DOD Revolving Door:

Many Former Personnel Not Reporting Defense-Related Employment

NSIAD-86-71: Published: Mar 4, 1986. Publicly Released: Mar 6, 1986.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO evaluated the employment disclosure process for Department of Defense (DOD) and contractor employees, focusing on: (1) whether former DOD employees are reporting post-government employment as required; and (2) measures that could be taken to improve the process. Federal law requires former military officers, senior civilian employees, and contractor employees to report their post-government employment to ensure that: (1) DOD personnel who anticipate contractor employment do not use their positions to gain favor with contractors; and (2) former DOD personnel do not use their contacts with former colleagues to the detriment of the government.

GAO found that: (1) of the almost 12,000 employees holding security clearances who left DOD to work with defense contractors in 1983, more than 50 percent were exempted from filing a disclosure form because they were not working at a major defense plant; (2) only about 30 percent of those required to file a form did so; and (3) only the Air Force reminds its retired officers annually of the reporting requirement. In addition, GAO found that: (1) DOD and the services limit the degree to which they review disclosure forms because no written guidance exists for reviewing forms and the reported information is insufficient to detect possible conflicts of interest; and (2) recent amendments to the disclosure law increase the amount of information that former DOD and contractor employees must report.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD issued 26,000 notification letters for the 1987 reporting period. DOD will be assessing the impact of the notifications as reports are submitted.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should require the services to annually inform all covered former personnel of the requirement to report defense-related employment for 2 years after their separation.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD Directive 5500.7 was issued on May 6, 1987. The directive incorporated the recommended actions.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should require that defense-related employment reports contain information on the type and extent of contact current defense contractor employees had with the contractors when they were with DOD, and vice versa.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD Directive 5500.7 was issued on May 6, 1987, incorporating the recommended changes.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should require that the services establish a formal review process with written guidance for reviewers to use in detecting possible conflicts of interest.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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