Cooperative Threat Reduction:

Review of DOD's June 1997 Report on Assistance Provided

NSIAD-97-218: Published: Sep 5, 1997. Publicly Released: Sep 5, 1997.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) June 1997 report on Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) assistance provided to Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine, focusing on whether it: (1) contained current and complete data on CTR assistance deliveries, including the current location and condition of the assistance provided; (2) described how CTR-provided assistance was accounted for and used; (3) included an overall determination of whether the assistance has been used for its intended purposes; and (4) provided a listing of future audit and examination activities.

GAO noted that: (1) DOD's June 1997 report: (a) listed CTR equipment delivered by DOD and provided information on the location and condition of the equipment, (b) described how such assistance was accounted for and used, and (c) made an overall determination that the assistance provided by DOD was appropriately used, and (d) listed DOD's future audit and examination activities; (2) however, GAO found that DOD's report lacked detailed information; (3) the report did not contain specific data on some CTR-funded projects; (4) for example, information on the CTR-funded cash grant that DOD provided directly to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense was excluded; (5) also, the report did not describe the types and values of CTR-funded assistance managed by the Departments of State and Energy; (6) through 1996, such assistance amounted to nearly $50 million for over 200 projects at the international science centers, and over $43 million for a variety of material control, accounting, and physical protection projects at 19 sites; (7) the report did not thoroughly describe how DOD accounted for CTR assistance provided through the Departments of State and Energy; (8) for example, audits by the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) help account for CTR-provided assistance to the science centers, yet DOD did not report the results of 17 International Science and Technology Center project audits conducted by DCAA in 1996; (9) approximately half of the 17 audits found weaknesses in reporting labor charges of center grantees, although to date, such weaknesses have posed no risk to CTR funding; (10) also, DOD's report did not describe the nature of the Department of Energy's assurance program used to monitor the assistance provided; and (11) while DOD's report lists planned DOD audit and examination activities, it omitted those activities planned to account for CTR-funded assistance provided through the Departments of State and Energy.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: On June 3, 1999, the Department of Defense issued "Report on Accounting for United States Assistance under the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program Calendar Year 1997," which partially responds to the recommendation that GAO made in its report. The DOD report does include a greater amount of information on the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program funded projects managed by the Departments of State and Energy. However, the report does not include information on the value of the assistance funded by the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program. The report also does not provide a complete list of this assistance, or detail its location and condition, as called for in the legislation that mandates this DOD report and GAO's recommendation. Therefore, while DOD has reported on some of the points called for in GAO's recommendation, it has not reported on all of them.

    Recommendation: To better inform Congress about how CTR-funded assistance has been used, the Secretary of Defense, in preparing future reports on such assistance, should provide more complete data on CTR-funded projects managed by the Departments of State and Energy, including the values and types of assistance, a detailed description of how the assistance was accounted for, and information on future audit activities for the CTR assistance they provide to the recipient countries.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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