Coast Guard's Marine Safety Program Staffing

RCED-96-162R: Published: Jun 11, 1996. Publicly Released: Jun 11, 1996.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the staffing practices and availability of training for the Coast Guard Marine Safety Program. GAO noted that: (1) while Congress provided funding for 875 additional positions for the Marine Safety Program, the program's authorized staffing level only increased to 706 positions because the Coast Guard reduced the program size and allocated some positions to field offices; (2) data limitations prevent a year-to-year accounting of staff vacancies; (3) while it is impossible to analyze staffing patterns at field offices, staffing patterns of military officers assigned to headquarters and district offices indicate that many positions are filled with personnel whose grade levels are above or below the authorized grade levels for their respective positions; and (4) delays in training due to increased demand for certain required courses does not materially affect the ability of marine safety personnel to carry out their responsibilities.

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