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 military services have a rich tradition of initiation ceremonies and rites of passage, but at times, they have included inappropriate or abusive behavior. According to DOD, hazing jeopardizes readiness and weakens trust within the ranks.
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.
Civilians make up about 98% of the Army Corps of Engineers' 35,000 personnel. The jobs are highly specialized and it can be difficult for the Corps to recruit, develop, and retain employees.
The Corps has taken significant steps to address its workforce challenges.
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.
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.
DOD relies on contractors worldwide to support contingency operations, which can include armed conflicts, humanitarian crises, and more.
The Commission on Wartime Contracting made 30 recommendations in 2011 to improve contingency contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Over the past few years, the Department of Defense has been updating how it develops and acquires software for its weapon and business IT systems. It established a software acquisition pathway emphasizing rapid delivery and user engagement, for example, through Agile software development.