Army Reserve Components:

Opportunities to Improve Management of the Full-Time Support Program

NSIAD-90-43: Published: Feb 8, 1990. Publicly Released: Feb 26, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Army's management and oversight of its full-time support (FTS) program, which provides personnel to Army National Guard and reserve components to assist with the administration, recruiting, maintenance, and training tasks essential to achieving unit readiness.

GAO found that the Army: (1) split program management and oversight responsibilities among 10 organizations, with no single organization overseeing or managing FTS as a totally integrated program; (2) did not establish adequate internal controls for monitoring FTS, did not regularly conduct program effectiveness evaluations, failed to consistently act upon results of limited validation team reviews which identified misuse of personnel, and failed to report problems as material weaknesses in its annual assurance statements; (3) lacked sound justification for its requirement for 120,000 personnel; (4) used a staffing guide, without any work-load or similar analyses, to establish its requirements for individual units; (5) primarily used active guard and reserve (AGR) personnel to expand the FTS force, but did not develop guidance to differentiate between the roles of AGR personnel and military technicians or to ensure that it cost-effectively filled FTS positions; and (6) was constrained in its ability to employ military technicians by limited available funding, and experienced civilian manpower reductions.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Army plans reductions in FTS personnel as part of its overall force reduction effort.

    Matter: In view of the growing importance and increased cost of the Army's FTS program, Congress may wish to consider deferring requests for additional personnel authorizations above current levels until it ensures that adequate action has been taken to improve the program. Exceptions to such deferral might be considered when the Army seeks to add new missions to the reserve components.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The initial guidance has been prepared by DOD. Once guidance is published, the Army will publish implementing instructions. DOD guidance and Army implementing instructions are to be issued in September 1992.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should develop clear guidance that specifically differentiates among the roles for AGR, military technician, active component, and civilian employees, and stipulates when those FTS personnel should be used.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: As part of the Department of Defense (DOD) fiscal year (FY) 1992 budget submission that is currently before Congress, additional staff were requested by DOD to perform work load analyses.

    Recommendation: If technically and economically feasible, the Secretary of the Army should use work-load analyses to determine FTS personnel requirements for table of organization and equipment units.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  3. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The Army considered inclusion of this program as a material weakness in its Annual Assurance Statement. However, it does not believe the FTS management deficiency constitutes specific instances of noncompliance with the Financial Integrity Act.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should identify FTS management deficiencies in the FTS program as a material weakness in the Secretary's next annual assurance statement.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Army has published a revised internal control checklist to assist in monitoring the FTS program. It is also conducting on-site work load surveys of units to determine whether the requirements for FTS personnel are based on measurable standards. The Army will also monitor the program through monthly reporting to ensure that program objectives are being met.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should develop measurable program objectives and implement adequate program monitoring mechanisms.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  5. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Secretary of the Army has assigned responsibility for oversight of the FTS program to the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should assign authority and responsibility for overseeing and directing the Army's FTS program to one Army organization.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  6. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Army regulations will be revised to put procedures in place that will ensure that cost becomes a consideration in establishing the FTS mix. Army regulations have been developed and will be issued in September 1992.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should develop procedures, as required by Department of Defense Directive 1205.18, that will help the Army National Guard and the Army Reserve establish the most cost-effective mix of FTS personnel.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

 

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