Alternatives to Current Draft Registration Program Needed Unless Level of Compliance Improves

FPCD-82-20: Published: Apr 19, 1982. Publicly Released: Apr 19, 1982.

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GAO evaluated the completeness and accuracy of the Selective Service System's continuous draft registration program in contrast to the time-limited period registration program.

Although most eligible young men have registered for the draft since its resumption, increasing numbers are failing to register due, in many cases, to the Administration's announcement that draft registration would be continued indefinitely and that nonregistrants would be given a 2-month grace period before actions to prosecute begin. Statistics have shown that the number of months available for late registration has a direct impact on voluntary compliance rates. GAO found that the rate of registration compliance substantially deteriorated as a result of converting to the continuous registration program. Compared to the time-limited registrations, the continuous registration program is much less complete. GAO concluded that, if the rate of registrations continues to decrease because of this method, alternatives for achieving improved compliance will have to be developed. One alternative is to return to the time-limited registration program which could more effectively apprise youths of the registration requirement through a more intensive advertising campaign than is possible with current funding for advertising throughout the year.

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