GAO’s reports and testimonies give Congress, federal agencies, and the public timely, fact-based, non-partisan information that can improve government operations and save taxpayers billions of dollars.
The Department of Defense is committed to modernizing the U.S. nuclear enterprise. This includes weapons and the infrastructure to build them (the Department of Energy's responsibility), as well as the aircraft, missiles, and other platforms for delivering them (DOD's responsibility).
Since May 2020, federal efforts to speed the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines—previously known as Operation Warp Speed—have been led by the Departments of Health and Human Services and Defense.
The Department of Defense hires private companies to provide "enemy" aircraft for U.S. military training. DOD awarded almost $8.4 billion for these air support contracts in FY 2015 through 2020.
We found contract awards for air support have increased since FY 2015.
For nearly 2 decades, DOD has increased its reliance on Special Operations Forces, pushing some to the limits of their physical and mental well-being. To help special forces and their families, Special Operations Command established the Preservation of the Force and Family program in 2013.
The Department of Defense subsidizes the cost of off-base child care through its fee assistance program. Currently, only spouses of servicemembers who die in combat-related incidents can receive this aid for their children.
The Department of Defense uses intellectual property (IP) to operate and maintain its weapons systems. IP includes computer software, technical data, user manuals, and more. Over the past 3 decades, we reported that insufficient IP can reduce mission readiness and lead to surging costs.
Getting missile defense systems into the field to defend the U.S. and its allies from attacks is a high priority.
Traditionally, the Department of Defense allowed more flexibility in acquiring these systems.
DOD has faced challenges acquiring new weapon systems—such as aircraft, ships, and satellites—on time and on budget.
In 2018, DOD revised its process for reviewing and approving "capability documents," which identify new or enhanced capabilities in weapon systems.
In 2019, Congress directed DOD to develop a strategy to better engage with small businesses and coordinate small business programs across the department.
We analyzed trends in DOD contracting. From FY 2011 to 2020, DOD spending on contracts with small businesses increased.