Foreign Military Sales: Review Process for Controlled Missile Technology Needs Improvement

NSIAD-99-231 Published: Sep 29, 1999. Publicly Released: Sep 29, 1999.
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Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed how the Foreign Military Sales program safeguards technology and arms transfers, focusing on the: (1) process for deciding what technology may be transferred as part of a sale through the program; (2) controls for ensuring that technology transfer considerations have been weighed when reviewing requests and agreements; and (3) Department of Defense's (DOD) proposals to improve technology transfer procedures.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Defense To provide for proper review and approval of proposed exports of controlled technologies through the Foreign Military Sales program, the Secretaries of State and Defense should establish a process to identify all items on a proposed Foreign Military Sales agreement that are controlled under the Missile Technology Control Regime or other nonproliferation agreements by taking full advantage of the expertise that resides in the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the military services, or elsewhere.
Closed - Implemented
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Department of State To provide for proper review and approval of proposed exports of controlled technologies through the Foreign Military Sales program, the Secretaries of State and Defense should establish a process to identify all items on a proposed Foreign Military Sales agreement that are controlled under the Missile Technology Control Regime or other nonproliferation agreements by taking full advantage of the expertise that resides in the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, the military services, or elsewhere.
Closed - Implemented
The State Department worked with the Department of Defense on the changes it made to the Security Assistance Management Manual in May 2001, establishing a process for Military Department personnel to identify all Foreign Military Sales cases that contain technology controlled by the Missile Technology Control Regime. This process was implemented in October 2001, after the Military Departments provided training to personnel on identifying missile technology items controlled by the Regime.
Department of State To provide for proper review and approval of proposed exports of controlled technologies through the Foreign Military Sales program, the Secretaries of State and Defense should establish a process to refer the information to State.
Closed - Implemented
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Department of Defense To provide for proper review and approval of proposed exports of controlled technologies through the Foreign Military Sales program, the Secretaries of State and Defense should establish a process to refer the information to State.
Closed - Implemented
Since October 2001, the Regional Security and Arms Transfer Directorate has been receiving notifications from the Defense Department's Defense Security Cooperation Agency when Foreign Military Sales cases contain controlled missile technology.
Department of Defense To provide for proper review and approval of proposed exports of controlled technologies through the Foreign Military Sales program, the Secretaries of State and Defense should establish a process to direct the Missile Technology Export Control group or other nonproliferation groups to review missile technology-related items or other controlled items to ensure compliance with the nonproliferation agreements.
Closed - Implemented
Working with the Department of Defense, the State Department's Regional Security and Arms Transfer Directorate has developed a procedure to have the Defense Security Cooperation Agency identify and refer all Foreign Military Sales cases that contain controlled missile technology. The State Department then forwards such cases to the appropriate personnel within the State Department. This procedure was implemented in October 2001.
Department of State To provide for proper review and approval of proposed exports of controlled technologies through the Foreign Military Sales program, the Secretaries of State and Defense should establish a process to direct the Missile Technology Export Control group or other nonproliferation groups to review missile technology-related items or other controlled items to ensure compliance with the nonproliferation agreements.
Closed - Implemented
The Department of Defense revised its security assistance manual to require Military Department personnel to identify Foreign Military Sales cases that include possible missile technology controlled items. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency then forwards this information to the State Department's Political Military Bureau, Office of Regional Security and Arms Transfers, which forwards such cases to the appropriate personnel with missile technology expertise for review.
Department of State To provide for proper review and approval of proposed exports of controlled technologies through the Foreign Military Sales program, the Secretaries of State and Defense should establish a process to reflect this process in ongoing reinvention efforts.
Closed - Not Implemented
While the Department of Defense is primarily responsible for ensuring that ongoing Foreign Military Sales reinvention efforts include proposals to improve the identification process for controlled missile technology, the State Department has provided input to Defense on such efforts. None of Defense's reinvention efforts (current or completed) have included changes to the process for identifying controlled missile technology.
Department of Defense To provide for proper review and approval of proposed exports of controlled technologies through the Foreign Military Sales program, the Secretaries of State and Defense should establish a process to reflect this process in ongoing reinvention efforts.
Closed - Implemented
When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

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