Department of Defense Distinguished Visitors' Program Fund

NSIAD-85-63: Published: Apr 10, 1985. Publicly Released: Apr 10, 1985.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed Department of Defense (DOD) directives, issued in compliance with recommendations, for improving accounting procedures for expenditures incurred in entertaining visiting foreign dignitaries.

GAO noted that DOD extends invitations to foreign officials to visit U.S. military installations in order to strengthen ties with important military allies. GAO found that money for emergency and extraordinary expenses is authorized from the DOD Operations and Maintenance Appropriations Fund, and about 20 percent of the fund is used for the DOD Distinguished Visitors' Program. The nature of the expenses are vulnerable to criticism and result in DOD officials comparing the low level of funding and the potentially large national security benefits derived by establishing and maintaining good relations. However, in its previous report, GAO found that some expenses charged to the account were inconsistent with DOD guidance, and it recommended that DOD clarify the uses of the funds for certain types of expenses and direct the military departments to conform to DOD guidance. GAO found that DOD has incorporated the recommendations into its directives and the military departments have changed their regulations to comply with DOD guidance.

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