Defense Industrial Base:

DOD Needs Better Method of Identifying Critical Technology Funding

NSIAD-92-13: Published: Feb 5, 1992. Publicly Released: Feb 5, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) methodology for identifying designated critical technology funding.

GAO found that the Office of the Secretary of Defense's (OSD) methodology for identifying designated critical technologies funding did not include: (1) collecting data on the extent to which defense contractors use their independent research and development/bid and proposal (IR+D/B+P) funds to invest in critical technologies; (2) requiring military services to link funding to the Critical Technologies Plan's specific technical goals; or (3) developing actual expenditure data. GAO also found that the military services and defense agencies used different funding methodologies to respond to OSD information requests.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD stated that funding data for critical technologies are "only estimates" and are not aligned with the DOD budget. DOD stated that it has complied with legislation requiring it to provide budget estimates for critical technologies. However, DOD stated that since critical technologies are not aligned with the budget, it cannot evaluate how closely the work followed earlier funding projections.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should provide guidance to the military services and defense agencies to better identify the extent to which DOD is funding the Critical Technologies Plan. The guidance should require that the military services and defense agencies: (1) describe the extent to which funding is linked to the technical goals; (2) report information on planned and actual expenditures; and (3) describe the extent to which funds spent on contractors' IR+D/B+P efforts are addressing the critical technologies.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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