The Coast Guard has responsibility for protecting America's ports, waterways, and waterside facilities from terrorist attacks. At the same time, the Coast Guard remains responsible for many other missions important to the nation's interests, such as conducting search and rescue and protecting important fishing grounds. GAO's past work found that despite substantial budget increases, the Coast Guard's extensive homeland security responsibilities resulted in a reduction in the levels at which the agency's ship, boat, and aircraft resources were applied to non- homeland security programs. GAO was asked to update and expand this work by analyzing: the trends in resource usage, the trends in performance results, and the implications of these trends.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|United States Coast Guard||1. To provide the Coast Guard and the Congress with critical information necessary for an efficient and effective allocation of resources, the Secretary of Homeland Security should direct the Commandant of the Coast Guard to develop a time frame for expeditiously proceeding with plans for implementing a system that will accurately account for resources expended in each of its program areas.|
|United States Coast Guard||2. To provide the Coast Guard and the Congress with critical information necessary for an efficient and effective allocation of resources, the Secretary of Homeland Security should direct the Commandant of the Coast Guard to ensure that the Coast Guard's strategic planning process and its associated documents include a strategy for (1) identifying intervening factors that may affect program performance and (2) systematically assessing the relationship between these factors, resources used, and results achieved.|