Appropriated Funds:

Air Force Needs To Change Process for Funding Some Activities

NSIAD-86-24: Published: Jan 14, 1986. Publicly Released: Jan 14, 1986.

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GAO reviewed the Air Force Systems Command's (AFCS) Aeronautical Systems Division's assessment of authorized programs to fund and account for certain development planning activities.

GAO believes that the use of assessments to fund these activities is not appropriate because: (1) there is no specific budget submission for these development planning activities and, as such, they are not justified to Congress; (2) the development planning costs are ultimately recorded as expenses of authorized and budgeted research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) programs from which the funds were taken, which misrepresents how the funds are actually spent; (3) many development planning projects had little relationship to the RDT&E programs from which the funds were taken; and (4) Air Force budget requests for the RDT&E programs providing the funds may be increased to accommodate anticipated assessments.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Air Force revised its fiscal year 1987 research and development (R&D) budget presentation to show that funds were formally being requested under the Development Planning Program element rather than by ensuring other R&D programs.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Air Force should initiate action to stop the use of assessments in funding development planning activities and ensure that Air Force budget submissions clearly disclose development planning activities. Such action could include specific justification to Congress of some larger projects, justification for groups of smaller projects, or other methods more appropriate than the assessment practice.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Air Force


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