Defense Force Management:

Limited Baseline for Monitoring Civilian Force Reductions

NSIAD-92-42: Published: Feb 5, 1992. Publicly Released: Feb 13, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) 5-Year Civilian Employment Master Plan, focusing on: (1) plan accuracy and completeness; (2) whether the plan provided a baseline for monitoring force reductions; and (3) whether DOD issued force reduction guidance in response to a congressional mandate.

GAO found that: (1) the 5-year DOD plan provides a limited basis for monitoring force reductions of industrial and commercial workers; (2) all DOD organizations, except the Navy, provided projections in the requested areas for the full 5-year period; (3) the plan included some incomplete, inaccurate, and inconsistent data involving work load, workers, and projected force reductions; (4) DOD has made several conclusions regarding its 5-year plan, which appear premature in light of data limitations; (5) DOD issued guidance regarding the order in which categories of civilian workers should be considered for reduction, but the decentralized nature of DOD civilian personnel management could limit the guidance's impact; (6) the legislatively mandated master plan provides a limited perspective, since it only addresses one portion of the DOD civilian work force; and (7) broader assessments could determine the impact of military downsizing on the total DOD civilian work force.