National Defense Executive Reserve Program

PLRD-83-51: Published: Feb 28, 1983. Publicly Released: Mar 4, 1983.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the membership, recruitment, training, member assignments, funding, and database adequacy of the National Defense Executive Reserve (NDER) Program.

NDER, which is administered and evaluated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is a Government-wide program for recruiting business executives and other civilians to serve the Government in key executive positions during national emergencies. Although FEMA has placed renewed emphasis on revitalizing the program, it has only recently made significant progress toward this goal. In 1982, FEMA updated regulations covering NDER activities, issued new member identification cards, and began work on a training plan. However, GAO found that: (1) participation in the program by Federal agencies and overall membership remain low; (2) recruiting efforts vary among agencies; (3) most NDER units do not conduct regular training; (4) the program is minimally funded; and (5) the FEMA central database on program membership is inaccurate and incomplete.

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