Cooperative Threat Reduction:

DOD's 1997-98 Reports on Accounting for Assistance Were Late and Incomplete

NSIAD-00-40: Published: Mar 15, 2000. Publicly Released: Mar 15, 2000.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) calendar years 1997 and 1998 accounting reports for the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program, which provides assistance to the former Soviet Union, focusing on each report's: (1) compliance with its respective deadline for submission to Congress; and (2) accuracy and completeness.

GAO noted that: (1) DOD was 16 months late in submitting its CTR accounting report for 1997 to Congress and more than 10 months late in submitting its report for 1998 to Congress; (2) the delays associated with both reports were primarily due to DOD's prolonged review of the draft reports and the relatively low priority that its officials placed on ensuring the reports' timely submission; (3) the 1998 report's submission was also delayed because DOD did not clearly communicate to the Department of State the type of information State needed to provide DOD for the report and the deadline for its submission; (4) these delays denied Congress information concerning the status of previous assistance provided to the former Soviet states while Congress considered the appropriation of fiscal year 1999 and 2000 funds for the CTR program; (5) DOD did not provide complete and fully accurate information in its 1997 and 1998 accounting reports; and (6) the reports: (a) failed to list more than $27 million of CTR equipment that DOD provided to recipient states during a 3-month period in 1997; (b) listed only a single form of CTR assistance--equipment transferred to recipient states, (that represented less than 19 percent of the program's 1997-1998 expenditures) rather than all assistance provided; (c) described where the equipment was located at the time of its transfer to the recipients' custody (rather than where it was actually located at the time of the reports) and failed to describe the location or condition of other forms of assistance, such as contractor-provided services; (d) contained either unsupportable or overstated estimates of the percentage of equipment that DOD had audited in determining that assistance was being used as intended; (e) did not include complete information on how State and the Department of Energy (DOE) used CTR funds, largely because DOD did not clearly communicate its information needs to those agencies; and (f) the 1998 report did not include specific information on Russia's arsenal of tactical nuclear warheads.

Status Legend:

More Info
  • Review Pending-GAO has not yet assessed implementation status.
  • Open-Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-implemented-Actions that satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-not implemented-While the intent of the recommendation has not been satisfied, time or circumstances have rendered the recommendation invalid.
    • Review Pending
    • Open
    • Closed - implemented
    • Closed - not implemented

    Recommendations for Executive Action

    Recommendation: In order to ensure that Congress receives timely and accurate information on assistance provided to former Soviet states through the CTR program, the Secretary of Defense should establish procedures to facilitate the collection of information required in section 1206 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1996 so that this information is submitted to Congress by January 31 of each year, as specified in the legislation.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD has fully implemented the recommendation.

    Recommendation: In order to ensure that Congress receives timely and accurate information on assistance provided to former Soviet states through the CTR program, the Secretary of Defense should establish quality controls and processes to improve the report's information on the location, condition, and value of all assistance provided.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD has fully implemented the recommendation.

    Recommendation: In order to ensure that Congress receives timely and accurate information on assistance provided to former Soviet states through the CTR program, the Secretary of Defense should provide clear guidance to State and DOE on the nature and timing of information that DOD requires of them for future accounting reports.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD has fully implemented the recommendation.

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