EL Salvador:

Efforts to Satisfy National Civilian Police Equipment Needs

NSIAD-93-100BR: Published: Dec 15, 1992. Publicly Released: Dec 15, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the availability of equipment, facilities, and supplies in El Salvador to meet the needs of the National Civilian Police (NPC), focusing on: (1) possible NPC use of existing National Police and Salvadoran military equipment, facilities, and supplies; (2) the status of public security forces' equipment provided by the United States; and (3) the Salvadoran government's cost estimates for needed equipment and facilities.

GAO found that: (1) National Police and Salvadoran military equipment, which generally was old, inoperable, and in poor condition, was not available for NPC use; (2) equipment transfers would only provide a small fraction of NPC needs, and could lead to long-term maintenance and support problems; (3) NPC will need to acquire most of its equipment through purchases; (4) existing or unused U.S. and Salvadoran police and military facilities will probably not be available for NPC use; (5) the United States provided $17 million in assistance to the public security forces in 1986, but the U.S. agency responsible for monitoring the equipment's use did not have the staff to perform the required periodic reviews or a formal reporting system; (6) the National Police could account for most of the equipment and vehicles the United States provided, but could not trace a significant number of items to a user; (7) U.S. officials believed that El Salvador's proposed allocation of $40.3 million over 2 years for equipment, facilities, and supplies was too low; (8) El Salvador allocated $30 million in 1993 and 1994 for salaries and benefits only; and (9) El Salvador requested additional international donor support from the United Nations for its police force, but its prospects of receiving such aid was small, since previous appeals did not result in any funding.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: MILGROUP/El Salvador reported on the disposition of the radios and pickup trucks that GAO identified as missing. The joint general inspection took place on April 11-15, 1993. In addition, the MILGROUP continues to encourage the ESAF to support the development of the civilian national police. While the equipment has been accounted for, the equipment has generally not been transferred to the Civilian National Police. According to the MILGROUP, the equipment is old and would be of limited use to the Police.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should instruct the U.S. Military Group El Salvador to work with the Salvadoran military and National Police to locate or otherwise determine the disposition of the 297 hand-held radios and 23 pickup trucks provided to the Salvadoran public security forces that are not in the National Police and Salvadoran military inventories. For those items located that are suitable for use by the National Civilian Police, assist the National Police and the Salvadoran military in taking the necessary measures to make these articles available to the new members of the National Civilian Police as they assume their duties beginning in January 1993.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department of Defense (DOD) has implemented this recommendation. DOD reported that those pistols that were serviceable were turned over to the National Police.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should instruct the U.S. Military Group El Salvador to work with Salvadoran military and National Police to retrieve the 876 9-mm semi-automatic pistols that are presently not in the hands of the National Police. These pistols should be transferred to the National Civilian Police for its immediate and continuing needs beginning in January 1993.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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