Influence Of Public Affairs Organizations On Information And Advertising Programs

B-161939: Published: Aug 10, 1971. Publicly Released: Aug 10, 1971.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO investigated Department of Defense (DOD) public relations activities, focusing on the extent to which the: (1) material and services produced by DOD information and advertising programs were used for public consumption; and (2) formal public information and public affairs organizations of DOD were consulted in determining what kind of materials and services to provide.

GAO noted that: (1) materials produced by the Office of Information for the Armed Forces are used primarily for internal information and entertainment of military personnel; (2) some of the material is available to the public after approval for public release; (3) the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs) has no role in the production of materials or services by the Office; (4) for security purposes, the Assistant Secretary reviews all publications, motion pictures, and television and radio shows disseminated by the Office; (5) the Aerospace Audiovisual Service provides photographic and video services and products to meet the requirements of the Air Force; (6) the Service's expenditures for fiscal year 1970 totalled $12.4 million, of which $407,000 was for materials produced specifically for public showing; (7) it estimated that, from March through June 1970, 596 films, costing about $13.3 million, were shown 26,300 times to civilian organizations and 49,000 times to Air Force personnel or government employees; (8) in 1969, 427 films, costing about $9 million, were shown 8,360 times to civilian organizations and 172,540 times to Air Force personnel or government employees; (9) the Air Force Director of Information and the Assistant Secretary review and approve all Air Force films shown to the public; (10) each of the military services has an organization responsible for planning and directing its recruiting program; (11) the production of Navy and Marine Corps recruiting materials was not coordinated with the public affairs and information organizations in their services; and (12) however, the Army and Air Force public affairs and information organizations participate in the development of recruiting materials in their respective services.

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