International Affairs:

FY 2005 Annual Report on the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program

GAO-04-930R: Published: Jul 9, 2004. Publicly Released: Jul 9, 2004.

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Under section 1308 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2001 (P.L. 106-398), the Department of Defense (DOD) is to submit an annual report to Congress on its Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program no later than the first Monday in February of each year. The report should include a 5-year plan that discusses the amount and purpose of funding needed over the term of the plan and a description of efforts conducted by the United States to ensure that CTR assistance is fully accounted for and used for its intended purposes. The act requires the Comptroller General to assess this 5-year plan and the description of efforts to account for CTR assistance within 90 days of the report's submission to Congress. The Department submitted its CTR annual report for fiscal year 2005 to Congress in early February 2004, and we briefed Congressional staff on April 29, 2004. We analyzed the 2005 report to determine whether (1) the 5-year plan addresses legislative requirements and presents accurate information, (2) the accountability section addresses legislative requirements and presents accurate information, and (3) past GAO recommendations have been adopted.

We found that the 5-year plan addressed the legislative requirements by setting forth funding information for the term of the plan and the purpose of those funds. We also confirmed with project managers that, for the eight projects we reviewed in detail, the information provided in the report was generally accurate. We found that the accountability section addressed all legislative requirements. We found that the information was generally accurate and complete and included the concerns raised in project trip reports and audit and examinations. We found that DOD has taken action on 13 of 14 GAO recommendations regarding the reporting of CTR program information over the last 9 years. DOD has not implemented our recommendation that the annual report incorporate key federal strategic planning elements. Specifically, the report did not include annual performance goals linked to long-term goals, information on external factors that could affect the achievement of these goals, and plans for revising program goals, all of which had been developed by CTR program managers. However, in its response to our July 2003 report, DOD stated that the legislation does not require reporting on these elements in its annual CTR report. Since 1994, DOD has implemented all but one of GAO's recommendations regarding the reporting of CTR program information and in so doing has significantly improved the quality of its annual reporting to Congress on the CTR program.

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