Navy's RDT&E Reprogramming

T-NSIAD-87-16: Published: Mar 18, 1987. Publicly Released: Mar 18, 1987.

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GAO discussed the Navy's reprogramming actions on four of its research and development programs: (1) the RACER ship propulsion system for destroyers; (2) the MK-92 fire control system for frigates; (3) the ERASE system to eliminate electromagnetic radiation; and (4) the Satellite Laser Communication System. GAO found that: (1) the Navy allocated the amounts indicated in the appropriations conference report for RACER and MK-92; (2) these amounts were less than the amounts specified for the programs in the Department of Defense Authorization Act; (3) when the Comptroller General stated that the funds were available only for RACER and MK-92, the Navy reprogrammed funds into RACER; (4) the funds expired because the Navy did not obligate them before the end of the fiscal year; and (5) the Navy performed the work on MK-92 for $15 million, although Congress authorized $37.8 million. GAO noted that the Navy should have sent a report to Congress of a rescission as soon as it became evident that the funds earmarked for these programs would not be obligated for them. GAO also found that the Navy reduced its initial funds allocations for ERASE and the Satellite Laser Communication Program. GAO concluded that, since the law did not earmark funds for either of these two programs, the Navy was not required to spend any specific amount. GAO believes that, to ensure that the Navy spends specific amounts for programs, Congress must include language to that effect in the law itself, not only in committee or conference reports.

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