GAO’s recommendations database contains report recommendations that still need to be addressed. GAO’s priority recommendations are those that we believe warrant priority attention. We sent letters to the heads of key departments and agencies, urging them to continue focusing on these issues. Below you can search only priority recommendations, or search all recommendations.

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As of April 18, 2018, there are 5,184 open recommendations, of which 465 are priority recommendations. Recommendations remain open until they are designated as Closed-implemented or Closed-not implemented.

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Federal Agency: "Department of Defense"

32 publications with a total of 69 priority recommendations
Director: Asif A. Khan
Phone: (202) 512-9869

2 open priority recommendations
Recommendation: The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Financial Management and Comptroller should ensure that the Working Group identifies and analyzes the full population of manual unsupported JVs at the transaction level and in Defense Departmental Reporting System-Audited Financial Statements and determines the root causes for these JVs. (Recommendation 1)

Agency: Department of Defense: Department of the Army
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: The Department of the Army concurred with this recommendation. The Assistant Secretary of Financial Management and Comptroller (ASA(FM&C)) with Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) began implementing the recommendation in April 2017 by establishing a Journal Voucher (JV) review initiative as part of the Business Mission Area Championship (BMAC) project. The BMAC project was established as a supplemental senior leader oversight program to the Journal Voucher Working Group (JVWG). The BMAC initiative establishes a schedule for a monthly sample evaluation to determine applicable support, align adjustments to a root cause, and document any newly identified root causes. The initial JV review schedule, which incorporates all applicable Army and Department of Defense Army allocated appropriations, is targeted to be completed by June 2018. At a time which additional resources become available or at the conclusion of the review cycle in fiscal year 2018, ASA(FM&C) along with DFAS will develop a plan to incorporate further adjustments into the monthly evaluations.
Recommendation: The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Financial Management and Comptroller should work with Defense Finance and Accounting Service to enhance the monthly JV metrics report or develop another method to sufficiently monitor the extent to which the Working Group has identified the root causes of unsupported JVs and to determine the extent to which unsupported JVs are being reduced based on the implemented corrective actions. (Recommendation 2)

Agency: Department of Defense: Department of the Army
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: The Department of the Army concurred with this recommendation. The Assistant Secretary of Financial Management and Comptroller (ASA(FM&C)) will partner with Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) to reevaluate the journal voucher (JV) metric report to monitor the identification of unsupported JV root causes and reduction more clearly. Journal voucher root cause analysis, reduction, and support will be an ongoing effort until JVs are significantly reduced, and as a result, ASA(FM&C) remains committed to working with DFAS to continue to lessen related financial statement audit risk. While select initiatives have been implemented since the audit engagement to attempt to improve metric reporting, the BMAC priority lead for JVs will establish a meeting with DFAS counterparts prior to December 2017 to identify additional means to enhance metric reporting and root cause monitoring.
Director: Zina Merritt
Phone: (202) 512-5257

3 open priority recommendations
Recommendation: The Secretary of the Navy should develop a comprehensive plan for shipyard capital investment that establishes (1) the desired goal for the shipyards' condition and capabilities; (2) an estimate of the full costs to implement the plan, addressing all relevant requirements, external risk factors, and associated planning costs; and (3) metrics for assessing progress toward meeting the goal that include measuring the effectiveness of capital investments. (Recommendation 1)

Agency: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: The Navy concurred with this recommendation and said it would take steps to develop and implement a comprehensive plan. As of July 2018, DOD had begun the process of addressing this recommendation. Specifically, Navy Sea Systems Command produced a Shipyard Optimization Report, which it presented to Congress in February 2018, that is intended to guide their overhaul and improvement of the Navy shipyards. This plan includes some of the elements needed to meet the recommendation, such as outlining the desired goal, and providing an estimate of the costs and risks of the plan (including associated planning costs). However, the Plan did not include metrics for assessing progress. Navy officials have stated that they intend to develop metrics to meet this element, but that this development will take place during a second phase that will be complete in FY19. To fully implement this recommendations, DOD should ensure that the Navy's plan fully incorporates the elements of a results-oriented management approach, including metrics to help it assess progress towards meeting its goal and measuring the effectiveness of capital investments.
Recommendation: The Secretary of the Navy should conduct regular management reviews that include all relevant stakeholders to oversee implementation of the plan, review metrics, assess the progress made toward the goal, and make adjustments, as necessary, to ensure that the goal is attained. (Recommendation 2)

Agency: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: The Navy concurred with this recommendation and said it would take steps to conduct regular management reviews. In June 2018, the Navy issued NAVSEA Notice 5450, which established a new program management office responsible for planning, developing, scheduling, budgeting, and sustaining the replacement of shipyard facilities and equipment. By creating this office, the Navy has taken a first step toward establishing a result-oriented management approach and toward implementing our recommendation to conduct regular management reviews, though additional steps (such as identifying all relevant stakeholders, holding meetings, and reviewing oversight metrics) must still be taken.
Recommendation: The Secretary of the Navy should provide regular reporting to key decision makers and Congress on the progress the shipyards are making to meet the goal of the comprehensive plan, along with any challenges that hinder that progress, such as cost. This may include reporting on progress to reduce their facilities restoration and modernization backlogs, improve the condition and configuration of the shipyards, and recapitalize capital equipment. (Recommendation 3)

Agency: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: The Navy concurred with this recommendation and said it would take steps to provide regular reporting to key decision makers and Congress. DOD officials stated in June 2018 that the Shipyard Optimization Plan, along with the creation of the Readiness Reform Oversight Council, address this recommendation. While the Readiness Reform Oversight Council does appear to involve some of the key stakeholders who should be receiving the regular reporting, the Navy has already made clear that it sees the shipyard optimization process as a 20-year long effort. Given that, regular reporting on progress cannot be achieved with a single disclosure at the beginning of the effort. Both Congress and DOD decision-makers need to receive regular updates on the implementation of the shipyard optimization plan, and while it is possible that the newly created Shipyard Program Management Office will be able to provide such reporting, that organization is still being developed and, to date, no progress reporting has yet begun.
Director: Timothy J. DiNapoli
Phone: (202) 512-4841

2 open priority recommendations
Recommendation: To help foster strategic decision making and improvements in the acquisition of services, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics should, as part of its effort to update the January 2016 instruction, reassess the roles, responsibilities, authorities, and organizational placement of key leadership positions, including functional domain experts, senior services managers, and component level leads.

Agency: Department of Defense: Office of the Secretary of Defense: Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD concurred with this recommendation and is in the process of assessing the roles responsibilities, and organization placement of key service acquisition leadership positions. According to DOD officials, stated that these roles and responsibilities will be clarified through a revised DOD service acquisition instruction, which is expected to be approved by OUSD(A&S) in the second quarter of fiscal year 2019. We will continue to monitor DOD's progress in addressing this recommendation.
Recommendation: To help foster strategic decision making and improvements in the acquisition of services, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics should, as part of its effort to update the January 2016 instruction, clarify the purpose and timing of the Services Requirements Review Board process to better align it with DOD's programming and budgeting processes.

Agency: Department of Defense: Office of the Secretary of Defense: Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD concurred with this recommendation and is in the process of updating its service acquisition instruction. The revised instruction is expected to be approved by OUSD(A&S) in the second quarter of fiscal year 2019. Additional guidance on Services Requirements Review Board process will addressed through a new initiative led by the Office of the Secretary of Defense's Chief Management Office Service Contracts Reform Team. We will continue to monitor DOD's progress in addressing this recommendation.
Director: Michele Mackin
Phone: (202) 512-4841

1 open priority recommendation
Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Navy to revise the Navy's ship delivery policy to clarify what types of deficiencies need to be corrected and what mission capability (including the levels of quality and capability) must be achieved at (1) delivery and (2) when the ship is provided to the fleet (at the obligation work limiting date (OWLD)). In doing so, the Navy should clearly define what constitutes a complete ship and when that should be achieved.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD disagreed with our recommendation to clarify the Navy's ship delivery policy, and stated that other existing policies help ensure the completion and capability of ships at delivery. However, Navy acquisition officials confirmed that the ship delivery policy, OPNAVINST 4700.8K, is the primary policy governing the delivery and post-delivery process for ships. Additionally, we reviewed the other policies identified by DOD during the course of our audit and found that they were not focused on construction and the post-delivery period and did not provide guidance on the level of quality and completeness expected when ships are provided to the fleet. As such, we maintain that the Navy's ship delivery policy is a key instruction for ensuring that complete, mission-capable ships are provided to the fleet. In line with our finding that the Navy's ship delivery policy has not ensured complete and mission-capable ships are being delivered to the fleet, Congress included a provision in the fiscal year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act which stipulated that the Navy could no longer count ships towards its battle force at commissioning, which occurs shortly after delivery. Instead, Congress directed that ships could only be counted in the battle force once they were both commissioned and capable of contributing to the Navy's missions. In continuing to not acknowledge the importance of its ship delivery policy and taking steps to clarify it, the Navy is missing important opportunities to improve the completeness and capability of its ships and remains at risk of providing ships to the fleet with significant quality problems. To fully implement this recommendation, the Navy should revise its ship delivery policy to clearly define what constitutes a complete and defect-free ship and by when that should be achieved.
Director: Mike Sullivan
Phone: (202) 512-4841

5 open priority recommendations
Recommendation: To ensure that DOD is positioned to counter both near and far term threats, consistent with its S&T framework, the Secretary of Defense should direct the new Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering to annually define the mix of incremental and disruptive innovation investments for each military department.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: In July 2017, the Department of Defense disagreed with our recommendation, stating that it would be premature to get ahead of the Secretary of Defense's final decisions on the role of the new Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (USD(R&E)) until that position is established, as required by law. Although the Department issued a memorandum finalizing the organizational structures, and roles and responsibilities for USD(R&E) in July 2018, there is no requirement for that office to annually define the mix of incremental and disruptive innovation investments for each military department. A senior official with USD(R&E), in July 2018, reported that the military departments are currently reviewing and updating their Science & Technology strategies, and are expected to be finished by the end of the year. Those updates will likely include a breakdown of the investments being made in near-term capabilities and far-term capabilities. However, near-term and far-term capabilities are not necessarily synonymous with incremental and disruptive innovation, nor is it clear whether these updates will occur annually. In order to meet the intent of this recommendation, USD(R&E) needs to take an active role in assisting the military departments to annually define this mix.
Recommendation: To ensure that DOD is positioned to counter both near and far term threats, consistent with its S&T framework, the Secretary of Defense should direct the new Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering to annually assess whether that mix is achieved.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: In July 2017, the Department of Defense disagreed with our recommendation, stating that it would be premature to get ahead of the Secretary of Defense's final decisions on the role of the new Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (USD(R&E)) until that position is established, as required by law. Although the Department issued a memorandum finalizing the organizational structures, and roles and responsibilities for USD(R&E) in July 2018, there is no requirement for that office to annually define the mix of incremental and disruptive innovation investments for each military department nor to annually assess whether that mix is achieved.. A senior official with USD(R&E), in July 2018, reported the Department's Reliance 21 process, and its related Communities of Interest, may provide an opportunity to do this annual assessment. USD(R&E), in order to meet the intent of this recommendation, needs to take a role in assessing whether the military departments are achieving the mix of incremental and disruptive innovation investments as defined in their Science and Technology strategies.
Recommendation: To ensure that DOD is positioned to more comprehensively implement leading practices for managing science and technology programs, the Secretary of Defense should direct the new Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering to define, in policy or guidance, an S&T management framework that includes emphasizing greater use of existing flexibilities to more quickly initiate and discontinue projects to respond to the rapid pace of innovation.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: In July 2017, the Department of Defense disagreed with our recommendation, stating that it would be premature to get ahead of the Secretary of Defense's final decisions on the role of the new Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (USD(R&E)) until that position is established, as required by law. Although the Department issued a memorandum finalizing the organizational structures, and roles and responsibilities for USD(R&E) in July 2018, there is no requirement for that office to define a science and technology management framework that includes a process for discontinuing projects. A senior official with USD(R&E), in July 2018, reported that the military departments need to better define this process, especially those projects receiving advanced technology development funds. This process could include a percentage of projects that should be canceled annually; however, the appropriate percentage of projects to cancel each year would have to be determined by the defense labs. USD(R&E), in order to meet the intent of this recommendation, needs to develop guidance for the military departments to better determine how and when to discontinue science and technology projects.
Recommendation: To ensure that DOD is positioned to more comprehensively implement leading practices for managing science and technology programs, the Secretary of Defense should direct the new Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering to define, in policy or guidance, an S&T management framework that includes incorporating acquisition stakeholders into technology development programs to ensure they are relevant to customers.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: In July 2017, the Department of Defense disagreed with our recommendation, stating that it would be premature to get ahead of the Secretary of Defense's final decisions on the role of the new Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (USD(R&E)) until that position is established, as required by law. Although the Department issued a memorandum finalizing the organizational structures, and roles and responsibilities for USD(R&E) in July 2018, there is no requirement for that office to define, in policy or guidance, a science and technology framework that includes incorporating acquisition stakeholders into technology development programs. A senior official with USD(R&E), in July 2018, acknowledged that the defense labs are integral to the military departments' acquisition process, and the need for the labs to work more closely with the acquisition community to develop relevant technologies, including developing technologies that can be used by each of the military departments, regardless of the domain in which they operate. However, there is no plan to define, in policy or guidance, an S&T management framework that includes incorporating acquisition stakeholders into technology development programs to ensure they are relevant to customers. In order to meet the intent of this recommendation, USD(R&E) needs to define a framework that includes guidance for how acquisition stakeholders can be incorporated into technology development programs.
Recommendation: To ensure that DOD is positioned to more comprehensively implement leading practices for managing science and technology programs, the Secretary of Defense should direct the new Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering to define, in policy or guidance, an S&T management framework that includes promoting advanced prototyping of disruptive technologies within the labs so the S&T community can prove these technologies work to generate demand from future acquisition programs.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: In July 2017, the Department of Defense disagreed with our recommendation, stating that it would be premature to get ahead of the Secretary of Defense's final decisions on the role of the new Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (USD(R&E)) until that position is established, as required by law. Although the Department issued a memorandum finalizing the organizational structures, and roles and responsibilities for USD(R&E) in July 2018, there is no requirement for that office to define, in policy or guidance, a science and technology framework that includes promoting advanced prototyping of disruptive technologies within the labs. A senior official at USD(R&E), in July 2018, reported that the Department continues to invest in science & technology projects that cut across the military departments and are focused on disruptive technologies, such as quantum computing and synthetic biology. This official stated that the purpose of these projects, funded as part of the Office of the Secretary of Defense's Applied Research for the Advancement of Science and Technology Priorities (ARAP) program, is to enable the early launch of applied research programs to shape the military departments' science and technology investments. USD(R&E), in order to meet the intent of this recommendation, needs to define how advanced prototyping of disruptive technologies, such as those funded under the ARAP program, can be used to generate demand from future acquisition programs.
Director: Michele Mackin
Phone: (202) 512-4841

1 open priority recommendation
Recommendation: To improve insight into cost changes for individual ships in the Ford Class, the program office should prepare cost summary and funding summary sections for each individual ship in the class as part of the SAR for the overall Ford-Class program.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: In its comments on our draft report DOD disagreed with our recommendation, stating that it currently provides progress reports to Congress on costs for CVN 78 and CVN 79. In July 2018, Navy officials stated that the department continues to disagree with this recommendation. We continue to maintain that Selected Acquisition Reports represent the primary statutorily required means for DOD to report on program status. Grouping average unit costs for all Ford-class ships obscures individual ship cost growth and does not provide Congress with an adequate level of insight to monitor this approximately $40 billion program. Our recommendation would ensure that Congress receives insight into the costs of each existing and planned Ford-class ship. To fully implement this recommendation, the report should include cost information on individual ships.
Director: John Pendleton
Phone: (202) 512-3489

4 open priority recommendations
Recommendation: To ensure that the Navy's manpower requirements are current and analytically based and will meet the needs of the existing and future surface fleet, the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness should direct the Secretary of the Navy to have the Navy conduct a comprehensive reassessment of the Navy standard workweek and make any necessary adjustments.

Agency: Department of Defense: Office of the Under Secretary for Personnel and Readiness
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD concurred with our recommendation, citing its commitment to ensuring that the Navy's manpower requirements are current and analytically based and will meet the needs of the existing and future surface fleet. A Navy official confirmed on 6/15/18 that an afloat workweek study is underway and that this recommendation has a projected implementation date of 12/2018. Upon completion, the results of the study are expected to be promulgated to cognizant stakeholders and the revisions made to the Navy Total Force Manpower Policies and Procedures directive (OPNAVINST 1000.16) as appropriate. Additionally, a surface warfare reform bill (S.2452 - Surface Warfare Enhancement Act of 2018) was introduced and referred to the Senate Committee on Armed Services on 2/26/2018, and includes a provision for the Navy to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the Navy standard workweek. The Navy is also seeking to reprogram funds to modernize a system that helps predict manpower requirements for surface ships.
Recommendation: To ensure that the Navy's manpower requirements are current and analytically based and will meet the needs of the existing and future surface fleet, the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness should direct the Secretary of the Navy to have the Navy update guidance to require examination of in-port workload and identify the manpower necessary to execute in-port workload for all surface ship classes.

Agency: Department of Defense: Office of the Under Secretary for Personnel and Readiness
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD concurred with our recommendation, citing its commitment to ensuring that the Navy's manpower requirements are current and analytically based and will meet the needs of the existing and future surface fleet. A Navy official confirmed on 6/15/18 that the Navy is conducting in-port workload studies, with an expected recommendation implementation goal of 4/2019. The Navy has completed the in-port workload study and related manpower requirements for the Arleigh Burke class of destroyers (DDG-51), with studies on all remaining ship classes to be conducted through the end of 2018. These studies are expected to inform an update to the Navy Total Force Manpower Policies and Procedures directive (OPNAVINST 1000.16). Additionally, a surface warfare reform bill (S.2452 - Surface Warfare Enhancement Act of 2018) was introduced and referred to the Senate Committee on Armed Services on 2/26/2018, and includes a provision for the Navy to examine in-port workload and identify the manpower necessary to execute in-port workload for all surface ship classes.
Recommendation: To ensure that the Navy's manpower requirements are current and analytically based and will meet the needs of the existing and future surface fleet, the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness should direct the Secretary of the Navy to have the Navy develop criteria and update guidance for reassessing the factors used to calculate manpower requirements periodically or when conditions change.

Agency: Department of Defense: Office of the Under Secretary for Personnel and Readiness
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD concurred with our recommendation, citing its commitment to ensuring that the Navy's manpower requirements are current and analytically based and will meet the needs of the existing and future surface fleet. A Navy official confirmed on 6/15/18 that this recommendation is projected to be implemented by September 2018, with the Navy Total Force Manpower Training and Education Requirements Division (OPNAV N12) having signed a Manpower Guidance Memorandum on March 1, 2018, that outlines the requirement for reassessing the factors used to calculate manpower requirements. This is expected to inform the planned revision to the Navy Total Force Manpower Policies and Procedures directive (OPNAVINST 1000.16). Additionally, a surface warfare reform bill (S.2452 - Surface Warfare Enhancement Act of 2018) was introduced and referred to the Senate Committee on Armed Services on 2/26/2018, and includes a provision for the Navy to update the criteria used to reassess the factors used to calculate manpower requirements periodically or when conditions change.
Recommendation: To ensure that the Navy's manpower requirements are current and analytically based and will meet the needs of the existing and future surface fleet, the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness should direct the Secretary of the Navy to have the Navy identify personnel needs and costs associated with the planned larger Navy fleet size, including consideration of the updated manpower factors and requirements.

Agency: Department of Defense: Office of the Under Secretary for Personnel and Readiness
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD concurred with our recommendation, citing its commitment to ensuring that the Navy's manpower requirements are current and analytically based and will meet the needs of the existing and future surface fleet. A Navy official confirmed on 6/15/18 that this recommendation has an anticipated implementation date of February 2019, adding that total ownership costs that capture all facets of personnel needs and costs will be adjusted based upon the Navy's growth linked to the 30-year ship building plan and aviation master plan. The refinement of all manpower determination planning factors and assumptions, the ongoing data collection and analysis garnered from the in-port workload studies, and the outcome of the operational afloat workweek study are expected to inform all existing and future force structure manpower requirements. Additionally, a surface warfare reform bill (S.2452 - Surface Warfare Enhancement Act of 2018) was introduced and referred to the Senate Committee on Armed Services on 2/26/2018, and includes a provision for the Navy to use required manpower updates to identify personnel needs and costs associated with the planned larger size of the Navy fleet.
Director: Asif A. Khan
Phone: (202) 512-9869

6 open priority recommendations
Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should direct the Accountability and Audit Readiness Directorate under the Assistant Secretary of the Army, Financial Management and Comptroller, to enhance the directorate's policies and procedures for (1) tracking and prioritizing all financial management-related audit findings and recommendations under its purview and (2) developing and monitoring CAPs for all such recommendations so that they include sufficient details, such as the criteria used to prioritize the CAPs, the recommended CAP elements, and the process for monitoring and documenting the progress and status of CAPs.

Agency: Department of Defense: Department of the Army
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: The Army concurred with this recommendation. The Army stated that the Accountability and Audit Readiness Directorate has completed actions to enhance its current standard operating procedures to include (1) updating its corrective action plan (CAP) database and reporting tool, (2) documenting its reporting procedures, and (3) updating its CAP template to include additional elements recommended by the Implementation Guide for OMB Circular A-123. In addition, the Army stated that its policies and procedures include steps to incorporate external financial management-related audit findings assigned to the Accountability and Audit Readiness Directorate by the Internal Review Directorate and that the existing process the Army uses to prioritize findings and the related CAPs and to monitor the progress and status of CAPs has been documented. We received documentation from the Army in January 2018 and are in the process of assessing whether the actions taken are sufficient to close this recommendation.
Recommendation: The Secretary of the Air Force should design and document a comprehensive process to ensure that the complete universe of all financial management-related findings and recommendations from all audit sources is identified and tracked.

Agency: Department of Defense: Department of the Air Force
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: The Air Force concurred with this recommendation. In January 2018, the Air Force stated that it continues to develop a process for identifying and tracking financial management-related findings and recommendations from all audit sources by updating its process guidance. The Air Force stated that its current process guidance includes the tracking for the independent public accountant's Findings and Recommendations and corrective action plans, but the inclusion of GAO, DOD OIG, and Air Force Audit Agency findings, recommendations, and related remediation efforts has not been completed. The Air Force stated that its revised estimated implementation date for this recommendation is April 2018.
Recommendation: The Secretary of the Air Force should update the Air Force's written policies and procedures for prioritizing financial management-related audit findings and recommendations from all audit sources and for developing and monitoring CAPs so that they include sufficient details. These procedures should include the following details: (1) The process to be followed for prioritizing the financial management-related findings and recommendations from audit sources. (2) The guidance for developing CAPs for all financial management-related audit findings and recommendations from all audit sources to include complete details, including the elements recommended by the Implementation Guide for OMB Circular A-123. (3) The process for monitoring the status of the CAPs for all financial management-related audit findings and recommendations from all audit sources, including the documentation to support any corrective actions taken, as recommended by the Implementation Guide for OMB Circular A-123.

Agency: Department of Defense: Department of the Air Force
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: The Air Force concurred with this recommendation. In January 2018, the Air Force stated that its Air Force Deficiency Remediation Tracking processes and guides are being refined to: (1) detail the process for financial management-related audit finding and recommendation prioritization; (2) deliver guidance and standardized templates for developing detailed corrective action plans that address the condition and root cause of the findings and capture elements recommended by the Implementation Guide for OMB Circular A-123; and (3) provide standards for monitoring and reporting the status and progress towards implementing and validating the corrective action plans, to include elements recommended by the Implementation Guide for OMB Circular A-123. The Air Force also stated that its processes and guidance will include procedures for summarizing the status of findings on a bimonthly basis and providing this summary to Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) in preparation for FIAR Governance Board meetings. The Air Force stated that this recommendation is on target for an estimated January 2019 implementation date.
Recommendation: To improve DOD management's process for monitoring the military services' audit remediation efforts and to provide timely and useful information to stakeholders as needed, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army, the Secretary of the Navy, and the Secretary of the Air Force to prepare and submit to the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), on at least a bimonthly basis for availability at the FIAR Governance Board meetings, a summary of key information included in the CAPs that at a minimum contains the data elements recommended by the Implementation Guide for OMB Circular A-123 for each CAP related to critical capabilities for achieving audit readiness.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD concurred with this recommendation. DOD stated that it solicits input on a bi-monthly basis, on critical capability corrective action plans (CAPs) at a summary level. This information is provided routinely at regularly scheduled FIAR Governance Board meetings. DOD also stated that an updated notice of finding and recommendation (NFR) form template is being developed and will be provided to the military services to use for reporting this information so that it will include the recommended standard data elements outlined in OMB Circular A-123 to provide greater transparency into the nature of remediation plans. DOD also stated that FIAR Guidance will be updated to explicitly state that military services should include the OMB recommended standard data elements in CAPs. As of January 2018, the DOD Comptroller is continuing to take actions to address this recommendation.
Recommendation: To reasonably assure that DOD management and external stakeholders have a comprehensive picture of the status of corrective actions needed for audit readiness throughout the department, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) to prepare a consolidated CAP management summary on a bimonthly basis that includes the data elements referred to above on the status of all CAPs related to critical capabilities for the military services and for the service providers and other defense organizations.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD partially concurred with this recommendation. According to DOD, the military services already provide summary-level updates on their critical capability corrective action plans (CAPs) at FIAR Governance Board meetings. It also stated that the template that is used to present CAPs to the FIAR Governance Board meetings at the summary level has been updated to align CAPs to critical capabilities. DOD still needs to address how all of the data elements from the Implementation Guide for OMB Circular A-123 will be summarized or otherwise reported for all CAPs pertaining to critical capabilities across the Department. In addition, DOD stated that because the DOD Comptroller takes responsibility for maintaining, monitoring, and reporting on the status of CAPs for the service providers and other defense organizations and of DOD-wide issues, the Comptroller will also summarize this information. However, DOD has not clarified what information from the military services will be summarized. As of January 2018, the DOD Comptroller is continuing to take actions to address this recommendation.
Recommendation: To facilitate the development of a consolidated CAP management summary and the ability to efficiently respond to stakeholder requests, the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) should develop and implement a centralized monitoring and reporting process that at a minimum (1) captures department-wide information on the military services' and other defense organizations' CAPs related to critical capabilities, including the standard data elements recommended in the Implementation Guide for OMB Circular A-123, and (2) maintains up-to-date information on the status of these CAPs.

Agency: Department of Defense: Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller)
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD partially concurred with this recommendation. DOD stated that as outlined in the military services' responses to our recommendations directed to them, the Army, Navy, and Air Force have agreed to take the responsibility for developing, maintaining, and monitoring all CAPs at the level recommended by the Implementation Guide for OMB Circular A-123. Further, DOD stated that based on the Comptroller actively participating in monthly meetings with military services to gain an understanding of their CAPs and the information reported in bi-monthly FIAR Governance Board meetings, this provides the Department the ability to efficiently respond to stakeholder requests related to critical capabilities CAPs. However, DOD did not describe a centralized reporting process to ensure consistent standard data elements are provided in CAPs and that the information on the status of the CAPs is up to date. As of January 2018, the DOD Comptroller is continuing to take actions to address this recommendation.
Director: John Pendleton
Phone: (202) 512-3489

5 open priority recommendations
Recommendation: To ensure that the department can implement readiness rebuilding efforts, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the Departments of the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force to establish comprehensive readiness rebuilding goals to guide readiness rebuilding efforts and a strategy for implementing identified goals, to include resources needed to implement the strategy.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD partially concurred with the recommendation in our draft report. In our draft, we recommended that the Secretary of Defense provide direction to the U.S. Marine Corps, in addition to the Secretary of the Navy; DOD stated that separate guidance to the U.S. Marine Corps was unnecessary because the U.S. Marine Corps is part of the Department of the Navy. We agreed, and revised our recommendation as we finalized our report for publishing. Otherwise, in its comments on this recommendation, DOD noted that the department was currently working to define the "ready for what" for the military services which would provide the target for their readiness recovery goals. Since that time, the military services have taken steps to establish both comprehensive goals to guide readiness rebuilding efforts and a strategy for implementing identified goals, to include the resources needed to implement the strategy. The military services have defined their readiness rebuilding goals and, in some cases, extended these goals since we reported in 2016. Further, through the department's Readiness Recovery Framework that is currently under development, the military services have identified key readiness issues that their respective forces face and actions to address these issues, as well as metrics by which to assess progress toward achieving overall readiness recovery goals. For the Fiscal Year 2017 Request for Additional Appropriations and the Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Request, the military services identified resources needed to improve readiness and achieve overall readiness recovery goals. Moreover, the Office of the Secretary of Defense continues to work with the military services to ensure that the services' actions and metrics clearly align with readiness recovery goals in an executable strategy.
Recommendation: To ensure that the department can implement readiness rebuilding efforts, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the Departments of the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force to develop metrics for measuring interim progress at specific milestones against identified goals for all services.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD partially concurred with the recommendation in our draft report. In our draft, we recommended that the Secretary of Defense provide direction to the U.S. Marine Corps, in addition to the Secretary of the Navy; DOD stated that separate guidance to the U.S. Marine Corps was unnecessary because the U.S. Marine Corps is part of the Department of the Navy. We agreed, and revised our recommendation as we finalized our report for publishing. Otherwise, in its comments on this recommendation, DOD noted that the department would continue to work with the military services to refine the metrics and milestones required to implement and track their readiness recovery strategies. The military services have taken steps to develop metrics for measuring interim progress at specific milestones against identified readiness recovery goals. Through the Readiness Recovery Framework process under development, the military services have identified key readiness issues that their respective forces face and actions to address these issues, as well as metrics to assess progress toward readiness recovery goals that include quantifiable deliverables at specific milestones. The Office of the Secretary of Defense continues to work with the military services to ensure that the services' metrics and milestones clearly align with readiness recovery goals.
Recommendation: To ensure that the department can implement readiness rebuilding efforts, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the Departments of the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force to identify external factors that may impact readiness recovery plans, including how they influence the underlying assumptions, to ensure that readiness rebuilding goals are achievable within established time frames. This should include, but not be limited to, an evaluation of the impact of assumptions about budget, maintenance time frames, and training that underpin the services' readiness recovery plans.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD partially concurred with the recommendation in our draft report. In our draft, we recommended that the Secretary of Defense provide direction to the U.S. Marine Corps, in addition to the Secretary of the Navy; DOD stated that separate guidance to the U.S. Marine Corps was unnecessary because the U.S. Marine Corps is part of the Department of the Navy. We agreed, and revised our recommendation as we finalized our report for publishing. Otherwise, DOD noted that the department would continue to work with the military services to refine their readiness recovery goals and the requisite resources needed to meet them. To ensure that the department can implement readiness rebuilding efforts, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the Departments of the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force to identify external factors that may impact readiness recovery plans, including how they influence the underlying assumptions, to ensure that readiness rebuilding goals are achievable within established time frames. This should include, but not be limited to, an evaluation of the impact of assumptions about budget, maintenance time frames, and training that underpin the services' readiness recovery plans.
Recommendation: To ensure that the department has adequate oversight of service readiness rebuilding efforts and that these efforts reflect the department's priorities, the Secretary of Defense should validate the service-established readiness rebuilding goals, strategies for achieving the goals, and metrics for measuring progress, and revise as appropriate.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD concurred with this recommendation. The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) has taken steps to validate the service-established readiness rebuilding goals, strategies for achieving the goals, and metrics for measuring progress through the Readiness Recovery Framework. OSD officials have developed a common framework and template for each of the military services by which to evaluate their goals, strategies, metrics, and milestones. OSD is in the process of meeting with each of the military services to refine and validate their readiness rebuilding plans, with the aim of including them as well as assessments of progress and mitigation plans in either the third or fourth-quarter fiscal year 2018 Quarterly Readiness Report to Congress.
Recommendation: To ensure that the department has adequate oversight of service readiness rebuilding efforts and that these efforts reflect the department's priorities, the Secretary of Defense should develop a method to evaluate the department's readiness recovery efforts against the agreed-upon goals through objective measurement and systematic analysis.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD concurred with this recommendation. The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) has taken steps to develop a Readiness Recovery Framework, with which OSD officials can evaluate the department's readiness recovery efforts against the agreed-upon goals through objective measurement and systematic analysis. OSD has established a timeline and oversight process to validate, monitor, and evaluate the military services' readiness recovery efforts and report progress against goals biannually in the Quarterly Readiness Report to Congress. OSD has also drafted a memorandum to guide the military services in their readiness recovery efforts and aims to issue further guidance that institutionalizes the Readiness Recovery Framework process after further developing and refining it.
Director: John H. Pendleton
Phone: (202) 512-3489

1 open priority recommendation
Recommendation: To further DOD's efforts to identify opportunities for more efficient use of headquarters-related resources, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Deputy Chief Management Officer, in coordination with the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretaries of the military departments, and the heads of the defense agencies and DOD field activities, to, once this definition is published in DOD guidance, collect reliable information on the costs associated with functions within headquarters organizations--through revisions to the Inherently Governmental / Commercial Activities Inventory or another method--in order to provide the department with detailed information for use in estimating resources associated with specific headquarters functions, and in making decisions, monitoring performance, and allocating resources.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD concurred with our recommendation. As of May 2018, DOD had made progress on this recommendation by documenting it had aligned manpower and total obligation authority in the Future Years Defense Program to major headquarters activities. Further, it is assessing data elements and coding relationships among manpower, financial, programming systems among others, and a separate assessment of the accuracy and relevancy of existing IGCA function codes. These assessments are expected to be completed by fiscal year 2019. As of August 2018, It has not, however, finalized the definition of major headquarters activities in its guidance. When the department formalizes the definition in guidance and takes action in response to its assessment of IGCA inventory data it will be better positioned to accurately assess headquarters functions and estimate related resources.
Director: Joseph W. Kirschbaum
Phone: (202) 512-9971

1 open priority recommendation
Recommendation: To help improve DOD's planning and processes for supporting civil authorities in a cyber incident, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy in coordination with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to issue or update guidance that clarifies roles and responsibilities for relevant entities and officials--including the DOD components, supported and supporting commands, and dual-status commander--to support civil authorities as needed in a cyber incident.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: The Department of Defense concurred with the recommendation and indicated that, in response, it would update existing agency guidance (e.g., doctrine, directives, instructions) or develop new guidance as appropriate. Since we issued our report, DOD has issued several guidance documents-including Directive Type Memorandum 17-007, Interim Policy and Guidance for Defense Support to Cyber Incident Response (June 2017); and Joint Publication 3-12, Cyberspace Operations (June 2018)-to prepare the department to provide support to civil authorities for a cyber incident. However, the Directive Type Memorandum did not identify or clarify which DOD combatant command (i.e. NORTHCOM and PACOM versus CYBERCOM) would serve as the supported versus supporting command or the roles and responsibilities of a dual-status commander when DOD is providing support to civil authorities for a cyber incident. Rather, the memorandum tasked Joint Staff to designate the command responsibilities. Also, this Directive Type Memorandum was effective for one year and expired in June 2018. DOD has drafted a DOD Instruction that will replace this memorandum. Similarly, DOD has drafted another DOD Instruction that will supposedly provide policy and guidance on the use of dual-status commanders when providing support to civil authorities in a cyber incident. Joint Publication 3-12 similarly does not clarify roles and responsibilities of combatant commands and the dual-status commander. Specifically, the joint publication states that when DHS requests support, the fundamental principles of DSCA used to respond to domestic emergencies in the physical domains also apply to cyberspace operations support. Per DOD's Unified Command Plan, NORTHCOM and PACOM are the supported commands for DSCA missions in the physical domain. However, Joint Publication 3-12 does not re-iterate those roles and responsibilities. Instead, when describing CYBERCOM's roles and responsibilities, it states that CYBERCOM could assume either supported or supporting command responsibilities based on the military order that is issued. When describing NORTHCOM and PACOM's roles and responsibilities, it states that those commands fulfill specific cyberspace operations responsibilities related to DSCA and homeland defense with CYBERCOM others, as required. While the publication re-iterates a basic DOD concept - DOD components should work together - the publication does not provide any clarification on which command will take lead in planning, coordination, and execution (i.e. supported command). Until DOD clarifies the roles and responsibilities of its key entities for cyber incidents, as we recommended, DOD will continue to experience uncertainty about the roles and responsibilities of different DOD components and commands with regard to providing support to civil authorities in the event of a significant cyber incident.
Director: Brian Lepore
Phone: (202) 512-4523

1 open priority recommendation
Recommendation: To help reduce facility costs and reliance on leased space, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the military departments to require that their departments look for opportunities to relocate DOD organizations in leased space to installations that may have underutilized space due to force structure reductions or other indicators of potentially available space, where such relocation is cost-effective and does not interfere with the installation's ongoing military mission.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: In December 2015, DOD did not concur with our third recommendation, which was to look for opportunities to relocate DOD organizations in leased space to installations with available space. In its comments, DOD stated that its existing policy requires the effective and efficient use of DOD real property and current initiatives undertaken by each of the military departments and WHS reflect adherence to this policy. DOD further stated that-given that each of the military departments and WHS have implemented initiatives to reduce their dependence on leased space, especially where existing DOD assets may exist-an additional directive from the Secretary of Defense was not required. However, as of December 2017, a DOD official told us that DOD was pursuing an effort to consolidate and standardize leases. The initial focus was on 176 leased facilities within 35 miles of DOD-owned facilities that had underutilized or excess space, and are up for renewal over the next 5 years. According to the DOD official, this effort would develop criteria for reviewing these leases, including a cost-benefit analysis of whether it is feasible to relocate the function from leased space to existing space on an installation. Alternatively, if it is determined that the function cannot be moved, the DOD official stated that DOD would review whether to consolidate the lease to appropriately size the space to the function's requirement. Once this effort is completed, DOD may have opportunities to reduce its leased space at a DOD-wide level. As of March 2018, DOD identified this recommendation's status as "Closed Unresolved," i.e., DOD considers this recommendation to be "closed," but is aware that GAO considers this recommendation "open." GAO also considers this to be a priority recommendation. As of September 2018, the DOD official stated that the effort to consolidate leases was still underway.
Director: Michele Mackin
Phone: (202) 512-4841

1 open priority recommendation
Recommendation: To improve the use of warranties and guarantees in Navy shipbuilding, the Secretary of the Defense should direct the Secretary of the Navy, for future ship construction contracts, to determine whether or not a warranty as provided in the FAR, provides value and document the costs, benefits, and other factors used to make this decision. To inform this determination, the Navy should begin differentiating the government's and shipbuilder's responsibility for defects and track the costs to correct all defects after ship delivery.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD partially concurred with this recommendation in February 2016 by committing to study policy changes with regard to warranties, but disagreed that additional cost data were needed to inform these decisions, and questioned whether warranties are suitable for ship acquisitions. In February 2017, a Navy-funded study found that the Navy had no policy to collect data, and that the little data available were not useful for determining when warranties are suitable. In response to the study, the Navy agreed that, by December 2017, it would make some policy and contractual changes to collect data, but it continued to maintain that warranties are likely not suitable for ship contracts. In January 2018, the Navy issued guidance to help contracting officers determine when and how to use a warranty or guarantee, but the Navy has collected only one warranty cost proposal from one shipbuilder for a contract for a single ship and, going forward, Navy officials stated that they do not have plans to systematically collect such data. To fully implement this recommendation, the Navy needs to collect additional data in order to determine cases in which warranties could contribute to improvements in the cost and quality of Navy ships.
Director: Brian J. Lepore
Phone: (202) 512-4523

1 open priority recommendation
Recommendation: To improve DOD's ability to estimate savings, if any, from future consolidation of training--including any consolidation resulting from a future BRAC round--the Secretary of Defense should direct the military departments to develop baseline cost data.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD did not concur with the recommendation to develop baseline cost data in the event of any future consolidation of training stating that the data calls for BRAC must ensure that the questions asked do not provide the personnel answering the questions insight into the various scenarios being considered and that all installations must be treated equally. However, nothing in our recommendation requries DOD to collect data prior to the implementation of a future, authorized BRAC round. In January 2017, DOD stated that establishing baseline data for future consolidation efforts is inconsistent with the need to ensure a fair and objective process in the compressed timeframe that is required by the BRAC statute. DOD has closed this recommendation, but we still feel that it is valid because baseline cost data is needed for measuring increased costs or savings for change to any program and we will continue to monitor DOD's efforts in this area.
Director: Timothy J. DiNapoli
Phone: (202) 512-4841

3 open priority recommendations
Recommendation: To ensure that senior leadership within the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the military departments are better positioned to make informed decisions regarding the volume and type of services that should be acquired over the future year defense program, the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force should revise their programming guidance to collect information on how contracted services will be used to meet requirements beyond the budget year.

Agency: Department of Defense: Department of the Air Force
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD partially concurred with our recommendation. In its response, the Department noted the difficulties in accurately quantifying service contract requirements beyond the budget year, but did not identify what action, if any, it plans to take to implement this recommendation. We maintain that collecting this information will assist the department in gaining insights into contracted service requirements and making more strategic decisions about the services it plans to acquire. As of July 2018, DOD did not respond to our request for information on their efforts to implement this recommendation. When we confirm what actions DOD has taken, we will provide updated information.
Recommendation: To ensure that senior leadership within the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the military departments are better positioned to make informed decisions regarding the volume and type of services that should be acquired over the future year defense program, the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force should revise their programming guidance to collect information on how contracted services will be used to meet requirements beyond the budget year.

Agency: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD partially concurred with our recommendation. In its response, the Department noted the difficulties in accurately quantifying service contract requirements beyond the budget year, but did not identify what action, if any, it plans to take to implement this recommendation. We maintain that collecting this information will assist the department in gaining insights into contracted service requirements and making more strategic decisions about the services it plans to acquire. As of July 2018, DOD did not respond to our request for information on their efforts to implement this recommendation. When we confirm what actions DOD has taken, we will provide updated information.
Recommendation: To ensure the military departments' efforts to integrate services into the programming process and senior service managers efforts to develop forecasts on service contract spending provide the department with consistent data, the Secretary of Defense should establish a mechanism, such as a working group of key stakeholders--which could include officials from the programming, budgeting and requirements communities as well as the senior services managers--to coordinate these efforts.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD partially concurred with our recommendation. In its response, DOD did not indicate any actions it plans to take to implement this recommendation, instead noting a number of efforts which will aid in the management and oversight of services acquisitions. We maintain that a coordinated approach is needed to ensure that collected data is consistent to inform DOD leadership on future contract spending. As of July 2018, DOD did not respond to our request for information on their efforts to implement this recommendation. When we confirm what actions DOD has taken, we will provide updated information.
Director: Cary Russell
Phone: (202) 512-5431

1 open priority recommendation
Recommendation: To ensure that combatant commands are not contracting with entities that may be connected to or supporting prohibited organizations, the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, should develop guidance that clarifies the conditions under which combatant commands should have a foreign vendor vetting process or cell in place to determine whether potential vendors actively support any terrorist, criminal, or other sanctioned organizations, including clarifying when combatant commands should develop procedures for transmitting the names of any vendors identified through this process for inclusion in prohibited entities lists in the appropriate federal contracting databases, such as the System for Award Management.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD concurred with this recommendation. As of July 2018, DOD has taken steps to develop foreign vendor vetting guidance, but is still working to determine key components of that guidance. Office of the Deputy of the Secretary of Defense issued a directive type memorandum in April 2018 that establishes policy and assigns responsibility for developing vendor vetting guidance to the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Additionally, DOD established a foreign vendor vetting working group in November 2016 to, among other things, define foreign vendor vetting as a distinct function and provide combatant commanders with guidance on addressing the risks associated with relying on commercial vendors. However, according to officials in May 2018, this working group is still exploring which entities should be key stakeholders to vendor vetting, including which entity should have primary responsibility for vendor vetting. Until DOD develops vendor vetting guidance, this recommendation will remain open.
Director: Asif A. Khan
Phone: (202) 512-9869

1 open priority recommendation
Recommendation: To help meet its financial management improvement and audit readiness goals, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) to reconsider the status of the three panel recommendations that DOD classified as met that we determined were partially met and take the necessary actions to reasonably assure that these recommendations have been met.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD concurred with this recommendation. In response to our recommendation, in its November 2015 FIAR Plan Status Report, DOD revised the implementation status for these three recommendations from met to partially met and gave further consideration to actions needed to reasonably assure whether the recommendations had been met. In its May 2016 FIAR Plan Status Report DOD stated that it had completed corrective action on one of these three Committee Panel recommendations and reported actions on the other two recommendations as partially met. As of May 2017, DOD reported that its actions for all three Congressional Panel recommendations met those recommendations. However, DOD had not yet identified a method to reward executives based on evaluated performance on FIAR-related goals. As of September 2018, DOD has not provided additional information on their efforts to implement this recommendation. When we confirm what actions DOD has taken, we will provide updated information
Director: Brenda S. Farrell
Phone: (202) 512-3604

3 open priority recommendations
Recommendation: To provide decision makers with appropriate and more complete information on the continuing implementation, management, and oversight of the DHA, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) to develop a comprehensive requirements assessment process that accounts for needed future skills through the consideration of potential organizational changes and helps ensure appropriate consideration of workforce composition through the determination of the final status of military personnel within the DHA.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD concurred with this recommendation. As of January 2018, DOD has taken some steps to implement this action. According to an April 2017 letter from the Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs), DOD has established processes and procedures to create an overall personnel management process which are documented in a draft Administrative Instruction which was to be finalized and published by July 31, 2017. As of January 2018, this document has to be published. However, pending the transfer of Military Treatment Facilities in 2018 from the military services to the DHA required by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal year 2017, the size and structure of the DHA are not yet finalized.
Recommendation: To provide decision makers with appropriate and more complete information on the continuing implementation, management, and oversight of the DHA, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) to develop a plan for reassessing and revalidating personnel requirements as the missions and needs of the DHA evolve over time.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD partially concurred with this recommendation. In its initial response, DOD stated that it had issued temporary guidance, expiring in January 2016, which established processes for manpower and organization changes to the DHA. As of January 2018, DOD has taken some steps to implement this action. According to an April 2017 letter from the Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs), DOD has established processes and procedures to create an overall personnel management process which are documented in a draft Administrative Instruction which was to be finalized and published by July 31, 2017. As of January 2018, this document has to be published. However, pending the transfer of Military Treatment Facilities in 2018 from the military services to the DHA required by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal year 2017, the size and structure of the DHA are not yet finalized.
Recommendation: To provide decision makers with appropriate and more complete information on the continuing implementation, management, and oversight of the DHA, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) to determine the future of the Public Health and Medical Education and Training shared services by either identifying common functions to consolidate to achieve cost savings or by developing a justification for the transfer of these functions from the military services to the DHA that is not premised on cost savings.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD concurred with this recommendation. As of January 2018, DOD has taken some steps to implement this action. Specifically, in January 2018, DOD provided documentation that it is assessing business case analyses for potential product lines within the Public Health shared service. DOD has not taken similar action with regard to its Medical Education and Training shared service. As we previously reported in our prior update, while DOD cites future cost savings within Medical Education and Training for its modeling and simulation and online learning product lines, we reported in 2014 that these initiatives overlap with the DHA's Contracting and Procurement and Information Technology shared services. For example, while cost savings for Modeling and Simulation are allocated to the Medical Education and Training shared service, implementation costs are to be incurred by the Contracting and Procurement shared service. This recommendation will remain open until DOD completes its assessments of potential product lines within Public Health and either identifies common functions to consolidate within Medical Education and Training to achieve cost savings or develops a justification for the transfer of these functions from the military services to the DHA that is not premised on cost savings.
Director: John Pendleton
Phone: (202) 512-3489

2 open priority recommendations
Recommendation: To balance combatant commanders' demands for forward presence with the Navy's needs to sustain a ready force over the long term and identify and mitigate risks consistent with Federal Standards for Internal Control, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Navy to, to fully implement its optimized fleet response plan, develop and implement a sustainable operational schedule for all ships homeported overseas.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD concurred with this recommendation. In August 2015, the Navy reported that it had approved and implemented revised optimized fleet response plan schedules for all ships homeported overseas-six different operational schedules for various naval forces homeported in different overseas locations. We closed the recommendation as implemented in 2015. In 2017, the Navy suffered four significant mishaps at sea resulting in serious damage to its ships and the loss of 17 sailors. Three of the four ships involved were homeported in Japan. The resulting Navy investigations revealed that due to heavy operational demands, the Navy had not fully implemented the revised operational schedules it developed in 2015 for ships based in Japan. In light of this information, GAO re-opened this recommendation. As of April 2018, the Navy had developed a deliberate change to the operational schedule for ships homeported in Japan. The Navy also established Commander, Naval Surface Group, Western Pacific (CNSGWP) to oversee surface ship maintenance, training, and certification for ships based in Japan. Due to continuing heavy operational demands, GAO will continue to monitor the Navy's adherence to these revised schedules before it closes this recommendation as implemented.
Recommendation: To balance combatant commanders' demands for forward presence with the Navy's needs to sustain a ready force over the long term and identify and mitigate risks consistent with Federal Standards for Internal Control, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Navy to develop a comprehensive assessment of the long-term costs and risks to the Navy's surface and amphibious fleet associated with its increasing reliance on overseas homeporting to meet presence requirements, make any necessary adjustments to its overseas presence based on this assessment, and reassess these risks when making future overseas homeporting decisions and developing future strategic laydown plans.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD concurred with this recommendation. As of May 2018, the Navy tasked the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations Assessments Division to conduct an assessment of the long-term costs and risks to the Navy's fleet associated with its increasing reliance on overseas homeporting. The Office of the Chief of Naval Operations plans to complete the review by the end of 2018.
Director: Cary Russell
Phone: (202) 512-5431

1 open priority recommendation
Recommendation: To specifically identify and improve awareness of OCS roles and responsibilities and to collect OCS issues at the military services and the service component commands, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the Navy and Air Force to include the services' roles and responsibilities to collect OCS issues in comprehensive service-specific guidance on how the Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force should integrate OCS.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD concurred with this recommendation. In August 2016, the Department of the Air Force published Air Force Instruction 64-105, which outlines OCS roles and responsibilities. The Instruction also lays out procedures for preserving OCS lessons learned and disseminating the information collected from after action reports to the component headquarters within the Air Force. In April 2017, DOD reported that the Marine Corps published Marine Corps Regulations Publication 4-11H and Marine Corps Order 4200.34, which outline OCS roles and responsibilities as well as expectations and methods of capturing OCS lesson learned. By taking steps to identify and improve awareness of OCS roles and responsibilities and to collect OCS issues, the Air Force and Marine Corps are better positioned to plan for the use of contractor support, as GAO recommended. Finally, DOD reported that the Department of the Navy draft OCS instruction will include service specific OCS roles and responsibilities and guidance on collection of lessons learned via the Joint Lessons Learned Information System. However, as of August 2018, the Navy's OCS instruction has yet to be finalized.
Director: Sullivan, Michael J
Phone: (202) 512-4841

1 open priority recommendation
Recommendation: To help improve DOD's milestone decision process, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics in collaboration with the military service acquisition executives, program executive officers, and program managers to, as a longer-term effort, select several current or new major defense acquisition programs to pilot, on a broader scale, different approaches for streamlining the entire milestone decision process, with the results evaluated and reported for potential wider use. The pilot programs should consider the following: (1) Defining the appropriate information needed to support milestone decisions while still ensuring program accountability and oversight. The information should be based on the business case principles needed for well-informed milestone decisions including well defined requirements, reasonable life-cycle cost estimates, and a knowledge-based acquisition plan. (2) Developing an efficient process for providing this information to the milestone decision authority by (a) minimizing any reviews between the program office and the different functional staff offices within each chain of command level and (b) establishing frequent, regular interaction between the program office and milestone decision makers, in lieu of documentation reviews, to help expedite the process.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD concurred with the recommendation. Subsequently, the Office of the Secretary of Defense issued a policy directive called Better Buying Power 3.0 in April 2015, which addresses this recommendation to pilot acquisition programs for streamlining. In September 2015, DOD designated one Navy program, the Next Generation Jammer, as a pilot program with streamlined oversight, processes, and documentation. The program manager believes that implementation of this model has allowed for more focus on improving program execution by significantly shortening the decision cycle time and appropriately tailoring acquisition requirements. In July 2018, a DOD official stated that the military services are no longer pursuing additional pilot programs because Sections 804 and 806 of the Fiscal Year 2016 National Defense Authorization Act gave them the authority to streamline oversight processes for middle tier acquisitions, which are generally acquisitions that can be completed within 5 years. Military service officials indicated that they are currently using this authority on 16 acquisition programs. Army officials, however, also told us that they are trying to identify a pilot program to test new oversight processes for programs that are not considered middle-tier acquisitions. We believe additional action is needed by the Air Force and Army to streamline practices for programs that are not middle tier acquisitions.
Director: Vijay D'Souza
Phone: (202) 512-7114

2 open priority recommendations
Recommendation: To better assess and address the full extent of improper payments in the TRICARE program, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) to implement a more comprehensive TRICARE improper payment measurement methodology that includes medical record reviews, as done in other parts of its existing postpayment claims review programs.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: The Department of Defense (DOD) concurred with our recommendation. As of December 2017, the DOD's Defense Health Agency (DHA) has taken some action to incorporate medical record reviews in its improper payment estimate, as GAO recommended in February 2015. In October 2016, DHA released a request for proposals for claim record reviews, including medical record reviews, that the agency plans to use to support the agency's requirement to identify and report on the potential of improper payments to the Office of Management and Budget. This is a good first step. In June 2017, DHA awarded the contract for TRICARE claims review services which, according to DHA officials, this will allow the agency to implement a more comprehensive improper payment measurement methodology using retrospective medical records reviews. DHA expects results from medical record reviews by September 2018, and plans to include payment error results from these reviews in its fiscal year 2018 error rate estimates. Once DHA incorporates medical record reviews in its improper payment rate calculation methodology, GAO will be able to close this recommendation.
Recommendation: To better assess and address the full extent of improper payments in the TRICARE program, and once a more comprehensive improper payment methodology is implemented, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) to develop more robust corrective action plans that address underlying causes of improper payments, as determined by the medical record reviews.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: The Department of Defense concurred with our recommendation. As of December 2017, the Department of Defense's Defense Health Agency (DHA) has taken steps to implement a more comprehensive TRICARE improper payment measurement methodology. Until the department fully implements the new methodology and identifies the underlying causes of improper payments, the full extent of improper payments in the TRICARE program will likely not be identified and addressed. As of December 2017, the DHA has not yet fully implemented a more comprehensive measurement methodology, and has, therefore, not developed more robust corrective action plans.
Director: John Pendleton
Phone: (202) 512-3489

1 open priority recommendation
Recommendation: To ensure that headquarters organizations are properly sized to meet their assigned missions and use the most cost-effective mix of personnel, and to better position DOD to identify opportunities for more efficient use of resources, the Secretary of Defense should conduct a systematic determination of personnel requirements for OSD, the Joint Staff, and the military services' secretariats and staff, which should include analysis of mission, functions, and tasks, and the minimum personnel needed to accomplish those missions, functions, and tasks.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD partially concurred with GAO's January 2015 recommendation to conduct a systematic determination of workforce requirements, and in comments to the report, DOD noted that it would continue to use the processes and prioritization that are part of the Planning, Programming, Budgeting, and Execution process, and would also investigate other methods for aligning personnel to missions and priorities. However, DOD did not specify whether any of these actions would include a workforce analysis. In June 2017 the Deputy Secretary of Defense assigned the Deputy Chief Management Officer as the single oversight authority for the governance of manpower resources across the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Defense Agencies, and DOD Field Activities. The Deputy Chief Management Officer was also tasked with developing a process, within 6 months, to add rigor and strengthen oversight of manpower resources in a manner that can be fully integrated into the programming, planning, budgeting, and execution processes of the department. On July 26, 2017 the Deputy Chief Management Officer further delegated the implementation steps for this process to the Director, Washington Headquarters Service in order to document and codify the standardized and disciplined business practices. However, as of August 2018, DOD had not provided documentation enabling GAO to determine that a systematic determination of workforce requirements within these organizations had taken place and the extent to which the recommendation has been implemented. Without a systematic determination of personnel requirements, DOD headquarters organizations may not be well positioned to identify opportunities for efficiencies and reduce the potential for headquarters-related growth. We will continue to monitor actions DOD takes in response to this recommendation and will provide updated information as appropriate.
Director: Cary Russell
Phone: (202) 512-5431

1 open priority recommendation
Recommendation: To help DOD develop an affordable sustainment strategy for the F-35, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisitions, Technology and Logistics to direct the F-35 Program Executive Officer to establish affordability constraints linked to, and informed by, military service budgets that will help guide sustainment decisions, prioritize requirements, and identify additional areas for savings by March 2015, at which point the Future Support Construct decision will be approved.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD concurred with our recommendation. According to DOD officials, as of October 2018, as part of a report on F-35 sustainment affordability and transparency called for in the Senate Armed Services Committee's report accompanying the FY 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, the department has tasked the military services to generate and deliver budget-informed F-35 sustainment affordability targets. The department has received targets from each of the services (the Air Force, the Marine Corps, and the Navy), and the targets have been incorporated into a draft version of the report. Once the report is final, and the affordability targets are formally established and adopted by the F-35 program, we will close the recommendation.
Director: Pendleton, John H
Phone: (404)679-1816

1 open priority recommendation
Recommendation: To ensure that the geographic combatant commands are properly sized to meet their assigned missions and to improve the transparency of the commands' authorized manpower, assigned personnel, and mission and headquarters-support costs, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to revise Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Instruction 1001.01A to require a comprehensive, periodic evaluation of whether the size and structure of the combatant commands meet assigned missions.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: Our review found that DOD has a process for evaluating requests for additional authorized positions, but that it does not periodically evaluate the commands' authorized positions to ensure they are needed to meet the commands' assigned missions. The department did not concur with our recommendation, stating that the combatant commands had already been reduced during previous budget and efficiency reviews. The department also noted that any periodic review of the combatant commands' size and structure must include a review of assigned missions, and that a requirement for a mission review was not appropriate for inclusion in the commands' guiding instruction on personnel requirements. Our report acknowledged and described several actions taken by DOD to manage growth in positions and costs at the combatant commands, including establishing personnel baselines and identifying personnel reductions. We continue to maintain that the actions taken by DOD do not constitute a comprehensive, periodic review because they have not included all authorized positions at the combatant commands. In addition, the department's response does not fully explain why there should not be a requirement for periodic reviews to ensure that the resources meet constantly evolving missions. We continue to believe that institutionalizing a periodic evaluation of all authorized positions would help to systematically align manpower with missions and add rigor to the requirements process. Currently, the Department does not plan to take action to implement this recommendation. We will continue to monitor actions DOD takes in response to this recommendation and will provide updated information as appropriate.
Director: Khan, Asif A
Phone: (202)512-9869

6 open priority recommendations
Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), with regard to estimating improper payments, to establish and implement key quality assurance procedures, such as reconciliations, to ensure the completeness and accuracy of the sampled populations.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: The Department of Defense (DOD), in concurring with this recommendation, stated that DOD will work with the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) to implement key quality assurance procedures, such as reconciliations, to ensure the completeness and accuracy of sampled populations. In August 2017, DOD officials stated that its Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) will continue its work with DFAS to annually reconcile gross outlays (as stated on its Statement of Budgetary Resources) with outlays as reported in its Agency Financial Report. These reconciliations are currently done only on a summary level. In the future, DOD's validation of its universe of transactions combined with planned reconciliations with the Defense Departmental Reporting System trial balance and transaction data from DOD's entitlement systems will provide more complete reconciliations. As of May 2018, this recommendation remains open.
Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), with regard to reducing improper payments, to establish procedures that produce corrective action plans that comply fully with IPERA and OMB implementation guidance, including at a minimum, holding individuals responsible for implementing corrective actions and monitoring the status of the corrective actions.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: The Department of Defense (DOD), in concurring with this recommendation, stated that it would work collaboratively with the applicable components to establish procedures that produce corrective action plans that incorporate best practices, including those recommended by the Chief Financial Officers Council. DOD's corrective action plans would include information on (1) measuring the progress made toward remediating root causes and (2) communicating to agency leaders and key stakeholders the progress made toward remediating the root causes of improper payments. According to DOD's fiscal year 2015 Agency Financial Report, DOD's travel pay had the highest error rate among all DOD-reported improper payment programs, and therefore DOD would place its initial focus to achieve measurable progress more quickly in this area. In June 2016, DOD officials told us that the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) (OUSD(C)) will revise and expand the DOD Travel Remediation Plan into a more comprehensive plan for travel improper payments which will include establishing Senior Accountable Officials (SAOs) within each military service. OUSD(C) will collaborate with each SAO to ensure the development of standardized procedures and corrective action plans to include training, root cause identification, and quality assurance goals that comply with improper payment law and regulatory guidance for travel pay. In October 2016, DOD issued its corrective/remediation plan entitled "Preventing Travel Pay Improper Payments and Recovery." This plan required the military services and major defense agencies to designate a Senior Accountable Official (SAO) at the Senior Executive Service level, for reducing travel pay improper payments. In April 2017, we learned that the Office of Management and Budget had done an assessment of this plan and provided helpful suggestions. In an August 2017 response to an inquiry on the status of DOD's implementation of GAO's improper payment recommendations, DOD officials stated that the Department's SAO (Deputy Chief Financial Officer) is considering expanding the focus of the travel pay improper payments working group to include the other major areas of DOD's improper payment program. In September 2017, the department's Senior Accountable Official (SAO) recommended the establishment of a SAO Steering Committee as well as Action Officer Working Groups for DOD's other improper payment programs. The SAO Steering Group would, among other duties, provide oversight and drive action for compliance with IPERA. The Action Officer Working Groups would be responsible for determining root causes and developing effective written corrective action plans, among other duties. As of February 2018, this recommendation remains open as DOD works to produce corrective action plans that comply fully with IPERA and OMB implementation guidance, including holding individuals responsible for implementing corrective actions and monitoring the status of those corrective actions.
Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), with regard to reducing improper payments, to establish procedures that produce corrective action plans that are in accordance with best practices, such as those recommended by the Chief Financial Officers Council (CFOC), and include (1) measuring the progress made toward remediating root causes and (2) communicating to agency leaders and key stakeholders the progress made toward remediating the root causes of improper payments.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: The Department of Defense (DOD), in concurring with this recommendation, stated that it would work collaboratively with the applicable components to establish procedures that produce corrective action plans that incorporate best practices, including those recommended by the Chief Financial Officers Council. DOD's corrective action plans would include information on (1) measuring the progress made toward remediating root causes and (2) communicating to agency leaders and key stakeholders the progress made toward remediating the root causes of improper payments. According to DOD's fiscal year 2015 Agency Financial Report, DOD's travel pay had the highest error rate among all DOD-reported improper payment programs, and therefore DOD would place its initial focus to achieve measurable progress more quickly in this area. In June 2016, DOD officials told us that the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) (OUSD(C)) will revise and expand the DOD Travel Remediation Plan into a more comprehensive plan for travel improper payments which will include establishing Senior Accountable Officials (SAOs) within each military service. OUSD(C) will collaborate with each SAO to ensure the development of standardized procedures and corrective action plans to include training, root cause identification, and quality assurance goals that comply with improper payment law and regulatory guidance for travel pay. In October 2016, DOD issued its corrective/remediation plan entitled "Preventing Travel Pay Improper Payments and Recovery." This plan required the military services and major defense agencies to designate a Senior Accountable Official (SAO) at the Senior Executive Service level, for reducing travel pay improper payments. In April 2017, we learned that the Office of Management and Budget had done an assessment of this plan and provided helpful suggestions. In an August 2017 response to an inquiry on the status of DOD's implementation of GAO's improper payment recommendations, DOD officials stated that the Department's Deputy Chief Financial Officer is considering expanding the focus of the travel pay improper payments working group to include the other major areas of DOD's improper payment program. In September 2017, the department's Senior Accountable Official (SAO) recommended the establishment of a SAO Steering Committee as well as Action Officer Working Groups for DOD's other improper payment programs. The SAO Steering Group would, among other duties, provide oversight and drive action for compliance with IPERA. The Action Officer Working Groups would be responsible for determining root causes and developing effective written corrective action plans, among other duties. As of February 2018, this recommendation remains open as DOD determines root causes and develops corrective action plans for its other improper payment programs.
Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), with regard to implementing recovery audits, to monitor the implementation of the revised FMR chapter on recovery audits to ensure that the components either develop recovery audits or demonstrate that it is not cost effective to do so.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: Department of Defense (DOD) officials, in concurring with this recommendation, stated that DOD would work with the applicable components to monitor the implementation of the revised Financial Management Regulation (FMR) chapter on recovery audits. According to DOD officials, this action would help to ensure that recovery audits are developed, or will demonstrate that it is not cost-effective to do these audits. In July 2015, DOD was working to update the FMR chapter on recovery audits to reflect revised Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance issued in October 2014. DOD issued its revised FMR chapter in November 2015. This chapter requires components to develop cost-effective payment recapture audits or to submit a quantitative justification to the Office of the Under Secretary (Comptroller) for approval. However, we consider this recommendation to be open because DOD did not provide documentation demonstrating that the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) is monitoring component implementation of recovery auditing. Further, as of April 2017, DOD's efforts to develop cost-estimates for recovery audits were still under way. As of February 2018, this recommendation remains open.
Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), with regard to implementing recovery audits, to develop and submit to OMB for approval a payment recapture audit plan that fully complies with OMB guidance.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: Department of Defense (DOD) officials, in concurring with this recommendation, stated that DOD would develop and submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a payment recapture plan that fully complies with OMB guidance and is informed by a cost-effectiveness analysis. In July 2015, DOD's Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) efforts to develop a payment recapture audit plan to ensure cost-effectiveness were ongoing and these efforts must be completed before a plan can be submitted to the OMB. In June 2016, DOD officials stated that the Comptroller's efforts to develop a payment recapture audit plan to ensure cost-effectiveness were ongoing. As of August 28, 2017, DOD officials stated that the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) will determine if a payment recapture audit plan was developed and submitted to OMB for approval in the previous fiscal years. If so, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) will determine its relevance and significance (i.e. cost effectiveness)to the improper payments program. If the payment recapture audit plan is considered to be applicable, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) will update the previous plan to comply with current OMB guidance. As of February 2018, this recommendation remains open.
Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), with regard to reporting, to design and implement procedures to ensure that the department's annual improper payment and recovery audit reporting is complete, accurate, and in compliance with IPERA and OMB guidance.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: Department of Defense (DOD) officials, in concurring with this recommendation, stated that DOD would design and implement procedures to further ensure that its annual improper payment and recovery audit reporting is complete, accurate, and in compliance with the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act (IPERA) requirements and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance. In June 2015, DOD revised its FMR chapter on improper payments to require components to provide information needed to report on improper payment and recovery audit activities in its annual financial report (AFR) in accordance with IPERA requirements and OMB guidance. DOD's fiscal year 2015 AFR reflected its implementation of the revised FMR. We found that DOD's improper payment reporting in its fiscal year 2015 AFR had improved. However, we were not provided with evidence that Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) is performing oversight and monitoring activities to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the improper payment and recovery audit data submitted by DOD components for inclusion in the AFR. As of April 2017, DOD is continuing to work on procedures for ensuring that its reporting on improper payment and recovery audits is accurate, complete, and in compliance with IPERA and OMB guidance. We will continue to follow-up on actions to address this recommendation.
Director: Chaplain, Cristina T
Phone: (202) 512-4841

2 open priority recommendations
Recommendation: In order to strengthen investment decisions, place the chosen investments on a sound acquisition footing, provide a better means of tracking investment progress, and improve the management and transparency of the U.S. missile defense approach in Europe, the Secretary of Defense should direct MDA's new Director to include in its resource baseline cost estimates all life cycle costs, specifically the operations and support costs, from the military services in order to provide decision makers with the full costs of ballistic missile defense systems.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD partially concurred with our recommendation that decisionmakers should have insight into the full lifecycle costs of MDA's programs. However, as of August 2018, MDA is still not including the military services' operations and sustainment (O&S) costs--which are a part of the full lifecycle costs--in the resource baselines it reports in the Ballistic Missile Defense System Accountability Report. MDA is trying to determine how best to report the full lifecycle costs to decisionmakers, but has indicated that the Ballistic Missile Defense System Accountability Report is not the appropriate forum for reporting the military services' operation and support costs. However, MDA cited its collaboration with the Services to establish O&S joint cost estimates (JCE) as a potential means of providing decisionmakers with insight into the full lifecycle costs of its programs, ahead of key program decisions. To date, MDA has completed several JCEs with both the Army and Navy for various programs. However, these JCEs were completed late in the acquisition process after most of key decisions had been made for these programs. In addition, every MDA program does not currently have a JCE. Therefore, we believe that MDA has not yet demonstrated that is providing decisionmakers with information to enable determinations that are based on a comprehensive understanding of the depth and breadth of each program's full lifecycle costs.
Recommendation: In order to strengthen investment decisions, place the chosen investments on a sound acquisition footing, provide a better means of tracking investment progress, and improve the management and transparency of the U.S. missile defense approach in Europe, the Secretary of Defense should direct MDA's new Director to stabilize the acquisition baselines, so that meaningful comparisons can be made over time that support oversight of those acquisitions.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD concurred with our 2013 recommendation regarding the need for MDA to stabilize its acquisition baselines, but also noted MDA's need to adjust its baselines to remain responsive to evolving requirements and threats; both of which are beyond MDA's control. Further, DOD highlighted the MDA Director's authority to make adjustments to the agency's programmatic baselines, within departmental guidelines. Our recommendation, however, is not designed to limit the Director's authority to adjust baselines or to prevent adjusting the baselines, as appropriate. Rather, our recommendation is designed to address traceability issues we have found with MDA's baselines, which are within its control. Specifically, for MDA to be able to effectively report longer-term progress of its acquisitions and provide the necessary transparency to Congress, it is critical that the agency stabilize its baselines so that once set, any revisions can be tracked over time. As of August 2018, we have not seen any indication that MDA is working to implement this recommendation. For example, in 2016, MDA's Director made changes to the Targets and Countermeasures program's baseline that omit the costs of some targets and may make tracking progress against prior years and the original baseline very difficult, and in some instances, impossible. We will continue to monitor MDA's baselines to determine any progress in this area or implementation of this recommendation.
Director: Mctigue, James R Jr
Phone: (202)512-7968

1 open priority recommendation
Recommendation: To increase the overall reliability of the initial cost estimates that DOD submits with its recommendations to the BRAC Commission for any future BRAC round, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics should direct the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Installations and Environment to take actions to enhance the department's ability to identify any potential costs associated with its alternatively financed projects in the event of a base closure. Specifically, the Under Secretary direct the Deputy Under Secretary should modify COBRA instructions for entering information on costs associated with alternatively financed projects in the model to help ensure costs are consistently captured and complete. For example, illustrate the types of costs that should be included; specify whether costs should be entered as net costs or if costs and savings should be entered separately; indicate which data entry field is the appropriate field into which the user should enter such costs; and define key terms.

Agency: Department of Defense: Office of the Secretary of Defense: Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD comment -- Non Concur; see DOD response to 1st recommendation. In August 2018, an official from the Basing Directorate in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Energy, Installations & Environment) explained that DOD non-concurred with the report's recommendations, DOD has not taken action, and does not plan to take action on the recommendations.
Director: Lepore, Brian J
Phone: (202)512-4523

5 open priority recommendations
Recommendation: Contingent on the authorization of a future BRAC round, and to increase the fidelity of the initial cost estimates that DOD submits with its recommendations to the BRAC Commission for a future BRAC round, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics) to work with the military services, defense agencies, and other appropriate stakeholders to improve the process for fully identifying recommendation-specific military construction requirements and ensuring that those requirements are entered into the COBRA model and not understated in implementation costs estimates prior to submitting recommendations to the BRAC Commission.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: Although DOD did not concur with our recommendation, in January 2017 DOD officials agreed to take additional action to better forecast the initial costs inputted into COBRA that are related to military construction. DOD stated that action on this recommendation is dependent upon authorization of a future BRAC round, and as of July 2018 Congress has not authorized another round of BRAC.
Recommendation: Contingent on the authorization of a future BRAC round, and to increase the fidelity of the initial cost estimates that DOD submits with its recommendations to the BRAC Commission for a future BRAC round, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics) to establish a process for ensuring that information technology requirements associated with candidate recommendations that are heavily reliant on such technology have been identified to the extent required to accomplish the associated mission, before recommendations and cost estimates are submitted to the BRAC Commission.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD partially concurred. DOD stated that action on this recommendation is dependent upon authorization of a future BRAC round, and as of July 2018 Congress has not authorized another round of BRAC.
Recommendation: Contingent on the authorization of a future BRAC round, and to increase the fidelity of the initial cost estimates that DOD submits with its recommendations to the BRAC Commission for a future BRAC round, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics) to ensure that, during the development and comparison of BRAC scenarios, all anticipated BRAC implementation costs--such as relocating personnel and equipment--are considered and included in the COBRA model when comparing alternatives and generating cost estimates.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: Although DOD did not concur with our recommendation, in January 2017 DOD officials agreed to take additional action to better forecast the initial costs inputted into COBRA that are related to relocating military personnel positions and equipment. DOD stated that action on this recommendation is dependent upon authorization of a future BRAC round, and as of July 2018 Congress has not authorized another round of BRAC.
Recommendation: Contingent on the authorization of a future BRAC round, and to improve planning for measuring the results of implementing the BRAC recommendations for a future BRAC round, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Installations and Environment) to establish a target for eliminating excess capacity in its initiating guidance to high-level department-wide leadership, consistent with the BRAC selection criteria chosen for a future BRAC round.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD did not concur with this recommendation and as of October 2017, DOD stated that no action is expected.
Recommendation: Contingent on the authorization of a future BRAC round, and to provide more-complete information and increased visibility into the expected costs and savings for individual BRAC closures or realignments, when planning any potential future BRAC round, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics) to limit the practice of bundling many potentially stand-alone realignments or closures into single recommendations.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD did not concur with this recommendation and as of October 2017, DOD stated that no action is expected.
Director: Russell, Cary B
Phone: (202) 512-5431

1 open priority recommendation
Recommendation: To further the integration of operational contract support into all of the services' planning, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the Navy and Air Force to provide comprehensive service-wide guidance for the Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force that describes how each service should integrate operational contract support into its respective organization to include planning for contingency operations.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD concurred with our recommendation. As of May 2018, the Marine Corps and Air Force has developed OCS guidance, and the Navy continues to work toward issuing guidance. In September 2016, the Marine Corps published Marine Corps Order 4200.34 on the manning, equipping and training of OCS capability. The Corps has established a new task list to define OCS as an essential wartime fighting capability, which provides units the foundation and ability to establish Mission Essential Tasks (METs) needed to effectively and efficiently measure and report OCS mission readiness. Marine Corps also developed and published an OCS career progression plan. The Air Force has taken steps to incorporate OCS into existing guidance, and the Secretary of the Air Force issued a memorandum in April 2016 providing guidance on integrating OCS into the total force. Additionally, Air Force issued AFI 64-105, Contingency Contracting Support, in August 2016. The Navy's guidance has received its legal review and flag officer coordination; according to OSD officials in May 2018, they expect final signature and publication of the Navy guidance in Summer 2018. Until all the services issue OCS guidance, this recommendation will remain open.
Director: Pendleton, John H
Phone: (404) 679-1816

1 open priority recommendation
Recommendation: To improve DOD's ability to identify how many headquarters personnel it has, including military, civilian and contractor personnel, and improve the information Congress and DOD need to ensure that headquarters organizations are appropriately sized and overhead positions are reduced to the extent possible, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Director of Administration and Management, in consultation with the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, to revise DOD Instruction 5100.73, Major DOD Headquarters Activities, to (1) include all major DOD headquarters activity organizations, (2) specify how contractors performing major DOD headquarters activity functions will be identified and included in headquarters reporting, (3) clarify how components are to compile the major DOD headquarters activities information needed to respond to the reporting requirements in section 1109 of the fiscal year 2010 National Defense Authorization Act, and (4) establish time frames for implementing the actions above to improve tracking and reporting headquarters resources.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD partially concurred with this recommendation based on their understanding of the instruction. As of July 2017, DOD has not completed actions to address three of the four parts of this recommendation. (1) In August 2015, DOD stated that it has established a comprehensive definition of major DOD headquarters activities and will update the DOD Instruction defining major headquarters. According to DOD officials, this will include efforts to accurately and completely report all major DOD headquarters activity organizations. As of July 2017, DOD had not updated the instruction, DOD Instruction 5100.73.(2) DOD has made some progress toward better accounting for contractors but has not identified an approach to include contractors as part of its major DOD headquarters reporting, as GAO recommended in March 2012. In December 2011, DOD issued guidance on how components should account for contracted services. The guidance requires DOD to account for contracted services by the activity requiring the service rather than by the contracting activity, which would allow DOD to identify contractor full-time equivalents supporting major DOD headquarters activities. To implement its guidance, DOD established a single application, the Enterprise-wide Contractor Manpower Reporting Application (ECMRA), which is intended to facilitate overall management oversight of contracted services reporting and reviews. Officials stated that in October 2012, the Air Force and Navy took steps to establish ECMRA systems, modeled after the Army?s system, to collect data on contracted services by requiring activity, and that in August 2013, the Air Force made its system available for use by other defense agencies and DOD field activities. According to DOD officials, as data on contracted services are collected and reported through ECMRA systems, the department?s ability to report on contracted services by requiring activity should continue to improve. DOD officials further stated that as progress is made toward establishing ECMRA across the department, they plan to consider how to account for contractors performing headquarters functions as part of headquarters reporting. However, as of March 2017, DOD had not resolved issues with implementing ECMRA. For example, DOD had not outlined the relationships between a management support office, military departments, and other stakeholders to facilitate the collection and use of data from DOD?s inventory of contracted services in decision-making processes. In addition, DOD is in the process of defining the roles and responsibilities of the support office that is intended to help manage the inventory of contracted services reporting processes, and the department continues to explore options for an enhanced reporting system that may better meet user needs, in accordance with changes directed in The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017. Until the department resolves the issues affecting the implementation of a common data system and identifies an approach to include contractors as part of its major DOD headquarters reporting, the department will not have complete information on headquarters staffing, which will likely hinder its ability to make informed management decisions about its headquarters resources. (3) DOD clarified how it would respond to section 1109 of the fiscal year 2010 National Defense Authorization Act to satisfy this part of the recommendation. (4) DOD has taken some steps to revise DOD Instruction 5100.73 but it does not expect to update the Instruction until this effort is complete. DOD has also not yet established time frames for determining how contractors are to be included in major DOD headquarters activity. As noted above, this instruction has not been updated as of July 2017.
Director: Farrell, Brenda S
Phone: (202) 512-3604

2 open priority recommendations
Recommendation: To improve leadership's commitment to preventing and responding to incidents of sexual harassment, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness to develop a strategy for holding individuals in positions of leadership accountable for promoting, supporting, and enforcing the department's sexual harassment policies and programs.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD concurred with our recommendation and stated that leadership accountability is essential to the success of the department's efforts to prevent sexual harassment. In February 2018, DOD took action toward addressing this recommendation and released an update to DOD Instruction 1020.03, Harassment Prevention and Response in the Armed Forces, that directs the Director, Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity, to ensure that DOD components' harassment prevention and response programs incorporate, at a minimum, compliance standards for promoting, supporting, and enforcing polices, plans, and programs. The updated instruction also directs the Commandant, Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute, to tailor training materials to Service Member professional development levels and associated leadership duties and responsibilities. As of April 2018, DOD has not developed a strategy, as we recommended. We will monitor DOD actions on this issue
Recommendation: To enhance oversight of the department's program to help prevent and to address incidents of sexual harassment involving servicemembers, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness to ensure that the Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity develops and aggressively implements an oversight framework to help guide the department's efforts. At a minimum, such a framework should contain long-term goals, objectives, and milestones; strategies to accomplish goals; criteria for measuring progress; and results-oriented performance measures to assess the effectiveness of the department's sexual harassment policies and programs. Such a framework should also identify and include a plan for ensuring that adequate resources are available to carry out the office's oversight responsibilities.

Agency: Department of Defense
Status: Open
Priority recommendation

Comments: DOD concurred with our recommendation and stated that as part of its revised guidance it proposed to strengthen and institutionalize the responsibilities and authorities needed for successful implementation of the department's sexual harassment policies. In February 2018, DOD took action toward addressing this recommendation and issued an update to DOD Instruction 1020.03, Harassment Prevention and Response in the Armed Forces, that directs the Director, Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity, to ensure that DOD components' harassment prevention and response programs incorporate , at a minimum, (1) long-term goals, objectives, and milestones; (2) results-oriented performance measures to assess effectiveness; and (3) compliance standards for promoting, supporting, and enforcing policies, plans, and programs. As of April 2018, DOD has not developed and aggressively implemented an oversight framework, as we recommended. We will continue to monitor DOD's actions.