State Department: State Has Initiated a More Systematic Approach for Managing Its Aviation Fleet

GAO-07-264 Published: Feb 02, 2007. Publicly Released: Feb 02, 2007.
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The Department of State's (State) Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) owns 357 helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft (valued at over $340 million) primarily to help carry out its counternarcotics efforts, such as aerial eradication of drug crops in Colombia. INL relies on contractor support to help maintain and operate its aircraft. In 2004, GAO analysis showed that INL lagged behind other agencies in implementing Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and General Services Administration (GSA) aviation fleet management principles. GAO was mandated to review INL's management and oversight of this fleet. GAO specifically examined (1) the extent INL has complied with OMB and GSA aviation fleet management guidance and (2) how INL has overseen its aviation support contracts. Since INL has undertaken initiatives to address the weaknesses GAO observed, GAO makes no recommendations. GAO will follow up to ensure that these initiatives are completed, as planned. In comments on this report, State highlighted reforms under way. State also indicated that INL conducted analyses to justify most aviation investments. GAO notes, however, that the documentation provided did not reflect the key analyses called for by OMB guidance.

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