Arms Control:

Experience of U.S. Industry With Chemical Weapons Convention Inspections

T-NSIAD-00-249: Published: Sep 13, 2000. Publicly Released: Sep 13, 2000.

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Louis J. Rodrigues
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Office of Public Affairs
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed companies in the chemical, agricultural, and brewing industries inspected under the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction (Chemical Weapons Convention), focusing on: (1) how companies protect proprietary information during inspections; (2) any adverse publicity for companies as a result of being inspected; and (3) the costs to companies of being inspected.

GAO noted that: (1) the experience of the first seven U.S. companies that have been inspected under the Chemical Weapons Convention showed that companies were generally able to protect proprietary information, in part because of certain provisions in the Convention and U.S. law; (2) GAO did not identify any instances in which a company was affected by adverse publicity resulting from inspections, even though companies varied in how much information was provided to the public concerning inspections; (3) these companies reported inspection-related costs to GAO ranging from $6,000 to $107,000; and (4) the large variation is partly attributable to inconsistencies in components of costs included in the total cost as well as differences in the facilities being inspected.

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