Drug Control:

National Guard Counter-Drug Support to Law Enforcement Agencies

NSIAD-91-113: Published: May 3, 1991. Publicly Released: Jun 4, 1991.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Office of the Secretary of Defense's (OSD) allocation of fiscal year (FY) 1989 and FY 1990 appropriations totalling $150 million to support an increased National Guard role in states' and territories' counter-drug activities.

GAO found that: (1) OSD allocated $35.5 million of its $40-million FY 1989 appropriation and prioritized funding to states with the most pressing counter-drug interdiction needs; (2) OSD did not use states' priority rankings or evaluate mission priority, since states' requests and the amount of available funding were relatively close; (3) because OSD provided the funds late in the fiscal year, states were unable to spend $12.4 million, which they returned to the U.S. Treasury; (4) in FY 1990, OSD initially allocated $67.7 million of the $83.1 million states requested, on the basis of a rank-order list of counter-drug missions and a relative priority for each state; (5) OSD allocated $51.5 million of that initial funding to 21 states it identified as top-priority states; (6) OSD allocated $111.9 million for operational costs of states' counter-drug activities for FY 1991; (7) OSD planned to require states to specify funding priorities among the missions included in their FY 1992 requests; (8) as of January 1991, the National Guard Bureau had committed $17.1 million for ground-based radars, $7.1 million for thermal imaging radars, and $4.3 million for communications equipment to support the high-priority missions that OSD was funding; (9) the Bureau and the states' Guard organizations have not determined the amount or type of equipment to be purchased with FY 1991 funds; and (10) law enforcement agencies could not quantify the impact of the Guard's expanded support for their counter-drug activities, since the Guard did not independently plan, control, or execute operations.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Acting upon the draft report, OSD requested, in February 1991, the National Guard Bureau to prioritize the funds recommended for anti-drug support operations. This recommendation can be closed out.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs to implement the OSD plan to require each state to prioritize the National guard counter-drug missions for which it requests funding.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Acting upon the draft report, NGB reworked the fiscal year 1991 equipment procurement plan and resubmitted the plan to the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) on April 30, 1991. OSD approved the plan on June 14, 1991. This recommendation can be closed out.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs to delay approval of the National Guard Bureau's FY 1991 equipment procurement plan until the Bureau can determine exactly how much to spend on equipment and what types of equipment are most needed by the states' National Guard organizations for counter-drug activities.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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