Report on Review of the Military Assistance Program for Laos

B-133080: Published: Oct 30, 1958. Publicly Released: Oct 30, 1958.

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The General Accounting Office has made a review of the Military Assistance Program (MAP) for Laos. Our review was made pursuant to the Budget and Accounting Act, 1921 (31 U.S.C. 53), and the Accounting and Auditing Act of 1950 (31 U.S.C. 67). This review is one of a group on the military assistance program. The purpose of this program, its organization and management, and its method of financing were described in our report on the military assistance program transmitted to the Congress on August 29, 1957.

The report presents our findings that annual programs have been and are being developed to assist Laos without adequate knowledge of the forces being supported, the needs of these forces, or the military supplies already delivered to Laos and do not appear always to have been motivated by military considerations. Under the military assistance program, equipment is being delivered to Laos in quantities which cannot be protected or used by country forces. At the time of our review the United States exercised little or no control over the use being made of local currency generated by ICA economic assistance which it was providing to support the Laotian military establishment. The Laotian Government has been generally uncooperative and has refused to permit the United States officials to develop effective means of administering the military assistance program and of supervising and auditing the military budget expenditures of the Laotian Government financed by the United States. We have been informed by Defense officials that, so long as Laos remains basically non-Communist, military aid should be continued in spite of the numerous difficulties involved in administering the assistance programs. In addition, the inability of Laos to support from its own resources United States program objectives, in our opinion, requires an informed determination, based on the development of long-range program costs for Laos and the military assistance program world-wide, as to whether these costs are within the resources of the United States to be made available for such purposes.

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