Drug Control:

Status Report on Counterdrug Technology Development

NSIAD-93-104: Published: Jan 28, 1993. Publicly Released: Feb 8, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on counterdrug technology development, focusing on the Department of Defense's (DOD) and the Office of National Drug Control Policy's (ONDCP) efforts to develop and demonstrate cargo container inspection technology.

GAO found that: (1) in 1990, the Counterdrug Technology Assessment Center was established within ONDCP; (2) in 1992, ONDCP published a counterdrug enforcement research and development blueprint which provided agencies with guidelines for developing the technology necessary to implement the National Counterdrug Enforcement Research and Development Program; (3) the Center allows the counterdrug community to discuss and develop research and development requirements, reviews ongoing and proposed counterdrug research and development plans and budget requests, and identifies unnecessary and duplicative research and development efforts; (4) three main counterdrug technology areas of demand reduction included wide area surveillance, non-intrusive inspection, and tactical operation technologies; (5) 1992 funding for counterdrug research and development projects totalled $104 million and 1993 estimated funding is projected at $131 million; (6) most of the counterdrug technology developed and fielded to date by the law enforcement community resulted from the adaptation of off-the-shelf technologies; (7) cargo container inspection technology is designed to facilitate inspection of cargo containers, personal luggage, vehicles, and bulk cargo using neutron, X-ray, and chemical techniques; and (8) concerns over the new technology included funding requirements, impact on shipping, and the safety of new detection systems.

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