Drug Control:

U.S. Supported Efforts in Burma, Pakistan, and Thailand

NSIAD-88-94: Published: Feb 26, 1988. Publicly Released: Feb 26, 1988.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO evaluated the Department of State's Bureau of International Narcotics Matters' (INM), the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA), and the Agency for International Development's (AID) narcotics control efforts in Burma, Thailand, and Pakistan, focusing on: (1) financial and technical assistance for crop control; (2) law enforcement activities; and (3) development assistance.

GAO found that: (1) although Burma, Pakistan, and Thailand increased eradication of opium poppy crops, only Thailand had a consistent decline over the last four growing seasons; (2) all three countries have had problems with narcotics-related corruption; (3) Thailand and Pakistan have weak narcotics laws; (4) poorly managed crop-control programs made it difficult to measure progress in all three countries; and (5) opium production reductions in Pakistan and Thailand will depend on the success of rural development projects. GAO also found that: (1) INM often lacked quantifiable project goals and frequently reported inaccurate cultivation, yield, and eradication data; (2) INM provided development assistance through U.S. embassies' narcotics assistance units (NAU) to farmers to discourage opium cultivation; (3) AID spent about $9.4 million on narcotics control development assistance in Pakistan and Thailand in fiscal year 1987; (4) AID had no projects in Burma, since the Burmese government preferred dealing with a single agency rather than multiple foreign agencies; and (5) AID did not coordinate its narcotics control efforts with those of INM or NAU.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department of State has established a new system of quarterly performance and fiscal management reviews. This system includes the establishment of quantifiable project objectives, targets for performance, milestones of activities, and measures of effectiveness.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of State should direct INM to seek to develop more specific, quantifiable goals in project agreements and perform the required evaluations, including evaluating the results of development assistance.

    Agency Affected: Department of State

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: INM has established a new project monitoring and reporting system (PMRS) designed to strengthen control over country-specific, project based operations, including surveys and end-use monitoring.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of State should direct INM to encourage host governments to perform complete and more timely aerial surveys and require more NAU validation of host government eradication results to improve the accuracy of production and eradication statistics.

    Agency Affected: Department of State

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department of State concurred with the need for more effective cooperative development efforts. A working group has been established to develop appropriate interagency coordinating mechanisms and to develop appropriate anti-narcotic strategies for the countries included in this report.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of State and the Administrator, AID, should take steps to ensure that NAU and AID missions work together to make certain that the most effective approach is followed in providing narcotics-related development assistance to Pakistan and Thailand.

    Agency Affected: Department of State

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of State and the Administrator, AID, should take steps to ensure that NAU and AID missions work together to make certain that the most effective approach is followed in providing narcotics-related development assistance to Pakistan and Thailand.

    Agency Affected: United States Agency for International Development

 

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