Central Training Funding Projected to Remain Stable During 1997-2003
NSIAD-98-168, Jun 30, 1998
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) central training activities, focusing on: (1) trends in central training funding and causes for those trends; (2) DOD's initiatives to reduce central training funding requirements or improve the effectiveness and efficiency of central training programs; and (3) DOD's management of those initiatives. GAO did not validate the services' explanations for those trends, nor did GAO compare trends across the services.
GAO noted that: (1) funding for central training activities declined between fiscal years 1992 and 1997 by almost $4.5 billion; (2) during this period, the services reduced accessions to meet lowered personnel levels, closed and consolidated training installations, and outsourced base maintenance; (3) decreases in Navy and Army central training programs accounted for about 90 percent of the decline; (4) no additional funding decline was programmed through 2003 in the 1998 Future Years Defense Program; (5) from 1997 through 2003, funds were projected to remain stable at about $21.5 billion; (6) projected stability in overall funding after 1997 was a result of several projections; (7) installation support for all of the services was projected to be lower in 2003 than in 1997 because they planned to continue to outsource and replace military personnel with civilians to perform base maintenance; (8) funding for central training was highly concentrated in three training categories--professional and skill training, command managed training, and installation support; (9) these three categories received and were projected to receive almost two-thirds of DOD's central training funds over the 1992 through 2003 period; (10) although funding was projected to continue to decline for professional and skill training and installation support, funding for command managed training was projected to increase because of growth in Air Force and Navy programs; (11) the Army had the largest share of training funds, about one-third of the total; (12) the Air Force was projected to overtake the Navy in 1998 for the second largest share of training funds; (13) the Marine Corps' share of training funds has been and was projected to be less than 10 percent; (14) DOD and the services have programs and initiatives to improve the quality of training and bring about greater efficiency in training programs; (15) these efforts are designed to consolidate intra- and inter-service courses; improve the effectiveness of instruction through computer-based training and distance learning; and foster cooperation with the private sector to accelerate the applications of new learning technologies; and (16) DOD and the services have not projected the total investment required for these initiatives or the total savings that might accrue from them.