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    Subject Term: "Prisoners of war"

    1 publication with a total of 2 open recommendations
    Director: Farrell, Brenda S
    Phone: (202) 512-3604

    2 open recommendations
    Recommendation: To enhance DOD's capability and capacity to accomplish the missing persons accounting mission, and to clarify the specific roles and responsibilities of the accounting community members to help minimize unnecessary overlap and disagreement among community members, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Air Force and direct the Commander, U.S. Pacific Command, or the appropriate departmental entity in light of any reorganization, to negotiate a new memorandum of agreement between the Life Sciences Equipment Laboratory and Joint Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Accounting Command (JPAC). The memorandum should specify which conflicts' artifacts JPAC should send to the Life Sciences Equipment Laboratory for analysis, the type of artifacts sent, and the priorities according to which the Life Sciences Equipment Laboratory should analyze resolved cases.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: Officials from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) stated that the Life Sciences Equipment Laboratory (LSEL) and the former JPAC Central Identification Laboratory (CIL) have both been absorbed into DPAA, so there is no need for a separate memorandum between the two entities. We believe that DPAA should take actions that would meet the intent of our recommendation by delineating the roles and responsibilities within DPAA of the former LSEL and CIL laboratories. As of September 2017, DPAA has taken some actions to clarify which conflicts and types of artifacts the different laboratories are responsible for working on. For example, according to DPAA officials, DPAA has made progress in bringing the former LSEL up to the standard of the other DPAA laboratories by developing an evidence control system and a formal inventory. In addition, the DPAA laboratories have updated their standard operating procedures to specify the format and procedures for writing life science equipment material evidence reports, which should address the concerns identified in our report related to the length and utility of these reports prepared by one of the laboratories. However, a DPAA official stated that DPAA is rethinking how different laboratory functions should be performed and where those capabilities should reside, and that a decision about the future course of action would likely be made in fiscal year 2018. Until the responsibilities of the different DPAA laboratories are clarified with regard to which conflicts and types of artifacts the different laboratories are responsible for working on, the potential for inefficient and ineffective interactions between the different laboratories that we identified in our 2013 report may continue.
    Recommendation: To enhance DOD's capability and capacity to accomplish the missing persons accounting mission, and to more efficiently and effectively develop the capability and capacity to account for missing persons, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Policy), or the appropriate departmental entity in light of any reorganization, to ensure that the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO), in coordination with all members of the accounting community, develop personnel files for all unaccounted for persons as required by statute, in order to help avoid potential overlap or unnecessary duplication of effort and to ensure better communication among community members with respect to missing persons cases.

    Agency: Department of Defense
    Status: Open

    Comments: As of September 2017, this recommendation has not been implemented and remains open. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) is taking actions to develop case files for all persons who are unaccounted for. As of May 2017, DPAA officials said that DPAA had completed the case files for all individuals from the Vietnam War; about 80 percent of the files for individuals from the Korean War; and about 60 percent of the files for individuals from World War II. The officials said that DPAA has an ongoing effort to develop a case management system and scanning project that will serve as the basis for the required personnel or case files, but they have faced funding challenges that have hindered their ability to finish this project. They said that if DPAA can get the necessary funding, they will be able to complete development of all of the files in about 2 years. They said that with a lower level of funding, it will take more time than that 2 year estimate, and potentially could cost more money over time. Until personnel files for all unaccounted-for missing persons are developed and made readily accessible, as required by law, the community?s efforts to collaborate on cases will be hindered by a lack of information visibility among community members.