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.
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.
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.
The Department of Defense, which spent about $422 billion on contracts for goods and services in FY 2020, has been the target of contracting-related fraud schemes. For example, one contractor pleaded guilty to defrauding the department by overbilling.
The Department of Defense started 11 of the last 12 fiscal years under a continuing resolution, which provides temporary funding for federal agencies when Congress hasn't enacted regular appropriations by the start of the fiscal year.
The U.S. military depends on systems of ultra high frequency ("narrowband") satellites for secure communications. The newest system provides cell-phone-like voice and data service to military users and could provide a 10-fold increase in communications capacity.
In May 2019, we issued a report examining whether there are racial, ethnic, or gender disparities in the military justice system. Among other things, we found the military services do not collect consistent information on race, ethnicity, and gender making it more difficult to identify disparities.
The Department of Defense offers programs and services that can help active-duty servicemembers who foster or adopt a child. But, most military foster and adoptive families aren't aware of all of the help they can get from DOD.
DOD conducted several reviews of its nuclear forces in 2014-2015, leading to hundreds of recommendations to improve leadership, morale, and more.
We found that DOD has made headway implementing recommended changes. However, some of its measures of progress need reassessment.
Each year, we make more than 1,000 recommendations to help improve the federal government. We alert department heads to where they can save the most money, address issues on our High Risk List, or significantly improve government operations.
For overseas missions, Defense contractors rely on foreign workers for services like construction and security. Some workers have alleged labor abuses, like wage withholding, despite the government's zero-tolerance policy on forced labor and human trafficking.