Natural Resources and Environment:

Posthearing Questions Related to Strategic Human Capital Management and Endangered Species

GAO-03-777R: Published: May 21, 2003. Publicly Released: May 21, 2003.

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This letter contains GAO's response to questions for the record from the House Committee on Armed Services' May 1, 2003, hearing on "The Defense Transformation for the 21st Century Act." Congressmen Neil Abercrombie and Sylvestre Reyes submitted the questions.

GAO outlined various examples illustrating how compliance with the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act have affected military training on various bases. GAO stated that Department of Defense (DOD) has not made adequate efforts to assess the extent to which military readiness has been affected by compliance with these environmental statutes. GAO also gave its opinion on DOD's recent proposal to grant certain government agencies broad based exemptions from existing law. GAO felt that Congress should take an active role in overseeing these efforts. GAO also stated that DOD does not have the needed infrastructure in place to efficiently integrate its capital planning process with the department's program goals and mission. GAO also suggested that Congress establish additional safeguards to ensure the fair, merit-based, transparent, and accountable implementation of DOD's proposed National Security Personnel System.

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