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    Subject Term: "Military operations"

    18 publications with a total of 48 open recommendations including 8 priority recommendations
    Director: Cary Russell
    Phone: (202) 512-5431

    3 open recommendations
    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense, in conjunction with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, should assess the risks to accomplishing both of the GRF's uses: that is, its use as an augmentation capability available as needed to individual geographic combatant commands; and its use as a tailorable joint force available for rapid response to a specific threat. (Recommendation 1)

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense, in conjunction with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, should, as appropriate following the assessment of risk, design responses, such as further defining and prioritizing the GRF's intended uses and missions, to mitigate any identified risks. (Recommendation 2)

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense, in conjunction with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, should designate an authority to establish and enforce integrated joint training for GRF-assigned units, as appropriate. (Recommendation 3)

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Director: Cary Russell
    Phone: (202) 512-5431

    6 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To enable the department to enhance its visibility over contractor personnel for whom it may become responsible in the event of contingency and other applicable operations, the Secretary of Defense should, in coordination with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, update accountability guidance clarifying the types of contractor personnel that are to be accounted for in a steady-state environment.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: To enable PACOM to consistently account for contractor personnel in its area of responsibility, the Secretary of Defense should direct the PACOM Commander to clarify contractor personnel accountability guidance for the collection of all contractor personnel data in a steady-state environment and specify a system of record, such as SPOT, for the collection of this information.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: To ensure that combatant commands are not contracting with entities that may be connected to or supporting prohibited organizations, the Secretary of Defense should, in coordination with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, develop and issue guidance that clarifies the foreign-vendor vetting steps or process that should be established at each combatant command, including the operational conditions under which a foreign-vendor vetting cell should be established.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: To ensure that PACOM is not contracting with entities that may be connected to or supporting prohibited organizations, while awaiting DOD guidance on vendor vetting, the Secretary of Defense should direct the PACOM commander to consider developing vendor vetting guidance as other combatant commands have done, to prepare for the event that PACOM becomes actively engaged in hostilities.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: To enable OCS to be fully embedded in the command structure at the command and continue to build upon the progress of integrating OCS into the command, as PACOM updates OCS guidance, the Secretary of Defense should direct the PACOM Commander to consider ways to ensure all joint staff functions beyond the logistics area are fully integrated into its OCS organizational structure and OCS Integration Cell.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: To enable PACOM to better identify OCS requirements and incorporate those requirements into Annex Ws and their appendixes, the Secretary of Defense should direct the PACOM Commander to develop guidance that clarifies roles and responsibilities and the process that should be followed for OCS requirements development.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Director: Brian Lepore
    Phone: (202) 512-4523

    4 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To improve the information that DOD, military service officials, and installation-level utility system owners and maintainers need to make maintenance or other investment decisions, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to take steps to implement existing guidance so that disruption information is consistently available at the installation level.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: To improve the information that DOD, military service officials, and installation-level utility system owners and maintainers need to make maintenance or other investment decisions, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Air Force to issue guidance to the installations to require the collection and retention of disruption.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: To improve the information that DOD, military service officials, and installation-level utility system owners and maintainers need to make maintenance or other investment decisions, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Commandant of the Marine Corps to issue guidance to the installations to require the collection and retention of disruption information.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: To provide DOD with more consistent information about the condition of DOD-owned utility systems as DOD continues to develop the SMS module for utility systems, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations, and Environment, in coordination with the military services, to take actions to govern the consistent use of condition standards of utility systems to be assessed using the SMS utilities module, and if applicable, for other facilities assessed using other SMS modules.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Director: Brian Lepore
    Phone: (202) 512-4523

    1 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To better enable DOD to provide congressional decision makers with complete and reliable information on the total anticipated costs for the JIAC consolidation efforts, the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations, and Environment's Basing Office--in coordination with the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force Installations, Environment and Energy-- should update future construction cost estimates for consolidating the JIAC at RAF Croughton using best practices for cost estimating as identified in the GAO Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide. Specifically, cost estimates for the JIAC consolidation should fully incorporate all four characteristics of a high-quality, reliable estimate.

    Agency: Department of Defense: Office of the Secretary of Defense: Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics: Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations, and Environment
    Status: Open

    Comments: In commenting on this report, DOD did not concur with our recommendation. DOD agreed that many components in the GAO Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide are broadly applicable in the decision process leading up to a military construction budget request. However, DOD further stated that once military construction funds are authorized and appropriated by Congress, the department transitions to a project management mode, and it would be a waste of resources to continue to generate cost estimates once they have transitioned to managing project execution using actual cost data. However, as we note in the report, DOD guidance for estimating construction costs, DOD?s Unified Facilities Criteria 3-740-05, states that in the MILCON program, construction cost estimates are prepared throughout the planning, design, and construction phases of a construction project to account for the refinement of the project?s design and requirements. The final estimate should document the department?s assessment of the program's most probable cost and ensure that enough funds are available to execute it. As of October 2016, the military construction funds had not been authorized by Congress for the third phase of the JIAC construction project. According to DOD officials, construction is not scheduled to begin until fall of 2017, and the contract has not yet been awarded. Further, the GAO Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide states that regardless of whether changes to the program result from a major contract modification or an overtarget budget, the cost estimate should be regularly updated to reflect all changes. This is also a requirement outlined in OMB?s Capital Programming Guide. The purpose of updating the cost estimate is to check its accuracy, defend the estimate over time, and archive cost and technical data for use in future estimates. After the internal agency and congressional budgets are prepared and submitted, it is imperative that cost estimators continue to monitor the program to determine whether the preliminary information and assumptions remain relevant and accurate. Keeping the estimate updated gives decision makers accurate information for assessing alternative decisions. Cost estimates must also be updated whenever requirements change, and the results should be reconciled and recorded against the old estimate baseline. Therefore, we continue to believe that DOD?s implementation of our recommendation to update future JIAC cost estimates using the best practices identified in the GAO Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide would assist in ensuring that decision makers have complete and reliable information about costs associated with the JIAC consolidation and as the third phase of the JIAC project is authorized. Implementing our recommendation would also ensure that DOD develops a reliable historical record for the cost of the JIAC that can be used to estimate other similar projects in the future. As of June 2017, the agency had not taken any action to implement this recommendation.
    Director: Farrell, Brenda S
    Phone: (202) 512-3604

    6 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To fully assess the size and composition of the medical force, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) to conduct a new analysis of the required number of active-duty and civilian medical personnel that mitigates known limitations.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: To strengthen ongoing efforts to analyze the costs of medical force readiness and establish clinical currency standards, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) to take steps to identify and mitigate limitations regarding the standard for maintaining providers' clinical skills, including improving the accuracy of information concerning providers' workload and conducting an analytically rigorous calculation of active-duty providers' time devoted to military-specific responsibilities.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: To help achieve DOD's goals for transferring health care into its own facilities and increasing the productivity of active-duty medical providers, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) to develop a strategy for achieving these goals that reflects the leading practices of effective federal strategic planning.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: To strengthen ongoing efforts within DOD to address the Study's recommendations to use the provider model outputs to inform execution of health care delivery and to refine the model for future use, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) to modify DOD's model to reflect the military service of the physicians and military treatment facilities included in the model.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: To strengthen any future assessments of additional changes to DOD's network of military treatment facilities, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) to describe steps taken to assess the reliability of data supporting the assessment, including, at a minimum, the sources of data, data limitations, and efforts to test data reliability.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: To strengthen any future assessments of additional changes to DOD's network of military treatment facilities, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) to include in any accompanying cost estimates an appropriate level of detail, all significant costs, and an assessment of the reliability of the data supporting the cost estimate.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Director: John Pendleton
    Phone: (202) 512-3489

    5 open recommendations
    including 5 priority recommendations
    Recommendation: To ensure that the department can implement readiness rebuilding efforts, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the Departments of the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force to establish comprehensive readiness rebuilding goals to guide readiness rebuilding efforts and a strategy for implementing identified goals, to include resources needed to implement the strategy.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open
    Priority recommendation

    Comments: DOD has not yet taken steps to establish comprehensive readiness rebuilding goals to guide readiness rebuilding efforts and a strategy for implementing identified goals, to include resources needed to implement the strategy. In the Senate Report accompanying the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress required DOD to submit a detailed plan for rebuilding the readiness of the military force, to include comprehensive readiness goals and a strategy for achieving the goals. DOD did not provide this plan by the September 30, 2016 deadline. In October 2016, we confirmed that DOD had begun efforts to develop a plan for rebuilding readiness, but the plan did not materialize. In January 2017, the White House issued an executive order requiring the Secretary of Defense to conduct a readiness review assessing the current condition of readiness and identifying actions that can be implemented to improve readiness. As of April 2017, DOD had begun taking steps to develop a readiness rebuilding plan, including identifying goals and metrics, as well as identifying challenges preventing the military services from rebuilding readiness. The department had also taken steps to develop a 60-day Action Plan in response to the January 2017 Executive Order. However, DOD had not submitted its plan for rebuilding the readiness of the force to Congress, nor had the department taken steps to fully address this recommendation.
    Recommendation: To ensure that the department can implement readiness rebuilding efforts, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the Departments of the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force to develop metrics for measuring interim progress at specific milestones against identified goals for all services.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open
    Priority recommendation

    Comments: DOD has not yet developed metrics for measuring interim progress at specific milestones against identified readiness rebuilding goals for each of the military services. In the Senate Report accompanying the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress required DOD to submit a detailed plan for rebuilding the readiness of the military force, to include metrics for measuring progress at specific milestones. DOD did not provide this plan by the September 30, 2016 deadline. In October 2016, we confirmed that DOD had begun efforts to develop a plan for rebuilding readiness, but the plan did not materialize. In January 2017, the White House issued an executive order requiring the Secretary of Defense to conduct a readiness review assessing the current condition of readiness and identifying actions that can be implemented to improve readiness. As of April 2017, DOD had begun taking steps to develop a readiness rebuilding plan, including identifying goals and metrics, as well as identifying challenges preventing the military services from rebuilding readiness. The department had also taken steps to develop a 60-day Action Plan in response to the January 2017 Executive Order. However, DOD had not submitted its plan for rebuilding the readiness of the force to Congress, nor had the department taken steps to fully address this recommendation.
    Recommendation: To ensure that the department can implement readiness rebuilding efforts, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the Departments of the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force to identify external factors that may impact readiness recovery plans, including how they influence the underlying assumptions, to ensure that readiness rebuilding goals are achievable within established time frames. This should include, but not be limited to, an evaluation of the impact of assumptions about budget, maintenance time frames, and training that underpin the services' readiness recovery plans.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open
    Priority recommendation

    Comments: DOD has not yet taken steps to identify external factors that may impact readiness recovery plans. In the Senate Report accompanying the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress required DOD to submit a detailed plan for rebuilding the readiness of the military force, to include identification of external factors that may impact recovery plans and potential mitigations. DOD did not provide this plan by the September 30, 2016 deadline. In October 2016, we confirmed that DOD had begun efforts to develop a plan for rebuilding readiness, but the plan did not materialize. In January 2017, the White House issued an executive order requiring the Secretary of Defense to conduct a readiness review assessing the current condition of readiness and identifying actions that can be implemented to improve readiness. As of April 2017, DOD had begun taking steps to develop a readiness rebuilding plan, including identifying goals and metrics, as well as identifying challenges preventing the military services from rebuilding readiness. The department had also taken steps to develop a 60-day Action Plan in response to the January 2017 Executive Order. However, DOD had not submitted its plan for rebuilding the readiness of the force to Congress, nor had the department taken steps to fully address this recommendation.
    Recommendation: To ensure that the department has adequate oversight of service readiness rebuilding efforts and that these efforts reflect the department's priorities, the Secretary of Defense should validate the service-established readiness rebuilding goals, strategies for achieving the goals, and metrics for measuring progress, and revise as appropriate.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open
    Priority recommendation

    Comments: DOD has not yet taken steps to validate the service-established readiness rebuilding goals, strategies for achieving the goals, and metrics for measuring progress, and revise as appropriate. In the Senate Report accompanying the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress required DOD to submit a detailed plan for rebuilding the readiness of the military force, to include plans for department-level oversight of service readiness recovery efforts. DOD did not provide this plan by the September 30, 2016 deadline. In October 2016, we confirmed that DOD had begun efforts to develop a plan for rebuilding readiness, but the plan did not materialize. In January 2017, the White House issued an executive order requiring the Secretary of Defense to conduct a readiness review assessing the current condition of readiness and identifying actions that can be implemented to improve readiness. As of April 2017, DOD had begun taking steps to develop a readiness rebuilding plan, including identifying goals and metrics, as well as identifying challenges preventing the military services from rebuilding readiness. The department had also taken steps to develop a 60-day Action Plan in response to the January 2017 Executive Order. However, DOD had not submitted its plan for rebuilding the readiness of the force to Congress, nor had the department taken steps to fully address this recommendation.
    Recommendation: To ensure that the department has adequate oversight of service readiness rebuilding efforts and that these efforts reflect the department's priorities, the Secretary of Defense should develop a method to evaluate the department's readiness recovery efforts against the agreed-upon goals through objective measurement and systematic analysis.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open
    Priority recommendation

    Comments: DOD has not yet developed a method to evaluate the department's readiness recovery efforts against the agreed-upon goals through objective measurement and systematic analysis. In the Senate Report accompanying the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress required DOD to submit a detailed plan for rebuilding the readiness of the military force, to include plans for department-level oversight of service readiness recovery efforts. DOD did not provide this plan by the September 30, 2016 deadline. In October 2016, we confirmed that DOD had begun efforts to develop a plan for rebuilding readiness, but the plan did not materialize. In January 2017, the White House issued an executive order requiring the Secretary of Defense to conduct a readiness review assessing the current condition of readiness and identifying actions that can be implemented to improve readiness. As of April 2017, DOD had begun taking steps to develop a readiness rebuilding plan, including identifying goals and metrics, as well as identifying challenges preventing the military services from rebuilding readiness. The department had also taken steps to develop a 60-day Action Plan in response to the January 2017 Executive Order. However, DOD had not submitted its plan for rebuilding the readiness of the force to Congress, nor had the department taken steps to fully address this recommendation.
    Director: Andrew Von Ah
    Phone: (213) 830-1011

    1 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To ensure that Congress will have more complete information on DOD's full funding needs for its O&M base budget and to conduct oversight of DOD's use of OCO funds to support base programs and activities, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense Comptroller to revise its guidance on preparing budget justification materials and execution reports for Congress to require the addition of O&M obligations used for base programs and activities at the level of information presented for each account.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: DOD continues to non-concur with our recommendation; however, we continue to believe that the recommendation is valid and will follow up annually on the status of the recommendation.
    Director: Cary B. Russell
    Phone: (202) 512-5431

    2 open recommendations
    Recommendation: In order to better integrate virtual training devices into operational training, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to specify in Army guidance for developing virtual training device requirements that training developers consider and document the time available to train with the devices and intended usage rates to achieve training tasks and proficiency goals during operational training.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of Defense (DOD) partially concurred with this recommendation. As of August 2017, the Army reported taking limited steps to address this recommendation. Army officials stated that the Army has established target usage rates for existing virtual training devices, and has promulgated guidance and tracking tools for recording usage. However, the Army has not modified its guidance for developing new virtual training devices to reflect consideration of time available to train with a new device or expected usage rates to achieve training tasks and proficiency goals during operational training, as GAO recommended in August 2016.
    Recommendation: In order to better integrate virtual training devices into operational training, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to provide additional guidance on how to use virtual non-system training devices in operational training and explore opportunities to incorporate virtual training devices more fully into training strategies.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of Defense (DOD) concurred with this recommendation. As of August 2017, the Army has taken steps towards addressing it. Specifically, during the period May to November 2017, Headquarters, Department of the Army is leading an in-depth analysis of regular Army formations' readiness training models in support of operational demand. The outcome of this analysis will be viable and executable training models which will also inform future budget requests. According to Army officials, key stakeholders and relevant subject matter experts will identify and update unit training models to reflect training events and tasks to achieve training proficiency, to include key virtual training capabilities that enable specified training events. Key virtual training capabilities will be reflected for each collective and individual training event/task, which will better incorporate virtual training devices into training strategies, as GAO recommended in August 2016.
    Director: Chaplain, Cristina T
    Phone: (202)512-4841

    1 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To help ensure DOD is sufficiently informed about the availability and reliability of data from U.S. civil government and international partner satellites as it plans for future SBEM capabilities that rely on such satellites, the Secretary of Defense should ensure the leads of future SBEM planning efforts establish formal mechanisms for coordination and collaboration with NOAA that specify roles and responsibilities and ensure accountability for both agencies.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: In January 2017, the Air Force and NOAA signed a memorandum of agreement under which the parties are to establish annexes for interagency acquisitions or support on SBEM efforts. The Air Force and NOAA are in the process of drafting two annexes for collecting SBEM data, expected to be completed by the winter of 2017, according to the Air Force. This effort does not cover collaboration between NOAA and DOD entities outside the Air Force, but NOAA is engaged in a separate memorandum of agreement with the Navy, which includes one annex that involves sharing data for SBEM-related activities. According to the Navy, additional draft annexes that would further SBEM-related data sharing are being considered. In addition, DOD and NOAA are in the process of responding to section 1607 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, which directs the agencies to jointly establish mechanisms to collaborate and coordinate in defining roles and responsibilities to carry out SBEM activities and plan for future nongovernmental SBEM capabilities, and to submit a report on the mechanism established.
    Director: Cristina Chaplain
    Phone: (202) 512-4841

    2 open recommendations
    Recommendation: In order to improve DOD's procurement of SATCOM, to address DOD's fragmented procurement of commercial SATCOM, to better position DOD to identify needs, manage and acquire commercial SATCOM, and to address the incomplete data on commercial SATCOM spending and demand, the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Joint Chiefs, U.S. Strategic Command, combatant commands, military services, and DISA, should enforce current policy requiring DISA to acquire all commercial SATCOM for DOD.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: DOD has reiterated, but not yet enforced, its policy requiring the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) to procure all commercial satellite communications (SATCOM). DOD published Instruction 8420.02, titled DOD Satellite Communications (SATCOM), in September 2016. This instruction prescribes the actions DOD component heads should follow in requesting commercial SATCOM capability through DISA, as required by the 2013 Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Instruction (CJCSI) 6250.01E, "Satellite Communications". It also outlines methods by which DISA can obtain and the DOD Chief Information Officer can analyze data that could inform commercial SATCOM resource usage, allocation, and requirements. While establishing a new policy to emphasize and assign SATCOM procurement responsibilities is a step in the right direction, policy requiring that DISA acquire all commercial SATCOM for DOD already existed at the time of GAO's report. Further, DOD Commercial Satellite Communications (COMSATCOM) users may still be out of compliance with the CJCSI, according to an October 2016 U.S. Strategic Command report on COMSATCOM usage which states that "DoD COMSATCOM users should compete their services through DISA, as outlined in CJCSI 6250.01E, as soon as practicable."
    Recommendation: In order to improve DOD's procurement of SATCOM, to better leverage DOD's buying power and help DOD understand its military and commercial SATCOM spending, and enable DOD to reform its commercial SATCOM acquisition and management processes, the Secretary of Defense, in conjunction with the Air Force and DISA, should complement the pathfinder efforts by conducting an assessment of whether further centralization of military and commercial SATCOM procurement, such as the identification of a single focal point within DOD to decide how to meet the overall demand or a central procurement knowledge focal point, could further save money and improve performance.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: Although we reported in 2016 that the Joint Requirements Oversight Council approved a commercial satellite communications "Centralized Management Concept of Operations, which intends to implement a three-phased approach to centralize management of military and commercial wideband SATCOM," we have yet to obtain a copy of the Concept of Operations and assess the extent to which DOD conducted an assessment of whether further centralization of commercial and military procurement of satellite communications would save money and improve performance.
    Director: Joseph W. Kirschbaum
    Phone: (202) 512-9971

    2 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To assist U.S. installations in protecting against insider threats, the Secretary of Defense should direct the military services to share information about actions U.S. installations have taken to address insider threats by consistently using existing mechanisms--such as working groups, lessons-learned information systems, and antiterrorism web portals.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Recommendation: To assist DOD leadership in their oversight and decision-making process, the Secretary of Defense should direct the DOD leaders on the Mission Assurance Coordination Boards and the military services to take steps to improve the consistency of reporting and monitoring of the implementation of recommendations from the independent review of the 2009 Fort Hood shooting. Such steps could include DOD and the military services developing criteria for consistent reporting on the progress of recommendations and the military services providing periodic reports to the Mission Assurance Coordination Boards on the status of Fort Hood recommendations at the service level and installation level.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
    Director: Johana R. Ayers
    Phone: (202) 512-5741

    1 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To obtain information useful to DLA's decision making regarding MRE inventory levels, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Logistics and Materiel Readiness should direct the Director, DLA, to request that the military services, as part of existing coordination efforts, share information on potential changes to MRE consumption and disposals that could affect future demand.

    Agency: Department of Defense: Office of the Secretary of Defense: Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Logistics and Materiel Readiness
    Status: Open

    Comments: In a June 2015 report to Congress, DLA stated that the agency and the services were sharing information on MRE demand and usage patterns. DOD officials stated in August 2016 that DLA is requesting more detailed information regarding MRE consumption and disposal data from the services for fiscal year 2016. As of September 2017, DLA had not provided documentation of information-sharing incorporating consumption and disposal data. We will continue to monitor DLA's actions on this recommendation.
    Director: Sullivan, Michael J
    Phone: (202) 512-4841

    1 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To provide the JROC the opportunity to review all ground radar programs for potential duplication and CAPE with the opportunity to develop broad analysis of alternative guidance, the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff should direct the Joint Staff to assign all new ground radar capability requirement documents with a Joint Staff designation of "JROC Interest."

    Agency: Department of Defense: Joint Chiefs of Staff
    Status: Open

    Comments: In commenting on this recommendation, DOD partially concurred. However, the agency has not taken any action to implement this recommendation. The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2017 included changes to the requirements-setting process that devolve this responsibility to the military services for most programs and could affect the Joint Staff's ability to implement this recommendation. The Joint Staff plans to update its Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System manual--which provides guidance on assigning Joint Staff designators and describes the level of joint oversight for service-generated requirements--to reflect the changes in the act. The updated manual is expected to be finalized by the end of 2017.
    Director: John Pendleton
    Phone: (202) 512-3489

    3 open recommendations
    including 1 priority recommendation
    Recommendation: In order to improve the management of DOD's headquarters-reduction efforts, the Secretary of Defense should reevaluate the decision to focus reductions on management headquarters to ensure the department's efforts ultimately result in meaningful savings.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: DOD partially concurred with our recommendation, stating that this department-wide recommendation would garner greater savings but did not provide plans on how it planned to implement the recommendation. As of March 2017, DOD was more broadly defining management headquarters and applying headquarters reductions to a wider range of organizations, but the department has not fully taken steps to re-evaluate the decision to focus reductions on management headquarters, as GAO recommended in June 2014. In an August 2015 memorandum, the Deputy Secretary of Defense noted that a comprehensive definition of major headquarters activities had been established, and he directed DOD to update the department's guiding instruction on management headquarters and databases in an effort to more broadly account for headquarters resources. The memorandum also directed a 25 percent reduction across all appropriations funding from fiscal years 2017 through 2020 for these headquarters activities in lieu of the 20 percent requirement previously established by the department. As of September 2016, a DOD official stated the department had not completed efforts to rebaseline all of its components according to the comprehensive definition of major headquarters activities, which is needed to determine what elements of the components are considered headquarters so the department can apply relevant reductions to its budget submission. In addition, Section 346 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 requires that the Secretary of Defense implement a plan to ensure the department achieves not less than $10 billion in cost savings from the headquarters, administrative, and support activities of the department by fiscal year 2019. The legislation also directed the Secretary of Defense to modify DOD's headquarters reduction plans to ensure that it achieves savings in total funding for major headquarters activities of not less than 25 percent of the baseline amount in fiscal year 2016 by fiscal year 2020. In a March 2016 letter to the Armed Services Committee, DOD stated that it is focusing on broad efficiency initiatives beyond reductions in management headquarters. While DOD has taken some steps to achieve greater savings by applying additional headquarters reductions to more organizations, an official stated DOD will not document these actions until it submits its budget request for fiscal year 2018 in the spring of 2017. Until DOD documents the reductions based on its broader efficiency initiatives, GAO cannot determine if DOD has fully implemented this action. We will continue to monitor actions DOD takes in response to this recommendation and will provide updated information as appropriate.
    Recommendation: In order to improve the management of DOD's headquarters-reduction efforts, the Secretary of Defense should set a clearly defined and consistently applied starting point as a baseline for the reductions.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open
    Priority recommendation

    Comments: The Department of Defense concurred with our recommendation to set clearly defined and consistently applied starting point as a baseline for the reductions. As of March 2017, DOD had taken some steps to set a clearly defined and consistently applied starting point as a baseline for headquarters reductions, but its efforts are not yet complete. In its response to GAO's recommendation, DOD recommended the use of the Future Years Defense Program data to set the baseline going forward. It stated that it was enhancing the data elements within DOD's Resource Data Warehouse to better identify management headquarters resources to facilitate tracking and reporting across the department. A December 2014 Resource Management Decision directed DOD components to identify and correct inconsistencies in major headquarters activities in authoritative DOD systems, and reflect those changes in the fiscal year 2017 program objective memorandums or submit them into the manpower management system. As of November 2016, a DOD official stated that the department had taken steps to use this definition as a baseline for headquarters reductions. However, according to this official, the department will not identify the baseline until it submits its budget request for fiscal year 2018 in the spring of 2017. Until DOD completes its efforts, savings to management headquarters will likely be difficult to track, and the department may not be assured that the reductions are achieved as intended. We will continue to monitor actions DOD takes in response to this recommendation and will provide updated information as appropriate.
    Recommendation: In order to improve the management of DOD's headquarters-reduction efforts, the Secretary of Defense should track reductions against the baselines in order to provide reliable accounting of savings and reporting to Congress.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of Defense concurred with our recommendation to set clearly defined and consistently applied starting point as a baseline for the reductions. As of March 2017, DOD had taken steps to track its headquarters reductions efforts, but it continues to rely on self-reported baselines to account for headquarters savings and report to Congress. In its response to GAO's June 2014 report, DOD noted that by using the Future Years Defense Program data to set the baseline, it would be able to track and report changes to Congress. DOD further stated that it was enhancing data elements within DOD's Resource Data Warehouse to better identify management headquarters resources across the department. GAO agreed that these enhancements to data elements would increase DOD's capability to track and report management headquarters across the department, and thus, the Future Years Defense Program could be used to set baselines and track future reductions. In a December 2014 Resource Management Decision, DOD components were directed to identify and correct inconsistencies in major headquarters activities in authoritative DOD systems, to include the Future Years Defense Program and related databases, and reflect those changes when programming their fiscal year 2017-2021 resource allocations. In an August 2015 memorandum, the Deputy Secretary of Defense noted that a comprehensive definition of major headquarters activities had been established. As of November 2016, a DOD official stated that the department had taken steps to use this definition as a baseline for headquarters reductions. However, according to this official, the department will not identify the baseline until it submits its budget request for fiscal year 2018 in the spring of 2017. Until DOD completes its efforts, savings to management headquarters will likely be difficult to track, and the department may not be assured that the reductions are achieved as intended. We will continue to monitor actions DOD takes in response to this recommendation and will provide updated information as appropriate.
    Director: Farrell, Brenda S
    Phone: (202) 512-3604

    4 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To improve DOD's estimates and comparisons of the full cost of its military, civilian, and contractor workforces and to improve DOD's methodology for estimating and comparing the full cost of its various workforces, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Office of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation to further develop guidance for cost elements that users have identified as challenging to calculate, such as general and administrative, overhead, advertising and recruiting, and training.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: According to DOD's April 2017 report on Comparing the Cost of Civilians and Contractors, DOD's Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE) office is updating fiscal year 2017 estimates in its Full Cost of Manpower (FCoM) system to reflect separate officer and enlisted training costs. If more specific cost estimates are required, users of FCoM are directed to cost estimating tools operated by the military departments.
    Recommendation: To improve DOD's estimates and comparisons of the full cost of its military, civilian, and contractor workforces and to improve DOD's methodology for estimating and comparing the full cost of its various workforces, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Office of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation to develop business rules for estimating the full cost of National Guard and Reserve personnel.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: According to DOD's April 2017 report in Comparing the Cost of Civilians and Contractors, a cost estimating function for Reserve Component personnel far exceeds the combination of variables for developing active component and DOD civilian cost estimates. Due to the scope of the Full Cost of Manpower (FCoM) contract, OSD(CAPE) has not adopted this recommendation in terms of a web-based application. However, OSD(CAPE) intends to address general business rules for Reserve Component cost estimates in the next DoDI revision.
    Recommendation: To improve DOD's estimates and comparisons of the full cost of its military, civilian, and contractor workforces and to improve DOD's methodology for estimating and comparing the full cost of its various workforces, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Office of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation, in coordination with the department's Office of the Actuary and appropriate federal actuarial offices, to reevaluate the inclusion and quantification of pension, retiree health care costs, and other relevant costs of an actuarial nature and make revisions as appropriate.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: According to DOD's April 2017 report on Comparing the Cost of Civilians and Contractors, OSD(CAPE) has reviewed the inclusion of payments that the government makes to retirement and health benefits. All identified costs that are attributable to current retirees and past service of active civilian and military personnel, such as unfunded liabilities, are being revised in the cost estimating guidelines. OSD(CAPE) intends to incorporate these changes in the next DoDI revision and coordinate a review with the Office of the DoD Actuaty.
    Recommendation: To improve DOD's estimates and comparisons of the full cost of its military, civilian, and contractor workforces and to improve DOD's ability to estimate contractor support costs, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Office of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation, consistent with established practices for developing credible cost estimates, to research the data sources it is currently using and reassess its contractor support data sources for use when determining contractor support costs.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: According to DOD's April 2017 report on Comparing the Cost of Civilian and Contractors, the department's efforts to improve data sources are ongoing.
    Director: Pendleton, John H
    Phone: (404)679-1816

    2 open recommendations
    including 1 priority recommendation
    Recommendation: To ensure that the geographic combatant commands are properly sized to meet their assigned missions and to improve the transparency of the commands' authorized manpower, assigned personnel, and mission and headquarters-support costs, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to revise Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Instruction 1001.01A to require a comprehensive, periodic evaluation of whether the size and structure of the combatant commands meet assigned missions.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open
    Priority recommendation

    Comments: Our review found that DOD has a process for evaluating requests for additional authorized positions, but that it does not periodically evaluate the commands' authorized positions to ensure they are needed to meet the commands' assigned missions. The department did not concur with our recommendation, stating that the combatant commands had already been reduced during previous budget and efficiency reviews. The department also noted that any periodic review of the combatant commands' size and structure must include a review of assigned missions, and that a requirement for a mission review was not appropriate for inclusion in the commands' guiding instruction on personnel requirements. Our report acknowledged and described several actions taken by DOD to manage growth in positions and costs at the combatant commands, including establishing personnel baselines and identifying personnel reductions. We continue to maintain that the actions taken by DOD do not constitute a comprehensive, periodic review because they have not included all authorized positions at the combatant commands. In addition, the department's response does not fully explain why there should not be a requirement for periodic reviews to ensure that the resources meet constantly evolving missions. We continue to believe that institutionalizing a periodic evaluation of all authorized positions would help to systematically align manpower with missions and add rigor to the requirements process. Currently, the Department does not plan to take action to implement this recommendation. We will continue to monitor actions DOD takes in response to this recommendation and will provide updated information as appropriate.
    Recommendation: To ensure that the geographic combatant commands are properly sized to meet their assigned missions and to improve the transparency of the commands' authorized manpower, assigned personnel, and mission and headquarters-support costs, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in coordination with the combatant commanders and the secretaries of the military departments, to develop and implement a formal process to gather information on authorized manpower and assigned personnel at the service component commands.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: Our review found that the Joint Staff and combatant commands lacked visibility and oversight over the authorized manpower and personnel at the service component commands. Specifically, we found that the combatant commands and Joint Staff did not have visibility over personnel at the service component commands or access to the service-specific personnel management systems that the service component commands use, and if they need information to determine whether personnel at the service component commands could support the combatant commands' mission requirements they had to request it from the service component commands. The Director, Joint Staff concurred with the recommendation, but did not provide comments on the corrective action to be taken. In a June 2015 update on this recommendation, Joint Staff officials acknowledged they continue to have no insight into the authorized positions of the service component commands which are managed and tracked by the military services. The Joint Staff and combatant commands continue to request information from the service component commands when needed to track authorized positions and actual personnel, the same process we reported on in 2013. Currently, DOD does not plan to take action to implement this recommendation. We will continue to monitor actions DOD takes in response to this recommendation and will provide updated information as appropriate.
    Director: Russell, Cary B
    Phone: (202) 512-5431

    3 open recommendations
    including 1 priority recommendation
    Recommendation: To further the integration of operational contract support into all of the services' planning, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the Navy and Air Force to provide comprehensive service-wide guidance for the Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force that describes how each service should integrate operational contract support into its respective organization to include planning for contingency operations.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open
    Priority recommendation

    Comments: As of September 2017, the Marine Corps and Air Force has developed OCS guidance; however, the Navy has not. In September 2016, the Marine Corps published Marine Corps Order 4200.34 on the manning, equipping and training of OCS capability. The Corps has established a new task list to define OCS as an essential wartime fighting capability, which provides units the foundation and ability to establish Mission Essential Tasks (METs) needed to effectively and efficiently measure and report OCS mission readiness. Marine Corps also developed and published an OCS career progression plan. The Air Force has taken steps to incorporate OCS into existing guidance, and the Secretary of the Air Force issued a memorandum in April 2016 providing guidance on integrating OCS into the total force. Additionally, Air Force issued AFI 64-105, Contingency Contracting Support, in August 2016. The Navy has begun drafting-but not yet issued-an instruction for internal review. Until all the services issue OCS guidance, this recommendation will remain open.
    Recommendation: To further the integration of operational contract support into all areas of the operation planning process, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to focus its training about operational contract support, which is currently focused on the logistics planners, on training all planners at the combatant commands and components as necessary.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: As of September 2017, DOD has taken steps to focus OCS training to all planners, including those outside the logistics directorate. In December 2015, the Joint Staff J7 certified the Joint OCS Planning and Execution (JOPEC) course of instruction for Joint training. The Joint Staff, per this training certification, is working with the Joint Deployment Training Center and the Joint Force Staff College to provide student administrative and course catalog support for future JOPEC training. Due to demand for JOPEC training by the Combatant Commands and Services, an eighth JOPEC training course was added in late FY2015. In September 2017, OSD officials stated that a detailed analysis of alternatives required to transition JOPEC to a traditional program is on track to be completed by the end of fiscal year 2017. Results will be presented to Joint Staff senior leadership and the operational contract support Functional Capabilities Integration Board during the first quarter of fiscal year 2018. We will continue to monitor these efforts and this recommendation will remain open.
    Recommendation: To enable the integration of operational contract support into service component command-level planning efforts, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to work with the military services as necessary to improve the level of expertise in operational contract support for the combatant commands' components.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: DOD has taken steps to improve the level of OCS expertise at the component commands. Since September 2013, the Army has complemented Joint Staff efforts by converting its Army Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures 4-10 into a Multi-Service TIP (MTTP) as a part of the DoD OCS Action Plan. The Army issued the MTTP in February 2016. Air Force and Marine Corps have also issued OCS guidance, but as of September 2017, Navy has not. We will continue to monitor these and other efforts, and the recommendation will remain open at this time.
    Director: Farrell, Brenda S
    Phone: (202)512-3604

    1 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To better understand the extent to which deployed DOD civilian employees have access to needed medical care, as appropriate, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Combatant Commander of U.S. Central Command to clarify the level of care that deployed DOD civilian employees can expect in theater, including their eligibility for routine care.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: As of September 2016, DOD has not taken all the steps to close this recommendation. A DOD official stated that, as a result of changes in theater, there have been changes in guidance regarding medical care and they believe the guidance is clear, but they have not received guidance from the Secretary of Defense directing them to clarify the level of care that deployed civilian employees can expect in theater, including their eligibility for routine care.