Extent of Compliance With DOD's Requirement To Report Defense-Related Employment

NSIAD-85-98: Published: Jun 10, 1985. Publicly Released: Jun 14, 1985.

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Pursuant to congressional request, GAO examined the degree of compliance with a requirement that former Department of Defense (DOD) personnel report employment with major defense contractors. Under 10 U.S.C. 2397, former DOD civilian and military personnel who had at least 10 years of continuous service and attained grade GS-13 or a military rank of 0-4 and who work for a defense contractor with at least $10 million in negotiated defense contracts are required to report information on their current employment activities.

GAO found that the Office of Government Ethics was established to determine the extent to which post-federal employment activities may cause problems because of potential or apparent conflicts of interest, but the determination was never made and the extent of the problems is not known. DOD has no estimate of the number of people required to file or the degree of compliance with the requirement. In preparing its estimate, GAO compared a computer tape of all nongovernment personnel holding security clearances and a computer tape of the personnel who left DOD within a certain time period, and the analysis suggested that about 70 percent of the people who were likely to be required to file did not and that Air Force officers had a significantly higher compliance rate because the Air Force notifies retired officers required to file on a yearly basis. DOD expressed surprise at the low level of compliance, but noted that the law does not require DOD to estimate or report on the levels of compliance.

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