Drug Control:

Inadequate Guidance Results in Duplicate Intelligence Production Efforts

NSIAD-92-153: Published: Apr 14, 1992. Publicly Released: May 14, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request and a legislative requirement, GAO: (1) reviewed Department of Defense (DOD) efforts to increase the availability and usefulness of drug-related intelligence to law enforcement agencies; (2) identified duplicate reporting and analysis efforts among various counternarcotics organizations; (3) described the roles of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the Director of Central Intelligence's Counternarcotics Center in coordinating counternarcotics activities; and (4) reviewed overall authority for directing intelligence collection, analysis, and reporting by counternarcotics organizations.

GAO found that: (1) DOD has contributed significantly to drug intelligence collection capabilities and has increased the overall understanding within the U.S. counternarcotics community of the nature and scope of drug producing and trafficking organizations; (2) although the volume of drug-related intelligence being collected has increased, no single individual or organization is directing the collection, analysis, and reporting of counternarcotics intelligence by both DOD and law enforcement agencies; (3) the Director, ONDCP, establishes priorities for intelligence functions, but does not have the authority to direct agency intelligence activities; (4) the Central Intelligence Agency established the Counternarcotics Center to coordinate activities of the counternarcotics intelligence community; (5) neither the Counternarcotics Center nor DOD has issued adequate guidance on the relative priority of collecting, analyzing, and reporting information on major drug trafficking and producing organizations and detecting and monitoring individual drug shipments; and (6) DOD collection efforts do not appear to unnecessarily duplicate those of law enforcement agencies, but the lack of overall guidance has resulted in duplication within and among DOD and law enforcement organizations in the critical production that follows intelligence collection.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: Since issuance of this report (April 1992), GAO has asked repeatedly to meet with representatives from the Director of Central Intelligence's (DCI) Counternarcotics Center to determine what action, if any, the agency has taken to implement this recommendation. Each time, the DCI's staff has refused to meet with GAO to discuss this matter. Given the longstanding refusal of the DCI's staff to deal with GAO on all intelligence matters, and the passage of time (over 4 years) since GAO's recommendation was made, the recommendation is no longer applicable.

    Matter: Congress may wish to consider directing the Counternarcotics Center, through the Director of Central Intelligence, to develop overall guidance for analyzing and reporting counternarcotics intelligence. This guidance should be consistent with the Center's management and coordination responsibilities as specified in its January 1990 Intelligence Community Counternarcotics Strategy. Further, in developing this guidance, the Counternarcotics Center should obtain input from all members of the counternarcotics intelligence community, as well as from the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DIA published "Counterdrug Intelligence Collection Strategy" on January 12, 1993; DIA has also finalized its counternarcotics architecture.

    Recommendation: To coordinate counternarcotics intelligence efforts and reduce duplication in the intelligence analysis and reporting phase within the defense community, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) to finalize its counternarcotics baseline architecture and intelligence collection strategy.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DIA has reached agreement, in principle, with all EMERALD users on the basis of initial system demonstrations. These agreements specify who will handle what types of data and who will have quality control. DOD expected to formalize these agreements in 30 to 90 days following its Functions Control Board Meeting scheduled for May 22-25, 1993. GAO expected a report to the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee in September 1993 on DOD's progress in implementing the EMERALD drug data-sharing system. DOD and the drug law enforcement agencies are not cooperating to share information so that EMERALD can realize its potential. As a result the Committee has removed its support for the program and revoked the Department's most recent request for funding.

    Recommendation: To coordinate counternarcotics intelligence efforts and reduce duplication in the intelligence analysis and reporting phase within the defense community, the Secretary of Defense should direct DIA to pursue final agreements from both DOD and law enforcement organizations on responsibilities for providing drug-related data to ensure the April 1992 operation target is met for EMERALD, the drug-related database.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD's December 12, 1993, response stated that efforts under way would provide additional management tools to help DOD detect and minimize duplication. It went on to say that not all duplication would be eliminated and was not, in itself, counterproductive, as many products are tailored to local objectives. No further information is available.

    Recommendation: To coordinate counternarcotics intelligence efforts and reduce duplication in the intelligence analysis and reporting phase within the defense community, the Secretary of Defense should direct DIA to develop production guidance detailing the intelligence analysis and reporting expected from individual DOD organizations involved in the counternarcotics effort.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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