both located in Maryland. We identified the content of the instruments 
through a review of the task force report recommendations, service 
guidance, and other policy manuals. We ultimately used three types of 
data collection instruments at the 15 installations visited. 
Specifically: 

* Focus group protocols were used to solicit information from two 
homogeneous groups: military police and senior enlisted personnel. The 
focus group protocol was used to increase the likelihood that the 
questions were asked and procedures were conducted in a standardized 
manner, regardless of which GAO analyst conducted the focus groups 
during the 15 site visits. For each focus group we required a minimum 
of 6-10 participants. Participants were assured of anonymity and 
therefore encouraged to openly share their opinions. 

* Advanced questions were sent to six types of officials at the 
installations we visited: unit commanders, legal officials, Family 
Advocacy Program managers, victim advocates, chaplains, and health care 
officials. The questionnaires were sent ahead of our visit and these 
groups were asked to fill out the questionnaires and return them to us 
before the interview. The purpose of the questionnaires was to obtain 
specific information such as training and budget information. 

* Separate discussion group interview protocols were created for eight 
types of officials: installation commanders, provost marshals, unit 
commanders, legal officials, Family Advocacy Program managers, victim 
advocates, chaplains, and health care officials. When possible, we also 
interviewed civilian law enforcement officials around the military 
installation. While some of the questions were the same or very similar 
for some issues, the content of the discussion group interview 
protocols was tailored to the type of official interviewed. 

To determine the efforts DOD has taken to ensure the confidentiality of 
victims and the education and accountability of commanding officers and 
chaplains, we used the methodology for the second question as well as 
reviewed and analyzed DOD's recently issued confidentiality policy, 
which provides limited confidentiality for victims. We also conducted 
discussion groups with commanding officers and chaplains at the 
installations visited to ascertain the training these officials have 
received and to address the accountability of these individuals. We 
reviewed and analyzed domestic violence training materials obtained 
from installation officials and officials at the service training 
schools to determine (1) the efforts DOD takes to educate commanding 
officers and chaplains, (2) whether such training is standardized, and 
(3) whether the training covers topics recommended by the task force on 
domestic violence. Additionally, we reviewed accreditation reports for 
installation Family Advocacy Program programs, where available, and 
other materials documenting the effectiveness of training programs, 
such as reports to DOD on training metrics. 

To determine the extent to which DOD has developed an overall framework 
to guide and evaluate implementation, we interviewed officials in the 
DOD Family Violence Policy Office, which is the office responsible for 
implementing the defense task force recommendations. We also reviewed 
and analyzed DOD regulations and guidance and reports submitted to the 
OSD Family Advocacy Program office to ascertain if DOD has an overall 
framework to guide and evaluate implementation of the recommendations. 
The Government Performance and Results Act of 1993[Footnote 28] and 
Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government[Footnote 29] 
provided model criteria for determining the adequacy of the oversight 
framework. 

We conducted our review from July 2005 through March 2006 in accordance 
with generally accepted government auditing standards. 

[End of section] 

Appendix II: Resources Provided to Implement Task Force 
Recommendations: 

The Military Community and Family Policy Office has managed and 
provided the Family Violence Policy Office with approximately $23 
million to implement task force recommendations since mid-2003. Table 
II shows funding and projects for fiscal years 2003 through 2005. 

Table 2: Resources and Projects to Implement Task Force 
Recommendations[A]: 

Projects: Marine Corps Web-enabled reporting system; 
Purpose: Provide secure Web for the Marine Corps child and spouse abuse 
reporting system; 
FY 03: $175,000; 
FY 04: [Empty]; 
FY 05: [Empty]; 
Total: $175,000. 

Projects: Air Force Central Registry for Child/Spouse Abuse; 
Purpose: Fund a comprehensive development plan for establishing an 
abuse central registry; 
FY 03: 250,000; 
FY 04: [Empty]; 
FY 05: [Empty]; 
Total: 250,000. 

Projects: Marine Corps case management system software; 
Purpose: Provide Marines with case management software for managing 
child/spouse abuse reports; 
FY 03: 76,000; 
FY 04: [Empty]; 
FY 05: [Empty]; 
Total: 76,000. 

Projects: Family violence prevention fund; 
Purpose: Fund a DOD-wide domestic violence public awareness campaign; 
FY 03: 400,000; 
FY 04: [Empty]; 
FY 05: [Empty]; 
Total: 400,000. 

Projects: Family advocacy conference; 
Purpose: Fund the evaluation of a 3-day joint service family advocacy 
training conference for about 600- 650 participants; 
FY 03: 350,000; 
FY 04: [Empty]; 
FY 05: [Empty]; 
Total: 350,000. 

Projects: Family advocacy demonstration project; 
Purpose: Fund initiatives with potential for worldwide application to 
improve DOD's response to domestic violence; 
FY 03: 200,000; 
FY 04: [Empty]; 
FY 05: [Empty]; 
Total: 200,000. 

Projects: Domestic violence/child abuse internet support; 
Purpose: Fund marketing to reach military members and their families on 
the topic of domestic violence; 
FY 03: 600,000; 
FY 04: [Empty]; 
FY 05: [Empty]; 
Total: 600,000. 

Projects: Family advocacy training for commanders interactive training; 
Purpose: Fund a Web-based interactive domestic violence training for 
commanding officers and senior enlisted personnel; 
FY 03: 535,094; 
FY 04: [Empty]; 
FY 05: [Empty]; 
Total: 535,094. 

Projects: Texas council on family violence; 
Purpose: Fund a standardized domestic violence intervention public 
awareness hotline campaign; 
FY 03: 429,000; 
FY 04: [Empty]; 
FY 05: [Empty]; 
Total: 429,000. 

Projects: Child abuse hotline marketing; 
Purpose: Fund posters for child abuse and safety hotline; 
FY 03: 100,000; 
FY 04: [Empty]; 
FY 05: [Empty]; 
Total: 100,000. 

Projects: Family advocacy command assistance team training; 
Purpose: Fund a 5-day joint service family advocacy command assistance 
training conference for 70 people; 
FY 03: 81,154; 
FY 04: [Empty]; 
FY 05: [Empty]; 
Total: 81,154. 

Projects: Family advocacy demonstration project; 
Purpose: Fund domestic violence incident reduction projects such as 
collaboration among military and civilian police; 
FY 03: [Empty]; 
FY 04: 155,000; 
FY 05: [Empty]; 
Total: 155,000. 

Projects: Victim advocate training for chaplains (travel costs); 
Purpose: Fund travel; 
FY 03: [Empty]; 
FY 04: 19,000; 
FY 05: $23,100; 
Total: 42,100. 

Projects: Victim training for professionals; 
Purpose: Fund a series of conferences for professionals in 2005; 
FY 03: [Empty]; 
FY 04: 2,640,906; 
FY 05: [Empty]; 
Total: 2,640,906. 

Projects: Victim advocates and shelter; 
Purpose: Fund the establishing, administering, and monitoring of 
installations that participate in the program to provide victim 
advocates and/or shelter services to victims of domestic violence; 
FY 03: 4,571,000; 
FY 04: 7,500,000; 
FY 05: 4,800,000; 
Total: 16,871,000. 

Projects: Joint domestic violence shelter; 
Purpose: Fund the family abuse shelter in Hawaii; 
FY 03: [Empty]; 
FY 04: [Empty]; 
FY 05: 396,000; 
Total: 396,000. 

Projects: Travel; 
Purpose: Fund travel; 
FY 03: 75,000; 
FY 04: 3,500; 
FY 05: 11,000; 
Total: 89,500. 

Projects: Total funding per fiscal year; 
Purpose: [Empty]; 
FY 03: $7,842,248; 
FY 04: $10,318,406; 
FY 05: $5,230,100; 
Total: $23,390,754. 

Source: Department of Defense. 

[A] Program analysts in DOD's Military Community and Family Policy 
Office noted that contract and staff costs were unknown for fiscal year 
2003 and staff costs were for a General Schedule 12 and 15 for both 
fiscal years 2004 and 2005. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix III: 194 Defense Task Force on Domestic Violence 
Recommendations: 

Tables 3 through 7 contain the task force recommendations broken out by 
descriptive categories: Community Collaboration, Education and 
Training, Offender Accountability, Victim Safety, and Other. Each table 
groups the recommendations, by our analysis of the Department of 
Defense's (DOD) actions taken. We split the Completed Actions group 
into two sections (1) actions that DOD took that directly implemented 
the task force recommendations and (2) completed actions taken that 
they believe meet the intent of the recommendation. The No Action 
Required group consists of recommendations DOD classified as complete, 
but actually disagreed with and took no action; recommendations DOD 
shows as having no action required because the recommendation was not 
applicable to DOD; or those recommendations where DOD indicated that 
the recommended actions were already being done. The Pending Actions 
group consists of those recommendations in which DOD, at the time of 
our review, was still working on or weighing its response. Not all 
tables contain recommendations that fit under each group identified 
above. 

Table 3: Community Collaboration Recommendations: 

Completed actions. 

Recommendation: Make violation of a valid civilian order of protection 
by a military member an offense under Uniform Code of Military Justice; 
Documentation to support that implementation is complete: Directive- 
Type Memorandum: Implementation of the Armed Forces Domestic Security 
Act, November 10, 2003. 

Recommendation: Use standard Military Protective Order; 
Documentation to support that implementation is complete: Directive-
Type Memorandum: Military Protective Orders, March 10, 2004. 

Recommendation: Require written Military Protective Order; 
Documentation to support that implementation is complete: Directive-
Type Memorandum: Military Protective Orders, March 10, 2004. 

Recommendation: Require initial training for commanding officers with 
annual refreshers; 
Documentation to support that implementation is complete: Directive-
Type Memorandum: Domestic Abuse Response and Intervention Training for 
Commanding Officers and Senior Enlisted Personnel, February 3, 2004. 

Recommendation: With Defense Task Force on Domestic Violence, develop 
standardized curricula; 
Documentation to support that implementation is complete: Directive-
Type Memorandum: Domestic Abuse Response and Intervention Training for 
Commanding Officers and Senior Enlisted Personnel, February 3, 2004. 

Recommendation: Require initial domestic violence training for Senior 
enlisted personnel in key billets with annual refreshers; 
Documentation to support that implementation is complete: Directive-
Type Memorandum: Domestic Abuse Response and Intervention Training for 
Commanding Officers and Senior Enlisted Personnel, February 3, 2004. 

Recommendation: With Defense Task Force on Domestic Violence, develop 
standardized curricula; 
Documentation to support that implementation is complete: Directive-
Type Memorandum: Domestic Abuse Response and Intervention Training for 
Commanding Officers and Senior Enlisted Personnel, February 3, 2004. 

Recommendation: Task Force provided DOD with proposed language to send 
to Congress to amend Section 103, title 18, to make it a crime to 
violate a civilian order of protection on federal property; 
Documentation to support that implementation is complete: Directive-
Type Memorandum: Implementation of the Armed Forces Domestic Security 
Act, November 10, 2003. 

Recommendation: Train commanding officers on Military Protective 
Orders; 
Documentation to support that implementation is complete: Directive- 
Type Memorandum: Domestic Abuse Response and Intervention Training for 
Commanding Officers and Senior Enlisted Personnel, February 3, 2004. 

Recommendation: Forward law enforcement domestic violence issues to 
Joint Security Chiefs Counsel; 
Documentation to support that implementation is complete: DOD provided 
documentation that the Defense Enterprise-Wide Working Group and Joint 
Security Chiefs Counsel consented to support domestic violence efforts 
as a result of meetings held with each on March 19 and 24, 2003, 
respectively. 

Recommendation: Create, with Department of Justice, an initiative, 
including financial incentives, to encourage collaborative agreements 
between civilian law enforcement/judicial agencies and military 
installations in the areas of information sharing, training material 
and opportunities, programs, and other domestic violence resources; 
Documentation to support that implementation is complete: DOD partnered 
with the Department of Justice and Federal Law Enforcement Training 
Center to create a train-the-trainer module based on a coordinated 
community response to domestic violence. In addition to training, DOD 
and Office of Violence Against Women at the Department of Justice are 
conducting coordinated community response projects in two communities 
with large military populations, Jacksonville, FL (Navy) and 
Clarksville, TN (Army). 

Recommendation: Explore use of state-of-the-art training platforms such 
as Web-based training; 
Documentation to support that implementation is complete: DOD provided 
documentation that they explored options and are developing Web-based 
domestic violence training for commanding officers. 

Recommendation: Ensure maximum use of treatment/intervention resources 
in civilian communities overseas when available and appropriate; 
Documentation to support that implementation is complete: DOD responded 
that the services report increased collaboration and use of host nation 
resources overseas, where available. 

Recommendation: Adopt and widely disseminate the Commanding Officer's 
Protocol/ Guidelines; 
Documentation to support that implementation is complete: Directive-
Type Memorandum: Establishing Protocols for Law Enforcement and Command 
Responses to Domestic Violence Involving Military Members on Active 
Duty, October 22, 2004. 

Recommendation: Seek partnerships to develop domestic violence 
prevention and education programs; 
Documentation to support that implementation is complete: Directive-
Type Memorandum: Domestic Abuse Response and Intervention Training for 
Commanding Officers and Senior Enlisted Personnel, February 3, 2004. 

Recommendation: Amend DODD 6400.1 to require installation/regional 
commanders to seek Memorandum of Understanding with local communities 
to address responses to domestic violence; 
Documentation we found to support actions taken that DOD believes met 
the intent of the recommendation: Directive-Type Memorandum: 
Establishing Domestic Violence Memoranda of Understanding Between 
Military and Local Civilian Officials, January 29, 2004. 

Recommendation: Create an enclosure to DODD 6400.1 that provides 
examples of Memorandum of Understanding and guidance in negotiating the 
creation and implementation of such memoranda; 
Documentation we found to support actions taken that DOD believes met 
the intent of the recommendation: Directive-Type Memorandum: 
Establishing Domestic Violence Memoranda of Understanding Between 
Military and Local Civilian Officials, January 29, 2004. 

Recommendation: Require copy of military protective order to be 
provided to victim within 24 hours of issuance; 
Directive-Type Memorandum: Military Protective Orders, March 10, 2004 
provides a copy to the victim but not in 24 hours. 

Recommendation: Issue official instructions as follows: Military 
installation officials should seek to establish relationships which 
foster collaboration with community based services for victims of 
domestic violence; 
local law enforcement departments; 
local prosecutor's office(s); 
and local criminal, civil, and domestic violence court(s). The ultimate 
goal being the improvement of command awareness of domestic violence 
issues, improvement of the delivery of services to and safety of 
victims, and increased accountability of offenders; 
Directive-Type Memorandum: Establishing Domestic Violence Memoranda of 
Understanding Between Military and Local Civilian Officials, January 
29, 2004. 

Recommendation: Adopt the standard Military Protective Order on page 32-
33 of the Defense Task Force's Second Year Report; 
Directive-Type Memorandum: Military Protective Orders, March 10, 2004. 

Recommendation: Adopt a policy that commanding officers remove and bar 
civilian domestic violence offenders from the installation; 
Documentation we found to support actions taken that DOD believes met 
the intent of the recommendation: Directive-Type Memorandum: 
Establishing Protocols for Law Enforcement and Command Responses to 
Domestic Violence Involving Military Members on Active Duty, October 
22, 2004. 

Recommendation: Require notification to gaining commander of pending 
transfer of service member with open Family Advocacy Program (domestic 
violence) case to ensure needed services are available at new duty 
station; 
Documentation we found to support actions taken that DOD believes met 
the intent of the recommendation: Directive-Type Memorandum: 
Establishing Protocols for Law Enforcement and Command Responses to 
Domestic Violence Involving Military Members on Active Duty, October 
22, 2004, and Directive-Type Memorandum: Domestic Abuse Response and 
Intervention Training for Commanding Officers and Senior Enlisted 
Personnel, February 3, 2004. 

Recommendation: Request that the Defense Enterprise-Wide Working Group 
create a sub working group of the Defense Criminal Investigative 
organizations to address domestic violence issues; 
Documentation we found to support actions taken that DOD believes met 
the intent of the recommendation: DOD provided documentation that the 
Defense Enterprise-Wide Working Group and Joint Security Chiefs Counsel 
consented to support domestic violence efforts as a result of meetings 
held with each on March 19 and 24, 2003, respectively. 

Recommendation: Establish procedures for returning service/family 
members to continental United States following domestic violence 
incident depending on severity and availability of services; 
Documentation we found to support actions taken that DOD believes met 
the intent of the recommendation: Directive-Type Memorandum: 
Establishing Protocols for Law Enforcement and Command Responses to 
Domestic Violence Involving Military Members on Active Duty, October 
22, 2004. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004, 
Pub. L. No. 108-136, at 571 (2003), Travel and Transportation for 
Dependents Relocating for Reasons of Personal Safety, stipulates that a 
spouse victim of domestic violence can request shipment of household 
goods and/or motor vehicle provided (1) a commander determines the 
member committed the abuse in question, (2) a safety plan and 
counseling have been provided to the victim, (3) the safety of the 
dependent is at risk, and (4) relocation is advisable. The member must 
consent in writing before transportation will be provided. 

Recommendation: Develop a standard state-of-the-art curriculum for all 
commanding officers and key billeted senior enlisted personnel; 
Documentation we found to support actions taken that DOD believes met 
the intent of the recommendation: Directive-Type Memorandum: Domestic 
Abuse Response and Intervention Training for Commanding Officers and 
Senior Enlisted Personnel, February 3, 2004. 

Recommendation: Ensure services provide written guidance to 
training/education commands for domestic violence training; 
Documentation we found to support actions taken that DOD believes met 
the intent of the recommendation: Directive-Type Memorandum: Domestic 
Abuse Response and Intervention Training for Commanding Officers and 
Senior Enlisted Personnel, February 3, 2004. DOD is also developing Web-
based training modules for commanding officers. 

No action required;  

Recommendation: Establish standard policy of enforcement of 
warrants/orders on military installations; 
Documentation we found that does not support implementation status as 
complete but as disagreed and DOD's support for no action required: DOD 
stated that enforcement of warrants and orders varies so significantly 
by location the issue is best handled by local memorandum of 
understanding instead of standard DOD policy. 

Recommendation: Establish and fund a domestic violence response 
coordinator position at each major installation; 
Documentation we found that does not support implementation status as 
complete but as disagreed and DOD's support for no action required: DOD 
officials disagreed with the recommendation and will not take action. 
DOD noted that tasks are currently performed by a combination of law 
enforcement personnel, victim advocates, and Family Advocacy Program 
staff. 

Recommendation: Centrally record and track Military Protective Orders; 
Documentation we found that does not support implementation status as 
complete but as disagreed and DOD's support for no action required: DOD 
essentially disagreed with the recommendation and will not take action. 
DOD noted that Office of Secretary of Defense determined it would not 
be feasible to create another database. 

Recommendation: Require copies to Family Advocacy Program and 
installation military police; 
Documentation we found that does not support implementation status as 
complete but as disagreed and DOD's support for no action required: DOD 
essentially disagreed with the recommendation and will not take action. 
DOD stated in its August 8, 2005, report responding to the task force 
recommendations that the Privacy Act restricts distribution of military 
protective orders and that the victim must provide orders to Family 
Advocacy Program and law enforcement if desired. The Office of 
Secretary of Defense and service lawyers told us in interviews that 
this distribution would not necessarily be a violation of the Privacy 
Act. The July 14, 2004, Directive-Type Memorandum, Clarifying Guidance 
Concerning the DD Form 2873, Military Protective Order, does not 
authorize distribution to the Family Advocacy Program or military 
police. 

Recommendation: Provide a list of suggested duties for the Domestic 
Violence Response Coordinator; 
Documentation we found that does not support implementation status as 
complete but as disagreed and DOD's support for no action required: DOD 
disagreed with the recommendation and will not take action. DOD stated 
that tasks are currently performed by a combination of law enforcement 
personnel, victim advocates, and Family Advocacy Program staff. 

Recommendation: Recommend the establishing of such positions at 
installation level; 
Documentation we found that does not support implementation status as 
complete but as disagreed and DOD's support for no action required: DOD 
disagreed with the recommendation and will not take action, but DOD 
identified it as complete. DOD stated that tasks are currently 
performed by a combination of law enforcement personnel, victim 
advocates, and Family Advocacy Program staff. 

Recommendation: Reconstitute DOD-level Family Advocacy Committee; 
DOD disagreed with the recommendation and will not take action, but 
identified as complete. DOD stated that other means are currently in 
place to achieve this. 

Recommendation: Require quarterly meetings of DOD-level Family Advocacy 
Committee; 
DOD disagreed with the recommendation and will not take action. DOD 
stated that other means are currently in place to achieve this. 

Recommendation: Require service-level Family Advocacy Committees; 
DOD disagreed with the recommendation and will not take action. DOD 
stated that other means are currently in place to achieve this. 

Recommendation: Require installation-level Family Advocacy Committee; 
DOD disagreed with the recommendation and will not take action. DOD 
stated that other means are currently in place to achieve this. 

Recommendation: Charter DOD-level Family Advocacy Committee to 
collaborate among services to improve services, victim safety, and 
offender accountability; 
DOD disagreed with the recommendation and will not take action. DOD 
stated that other means are currently in place to achieve this. 

Recommendation: Select standardized delivery models as specified for 
training; 
Documentation we found that does not support implementation status as 
complete but as disagreed and DOD's support for no action required: DOD 
essentially disagreed with the recommendation and will not take action. 
However, they issued Directive-Type Memorandum: Domestic Abuse Response 
and Intervention Training for Commanding Officers and Senior Enlisted 
Personnel, February 3, 2004, but this directive does not address a 
standard delivery model. 

Recommendation: Request Congress enacts legislation making it a crime 
to disobey a civilian order of protection on federal property; 
Documentation we found that does not support implementation status as 
complete but as disagreed and DOD's support for no action required: DOD 
stated that the recommendation was directed toward Congress, but OSD 
issued Directive- Type Memorandum: Implementation of the Armed Forces 
Domestic Security Act, November 10, 2003. 

Pending actions: Make domestic violence Memorandum of Understandings 
with local communities an item of special interest for the DOD and 
Service Inspector Generals;  

Pending actions: Do not assign overseas service/family members 
undergoing domestic violence program unless services available in 
gaining command; 

Pending actions: Do not assign overseas service/family members pending 
court action for domestic violence offense;  

Pending actions: Provide promotion materials that advertise family 
services that portray total community; 

Pending actions: Provide promotional materials in language and 
population served; 

Pending actions: Encourage installation representatives to coordinate 
with local, diverse organizations; 

Pending actions: Encourage input of foreign-born spouses in design of 
outreach materials on domestic violence; 

Pending actions: Evaluate Services "best practices." 

Source: GAO analysis of DOD data. 

[End of table] 

Table 4: Education and Training Recommendations: 

Completed actions. 

Recommendation: With Defense Task Force Domestic Violence, develop 
domestic violence awareness education for all health care staff; 
Documentation we found to support implementation as complete: Directive-
Type Memorandum: Domestic Abuse Identification and Assessment Training 
for Health Care Providers, February 6, 2004. 

Recommendation: Require initial domestic violence training for New 
Parent Support Program nurses; 
Documentation we found to support implementation as complete: Directive-
Type Memorandum: Domestic Abuse Identification and Assessment Training 
for Health Care Providers, February 6, 2004. 

Recommendation: Recommend that DOD issue a policy memorandum regarding 
Domestic Violence; 
Documentation we found to support implementation as complete: Deputy 
Secretary of Defense issued Directive-Type Memorandum: Domestic 
Violence, November 19, 2001. 

Recommendation: DOD, with Defense Task Force on Domestic Violence, 
develops domestic violence training for chaplains; 
Documentation we found to support implementation as complete: Directive-
Type Memorandum: Domestic Abuse Training for Chaplains, January 29, 
2004. 

Recommendation: Highlight senior leadership policy on nontolerance of 
domestic violence; 
Documentation we found to support implementation as complete: Deputy 
Secretary of Defense issued memorandum on Domestic Violence, November 
19, 2001. 

Recommendation: Implement standardized medical forensic training for 
health care providers in first responder roles; 
Documentation we found to support implementation as complete: Directive-
Type Memorandum: Domestic Abuse Identification and Assessment Training 
for Health Care Providers, February 6, 2004. 

Recommendation: Explore state-of-the-art training platforms such as Web-
based training for forensic medical training; 
Documentation we found to support implementation as complete: DOD 
responded that upon completion of commander Web-based training module, 
consideration will be given to expanding this platform. 

Recommendation: Develop standardized domestic violence training 
curriculum for chaplains using outline provided; 
Documentation we found to support implementation as complete: Directive-
Type Memorandum: Domestic Abuse Training for Chaplains, January 29, 
2004. 

Recommendation: Initiate domestic violence evidence-based training for 
Staff Judge Advocates; 
Documentation we found to support actions taken that DOD believes met 
the intent of the recommendation: Directive-Type Memorandum: Domestic 
Violence Prosecution Training, March 18, 2002. 

Recommendation: Conduct Lautenberg Awareness Campaign; 
Directive-Type Memorandum: Department of Defense Policy for 
Documentation we found to support actions taken that DOD believes met 
the intent of the recommendation: Implementation of Domestic Violence 
Misdemeanor Amendment to the Gun Control Act for Military Personnel, 
November 27, 2002. 

Recommendation: Require annual Lautenberg Awareness Education; 
Directive-Type Memorandum: Department of Defense Policy for 
Documentation we found to support actions taken that DOD believes met 
the intent of the recommendation: Implementation of Domestic Violence 
Misdemeanor Amendment to the Gun Control Act for Military Personnel, 
November 27, 2002. 

Recommendation: Include domestic violence awareness education in basic 
officer and enlisted schools; 
Documentation we found to support actions taken that DOD believes met 
the intent of the recommendation: Directive-Type Memorandum: Domestic 
Abuse Response and Intervention Training for Commanding Officers and 
Senior Enlisted Personnel, February 3, 2004. 

Recommendation: Include domestic violence awareness education in all 
professional military education schools, local training, etc; 
Documentation we found to support actions taken that DOD believes met 
the intent of the recommendation: Directive-Type Memorandum: Domestic 
Abuse Response and Intervention Training for Commanding Officers and 
Senior Enlisted Personnel, February 3, 2004. 

Recommendation: With Chaplain working group and Defense Task Force on 
Domestic Violence, develop domestic violence training for Chaplains' 
Documentation we found to support actions taken that DOD believes met 
the intent of the recommendation: Basic Courses and ensure training for 
those overseas; 
Directive-Type Memorandum: Domestic Abuse Training for Chaplains, 
January 29, 2004. 

No action required;  

Recommendation: DOD mandate transitional compensation awareness 
education for spouses; 
Documentation we found that does not support implementation status as 
complete but as disagreed and DOD's support for no action required: DOD 
stated that this is already being done. Since Congress established the 
transitional compensation program, the services have routinely educated 
dependent family members about it. 

Recommendation: Emphasize the need to reach spouses residing off the 
installation; 
Documentation we found that does not support implementation status as 
complete but as disagreed and DOD's support for no action required: DOD 
stated that Family Advocacy Program provides outreach to spouses 
residing off of the installation. 

Recommendation: Ensure cultural diversity education for those overseas; 
Documentation we found that does not support implementation status as 
complete but as disagreed and DOD's support for no action required: DOD 
stated that cultural diversity education is provided by local, 
national, and family center staff. 

Recommendation: Request Congress fully fund New Parent Support Program; 
Documentation we found that does not support implementation status as 
complete but as disagreed and DOD's support for no action required: DOD 
stated that it had previously requested and been denied full funding 
for New Parent Support Program. 

Recommendation: The Defense Task Force on Domestic Violence Victim 
Safety Workgroup continues to investigate the issue of transitional 
compensation; 
Documentation we found that does not support implementation status as 
complete but as disagreed and DOD's support for no action required: DOD 
noted that the recommendation is for the Defense Task Force on Domestic 
Violence, not DOD. 

Pending actions: Develop domestic violence instructions for initial 
training for military police; 

Pending actions: Ensure local military police patrol officers receive 
domestic violence training; 

Pending actions: Create domestic violence mobile training teams for 
military police; 

Pending actions: Develop a list of state-of-the-art domestic violence 
equipment for military police;  

Pending actions: Study adoption of indicator-based screening for 
domestic violence; 

Pending actions: Provide law enforcement first responders with audio 
visual equipment; 

Pending actions: Provide training on the use of audio visual equipment; 

Pending actions: Develop policy on clergy confidentiality; 

Pending actions: Develop standard DOD policy on clergy confidentiality; 

[End of table] 

Source: GAO analysis of DOD data. 

Table 5: Offender Accountability Recommendations: 

Completed actions. 

Recommendation: Investigate every domestic violence incident to 
determine if a crime was committed; 
Documentation we found to support implementation as complete: Directive-
Type Memorandum: Establishing Protocols for Law Enforcement and Command 
Responses to Domestic Violence Involving Military Members on Active 
Duty, October 22, 2004. 

Recommendation: Ensure services comply with interim guidance on waivers 
for domestic violence-related convictions; 
Documentation we found to support implementation as complete: Directive-
Type Memorandum: Enlistment Waivers for Domestic Violence-Related 
Convictions, January 22, 2002. 

Recommendation: Review the Lautenberg waivers; 
Documentation we found to support implementation as complete: A 2001 
Office of Undersecretary of Defense Personnel and Readiness review of 
service enlistment waivers found the Services to be in compliance with 
the interim guidance concerning Lautenberg and enlistment waivers. 

Recommendation: Develop guidance for formal and informal fatality 
reviews; 
Documentation we found to support implementation as complete: 
Directive- Type Memorandum: Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Fatality 
Reviews, February 12, 2004. 

Recommendation: Require results and system change recommendations to be 
completed in a timely manner; 
Documentation we found to support implementation as complete: Directive-
Type Memorandum: Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Fatality Reviews, 
February 12, 2004. 

Recommendation: Evaluate data collection methods; 
Documentation we found to support implementation as complete: 
Evaluation determined Defense Incident-Based Reporting System and 
Family Advocacy Program Central Registry are not interchangeable and 
forced substitution would be a mistake. 

Recommendation: Establish a law enforcement protocol for domestic 
violence investigations; 
Documentation we found to support implementation as complete: Directive-
Type Memorandum: Establishing Protocols for Law Enforcement and Command 
Responses to Domestic Violence Involving Military Members on Active 
Duty, October 22, 2004. 

Recommendation: Incorporate into education programs factors for legal 
and commanding officers to consider in responding to domestic violence 
as a crime; 
Documentation we found to support implementation as complete: Directive-
Type Memorandum: Domestic Abuse Response and Intervention Training for 
Commanding Officers and Senior Enlisted Personnel, February 3, 2004. 

Recommendation: Develop guidance to capture data required by Section 
594, Public Law 106-65; 
Documentation we found to support actions taken that DOD believes met 
the intent of the recommendation: DODD 7730.47 Defense Incident-Based 
Reporting System establishes guidance to capture data required by 
National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2000, Pub. L. No. 
106-65, at 594 (1999). 

Recommendation: Formally evaluate repeat offenders/treatment failures 
for continued service; 
Documentation we found to support actions taken that DOD believes met 
the intent of the recommendation: Directive-Type Memorandum: Domestic 
Abuse Response and Intervention Training for Commanding Officers and 
Senior Enlisted Personnel, February 3, 2004. 

Recommendation: Issue final Lautenberg guidance; 
Documentation we found to support actions taken that DOD believes met 
the intent of the recommendation: Directive-Type Memorandum: Department 
of Defense Policy for Implementation of Domestic Violence Misdemeanor 
Amendment to the Gun Control Act for Military Personnel, November 27, 
2002. 

Recommendation: Develop guidelines for commanding officers in domestic 
violence substantiation determinations; 
Documentation we found to support actions taken that DOD believes met 
the intent of the recommendation: Directive-Type Memorandum: 
Establishing Protocols for Law Enforcement and Command Responses to 
Domestic Violence Involving Military Members on Active Duty, October 
22, 2004. DOD later responded that since commanders are required to 
consult with legal, this is an automatic process because the military 
attorneys consult the Uniformed Code of Military Justice and the Manual 
for Courts Martial and this document contains a list of factors to 
consider when determining whether to substantiate a case. 

No action required. 

Recommendation: Study whether Defense Incident-Based Reporting System 
should replace the Family Advocacy Program central registry; 
Documentation we found that does not support implementation status as 
complete but as disagreed and DOD's support for no action required: DOD 
disagreed with the intent of this recommendation and said the study 
determined that Defense Incident- Based Reporting System and the Family 
Advocacy Program central registry are not interchangeable, and forced 
substitution of one for the other would be a mistake. 

Recommendation: Expand Family Advocacy Program database to comply with 
section 594 requirements if Defense Incident-Based Reporting System is 
delayed; 
Documentation we found that does not support implementation status as 
complete but as disagreed and DOD's support for no action required: DOD 
disagreed with the need to use the Family Advocacy Program database to 
meet the requirements of section 594 of Pub. L. No. 106-65 (1999). 

Recommendation: Fatality reviews; 
Documentation we found that does not support implementation status as 
complete but as disagreed and DOD's support for no action required: DOD 
stated that the Defense Task Force on Domestic violence made no 
specific recommendations, but pledged to continue researching issue in 
conjunction with DOD's goal of implementing domestic violence fatality 
reviews. 

Pending actions: Train law enforcement, legal, and command to 
collaborate on domestic violence crime determination; 

Pending actions: Require comprehensive, effective batterer 
intervention; 

Pending actions: Develop criteria for differing interventions; 

Pending actions: Develop criteria for risk/lethality assessments; 

Pending actions: Develop criteria for success in offender behavior 
after intervention; 

Pending actions: Require domestic violence program evaluation; 

Pending actions: Establish advisory committee to oversee program 
evaluation; 

Pending actions: Establish a protocol for evaluating field-based 
domestic violence programs; 

Pending actions: Use regional oversight and monitoring visits; 

Pending actions: With organizations experienced in domestic violence 
prevention programs, develop an ongoing domestic violence awareness 
campaign; 

Pending actions: Target a program of domestic violence education to 
grades E1-E4; 

Pending actions: With Department of Defense Education Activity 
incorporate domestic violence awareness into dependent schools; 

Pending actions: Incorporate criteria provided by Defense Task Force on 
Domestic Violence into policy update for domestic violence case 
management; 

Pending actions: Fully implement Defense Incident-Based Reporting 
System at the earliest possible date; 

Pending actions: Seek to improve civil-military cooperation to foster 
victim safety; 

Pending actions: Work with the Department of Justice to implement 
Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act of 2000 to ensure proper 
emphasis for domestic violence; 

Source: GAO analysis of DOD data. 

[End of table] 

Table 6: Victim Safety Recommendations: 

[See PDF for Image] 

[End of table] 

Source: GAO analysis of DOD data. 

Table 7: Other Recommendations: 

[See PDF for Image] 

Source: GAO analysis of DOD data. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix IV: DOD's Directive-Type Memoranda and Policy Implementing the 
Task Force Recommendations: 

As of March 2006, the Department of Defense (DOD) has issued 16 
directive-type memoranda to implement the task force's recommendations. 
Table 8 lists the memoranda and dates of issuance. DOD also issued 3 
other memoranda that were not identified as directive-type memoranda 
but were related to the task force recommendations. These included the 
Deputy Secretary of Defense memorandum titled "Domestic Violence" dated 
November 19, 2001; the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force 
Management Policy memoranda titled "Enlistment Waivers for Domestic 
Violence-Related Convictions" dated January 22, 2002; and the 
memorandum titled "Domestic Violence Prosecution Training" dated March 
18, 2002.[Footnote 30] 

Table 8: DOD's Memoranda Implementing Task Force Recommendations: 

1; 
Directive-type memoranda: Establishment of DOD Database on Domestic 
Violence and Procedures for Submitting Domestic Violence Data; 
Date issued: 06/2000. 

2; 
Directive-type memoranda: Department of Defense Policy for 
Implementation of Domestic Violence Misdemeanor Amendment to the Gun 
Control Act for Military Personnel; 
Date issued: 11/27/02. 

3; 
Directive-type memoranda: Department of Defense (DOD) Policy for 
Implementation of Domestic Violence Misdemeanor Amendment to Gun 
Control Act for DOD Civilian Personnel; 
Date issued: 11/27/02. 

4; 
Directive-type memoranda: Implementation of the Armed Forces Domestic 
Security Act; 
Date issued: 11/10/03. 

5; 
Directive-type memoranda: Domestic Abuse Training for Chaplains; 
Date issued: 01/29/04. 

6; 
Directive-type memoranda: Establishing Domestic Violence Memoranda of 
Understanding Between Military and Local Civilian Officials; 
Date issued: 01/29/04. 

7; 
Directive-type memoranda: Domestic Abuse Response and Intervention 
Training for Commanding Officers and Senior Enlisted Personnel; 
Date issued: 02/03/04. 

8; 
Directive-type memoranda: Domestic Abuse Identification and Assessment 
Training for Health Care Providers; 
Date issued: 02/06/04. 

9; 
Directive-type memoranda: Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Fatality 
Reviews; 
Date issued: 02/12/04. 

10; 
Directive-type memoranda: Military Protective Orders; 
Date issued: 03/10/04. 

11; 
Directive-type memoranda: Clarifying Guidance Concerning the DD Form 
2873, Military Protective Order; 
Date issued: 07/14/04. 

12; 
Directive-type memoranda: Establishing Protocols for Law Enforcement 
and Command Responses to Domestic Violence Involving Military Members 
on Active Duty; 
Date issued: 10/22/04. 

13; 
Directive-type memoranda: Domestic Abuse Victim Advocate Program; 
Date issued: 02/17/05. 

14; 
Directive-type memoranda: Notification of Department of Defense-Related 
Fatalities Due to Domestic Violence or Child Abuse; 
Date issued: 03/04/05. 

15; 
Directive-type memoranda: Duration of Payment for Transitional 
Compensation for Abused Dependents; 
Date issued: 06/14/05. 

16; 
Directive-type memoranda: Restricted Reporting Policy for Incidents of 
Domestic Violence; 
Date issued: 01/22/06. 

Source: GAO analysis of DOD data. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix V: Comments from the Department of Defense: 

Under Secretary Of Defense: 
4000 Defense Pentagon: 
Washington, D.C. 20301-4000: 

May 3, 2006: 

Personnel And Readiness: 

Ms. Valerie C. Melvin: 
Acting Director: 
Defense Capabilities and Management: 
U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO): 
441 G Street, N.W. 
Washington, DC 20548: 

Dear Ms. Melvin: 

This is the Department of Defense (DoD) response to the GAO draft 
report, "MILITARY PERSONNEL: Progress Made in Implementing 
Recommendations to Reduce Domestic Violence, but Further Management 
Action Needed," dated April 7, 2006 (GAO Code 350723/GAO-06-540)." 

We are pleased that GAO found that DoD has implemented almost two 
thirds of the Defense Task Force on Domestic Violence (hereafter 
referred to as the "Task Force") recommendations with which it agreed 
to implement or study and that documentation, focus group discussions, 
and interviews showed the Department's policies were being implemented 
at the Service and installation level. 

The Department is concerned, however, that GAO's attempt to define, 
differentiate, and prioritize what it considers important Task Force 
recommendations has focused on perceived deficiencies rather than 
progress. Fundamental in the GAO review is the apparent assumption that 
DoD should implement all recommendations of the Task Force-and exactly 
as written. After each of the three annual reports, DoD clearly 
indicated the recommendations with which it agreed (the vast majority), 
those with which it nonconcurred, and those we agreed to study. The 
Department never intended to suggest it could not or would not modify 
any particular Task Force recommendation during implementation. Yet, 
GAO seeks to penalize the Department for deviating from the narrowest 
reading of individual recommendations. The Department must have the 
flexibility to implement policy that will support and serve its Service 
members and their families. 

The Department has accomplished a great deal in a short time and will 
continue to implement aggressively Task Force recommendations. 

Our responses to specific GAO recommendations are contained in the 
enclosure. 

Signed by: 

David S. C. Chu: 

Enclosure: 
As stated: 

GAO DRAFT REPORT - DATED APRIL 7, 2006 GAO CODE 350723/GAO-06-540: 

"MILITARY PERSONNEL: Progress Made in Implementing Recommendations To 
Reduce Domestic Violence, but Further Management Action Needed" 

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE COMMENTS TO THE RECOMMENDATIONS: 

RECOMMENDATION 1: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness) 
(USD(P&R)) to develop a comprehensive management plan to address 
deficiencies in the data captured in DoD's domestic violence database 
that focuses on ensuring that accurate and complete data exists and 
that all instances in the Defense Incident-Based Reporting System 
(DIBRS) and Family Advocacy Program Central Registry are matched and 
reported annually, as required in DoD's Manual 7730.47-M. (p. 26/GAO 
Draft Report): 

DOD RESPONSE: Partially concur. 

This recommendation is more appropriately directed to the Military 
Departments. The DIBRS database is operational and the USD(P&R) has 
repeatedly issued memoranda requiring the Military Departments to 
submit data to DIBRS. The systems used by the Military Departments to 
populate DIBRS are insufficient and underfunded. The DoD Law 
Enforcement and Policy Support Directorate will continue to address 
this issue at regularly scheduled meetings with Service 
representatives. 

RECOMMENDATION 2: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness) to take 
appropriate steps, in conjunction with the service secretaries, to 
ensure all commander actions related to domestic violence incidents are 
entered in law enforcement systems. (p. 26/GAO Draft Report): 

DOD RESPONSE: Concur. 

The Department has made substantial efforts to ensure commanders are 
aware of their responsibilities for reporting disciplinary actions 
related to domestic violence. Specifically, the Department issued the 
directive-type memorandum, "Establishing Protocols for Law Enforcement 
and Command Responses to Domestic Violence Involving Military Members 
on Active Duty," in October 2004 requiring commanding officers to 
document command actions and report such actions through installation 
law enforcement officials for inclusion in DIBRS. During the past year 
the Department has conducted six domestic abuse training conferences 
for commanding officers, judge advocates, and law enforcement personnel 
specifically addressing these issues and will continue with these 
trainings. Furthermore, the Department has developed a Web based 
domestic violence training curriculum for commanding officers in which 
this issue is addressed. Finally, each Military Service addresses this 
issue at each domestic violence training they conduct. DoD will 
continue to aggressively communicate this policy to the Military 
Departments. 

RECOMMENDATION 3: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness) to 
develop a plan to ensure adequate personnel are available to implement 
pending task force recommendations. (p. 26/GAO Draft Report): 

DOD RESPONSE: Concur: 

DoD remains steadfast in its commitment to provide resources to 
continue its aggressive pace implementing the Task Force 
recommendations. The Department has requested extensions of current 
personnel to complete the mission for which a final determination is 
expected by July 2006. 

RECOMMENDATION 4: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness) to 
establish a communication strategy for effectively informing DoD and 
service officials about new guidance implementing the task force 
recommendations, to include: 

* issuing a revised DoD family advocacy program directive that is 
consistent with interim guidance for implementing the task force 
recommendations; and: 

* reconsidering the task force's recommendation on providing copies of 
military protective orders to law enforcement and family advocacy 
officials and communicating that the associated implementing policy be 
consistently followed by all services and DoD. (p. 26/GAO Draft 
Report): 

DOD RESPONSE: Partially nonconcur. 

DoD concurs with sub-bullet one and the revision of the Directive is 
underway with an anticipated completion in FY07. DoD does not concur 
with sub-bullet two. Due to privacy concerns raised about this matter 
after the policy was originally issued, the policy was re-reviewed and 
modified accordingly. The Department does not contemplate, at this 
time, reconsidering this issue. 

RECOMMENDATION 5: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness) to 
develop, in concert with the family advocacy director, the four service 
family advocacy managers, and chaplaincy board procedures and metrics 
to ensure that accurate, consistent, and timely domestic violence 
training data are collected for chaplains. (p. 26/GAO Draft Report): 

DOD RESPONSE: Nonconcur. 

The family advocacy program managers are not the proponents of chaplain 
training. Furthermore, it is inappropriate for DoD to engage in routine 
operator level activity such as tracking training statistics. This 
recommendation is more appropriately directed to the Military 
Departments who are responsible for tracking such information in their 
respective Departments. 

RECOMMENDATION 6: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness) to 
develop, in concert with the family advocacy director and the four 
service family advocacy managers, chaplain guidance and training 
materials that highlight and clarify chaplain responsibilities 
concerning privileged communication. (p. 26/GAO Draft Report): 

DOD RESPONSE: Partially nonconcur. 

The family advocacy program managers are not the proponents of chaplain 
privileged communication. Furthermore, each Military Department has 
policy addressing clergy confidentiality which guides chaplain 
confidentiality in all situations; therefore DoD does not contemplate 
developing a clergy confidentiality policy. Additionally, the 
Department issued a directive-type memorandum, "Domestic Abuse Training 
for Chaplains," in January 2004 requiring the Military Departments to 
provide specialized training addressing this issue during all chaplain 
officer basic courses and at periodic continuing professional military 
education update opportunities. DoD, in collaboration with the Military 
Departments, will continue addressing this issue at all relevant 
training events. 

RECOMMENDATION 7: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense 
direct the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness) to 
develop and implement, in conjunction with the services, a DoD-wide 
oversight framework that includes a results-oriented evaluation plan 
for the implemented recommendations, and a process for ongoing 
monitoring of and reporting on implementation. (p. 26-27 GAO Draft 
Report): 

DOD RESPONSE: Concur. 

The Department has issued sixteen directive-type memorandums 
implementing recommendations made by the Task Force. As these new 
policies are being trained, a process is being developed for DoD 
representatives to accompany Service accreditation teams to evaluate 
the execution of these new policies. This initial oversight process 
will allow further study and development of a DoD oversight team that 
monitors progress and implementation. Anticipated completion is FY07- 
08. 

[End of section] 

Appendix VI: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

GAO Contact: 

Valerie C. Melvin, (202) 512-6304: 

Acknowledgments: 

In addition to the person named above, Laura L. Durland, Assistant 
Director; James R. Bancroft; Renee S. Brown; Robert B. Brown; Carissa 
D. Bryant; Marion A. Gatling; Nicole Harms; Amanda Miller; J. P. 
Newton; Jeanett H. Reid; and Sonja S. Ware made key contributions to 
this report. 

FOOTNOTES 

[1] DOD adopted the definitions for domestic violence and domestic 
abuse in 2004. 

[2] Pub. L. No. 106-65, at 591, 594 (1999). 

[3] Pub. L. No. 108 -136, at 575 (2003). 

[4] The Family Advocacy Central Registry collects clinical information 
about the initial allegation of domestic abuse, support and services 
provided to victims of such abuse, and treatment, such as anger 
management classes, given to alleged abusers. 

[5] Army Regulation 165-1, Religious Activities: Chaplain Activities in 
the United States Army, Mar. 25, 2004. 

[6] Pub. L. No. 106-65, at 594 (1999). 

[7] Pub. L. No. 106-65, at 591 (1999). 

[8] An official in DOD's Law Enforcement Policy and Support Office told 
us that the Defense Incident-Based Reporting System was designed and 
constructed to collect and report crime data under a number of 
statutes, including the Victims Rights and Restitution Act of 1990 and 
the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1994. We were told, 
however, that because the services are not reporting information needed 
to make up the total input to the law enforcement database, collection 
and/or reporting for this are done manually "offline" instead of 
through the Defense Incident-Based Reporting System. 

[9] DOD's Manual for Defense Incident-Based Reporting System, 7730.47M, 
dated July 25, 2003, discusses requirements for the centralized 
database on domestic violence. 

[10] Pub. L. No. 106-65, at 594 (1999). 

[11] Department of Defense Directive-Type Memorandum, Establishment of 
DOD Database on Domestic Violence and Procedures for Submitting 
Domestic Violence Data, June 8, 2000. 

[12] This category also included special interest items such as the 
domestic violence definition, prevention of domestic violence, severity 
of abuse, recommended research, and process model. 

[13] See GAO, Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government, 
GAO/AIMD-00-21.3.1 (Washington, D.C.: November 1999). 

[14] The special Web pages provide news and information for flag and 
general officers--i.e., http://www.commanderspage.com; while, another-
-i.e., http://www.militaryhomefront.dod.mil--provides servicemembers 
and their families with information on all quality-of-life issues, 
including domestic violence. 

[15] As of March 30, 2006, DOD had posted Directive Type Memoranda on 
its official Directives Web site; however, this link only had 3 of the 
16 domestic violence directive-type memoranda. 

[16] See GAO, Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government, 
GAO/AIMD-00-21.3.1 (Washington, D.C.: November 1999). 

[17] The Privacy Act of 1974, Pub. L. No. 93-579 (1974) is the primary 
act that regulates the federal government's use of personal 
information. It places limitations on agencies' collection, disclosure, 
and use of personal information in systems of records. 

[18] Army Regulation 608-18 (Sept. 27, 2004). 

[19] OPNAVINST 1752.2A (Jul. 17, 1996). 

[20] Congress established the transitional compensation program for 
abused spouses/family members of military personnel as part of the 
National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 1994, Pub. L. No. 103-
160, at 554 (1993). The law authorizes temporary payments for families 
in which the servicemember has been discharged administratively or by 
court-martial for dependent-related abuse. 

[21] A communication to a chaplain given as a formal act of religion or 
as a matter of conscience that is made in confidence and not intended 
to be disclosed to others is a privileged communication. 

[22] The Military Rule of Evidence 503, Communications to Clergy, 
states that a person has a privilege to refuse to disclose in legal 
proceedings and to prevent another from disclosing a confidential 
communication to a clergy or to a clergyman's assistant if such a 
communication is made either as a formal act of religion or as a matter 
of conscience. 

[23] Accreditation is a process of education and improvement for 
service organizations that are committed to achieving quality in 
management and services. It demonstrates that the service has met 
accepted standards of operation in the Family Advocacy Program. 

[24] Pub. L. No. 103-62 (1993). 

[25] We did not verify these numbers. 

[26] We assessed DOD's progress in implementing the recommendations 
included in its status matrix submitted on February 15, 2006. DOD 
continues to complete recommendations and submitted an updated matrix 
March 21, 2006; however, our time frames precluded us from 
corroborating this additional information. 

[27] We assessed (1) DOD's ability to report on domestic violence 
incidents in the military and disciplinary actions taken by commanders 
to address these incidents, (2) the extent to which DOD has provided 
resources to the office overseeing implementation of the task force's 
recommendations and the extent to which the recommendations have been 
implemented, (3) the specific actions that DOD has taken on the 
recommendations to ensure the confidentiality of victims and the 
education and accountability of commanding officers and chaplains, and 
(4) the extent to which DOD has established an oversight framework to 
monitor compliance with and evaluate implementation of the 
recommendations. 

[28] Pub. L. No. 103-62 (Aug. 3, 1993). 

[29] See GAO, Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government, 
GAO/AIMD-0021.3.1 (Washington, D.C.: November 1999). 

[30] Travel guidance was also issued that related to one of the task 
force's recommendation, titled "MAP 55-03 - Travel and Transportation 
for Dependents Relocating For Reasons of Personal Safety", dated 
February 24, 2004. 

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