Prior to the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization's (JIEDDO) establishment in 2006, no single entity was responsible for coordinating the Department of Defense's (DOD) counter improvised explosive device (IED) efforts. JIEDDO was established to coordinate and focus all counter-IED efforts, including ongoing research and development, throughout DOD. This report, which is one in a series of congressionally mandated GAO reports related to JIEDDO's management and operations, assesses the extent to which 1) capability gaps were initially identified in DOD's effort to defeat IEDs and how these gaps and other factors led to the development of JIEDDO, 2) JIEDDO has maintained visibility over all counter-IED efforts, 3) JIEDDO has coordinated the transition of JIEDDO-funded initiatives to the military services, and 4) JIEDDO has developed criteria for the counter-IED training initiatives it will fund. To address these objectives, GAO reviewed and analyzed relevant documents and met with DOD and service officials.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Defense||1. To improve JIEDDO's visibility over all counter-IED efforts, the Secretary of Defense should direct the military services to create their own comprehensive IED defeat initiative databases and work with JIEDDO to develop a DOD-wide database for all counter-IED initiatives.|
|Department of Defense||2. To further provide DOD visibility over all counter-IED efforts in cases where initiatives bypass JIEDDO's rapid acquisition process, the Secretary of Defense should direct JIEDDO to develop a mechanism to notify the appropriate service counter-IED focal points of each initiative prior to its funding.|
|Department of Defense||3. To facilitate the transition of JIEDDO-funded initiatives, the Secretary of Defense should direct the military services to work with JIEDDO to develop a comprehensive plan to guide the transition of each JIEDDO-funded initiative, including expected costs, identified funding sources, and a timeline including milestones for inclusion into the DOD base budget cycle.|
|Department of Defense||4. To facilitate the transition of JIEDDO-funded initiatives, the Secretary of Defense should direct JIEDDO to coordinate with the services prior to funding an initiative to ensure that service requirements are fully taken into account when making counter-IED investment decisions.|
|Department of Defense||5. To better clarify what counter-IED training initiatives JIEDDO will fund, the Secretary of Defense should direct JIEDDO to evaluate counter-IED training initiatives using the same criteria it uses to evaluate theater-based joint counter-IED urgent requirements, and incorporate this direction into existing guidance.|