Reporting on Chemical Testing of the Bigeye Binary Chemical Bomb

NSIAD-85-3: Published: Oct 30, 1984. Publicly Released: Nov 29, 1984.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on whether the Department of Defense (DOD) intentionally withheld information from Congress about the Bigeye binary chemical bomb program.

GAO found that: (1) because a steering committee with responsibility for the Bigeye program did not recognize the seriousness of a test failure, there was a delay in providing information to Congress about the failure; (2) after being informed of the test failure, the Office of the Secretary of Defense timely provided the information to Congress; and (3) because of the problem that caused the test failure, DOD withdrew production funds for Bigeye from its 1984 budget request and delayed Bigeye production for 1 year. In addition, GAO found that Congress was not informed of another test failure because the problem that caused the failure was easily corrected and did not recur.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD did not agree to designate the Bigeye program as a major program because of the added cost to the program, which would not increase management effectiveness. However, DOD agreed to designate the program as a selected special interest munition under the purview of Defense Operational Test and Evaluation.

    Recommendation: In view of congressional interest and the sensitivity of the Bigeye program, the Secretary of Defense should designate Bigeye a major program for monitoring and reporting requirements.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense


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