Reports & Testimonies

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.

Jump To:

Most Recent Reports

1 - 20 of 114 Reports

Released on

Administrative Separation Boards: Air Force Should Clarify Member Qualifications

GAO-23-105780
Published: . Publicly Released: .
Administrative separation from the military can have lifelong implications regarding a veteran's benefits and future employment opportunities. Service members facing discharge for misconduct, unsatisfactory performance, and other reasons may present their case before an administrative separation board. These boards review evidence and recommend either retention or separation. Each service has established policies for convening these boards and selecting board members. These policies generally align with...

Released on

Weapon System Sustainment: Navy Ship Usage Has Decreased as Challenges and Costs Have Increased

GAO-23-106440
Published: . Publicly Released: .
From FYs 2011-2021, the 10 Navy ship classes we reviewed faced persistent and worsening challenges including a decrease in the number of hours a ship is available for operations or training. These challenges included: An increase in the number of working ship parts removed and used elsewhere due to parts shortages An increase in casualty reports—i.e., reports of events that impair a ship's ability to...

Released on

Contested Information Environment: Actions Needed to Strengthen Education and Training for DOD Leaders

GAO-23-105608
Published: . Publicly Released: .
The United States' adversaries are exploiting social media, IT, and other aspects of the "information environment" to undermine the nation's security. Such actions can include making false social media posts or interfering with GPS data used by DOD leaders to make decisions about their military options, such as troop positions. In response, DOD educates and trains its leaders to address such threats. However, DOD hasn't...

Released on

Columbia Class Submarine: Program Lacks Essential Schedule Insight amid Continuing Construction Challenges

GAO-23-106292
Published: . Publicly Released: .
The Navy is planning to spend $132 billion to develop and purchase 12 Columbia class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines—the largest and most complex submarine in its history. It plans to have the first one delivered in April 2027. The Navy lacks insight into the program's schedule because the shipbuilder hasn't conducted a schedule risk analysis, which can help identify and manage risks to achieving planned...

Released on

DOD Financial Management: Greater Attention and Accountability Needed over Government-Furnished Property

GAO-23-105198
Published: . Publicly Released: .
The DOD has struggled for decades to accurately account for government property in the possession of its contractors. DOD estimated that the value of such unaccounted property is over $220 billion—but that amount is likely significantly understated. This is one of the reasons that federal auditors are unable to audit DOD's financial statements. We found that DOD doesn't have a comprehensive, department-wide strategy to address...

Released on

Battle Management: DOD and Air Force Continue to Define Joint Command and Control Efforts

GAO-23-105495
Published: . Publicly Released: .
The Department of Defense is working to digitally connect its space, air, land, sea, and cyber assets to help military commanders better communicate and share information in real time. This effort will depend on contributions by all of the military services. The Advanced Battle Management System is the Air Force's contribution to this effort. It is a secure communications network that allows commanders and warfighters...

Released on

Military Cyber Personnel: Opportunities Exist to Improve Service Obligation Guidance and Data Tracking

GAO-23-105423
Published: . Publicly Released: .
Military personnel who complete advanced cyber training—which may take a year or more and costs DOD hundreds of thousands of dollars—may not remain in the military for a significant time after training. We found that 2 of the 4 military services are not positioned to ensure adequate return on their investment in advanced cyber training. While the Navy and Air Force require 3 years of...

Released on

Tactical Aircraft Investments: DOD Needs Additional Portfolio Analysis to Inform Future Budget Decisions

GAO-23-106375
Published: . Publicly Released: .
DOD is upgrading its fleet of fighter and attack planes, known as tactical aircraft. Most of these planes—purchased in the 1970s and 80s—have outlived their planned service lives. Over the next 5 years, DOD is proposing to spend nearly $100 billion on major investments and changes to its current mix of tactical aircraft. This includes modernizing existing aircraft buying and developing new aircraft retiring a...

Released on

Military Correctional Facilities: Consistent Application of Standards and Improved Oversight Could Enhance Health and Safety

GAO-23-105082
Published: . Publicly Released: .
The U.S. military services operate a combined 36 military correctional facilities around the world. As of 2021, these facilities held 1,131 service members who were awaiting trial or had been sentenced by court-martial. Each service branch is responsible for ensuring the health and safety of the staff and incarcerated service members at their respective facilities. We found: Most of the branches routinely assess whether their...

Released on

Women in Special Operations: Improvements to Policy, Data, and Assessments Needed to Better Understand and Address Career Barriers

GAO-23-105168
Published: . Publicly Released: .
Can gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and other barriers explain why women make up less than 10% of special operations forces? U.S. Special Operations Command may not have the information needed to fully assess barriers affecting women's careers in the command. For example, the command doesn't have full access to timely, complete data on its assigned personnel, including incidents of discrimination, harassment, and sexual assault. Collaborating...

Released on

Servicemembers Transitioning to Civilian Life: DOD Can Better Leverage Performance Information to Improve Participation in Counseling Pathways

GAO-23-104538
Published: . Publicly Released: .
The Transition Assistance Program helps servicemembers choose a career, pursue higher education or entrepreneurship, or find a job after military service. The program tailors support to individuals' needs based on how prepared they are to enter civilian life. But nearly 25% of servicemembers who needed maximum support didn't attend a mandatory 2-day class. And most servicemembers didn't start the program at least 1 year before...

Released on

National Security Space: Overview of Contracts for Commercial Satellite Imagery

GAO-23-106042
Published: . Publicly Released: .
Commercial satellite imagery and data can play a key role in national security. For example, the war in Ukraine has drawn attention to how governments are using commercial satellites to track troop movement and the impact of attacks. The commercial space industry is expected to grow significantly in the coming years, and therefore may be able to address more of the federal government's imagery needs...

Military Readiness: Actions Needed to Further Implement Predictive Maintenance on Weapon Systems

GAO-23-105556
Published: . Publicly Released: .
DOD spends $90 billion a year to keep ground systems, ships, and aircraft combat-ready using scheduled maintenance or waiting until things break to fix them. Using predictive maintenance based on data analysis could allow personnel to avoid doing work too soon—and prevent accidents. DOD told the military services to begin using predictive maintenance 20 years ago, but they made limited progress until recently. Also, DOD...

Released on

DOD Cybersecurity: Enhanced Attention Needed to Ensure Cyber Incidents Are Appropriately Reported and Shared

GAO-23-105084
Published: . Publicly Released: .
Cyber attacks threaten national security—but hackers continue to target DOD as well as private companies and others involved in the nation's military operations. DOD has taken steps to combat these attacks and has reduced the number of cyber incidents in recent years. But we found that DOD: Hasn't fully implemented its processes for managing cyber incidents Doesn't have complete data on cyber incidents that staff...

Released on

Weapon System Sustainment: Aircraft Mission Capable Goals Were Generally Not Met and Sustainment Costs Varied by Aircraft

GAO-23-106217
Published: . Publicly Released: .
The Department of Defense spends tens of billions of dollars annually to sustain its aircraft fleets. But how many of those aircraft are ready for takeoff and able to complete missions? We looked at 49 types of military aircraft and found that only 4 types met their annual mission readiness goals from FY 2011 through FY 2021—an overall decline over time. Program officials gave us...

Released on

Triángulo Norte: Los Departamentos de Defensa y de Estado necesitan políticas mejoradas para abordar el uso indebido de equipo

GAO-23-106186
Published: . Publicly Released: .
To see the version of this page in English, see GAO-23-105856. El Departamento de Defensa (DOD, por sus siglas en inglés) y el Departamento de Estado (State, por su nombre en inglés) proporcionan equipo—como vehículos y gafas de visión nocturna—a El Salvador, Guatemala y Honduras. Esta asistencia está destinada a asistir en abordar los retos de seguridad, y se suma a más de $66 millones...

Northern Triangle: DOD and State Need Improved Policies to Address Equipment Misuse

GAO-23-105856
Published: . Publicly Released: .
Para la versión de esta página en español, ver a GAO-23-106186. DOD and the State Department provide equipment—such as vehicles and night-vision goggles—to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. This assistance is intended to help address widespread security challenges and totaled over $66 million from FYs 2017-2021. Some equipment has allegedly been misused. For example, government officials in Guatemala allegedly used Jeeps from DOD to intimidate...

Released on

National Security Snapshot: Department of Defense and Intelligence Community Preparedness for Biological Threats

GAO-23-106066
Published: . Publicly Released: .
Biological threats—such as COVID-19 or bioweapons, like anthrax—can cause catastrophic loss of life and global instability. Our work highlights areas relevant to DOD and the Intelligence Community, including preparedness for biological threats and China's intent to exploit U.S. genetic data. We made several key recommendations to improve how DOD and the Intelligence Community prepare for and respond to biological threats. DOD is taking a number...

Released on

Working Dogs: Federal Agencies Need to Better Address Health and Welfare

GAO-23-104489
Published: . Publicly Released: .
Federal agencies use about 5,000 working dogs to detect explosives and narcotics, among other things. They also provide about a thousand dogs to foreign countries to support law enforcement and antiterrorism efforts. Federal agencies addressed many of the 18 issues we identified as important to working dog health and welfare, such as exercise and routine veterinary care. But about half of the federally-managed and contractor-managed...

Released on

Public Health Preparedness: HHS Should Address Strategic National Stockpile Requirements and Inventory Risks

GAO-23-106210
Published: . Publicly Released: .
The U.S. Strategic National Stockpile is a multibillion dollar inventory of medical countermeasures—medication, supplies, and more—that can be used in emergencies. COVID-19 underscored its importance. The Department of Health and Human Services' inventory planning reports didn't meet most legal requirements enacted in 2019 or communicate risks associated with not meeting recommended inventory levels. This is partly because HHS hasn't updated its processes for completing the...