Transfers of Military Assistance Fuels by El Salvador

T-NSIAD-89-37: Published: Jun 8, 1989. Publicly Released: Jun 8, 1989.

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GAO discussed the transfers of aviation fuels purchased for El Salvador with U.S. Military Assistance Program (MAP) funds. GAO found that: (1) by refuelling aircraft that supplied Nicaraguan anti-government forces, El Salvador violated an agreement not to transfer U.S.-supplied defense items or services without U.S. consent; (2) U.S. military officials at the U.S. Embassy in El Salvador stated that they had no role in arranging the use of El Salvadoran base facilities or U.S.-supplied fuel; (3) the Salvadoran Air Force sold over 61,000 gallons of aviation fuel to the Nicaraguan supply operation; (4) the Defense Security Assistance Agency (DSAA) and the Embassy determined that no significant diversion of U.S.-supplied fuel occurred; (5) DSAA and the Embassy failed to question any individual with direct knowledge of the supply operation; (6) there was no evidence that El Salvador ever sought U.S. consent for the transfers and, if it had, such consent would have violated the Arms Export Control Act; (7) it informed State of the unauthorized transfers by January 1989; and (8) the transfer may have violated a prohibition on the use of MAP funds for support of the Nicaraguan forces.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The Secretary determined that the transfer did not constitute a substantial violation. No further action is required.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of State should determine whether the transfer to the Contra supply operation may have constituted a substantial violation and if so, report it to Congress as such.

    Agency Affected: Department of State


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