Defense Acquisition:

Oversight of Special Access Programs Has Increased

NSIAD-93-78: Published: Dec 21, 1992. Publicly Released: Dec 21, 1992.

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GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) management and oversight of its special access acquisition programs (SAAP), focusing on: (1) their compliance with applicable laws and regulations; (2) DOD control of SAAP appropriated funds; and (3) a comparison of the cost, schedule delays, and performance results of SAAP and non-special access acquisition programs.

GAO found that: (1) DOD properly established its SAAP, but often did not strictly comply with DOD acquisition regulations since the regulations' applicability to SAAP was unclear; (2) DOD did not monitor SAAP as well as it did non-special access programs, particularly when it concerned weak internal controls in contracting and technological matters, internal communication, and record-keeping; (3) DOD followed the same resource justification, execution, and review processes for SAAP as for non-special programs, although it disguised funding for SAAP in unclassified budget documents for security reasons; (4) cost increases, scheduling delays, and performance problems were similar in both types of programs; (5) DOD has strengthened and centralized SAAP oversight; and (6) Congress has increased its oversight of SAAP, and DOD has provided adequate information to Congress.

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