Army Training:

Expenditures for Troop Schools Have Not Been Justified

NSIAD-93-172: Published: Jul 9, 1993. Publicly Released: Jul 9, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed Army troop schools, focusing on whether: (1) Army installations adequately justified the need for troop school courses; (2) the Army established effective controls over troop school operations; and (3) the Army implemented the corrective actions planned since 1988.

GAO found that: (1) only 25 percent of the needs assessments prepared by Army installations indicated a performance deficiency in individual soldiers; (2) the Army did not document that troop schools were the most cost-effective alternative to meet training needs; (3) the Army has not adequately controlled troop school operations; (4) Army installations funded unauthorized courses and did not ensure that courses were consistent with Army standards and doctrine; and (5) the Army has not completed corrective actions in response to 1988 recommendations.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Army headquarters requested that an Army Audit Agency review be completed not later than October 1, 1994. The review is currently ongoing.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should direct the Army Audit Agency to verify that the Army has established effective controls over troop schools.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The troop school program was identified in the annual assurance statement.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should identify the troop school program as containing material internal control weaknesses in the Secretary's next annual assurance statement.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Army's new regulation tasks proponent major commands to develop standardized certification tests for each contracted course. Accordingly, contractors will have no control over test content.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should discontinue the use of certification tests developed by contractors to measure soldiers' proficiency.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Army's new regulation requires that training only be conducted to correct identified performance shortfalls.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should ensure that troop school managers seek to minimize the number of course offerings given.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  5. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Army has published an internal control checklist and increased monitoring at the headquarters level.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should establish procedures to ensure that the major commands and Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans control troop school expenditures by monitoring needs assessments and courses offered.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  6. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Army has completed an assessment of existing and future troop school training and has issued revised procedures.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should assess the need for existing and future troop schools on the basis of performance shortfalls and cost-effectiveness, as required by Army regulations.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  7. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Army Audit Agency found that the Army's new regulation corrected the material weaknesses in the troop school program.

    Recommendation: Because of the persistent nature of internal control weaknesses and the lack of a clearly defined need for troop schools, the Secretary of Defense should not approve future funding for Army troop schools unless the Army Audit Agency verifies that controls are in place and working by October 1, 1994.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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