Army Reservists:

Peacetime Screening to Identify Key Civilian Employees Is Inadequate

NSIAD-90-56: Published: Feb 12, 1990. Publicly Released: Feb 28, 1990.

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GAO reviewed the Army's peacetime screening process to determine whether it effectively identified reservists with civilian occupations that would be critical to private-sector operations during a war effort.

GAO found that: (1) the Army did not properly screen reservists who held critical positions in the private sector; (2) many civilian employers were not aware of their opportunity to plan for the loss of mobilized employees or of the military status of their employees; (3) the Army lacked a process to obtain feedback from reservists regarding their employment; and (4) the Department of Defense (DOD) provided no specific guidance for the services to use in screening reservists for nonfederal key employment.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: DOD did not agree with this recommendation and will not take action because there is no statutory requirement to provide employees an opportunity to designate key positions. The opportunity has been set out in the Code of Federal Regulations and DOD believes this is an appropriate and cost-effective way to provide notice to nonfederal employees. No further action is needed.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should provide guidance to the military services on how to fulfill their screening responsibility for ready reservists employed in the nonfederal sector. In this regard, the Secretary should examine the feasibility of implementing a system to directly notify nonfederal employers of ready reservists of their screening opportunity. Such a system should, at a minimum, notify employers in the fields of public health, safety, and defense support industries.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: DOD will revise DOD Directive 1200.7 to ensure that military service procedures are in effect to require feedback from reservists that they have notified employers of their military obligation. Notification to employers of their screening opportunity is not, however, in DOD's view, an appropriate responsibility for individual reservists. No further action is needed.

    Recommendation: If the Secretary of Defense determines that direct notification is not feasible, the Secretary of the Army should require Army commands to establish procedures to obtain feedback from reservists on whether nonfederal employers have been informed of their screening opportunity.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army


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