Strategic Defense Initiative Program:

Controls Needed Over Construction and Operational Support Funds

NSIAD-86-145: Published: Jul 24, 1986. Publicly Released: Jul 24, 1986.

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GAO studied the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization's (SDIO) plans for constructing facilities for the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) program, specifically whether SDIO had adequate management controls in place to identify, plan, review, approve, and notify Congress of SDIO-funded construction projects.

GAO found that: (1) SDIO failed to notify Congress in advance of funds it spent on a construction project that Congress did not previously authorize; (2) SDIO failed to notify Congress in advance of funds it spent on a construction project at a contractor-owned, and contractor-operated facility it undertook with research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) funds; (3) agencies improperly used RDT&E funds for projects involving SDI research; and (4) SDIO used SDI research funds to repair a roof and maintain facilities without congressional knowledge.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: SDIO takes the position that the funds expended for operational support were within R&D appropriation law. SDIO no longer intends to develop a policy on the use of SDI funds for operational support.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should require the Director, SDIO, to establish: (1) policies on the use of SDI funds for operational support; and (2) agreements with executing agencies delineating responsibilities for funding operational support of SDIO-funded facilities.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: SDIO stated that it does not have any facilities at this time. SDIO pays user fees for the use of executing agencies' facilities. In the future, when SDIO defines its facilities, it will budget for operational support costs.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should require the Director, SDIO, to describe in budget documents the planned use of RDT&E funds for operational support costs, such as operation and maintenance of facilities and acquisition of transportation assets.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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