Personnel:

Civilian/Military Personnel Mix at the Air Force Weapons Laboratory

NSIAD-89-13: Published: Nov 16, 1988. Publicly Released: Nov 16, 1988.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the civilian/military personnel mix at the Air Force Weapons Laboratory (AFWL).

GAO found that: (1) the Air Force Systems Command (AFSC) did not ensure that AFWL annually reviewed each of its military positions to ensure that position justifications were current and consistent with the military essentiality criteria; (2) civilians could perform 246 of the 293 officer positions that AFWL categorized as requiring military experience; (3) the AFWL staff was 49 percent civilian, which was lower than the overall percentage for Air Force laboratories, due to an Air Force belief that the AFWL mission required military personnel; and (4) the 13 other Air Force laboratories had about 72 percent civilians overall in fiscal year (FY) 1986. GAO also found that: (1) in response to congressional inquiries into the AFWL personnel mix, AFWL increased the number of its civilian positions from 35 percent in 1972 to 49 percent in 1988; (2) recent congressionally directed reductions will result in a reduction of 44 officer positions at AFWL; and (3) AFWL plans to accomplish the reductions by converting 25 officer positions to civilian positions and by eliminating the remaining positions.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Air Force completed its review of AFWL military positions, coded each position's military essentiality, and scheduled the conversion of military to civilian positions.

    Recommendation: Because so many of the AFWL positions GAO reviewed did not meet the military essentiality criterion under which they were categorized, the Secretary of the Air Force should direct the Commander, AFSC, to: (1) review each AFWL position to identify those that are military-essential, based on established Air Force criteria; (2) ensure that each position is appropriately coded; (3) maintain adequate supporting rationale for the positions coded; and (4) convert non-military-essential positions to civilian positions.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Air Force

 

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