Chemical and Biological Defense:
DOD Has Identified an Infrastructure Manager and Is Developing the Position's Roles and Responsibilities
GAO-17-522R: Published: Jul 7, 2017. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 2017.
What GAO Found
The Department of Defense (DOD) has identified an Infrastructure Manager for the Chemical and Biological Defense Program (CBDP). DOD also has developed and is implementing a three-phased process led by a working-level integrated product team--scheduled to take place over a 3-year period, ending in 2018--to identify and define the roles and responsibilities for the CBDP Infrastructure Manager. While not complete, the roles and responsibilities defined thus far for the Infrastructure Manager include providing overall coordination, integration, and oversight function for CBDP infrastructure. However, it is too early to evaluate the effectiveness of DOD's efforts to develop and implement the roles and responsibilities of the Infrastructure Manager since DOD's efforts are still in process. The following is a summary of the three phases:
- Phase one: Clarifying the Infrastructure Manager's roles and responsibilities regarding the management of physical infrastructure--laboratories, testing and support facilities, and specialized equipment in those facilities.
- Phase two: Implementing the decisions made in phase one; clarifying the Infrastructure Manager's roles and responsibilities regarding physical and intellectual infrastructure--knowledge and skills of personnel--in relationship with other federal agencies' respective roles and responsibilities; and developing an infrastructure strategic investment plan.
- Phase three: Clarifying the Infrastructure Manager's roles and responsibilities regarding CBDP intellectual infrastructure specifically its availability to the CBDP.
In phase one, which was completed in October 2016, DOD added clarification about the roles and responsibilities regarding the management of physical infrastructure into draft DOD Directive 5160.05E, Roles and Responsibilities Associated with the Chemical and Biological Defense Program (CBDP), which is still undergoing legal review as of May 2017. DOD also developed a draft plan entitled Chemical and Biological Defense Program Infrastructure Management Functions and Responsibilities, which is infrastructure management guidance designed to, among other things, facilitate a holistic process to manage infrastructure that supports CBDP. Phase two currently is underway and scheduled for completion by the end of calendar year 2017, according to CBDP officials. Phase two efforts, according to CBDP officials, include a core competencies review, an infrastructure composition and disposition study, Biosafety Taskforce study, and other activities. CBDP officials said that phase two will also include the development of a CBDP Infrastructure Strategic Investment Plan, which is designed to guide CBDP infrastructure lifecycle management efforts and inform program investment decisions. Phase three--efforts to clarify the CBDP Infrastructure Manager's roles and responsibilities regarding CBDP intellectual infrastructure--will begin once phase two is completed, according to CBDP officials. CBDP officials said they plan to complete phase three by the end of calendar year 2018. CBDP officials informed us that ensuring the availability of intellectual infrastructure--personnel with relevant knowledge and skills--is a commonly identified issue at the CBDP laboratories.
Why GAO Did This Study
In House Conference Report 114-270, the House and Senate conferees required DOD to report to the congressional defense committees on the designation of an individual responsible for managing the infrastructure for the CBDP in order to minimize duplication of effort both within DOD and other agencies of the federal government. The House and Senate conferees noted that this was consistent with the findings and recommendations in GAO's June 2015 report on DOD's efforts to manage the department's chemical and biological infrastructure capabilities, and included a provision that GAO review the roles and responsibilities of the official designated to be responsible for infrastructure management.
This report describes the status of DOD's efforts to develop the roles and responsibilities of DOD's CBDP Infrastructure Manager. GAO reviewed DOD guidance (e.g., directives and instructions) from organizations under the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics and reviewed drafts of DOD's Chemical and Biological Defense Program Infrastructure Management Functions and Responsibilities and of a revised DOD Directive 5160.05E, Roles and Responsibilities Associated with the Chemical and Biological Defense Program (CBDP). GAO also met with CBDP officials who had participated in the initial development of plans to implement the roles and responsibilities for infrastructure management.
What GAO Recommends
GAO is not making any recommendations in this report.
For more information, contact Joseph Kirschbaum at (202) 512-9971 or firstname.lastname@example.org.