Foreign Military Sales: Improved Air Force Controls Could Prevent Unauthorized Shipments of Classified and Controlled Spare Parts to Foreign Countries

GAO-03-664 Published: Jul 29, 2003. Publicly Released: Aug 28, 2003.
Jump To:
Skip to Highlights
Highlights

From 1990 through 2001, the Department of Defense delivered over $138 billion in services and defense articles--including classified and controlled parts--to foreign governments through its foreign military sales programs. Classified spare parts are restricted for national security reasons, while controlled parts contain technology that the military does not want to release. GAO was asked to review the Air Force's internal controls aimed at preventing countries from requisitioning and receiving classified or controlled spare parts that they are ineligible to receive.

Skip to Recommendations

Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Defense To improve internal controls over the Air Force's foreign military sales program and to minimize countries' abilities to obtain classified or controlled spare parts under blanket orders for which they are not eligible, the Secretary of Defense should instruct the Secretary of the Air Force to require the appropriate officials to modify the Security Assistance Management Information System so that it validates country requisitions based on the requisitioned item's complete national stock number.
Closed - Implemented
DOD agreed with our recommendation and said that corrective actions had been taken. Based on our audit work, the Air Force, in January 2003, modified its Security Assistance Management Information System to validate country requisitions based on the requisitioned item's national stock number.
Department of Defense To improve internal controls over the Air Force's foreign military sales program ande to minimize countries' abilities to obtain classified or controlled spare parts under blanket orders for which they are not eligible, the Secretary of Defense should instruct the Secretary of the Air Force to require the appropriate officials to establish policies and procedures for recovering classified or controlled items that are erroneously shipped.
Closed - Implemented
DOD agreed with the recommendation and the Air Force has issued a policy memorandum that sets forth procedures for recovering classified or controlled items that have been erroneously shipped.
Department of Defense To improve internal controls over the Air Force's foreign military sales program and to minimizse countries' abilities to obtain classified or controlled spare parts under blanket orders for which they are not eligible, the Secretary of Defense should instruct the Secretary of the Air Force to require the appropriate officials to establish policies and procedures for validating modifications made to the Security Assistance Management Information System to ensure that the changes were properly made.
Closed - Implemented
DOD agreed with this recommendation and said the Air Force has issued a policy memorandum that directs responsible officials to provide documentation that would include the data elements to be restricted along with the restriction rationale and point of contact information. This should allow the Air Force to ensure that the changes were properly made.
Department of Defense To improve internal controls over the Air Force's foreign military sales program and to minimize countries' abilities to obtain classified or controlled spare parts under blanket orders for which they are not eligible, the Secretary of Defense should instruct the Secretary of the Air Force to require the appropriate officials to periodically test the Security Assistance Management Information System to ensure that the system's logic for restricting requisitions is working correctly.
Closed - Implemented
DOD changed from partially to fully concur. It said that SAMIS has undergone extensive modifications that allow periodic testing of new and old entries for accuracy to data within a given time period. Testing to ensure the system's logic for restricting requisitions will now be done on an annual basis.
Department of Defense To improve internal controls over the Air Force's foreign military sales program and to minimize countries' abilities to obtain classified or controlled spare parts under blanket orders for which they are not eligible, the Secretary of Defense should instruct the Secretary of the Air Force to require the appropriate officials to establish a policy for command country managers to document the basis for their decisions to override Security Assistance Management Information System or foreign military sales case manager recommendations.
Closed - Implemented
DOD agreed with our recommendation and said that the Air Force issued a policy memorandum in May 2003 that restricts who can input bypass transactions for overriding Security Assistance Management Information System restrictions and requires that waivers be documented.

Full Report