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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) training of linguists engaged in intelligence-related activities, focusing on: (1) the language and technical training provided to DOD linguists; and (2) military service policies and procedures governing the management, training, and compensation of the linguist workforce.

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Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Defense 1. The Secretary of Defense should review individual service practices for awarding foreign language proficiency pay to determine whether all linguists should receive equal pay for equal achievement and determine whether the current Army and Marine Corps practices of paying for less than level-2 proficiency should continue.
Closed - Not Implemented
DOD fully concurred with the report recommendation and indicated that it would examine matters raised in GAO's recommendation as part of its planned study of the foreign language proficiency pay program. GAO has been unable to follow up with DOD to determine what, if any, action has been taken on the recommendation, because the Director of Central Intelligence's (DCI) staff has refused to provide GAO information on defense program activities (such as the DOD linguist program) funded under the DCI's National Foreign Intelligence Program (NFIP). Given the DCI's unyielding position on GAO access to NFIP information, GAO does not expect now (or in the future) to be granted the kinds of access needed to follow up on this recommendation. Therefore, the recommendation is no longer applicable.
Department of Defense 2. The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army and the Director, National Security Agency, to establish procedures for coordinating commercial language training class schedules.
Closed - Implemented
DOD achieved coordination through Defense foreign language program procedures.

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