Efforts To Improve Management Practices and Increase Resources at the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency

NSIAD-84-19: Published: Apr 11, 1984. Publicly Released: Apr 11, 1984.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the ability of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) to fulfill its legislative mandates, focusing on: (1) ACDA internal controls; (2) management of ACDA research programs; and (3) computer support for ACDA activities. This report summarizes the findings and conclusions contained in three previous GAO reports.

GAO found that ACDA should improve its current management practices. ACDA only recently began to implement key internal control requirements and does not have necessary internal audit coverage. ACDA is acting on recommendations made by GAO concerning internal audit coverage. GAO also found problems in the ACDA external research program, including: (1) the absence of criteria for selecting research projects; (2) the lack of a mechanism for identifying related research done by other organizations; and (3) inadequate preparation and use of research contractor evaluations. ACDA is not meeting legislative and executive requirements to: (1) develop and maintain a governmentwide arms control research program; (2) oversee research done by other agencies; or (3) maintain an inventory of arms control research activities. In addition, GAO found that ACDA does not adequately plan for, or evaluate the use of, data processing systems. ACDA does not have a comprehensive data processing plan and GAO believes that the informal planning used currently is inadequate. ACDA has deemphasized and reduced its operations analysis capabilities without evaluating the capabilities necessary to carry out its mission. ACDA is in the process of acting upon GAO recommendations in the data processing and operations analysis areas.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The staff director for the authorizing subcommittee stated that earmarking funds for external research was considered. A staff member of the authorizing subcommittee informed GAO in November 1985 that the matter for congressional consideration had been seriously considered during the preparation of the ACDA fiscal year 1986 funding legislation.

    Matter: To ensure that the ACDA external arms control research program is adequately supported in the future, Congress may wish to consider specifically designating a portion of ACDA funds for the external research program.


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