The Department of Defense (DOD) employs space to support critical military capabilities and funding for space is about 5.4 percent of DOD's budget. In 2001, the Space Commission noted that DOD needs a force composed of educated, motivated, and competent personnel, but DOD was not yet on course to develop the space cadre the nation needs. DOD has a defensewide space human capital strategy and implementation plan and an Executive Agent for Space responsible for space planning, programming, and acquisitions. Congress required two GAO reports assessing DOD's strategy and the military services' efforts to develop their space personnel. GAO's first report was issued in August 2004. In its second report, GAO (1) determined DOD's progress in implementing defensewide space cadre actions, (2) assessed if DOD's space cadre management approach is consistent with a results-oriented management approach, and (3) determined the progress the services have made in planning and completing space cadre initiatives.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Defense||1. The Secretary of Defense should issue defensewide guidance to provide accountability by defining and institutionalizing space cadre authorities and responsibilities, to include: defining the Executive Agent's specific authority and responsibilities related to the defensewide space cadre and leadership role in synchronizing the services' space cadre activities; specifying space cadre human capital development and management functions for the services and other DOD components; and defining the defensewide structure related to developing and managing the space cadre, such as the Space Professional Oversight Board.|
|Department of Defense||2. The Secretary of Defense should direct the DOD Executive Agent for Space, in conjunction with the military services, to develop appropriate performance measures for each service and an evaluation plan to indicate results related to goals in order to help evaluate DOD's progress in integrating and developing its space personnel over time.|