Special Operations Command:

Progress in Implementing Legislative Mandates

NSIAD-90-166: Published: Sep 28, 1990. Publicly Released: Sep 28, 1990.

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Henry L. Hinton, Jr
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Department of Defense's (DOD) reforms involving the U.S. Special Operations Command, focusing on: (1) DOD implementation of legislative provisions affecting the revitalization and integration of U.S. special operations forces; and (2) the adequacy and appropriateness of the DOD budget in meeting the Command's requirements.

GAO found that: (1) the Command made progress in integrating special operations forces and assigned most of the legislatively identified special operations forces by March 1988; (2) the Command is reaching agreements with the military services and other DOD organizations to delineate responsibilities and relationships; (3) as of March 1990, the Command had completed about 65 percent of the 29 agreements it considered essential to fully implement the legislative mandates; (4) 10 of the 29 agreements that the Command considered essential for implementing the legislation were unsigned, and the Command did not set milestone dates for completing them; (5) the Command implemented a plan for integrating special operations forces, but many of the milestone dates were not scheduled to be reached for several years due to the complexity of some new interorganization roles and responsibilities; (6) the completion of some Command tasks, such as threat assessments for certain geographical areas, will continue to be modified due to constantly changing circumstances; (7) special operations funding for fiscal years 1990 and 1991 represented aggregations of each service's specific requirements rather than the Command's joint requirements; (8) the Command expected to complete its analysis of special operations missions, validate its worldwide requirements, and obtain concurrence from all of the affected commands in June 1991; and (9) the Command was taking steps to assume its mandated programming and budgeting responsibilities beginning with the fiscal year 1992 budget.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: GAO report NSIAD-92-109, dated June 16, 1992, reflects the current status of agreements and that the terms of the agreements were being implemented. The report, with agency comments, confirms that the intent of the recommendations have been met.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should: (1) set specific milestone dates for completing and executing all of the essential agreements between the U.S. Special Operations Command and the services and other DOD organizations; and (2) take appropriate steps to help ensure that such dates are met.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense


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