Use Of Missile Procurement Funds To Finance Research And Development Efforts

B-146876: Published: May 7, 1969. Publicly Released: May 7, 1969.

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GAO reviewed research and development (R&D) funding, focusing on the contracting activity of the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Organization (SAMSO), El Segundo, California.

GAO noted that: (1) during the period 1964 to 1967, SAMSO awarded supplemental agreements for a product improvement program totaling $22.5 million to the three Minuteman missile motor contractors; (2) although these agreements were financed from missile procurement funds most of the work performed involved R&D effort rather than product improvement; (3) SAMSO officials cited Air Force Procurement Instruction 59-500 as their authority for financing the supplemental agreements with missile procurement appropriations; and (4) as a result, no higher level of authority had the opportunity to consider whether the work to be performed was appropriately classified as a product improvement or whether the work was necessary and of higher priority than unfunded R&D projects.

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