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Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) program to account for its management headquarters and headquarters support activities, focusing on: (1) the accuracy and reliability of DOD's reported data on management headquarters and headquarters support personnel and costs; (2) reasons that data on personnel and costs could be inaccurate; and (3) DOD's plans to reduce the size of its management headquarters and headquarters support activities.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Defense To generate accurate information needed by Congress and the Secretary of Defense to carry out their oversight and management responsibilities, the Secretary of Defense should revise DOD Directive 5100.73 to expand its coverage and simplify its criteria. The revised directive should require the inclusion of all personnel assigned to all noncombat organizations that are subordinate to DOD management headquarters, including those at the major command level, such as field operating activities, direct reporting units, and other similar organizations that support their parent headquarters. The revised definition should permit common sense exemptions, such as the students and faculty of military academies and componentwide operating-type services, such as payroll services.
Closed - Implemented
DOD issued a new directive on management headquarters on May 13,1999. The directive clearly states that personnel assigned to field activities, direct reporting units and other similar organizations be reported as management headquarters personnel. In addition, the new directive identifies common sense exemptions such as component-wide payroll services and military bands that should not be reported as management headquarters organizations.
Department of Defense To provide Congress with a cost summary, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense (USD) (Comptroller) to report the total cost, including all appropriations, of DOD's management headquarters and headquarters support in one document.
Closed - Implemented
USD (C) revised the reporting requirements for PB-22, Management Headquarters Exhibit, to improve its clarity, eliminate inconsistencies in data reporting, and provide standardization of data across DOD components. However, the total cost is not reported in one document.

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