Supplemental Material For GAO-22-103973: Status of DOD and Coast Guard Implementation of Statutory Requirements to Prevent and Respond to Sexual Assaults, 2004–2019
This is a supplement to our report SEXUAL ASSAULT: DOD and Coast Guard Should Ensure Laws Are Implemented to Improve Oversight of Key Prevention and Response Efforts, GAO-22-103973.
In this report, we identified 249 statutory requirements in National Defense Authorization Acts from FYs 2004-2019 concerning the prevention of and response to sexual assault incidents in the military. This supplement contains the full list of these requirements and the current status of DOD's and Coast Guard's efforts to implement them.
This supplement is a companion to GAO's report entitled, GAO-22-103973 Sexual Assault: DOD and Coast Guard Should Ensure Laws Are Implemented to Improve Oversight of Key Prevention and Response Efforts. The purpose of this supplement is to provide GAO's detailed findings on DOD's and Coast Guard's implementation efforts concerning statutory requirements related to sexual assault prevention and response in the military from National Defense Authorization Acts from fiscal years 2004–2019.
GAO was mandated in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020 to identify all the statutory requirements concerning prevention of and response to sexual assault incidents in the military in NDAAs from fiscal years 2004 through 2019, and determine the extent to which the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Coast Guard implemented each requirement. Our analysis found 249 statutory requirements related to the prevention of and response to sexual assault in the military in the NDAAs for fiscal years 2004 through 2019. This file contains the full list of statutory requirements we identified, to include the current status of DOD's and Coast Guard's efforts to implement the requirements.
We developed a questionnaire based on the statutory requirements to collect responses and documentation from DOD and Coast Guard officials. Responses and documentation were requested and received from the Department of Homeland Security as it pertained to the Coast Guard, and several DOD organizations—the Office of the Secretary of Defense (e.g., Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office), the Army, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the Air Force, and the National Guard Bureau. For each organization, as applicable, we reviewed the responses and documentation received for each statutory requirement and assigned an implementation status. At least two analysts reviewed each statutory requirement and reached concurrence based on responses and documentation provided by DOD and Coast Guard officials. Attorneys from GAO's Office of the General Counsel also reviewed each requirement for legal sufficiency and appropriateness. We also determined some statutory requirements to be self-implementing; these types of statutory requirements did not direct any particular entity to take an action.
Statutory requirements consisted of one or more elements (i.e., sub-sections, paragraphs, and sub-paragraphs). To determine the implementation status in a consistent manner, we developed criteria and applied it in two steps. First, we reviewed each element of the statutory requirement and determined, based on information and documentation from DOD and Coast Guard, if the element was implemented, not implemented, pending implementation, or whether it was not directed to a specific organization (e.g., Navy or National Guard Bureau). Second, we used the number of elements implemented to determine whether the statutory requirement in its entirety was implemented, partially implemented, not implemented, or pending implementation.
To determine the categories of sexual assault prevention and response requirements, we developed a schema of detailed topics and subcategories. Then, we assigned each requirement to the topics and subcategories, and grouped them into a set of four broad categories: Victim Assistance and Advocacy, Management and Oversight, Military Justice and Investigations, and Prevention Efforts. For more details regarding our scope and methodology, see the related report: GAO, Sexual Assault: DOD and Coast Guard Should Ensure Laws Are Implemented to Improve Oversight of Key Prevention and Response Efforts, GAO-22-103973 (Washington, D.C.: Mar. 28, 2022).