Financial Management:

Military Departments' Response to the Reorganization Act

NSIAD-89-49: Published: Feb 9, 1989. Publicly Released: Mar 14, 1989.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the military services' reorganization of their financial management structures, focusing on the: (1) effect on civilian control; and (2) extent to which the reorganization complied with the Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986, which required the military departments to designate a single financial management office in their secretariats and strengthen civilian control.

GAO found that the: (1) Army complied with the act and strengthened civilian control by integrating two financial management offices into a new office headed by a presidentially appointed assistant secretary for financial management; (2) Navy made minimal changes, maintaining its civilian presidential appointee to serve as both comptroller and assistant secretary for financial management; (3) Navy believed that the Marine Corps' special position within its department necessitated its long-standing policy of delegating some financial management responsibilities to the Marine Corps Fiscal Division; and (4) Air Force complied with the act's requirement by moving its comptroller position to the secretariat, but did not meet the goal of strengthening civilian authority, since it eliminated its assistant secretary for financial management position, transferred many senior-level civilian supervisors to areas other than financial management, and assigned most of its financial management responsibilities to its comptroller, a military officer.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: Both the House and Senate Armed Services Committee addressed acquisition integrity issues with Secretary Garrett. No subsequent action has been taken with respect to reflecting the Marine Corps' special position within the Department of the Navy.

    Matter: Congress may wish to consider whether or not the Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 needs to be modified to reflect the Marine Corps' special position within the Department of the Navy.

 

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