Drug Control:

Use of National Guard Aircraft in Counter-Drug Activities

NSIAD-90-205: Published: Sep 7, 1990. Publicly Released: Oct 29, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed three states' use of National Guard aircraft to fly counter-drug missions, focusing on whether: (1) it was more economical to use National Guard helicopters rather than to contract for commercial helicopters; (2) states conducted cost comparisons of commercial versus government aircraft use in accordance with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-126; and (3) such analyses were part of each state's justification for using National Guard helicopters.

GAO found that: (1) although it was unable to determine for fiscal year (FY) 1990 whether it was more economical for states to use National Guard instead of commercial helicopters, use of National Guard helicopters could result in added costs in FY 1991 if flying hours exceed the preliminarily set projections; (2) data were not available to verify flying-hour information; (3) OMB Circular A-126 did not apply to states' use of National Guard aircraft; and (4) agencies that used grant funds to lease commercial aircraft had less money available for other drug-related activities.

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