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Civil Military Programs: Stronger Oversight of the Innovative Readiness Training Program Needed for Better Compliance (Letter Report, 03/12/98, GAO/NSIAD-98-84).

Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the Department of
Defense's (DOD) training projects that support nondefense activities,
focusing on the: (1) extent, nature, and cost of civil military
projects; (2) consistency of DOD's guidance on the Innovative Readiness
Training Program (IRT) with statutory requirements; (3) conformity of
selected projects to statutory requirements, especially those dealing
with military training; and (4) effectiveness of the Office of the
Secretary of Defense's (OSD) and service secretaries' oversight of such
projects.

GAO noted that: (1) DOD does not know the full extent and nature of the
IRT program because some project information is not consistently
compiled and reported; (2) furthermore, although DOD knows the amount of
supplemental funds spent on the program, it does not know the full cost
of the program because the services and components do not capture those
costs, which are absorbed from their own appropriations; (3) available
records indicate that at least 129 projects were conducted in fiscal
year 1997 and that most of these were engineering, infrastructure, or
medical projects; (4) the DOD directive for civil military projects is
consistent with the statutory requirements for such projects; (5)
specifically, it reiterates the statutory requirements and provides
further delineation of how the projects are to be selected and
implemented; (6) the directive does not, however, provide any additional
guidance for military organizations to use in meeting the statutory
requirement that the provision of assistance not result in a significant
increase in the cost of training; (7) the six projects GAO reviewed
generally met the statutory requirements; (8) for example, the
benefitting organizations were eligible for the assistance and the
provision of assistance did not interfere with units' or individuals'
military functions; (9) however, while the statute requires that
individuals providing assistance perform tasks directly related to their
military specialties, GAO found that in two cases some individuals'
tasks were not directly related to their specialties; (10) thus, it
appeared that the goal of completing a project took priority over the
goal of providing valid military training; (11) in addition, GAO could
not determine whether the assistance had resulted in a significant
increase in the cost of training for any of the six projects because DOD
has established no basis for making such a determination; (12) OSD has
provided limited and inconsistent oversight of IRT projects and the
delivery of support and services under them; (13) for the most part, OSD
limited oversight to those projects that received supplemental program
funding; (14) even for those projects, OSD did not always follow its own
processes for ensuring that statutory requirements for civil military
projects were met and did not have procedures in place to ensure that
military organizations were not providing assistance that significantly
increased training costs; and (15) the service secretaries have not
established any additional formal oversight procedures.

--------------------------- Indexing Terms -----------------------------

 REPORTNUM:  NSIAD-98-84
     TITLE:  Civil Military Programs: Stronger Oversight of the 
             Innovative Readiness Training Program Needed for Better
             Compliance
      DATE:  03/12/98
   SUBJECT:  Human resources utilization
             Cost analysis
             Military training
             Program evaluation
             Education or training costs
             Military cost control
IDENTIFIER:  DOD Innovative Readiness Training Program
             DOD Civil Military Cooperation Action Program
             DOD Operation Alaskan Road
             DOD Navajo Nation Building Project
             DOD Operation Good Neighbor
             DOD MIRT 97 Exercise
             DOD Operation REEFEX 97
             DOD Operation Crescent City 97
             
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Cover
================================================================ COVER


Report to Congressional Committees

March 1998

CIVIL MILITARY PROGRAMS - STRONGER
OVERSIGHT OF THE INNOVATIVE
READINESS TRAINING PROGRAM NEEDED
FOR BETTER COMPLIANCE

GAO/NSIAD-98-84

Civil Military

(703219)


Abbreviations
=============================================================== ABBREV

  DOD - Department of Defense
  IRT - Innovative Readiness Training
  LCU - landing craft utility
  MOA - memorandum of agreement
  OSD - Office of the Secretary of Defense

Letter
=============================================================== LETTER


B-279103

March 12, 1998

Congressional Committees

This report responds to the requirement in section 595 in the
National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1998 (P.L. 
105-85, Nov.  18, 1997) that we review the Department of Defense's
(DOD) training projects that support nondefense activities.  DOD
conducts these civil military projects under its Innovative Readiness
Training (IRT) Program, as authorized by 10 U.S.C.  2012 . 
Specifically, we reviewed (1) the extent, nature, and cost of civil
military projects; (2) the consistency of DOD's guidance on the IRT
Program with statutory requirements; (3) the conformity of selected
projects to statutory requirements, especially those dealing with
military training; and (4) the effectiveness of the Office of the
Secretary of Defense's (OSD) and service secretaries' oversight of
such projects. 


   BACKGROUND
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :1

Legislation enacted in 1992 authorized a Civil-Military Cooperative
Action Program under which DOD was permitted to use the armed forces'
skills and resources to assist civilian efforts to meet domestic
needs by participating in projects and activities that would benefit
the community.\1 One of the objectives of the program was to enhance
individual and unit training and morale in the armed forces through
meaningful community involvement.  While the statute required DOD to
ensure that it provided the assistance in a manner consistent with
the military mission of the units involved, the statute did not
require an assessment of the training value of providing the
assistance.  In 1996, legislation repealed the program and replaced
it with the current IRT Program.\2

Like the prior statute, the current legislation (10 U.S.C.  2012)
authorizes units or members of the armed forces to provide support
and services to nondefense organizations.\3 The law also requires
that assistance be incidental to military training, not adversely
affect the quality of training, and not result in a significant
increase in the cost of the training; unit's assistance meet valid
unit training requirements; and individual members' assistance be
directly related to their specific military specialties.  Moreover,
as was required under the prior program, DOD officials must
coordinate with civilian officials to ensure that DOD assistance
meets a valid community need and does not duplicate other available
public services.  Finally, the statute states that assistance may be
provided only if it is requested by a responsible official of the
organization that needs the assistance and it is not reasonably
available from a commercial entity.  See appendix I for a complete
version of the provisions of 10 U.S.C.  2012. 

To administer the IRT Program, DOD issued a specific directive to
guide military organizations entering into projects with civilian
organizations and established specific processes to ensure that
projects conform to statutory requirements.  Although the Assistant
Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs is responsible for
monitoring the program, military organizations exercise a high degree
of autonomy in making decisions to enter into projects.  Military
organizations use operations and maintenance and pay and allowances
appropriations to fund IRT projects and need apply to OSD only if
they require supplemental IRT funding.  In fiscal year 1997, Congress
appropriated $16 million in such funding for the program. 

We selected six IRT projects of varying sizes and activities to
determine their conformance with statutory requirements.  These
projects consist of three road-building projects (Operation Alaskan
Road on Annette Island, Alaska; Navajo Nation Building Project
between Sawmill and Fort Defiance, Arizona; and Operation Good
Neighbor near Gallup, New Mexico); one medical project (MIRT 97 -
Adams County, Ohio); one project to place excess combat vehicles off
the shore of New Jersey to build artificial reefs (Operation REEFEX
97), and one project to reconstruct a basketball court (Operation
Crescent City 97 in Louisiana). 


--------------------
\1 Public Law 102-484, div.  A, title X, sec.  1081(b)(1), Oct.  23,
1992. 

\2 Public Law 104-106, div.  A, title V, sec.  571(a)(1), Feb.  10,
1996. 

\3 Eligible non-DOD organizations and activities are defined as (a)
any federal, regional, state, or local governmental entity; (b) youth
and charitable organizations specified in section 508 of title 32;
and
(c) any other entity approved by the Secretary of Defense on a
case-by-case basis (10 U.S.C.  2012(e)).  The earlier Civil-Military
Cooperative Action Program did not specify any group of entities as
eligible for assistance.  The statute authorizing the program
referred instead to authorized use of armed forces' resources "to
assist civilian efforts to meet the domestic needs of the United
States" (10 U.S.C.  410 (1994) (repealed 1996)). 


   RESULTS IN BRIEF
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :2

DOD does not know the full extent and nature of the Innovative
Readiness Training Program because some project information is not
consistently compiled and reported.  Furthermore, although DOD knows
the amount of supplemental funds spent on the program, it does not
know the full cost of the program because the services and components
do not capture those costs, which are absorbed from their own
appropriations.  Available records indicate that at least 129
projects were conducted in fiscal
year 1997 and that most of these were engineering, infrastructure, or
medical projects. 

The DOD directive for civil military projects is consistent with the
statutory requirements for such projects.  Specifically, it
reiterates the statutory requirements and provides further
delineation of how the projects are to be selected and implemented. 
The directive does not, however, provide any additional guidance for
military organizations to use in meeting the statutory requirement
that the provision of assistance not result in a significant increase
in the cost of training. 

The six projects we reviewed generally met the statutory
requirements.  For example, the benefiting organizations were
eligible for the assistance and the provision of assistance did not
interfere with units' or individuals' military functions.  However,
while the statute requires that individuals providing assistance
perform tasks directly related to their military specialties, we
found that in two cases some individuals' tasks were not directly
related to their specialties.  Thus, it appeared that the goal of
completing a project took priority over the goal of providing valid
military training.  In addition, we could not determine whether the
assistance had resulted in a significant increase in the cost of
training for any of the six projects because DOD has established no
basis for making such a determination. 

OSD has provided limited and inconsistent oversight of Innovative
Readiness Training projects and the delivery of support and services
under them.  For the most part, OSD limited oversight to those
projects that received supplemental program funding.  Even for those
projects, OSD did not always follow its own processes for ensuring
that statutory requirements for civil military projects were met and
did not have procedures in place to ensure that military
organizations were not providing assistance that significantly
increased training costs.  The service secretaries have not
established any additional formal oversight procedures. 


   FULL EXTENT, NATURE, AND COST
   OF PROGRAM ARE NOT KNOWN
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :3

DOD officials do not know the full extent of the IRT Program. 
Despite OSD's expectation that military organizations would file
after-action reports on each of their civil military projects, these
reports have not been consistently filed.  Some service and component
command officials told us that they did not require after-action
reports for IRT projects that did not receive supplemental funding. 
Officials of organizations that required reporting of all projects
stated that even they might not be aware of small projects conducted
at a local level. 

Using available service and OSD records for fiscal year 1997, we
found that most of the projects were engineering, infrastructure, or
medical in nature.  At least 129 IRT projects were conducted in at
least 35 states and the District of Columbia, and all active,
reserve, and National Guard components of each of the services
participated in the projects.  The scope of these projects varied
from activities conducted in 1 day by a few participants from a
single unit to joint multiyear operations with hundreds of
participants.  Because we were unable to determine the full extent of
IRT projects, we could not characterize the nature of all the
projects. 

Although OSD officials told us they had obligated approximately $15.6
million of the $16 million Congress appropriated specifically for the
IRT Program in fiscal year 1997, DOD does not capture those costs
that the services and their components absorbed from their own pay
and allowances and operations and maintenance accounts.  As a result,
we could not determine total program costs.  Supplemental IRT funding
spent on the six projects we reviewed amounted to at least $4.6
million.  Project officials told us that service and component
contributions to these projects were at least $3.6 million.  We could
not determine their total cost because we had to rely on project
participants' memories of the types of costs incurred and, in many
cases, their estimates of the expenses.  The projects and their costs
are discussed in more detail in appendix II. 


   PROGRAM GUIDANCE IS CONSISTENT
   WITH STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :4

The legislation requires the Secretary of Defense to prescribe
regulations governing the provision of assistance under the IRT
Program.  In response to this requirement, DOD issued Directive
1100.20, "Support and Services for Eligible Organizations and
Activities Outside the Department of Defense." This directive
controls the implementation and administration of the program. 
Although the directive meets the legislation's requirements, DOD
could improve the directive by addressing how it will implement the
statutory requirement that the provision of assistance not result in
a significant increase in the cost of training. 

DOD has implemented the IRT Program through its directive, much of
which restates in nearly identical language the statutory provisions
governing the program.  It provides, in some instances, additional
guidance on how DOD is to implement the program, as shown in the
following two examples. 

Under 10 U.S.C.  2012(f), the Secretary of Defense is required to
prescribe regulations that include procedures to ensure that
assistance is provided along with, rather than separate from,
civilian efforts and meets a valid civil or community need.  To meet
this requirement, the directive encourages the establishment of
advisory councils composed of various public, private, business, and
civic sector representatives.  The directive states that if an
advisory council does not exist in the area in which assistance is to
be provided, responsible DOD commanders or other officials are to
consult and coordinate, to the maximum extent practicable, with the
same types of individuals who would serve on the councils. 

The statute requires that civil military program assistance be
provided only if the assistance is not reasonably available from a
commercial entity.  The directive states that in determining
reasonable availability, DOD may also take into account whether the
requesting organization or activity would be able, financially or
otherwise, to address the specific civic or community need. 

Additional guidance could help organizations implement the statutory
requirement that assistance not result in a significant increase in
the cost of training.  DOD's directive repeats the language of the
statute but does not explain what constitutes an increase in costs
for training or a "significant increase." DOD currently does not
assess whether undertaking an IRT project will significantly increase
the cost of training.  Guidance on this point would provide a basis
for assessing whether participating military organizations were
complying with the requirements. 

The directive calls on the service secretaries to ensure that
commanders of units or personnel participating in IRT activities
determine that the assistance provided is consistent with valid unit
training requirements or related to the specific military specialty
of participating personnel.  Service officials told us that they were
drafting guidelines but did not know when they might be complete. 


   STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS FOR
   SELECTED PROJECTS WERE
   GENERALLY MET
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :5

The six projects we reviewed as case studies were generally conducted
within the statutory requirements.  For example, the benefiting
organizations were eligible for the assistance, and the provision of
assistance did not interfere with units' or individuals' military
functions.  While the statute requires that individuals providing
assistance perform tasks directly related to their military
specialties, on two of the projects we reviewed, some individuals'
tasks were not directly related to their specialties.  Thus, it
appeared that the goal of completing a project sometimes took
priority over the goal of providing valid military training.  In
addition, we were unable to determine whether providing the
assistance had resulted in a significant increase in the cost of
training for any of the six projects because DOD has established no
basis for making such a determination. 

The extent to which five of the projects conformed with each
statutory requirement is summarized in table 1.  OSD approved the
sixth project (Operation Crescent City), which was sponsored by the
Marine Corps Reserve, for supplemental IRT funding and the Marine
Corps conducted project planning.  Marine Corps officials
subsequently canceled the project when they failed to reach an
agreement with the community that would allow them to ensure that
statutory provisions would be met.  For example, according to these
officials, there was no written request letter, no agreement on who
would provide services the Marine Corps unit did not have the skills
to provide, and no agreement on who would pay for those aspects of
the project that had no training value. 



                                     Table 1
                     
                       Conformance of Selected IRT Projects
                           with Statutory Requirements

                          Navajo
                          Nation        Operation
Requiremen  Operation     Building      Good          MIRT 97 -     Operation
t           Alaskan Road  Project       Neighbor      Adams County  REEFEX 97
----------  ------------  ------------  ------------  ------------  ------------
General
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Organizati  Yes           Yes           Yes           Yes           Yes
on
eligible

Requested   Yes           Yes           Yes           Yes           Not
by                                                                  documented
responsibl
e official

Assistance  Yes           Yes           Not           Yes           Not
not                                     documented                  documented
reasonably
available
from a
commercial
source

No          Yes           Yes           Yes           Yes           Yes
interferen
ce with
military
function


Training
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Accomplish  Yes           Yes           Not           Yes           Not
ed valid                                applicable\\                applicable\\
unit                                    a                           a
training

Individual  Not in all    Yes           Not in all    Yes           Yes
s' tasks    cases\b                     cases\
directly
related to
specialtie
s

No adverse  Yes           Yes           Yes           Yes           Yes
impact on
training
quality

No          Unable to     Unable to     Unable to     Unable to     Unable to
significan  determine     determine     determine     determine     determine
t increase
in cost of
training

Assistance  Not entirely  Yes           Not entirely  Yes           Yes
incidental
to
training
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\a These projects were conducted not by units, but by groups of
individuals from various units. 

\b When project involved unit training, these individuals were not
members of the unit. 

The following paragraphs provide additional information on the
conformance of the five projects to statutory requirements. 


      CONFORMANCE WITH GENERAL
      REQUIREMENTS
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :5.1

We found that the benefiting organizations for all five projects met
the eligibility criteria established in the statute.  Furthermore, a
written request for assistance existed for four of the five projects. 
Officials of the fifth project--Operation REEFEX 97--told us that
there was no written request for assistance for that project.  In
addition, officials of Operation Good Neighbor and of Operation
REEFEX 97 told us that certifications of noncompetition with the
private sector had not been provided for those projects.  DOD
collects these certifications to establish that assistance is not
reasonably available from commercial sources, as required by the
statute.  The officials from Operation Good Neighbor told us they had
attempted to get community officials to provide a certification
before starting the project but had been unsuccessful.  They said
they had contacted OSD officials and were told to continue the
project, in spite of not having a certification.  Officials of
Operation REEFEX 97 told us they did not know why there was no
certification for their project. 

The statute requires that the assistance not interfere with a unit's
or members' ability to perform their military functions.  Officials
of each of the five projects told us that no need for them to perform
their military functions had arisen during work on the projects. 
They said that had such a need arisen, performance of their military
functions would have been their priority. 


      CONFORMANCE WITH TRAINING
      REQUIREMENTS
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :5.2

On the three projects with unit participation, the work of the
participating units was directly related to their mission-essential
task lists and was therefore considered valid unit training.  We
found, however, that on two projects, some individuals' tasks were
not directly related to their specialties. 

For Operation Alaskan Road, Marine Corps officials determined that
the assigned combat engineering unit would need to be augmented to
accomplish its part of the project in the time allotted.  As a
result, 25 refuelers from a bulk fuel company were trained in combat
engineering skills and used to augment the 125-person combat
engineering company.  Marine Corps officials acknowledged the bulk
refuelers' duties for this project were not related to their military
specialties.  Also, Marine Corps officials told us that many tasks
the combat engineers were required to perform involved skills not
found in the individual training skills manual for the combat
engineer (for example, plumbing rough-in work, masonry, quarrying
operations, and finished wood frame carpentry). 

For Operation Good Neighbor, 7 of the 25 Navy Reserve Seabees
performing road construction had military specialties unrelated to
the tasks they performed.  For example, Seabees with the military
specialties of construction welder, carpenter/mason, and utilitiesman
were used as heavy equipment operators.  In addition, three of the
five Seabees who built ramps for the handicapped had military
specialties unrelated to the tasks they performed.  The Seabees'
military specialties were surveyor and heavy equipment operator, but
they were used as carpenters/masons. 

The statute requires that the assistance have no adverse impact on
training quality.  Most of the individuals involved in each of our
five projects were participating in valid training for their units or
performing tasks in their military specialties.  Officials told us
that for the individuals not performing tasks in their military
specialties, participation did not interfere with any other training
opportunities. 

The statute requires that the assistance provided not result in a
significant increase in the cost of training.  This determination was
not made for any of the five projects.  Also, DOD has provided
military organizations neither an explanation of what constitutes an
increase in costs for training nor a definition of a "significant
increase."

The statute requires that the assistance provided be incidental to
training, but on two projects, the assistance provided was not
entirely incidental to the training.  As discussed previously, some
of the individuals used in Operation Alaskan Road and Operation Good
Neighbor had military specialties that were unrelated to the tasks
needed for the projects.  Consequently, it appeared the goal of
completing the projects took priority over the goal of providing
valid military training. 


   OSD AND SERVICE SECRETARY
   OVERSIGHT OF IRT PROJECTS IS
   LIMITED AND INCONSISTENT
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :6

OSD has provided limited and inconsistent oversight of IRT projects
and the delivery of support and services under them.\4 For the most
part, oversight is limited to those projects that receive
supplemental IRT Program funding.  Even within those projects, OSD
did not always follow its own processes for ensuring the statutory
requirements for civil military projects were met and did not have
procedures in place to ensure that military organizations were
meeting the statutory requirement not to provide assistance that
results in a significant increase in training costs.  The service
secretaries have not established any additional oversight
requirements. 

The process for projects that receive supplemental IRT funding
involves an application that the sponsoring service or component
submits to OSD, a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between OSD and the
sponsor once OSD approves the application, and an after-action
report.  In its guidance for submission of requests for supplemental
funding for 1997 IRT projects, OSD specified a format for application
submissions.  The information required includes the name of the
requesting civilian organization and other contributing
organizations, certification of noncompetition, training requirements
or objectives to be met, and estimated funding requirements. 
However, the application does not require a certification that each
proposed project does not result in a significant increase in the
cost of training. 

For approved applications, OSD and the sponsor sign an MOA that
specifies the amount of supplemental IRT funding allotted to the
project and requirements to be met before the funds can be spent.  An
MOA may cover one or several projects that the same service or
component is sponsoring.  OSD officials told us that, under their
policy, if the sponsor has more than one approved project, the
sponsor determines the amount of supplemental IRT funds to distribute
to each of its approved projects.  The sponsor is responsible for
ensuring that the requirements in the MOA are met. 

The MOA also requires military organizations to submit after-action
reports that include, for example, the number of personnel
participating in the project and an accounting of funds used to
support the project.  Copies of after-action reports are to be
provided to OSD. 

Using documentation that OSD provided for fiscal year 1997 projects,
we found that the process was not always followed because (1)
sometimes applications were not submitted, (2) MOAs were not always
executed, and (3) after-action reports were not always prepared. 
Additionally, we found cases in which MOAs were executed and
supplemental IRT funds were used without the sponsor having met the
requirements of the MOA.  In one case, OSD had funded a project
without any part of the process having been followed.  OSD officials
told us that they funded the project near the end of the fiscal year
when it became apparent that not all of the supplemental IRT funding
that had been obligated would be spent.  They said that to avoid
losing the funds at the end of the fiscal year, they had orally
directed the transfer of funds from one Marine Corps component to
another to fund this project and had not required an application, had
not issued an MOA, and had not required an after-action report.  The
officials told us they had no paperwork relating to the project. 
Moreover, we found that, in some cases, sponsoring organizations,
such as service components or joint organizations, had not determined
that IRT projects did not result in significant increases in the cost
of training because they believed this was part of OSD' s process for
approving supplemental funding for projects.  OSD, on the other hand,
told us this determination was the responsibility of the sponsoring
organizations. 

OSD officials told us that they did not require the submission of
applications and the issuance of MOAs for projects that required no
supplemental IRT funding but that the DOD directive for the program
requires submission of after-action reports for all IRT projects. 
However, the directive provides no designated time frame for
providing the reports, and we found that they were not always
submitted.  Some service and component officials told us that
after-action reports were not required if supplemental IRT funding
was not used.  Given the differing interpretations of the DOD
requirement regarding after-action reports, clarifications to the
directive could result in more consistent submission of the reports. 


--------------------
\4 Although Congress has legislated that no funds can be expended for
an office within OSD with an exclusive or principal mission of
providing centralized direction of activities under this program, OSD
is not precluded from conducting oversight of projects (P.L. 
104-106, div.  A, title V, sec.  574, Feb.  10, 1996). 


   CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :7

While Congress authorized the IRT Program to permit the use of the
armed forces to meet civilian needs, it established specific
requirements to ensure, among other things, that individual projects
do not adversely affect military training or significantly increase
the cost of training.  To ensure that these requirements are met,
stronger adherence to oversight procedures already in place,
modifications to those procedures, and more specific guidance on
determining training cost implications are needed. 

We therefore recommend that the Secretary of Defense take action to
manage the program to comply with the oversight procedures that have
been established.  Specifically, we recommend that

  -- when projects require supplemental IRT funding, sponsors have
     submitted applications with the required information and OSD and
     the sponsoring organizations have developed MOAs and

  -- DOD's directive be clarified to explicitly require the
     preparation and submission of after-action reports within a
     designated time frame for all projects, not just those requiring
     supplemental IRT funding. 

We also recommend that the Secretary of Defense establish guidance
for making cost determinations for joint projects and directing the
service secretaries to define what constitutes an increase in the
cost of training and what represents a "significant increase" in
training costs associated with IRT projects. 

In addition, we recommend that the Secretary of Defense modify OSD
program oversight procedures to ensure that a determination has been
made as to whether an increase in training costs is significant. 


   AGENCY COMMENTS AND OUR
   EVALUATION
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :8

In written comments on a draft of this report, DOD partially
concurred with our findings and concurred with our recommendations. 
DOD characterized our position as advocating greater centralized
control to improve program performance.  DOD also noted that the
Fiscal Year 1996 National Defense Authorization Act, Section 574,
discouraged centralized DOD management of activities allowed under 10
U.S.C.  2012 and that, in response to that legislation, DOD has
gradually reduced the level of centralized oversight and instructed
the services to provide instructions to implement the program.  Once
the services issue these instructions, DOD stated a decentralized
approach can work more effectively. 

While the legislation does not permit centralized direction of
activities under the IRT Program, it does not preclude DOD from
conducting oversight.  We do not advocate greater centralized control
but rather better oversight to improve conformance with statutory
requirements.  For example, we recommended stronger adherence to
oversight procedures already in place, modifications to those
procedures, and more specific guidance on determining training cost
implications.  We continue to believe that such oversight is
necessary and prudent to ensure compliance with the program's
statutory requirements. 

DOD also stated that it has fully accounted for resources
specifically authorized and appropriated in fiscal year 1997 to fund
IRT projects and that the services are responsible for IRT related
costs funded from service resources.  While DOD stated a separate
system may be required to capture total costs, it emphasized that the
benefits and costs of implementing such a system should be weighed
against the value and size of the IRT Program.  We note that the
legislation requires DOD to ensure that assistance provided under the
IRT Program does not result in a significant increase in the cost of
training.  Because of this requirement, we believe that maintaining
information on project costs is important. 


   SCOPE AND METHODOLOGY
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :9

To assess the nature, extent, and cost of the support and services
DOD has provided under 10 U.S.C.  2012, we interviewed OSD and
service officials and examined pertinent documents.  We aimed at
identifying the organization of the program and the types and scale
of projects conducted through the program. 

To ascertain whether the regulations and procedures were consistent
with the requirements of section 2012, we compared available OSD and
service regulations to the requirements of section 2012 and examined
the procedures used to identify, plan, implement, and report on the
projects we used as case studies and compared those procedures with
the requirements of section 2012. 

Because much of the program is decentralized and the universe of
projects was not well defined, we used a case study methodology to
examine those parts of the program for which no centralized source of
information existed.  The projects we examined were judgmentally
selected from among those projects approved for supplemental funding
from the section 2012 program.  Our selections included several
different types of projects; collectively, these projects included
participants from each military service and each of their components. 
Other project selection factors included scale (size and duration)
and geographic location. 

For each project, we obtained information on the level of support and
services provided from OSD, the involved services, and local
commanders.  We then compared the types of support and services with
the project criteria set forth in the law to determine whether the
project conformed to statutory requirements, particularly those
dealing with military training.  Because our case studies do not
represent a valid statistical random sample, our findings cannot be
projected to the entire program.  However, we believe our case
studies provide insights into how the program is being carried out
and monitored. 

To evaluate the OSD's and service secretaries' oversight of such
civil military projects, we interviewed IRT officials within OSD and
each of the services and examined pertinent documents to determine
how the oversight role was implemented.  We also reviewed the
legislative history of section 2012 to ascertain where statutory
responsibility for overseeing such projects rested.  In addition, we
examined the available policies and procedures to ascertain how DOD
expected the projects to be monitored. 

We conducted our review between September 1997 and January 1998 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. 


---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :9.1

We are sending copies of this report to other appropriate
congressional committees; the Secretaries of Defense, the Army, the
Navy, and the Air Force; the Commandant, Marine Corps; and the
Director, Office of Management and Budget.  Copies will also be made
available to others on request. 

Please call me at (202) 512-5140 if you or your staff have any
questions concerning this report.  Major contributors to this report
are listed in appendix IV. 

Mark E.  Gebicke
Director, Military Operations and
 Capabilities Issues


List of Congressional Committees

The Honorable Strom Thurmond
Chairman
The Honorable Carl Levin
Ranking Minority Member
Committee on Armed Services
United States Senate

The Honorable Ted Stevens
Chairman
The Honorable Daniel K.  Inouye
Ranking Minority Member
Subcommittee on Defense
Committee on Appropriations
United States Senate

The Honorable Floyd Spence
Chairman
The Honorable Ike Skelton
Ranking Minority Member
Committee on National Security
House of Representatives

The Honorable C.  W.  Bill Young
Chairman
The Honorable John P.  Murtha
Ranking Minority Member
Subcommittee on National Security
Committee on Appropriations
House of Representatives


STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS FOR
INNOVATIVE READINESS TRAINING
PROGRAM
=========================================================== Appendix I

The following provisions are stated, verbatim, in 10 U.S.C.  2012. 


   SUPPORT AND SERVICES FOR
   ELIGIBLE ORGANIZATIONS AND
   ACTIVITIES OUTSIDE DEPARTMENT
   OF DEFENSE
--------------------------------------------------------- Appendix I:1

(a) Authority to provide services and support.--Under regulations
prescribed by the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military
department may in accordance with this section authorize units or
individual members of the armed forces under that Secretary's
jurisdiction to provide support and services to non-Department of
Defense organizations and activities specified in subsection (e), but
only if--
(1) such assistance is authorized by a provision of law (other than
this section); or
(2) the provision of such assistance is incidental to military
training.
(b) Scope of covered activities subject to section.--This section
does not--
(1) apply to the provision by the Secretary concerned, under
regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Defense, of customary
community relations and public affairs activities conducted in
accordance with Department of Defense policy; or
(2) prohibit the Secretary concerned from encouraging members of the
armed forces under the Secretary's jurisdiction to provide volunteer
support for community relations activities under regulations
prescribed by the Secretary of Defense.
(c) Requirement for specific request.--Assistance under subsection
(a) may only be provided if--
(1) the assistance is requested by a responsible official of the
organization to which the assistance is to be provided; and
(2) the assistance is not reasonably available from a commercial
entity or (if so available) the official submitting the request for
assistance certifies that the commercial entity that would otherwise
provide such services has agreed to the provision of such services by
the armed forces.
(d) Relationship to military training.--(1) Assistance under
subsection (a) may only be provided if the following requirements are
met:
(A) The provision of such assistance--
(i) in the case of assistance by a unit, will accomplish valid unit
training requirements; and
(ii) in the case of assistance by an individual member, will involve
tasks directly related to the specific military occupational
specialty of the member.
(B) The provision of such assistance will not adversely affect the
quality of training or otherwise interfere with the ability of a
member or unit of the armed forces to perform the military functions
of the member or unit.
(C) The provision of such assistance will not result in a significant
increase in the cost of the training.
(2) Subparagraph (A)(i) of paragraph (1) does not apply in a case in
which the assistance to be provided consists primarily of military
manpower and the total amount of such assistance in the case of a
particular project does not exceed 100 man-hours.
(e) Eligible entities.--The following organizations and activities
are eligible for assistance under this section:
(1) Any Federal, regional, State, or local governmental entity.
(2) Youth and charitable organizations specified in section 508 of
title 32.
(3) Any other entity as may be approved by the Secretary of Defense
on a case-by-case basis.
(f) Regulations.--The Secretary of Defense shall prescribe
regulations governing the provision of assistance under this section. 
The regulations shall include the following:
(1) Rules governing the types of assistance that may be provided.
(2) Procedures governing the delivery of assistance that ensure, to
the maximum extent practicable, that such assistance is provided in
conjunction with, rather than separate from, civilian efforts.
(3) Procedures for appropriate coordination with civilian officials
to ensure that the assistance--
(A) meets a valid need; and
(B) does not duplicate other available public services.
(4) Procedures to ensure that Department of Defense resources are not
applied exclusively to the program receiving the assistance.
(g) Advisory councils.--(1) The Secretary of Defense shall encourage
the establishment of advisory councils at regional, State, and local
levels, as appropriate, in order to obtain recommendations and
guidance concerning assistance under this section from persons who
are knowledgeable about regional, State, and local conditions and
needs.
(2) The advisory councils should include officials from relevant
military organizations, representatives of appropriate local, State,
and Federal agencies, representatives of civic and social service
organizations, business representatives, and labor representatives.
(3) The Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C.  App.) shall not
apply to such councils.
(h) Construction of provision.--Nothing in this section shall be
construed as authorizing--
(1) the use of the armed forces for civilian law enforcement purposes
or for response to natural or manmade disasters; or
(2) the use of Department of Defense personnel or resources for any
program, project, or activity that is prohibited by law. 

(Added Pub.L.  104-106, Div.  A, Title V,  572(a), Feb.  10, 1996,
110 Stat.  353.)


RESULTS OF CASE STUDIES
========================================================== Appendix II

The following provides specific information on each of the six
projects we used for case studies. 


   OPERATION ALASKAN ROAD
-------------------------------------------------------- Appendix II:1

Operation Alaskan Road, requested by the Metlakatla Indian community,
is a multiyear engineering project sponsored by the Pacific Command
and coordinated by the Alaskan Command.  Members of the Missouri and
Alaska National Guard were tasked to assist in the planning efforts. 
Phase one of the project, conducted in fiscal year 1997, involved
over
850 members of the active forces of each of the military services. 
About
70 members of the Army and Air National Guard and the Army and Marine
Corps Reserves also participated.  During fiscal year 1997, the
project was organized and planned and a base camp was constructed. 
The camp is to be used to house the military personnel who are
expected to build a 14-mile road on Annette Island in Alaska over the
next 5 years.  The road will connect the town of Metlakatla with a
remote section of the island that is much closer to the site of a
proposed ferry terminal.  The community believes that the proposed
additional ferry access will allow more medical, educational, and
commercial opportunities for the approximately 1,600 residents of
Metlakatla. 

In fiscal year 1997, about 150 Marines spent 57 days on the island
constructing a 300-person base camp to be used in the future by U.S. 
military personnel constructing the road.  The base camp consists of
38 buildings, including berthing barracks, a mess hall, and shower
and restroom facilities.  The Marines invested over 63,000 hours of
labor to construct the buildings, which are designed to last about 5
years.  Unit officials stated that this project provided their
personnel with many training opportunities, such as ship-to-shore
landing, horizontal engineering, and vertical construction. 

Marine Corps officials told us the Alaskan deployment was good
training for the engineer support company that participated.  We
found, however, that some individuals performed tasks unrelated to
their military specialties, raising questions about whether the
assistance provided was incidental to training.  Specifically,
because the company did not have enough combat engineers to complete
the project in the allotted time,
25 Marines from a bulk fuel company, who were untrained in combat
engineering skills, augmented the combat engineers.  Therefore, a
significant amount of time (about 2 months prior to deployment and
more time on-site) was spent teaching basic combat engineering skills
to the bulk refuelers.  Also, Marine Corps officials told us that
many tasks the combat engineers were required to perform involved
skills not found in the individual training skills manual for the
combat engineer.  Some examples included plumbing rough-in work,
masonry, quarrying operations, and finished wood frame carpentry. 

Two Navy troop transport ships carried the Marines on two separate
trips from San Diego, California, to Annette Island.  The trips took
a total of 23 days and involved more than 650 Navy personnel.  In
Alaska, a Navy landing craft utility (LCU) transported personnel and
supplies between the island and the mainland.  Twenty five LCU
personnel were assigned in support of this project.  This project fit
the unit's mission of ship-to-shore movement of combat troops and
equipment and provided the unit the opportunity to train for and
prove the capability of LCUs to perform operations for extended
periods while unsupported by a ship or parent command.  During the
8-week operation, the craft made daily trips to Annette Island and
surrounding areas. 

The total Department of Defense (DOD) cost for Operation Alaskan Road
in fiscal year 1997 is not known, but it was at least $5.1 million. 
Innovative Readiness Training (IRT) funds spent on the project were
about $2.1 million and paid for such expenses as supplies and
equipment, some of the fuel (ground and ship), building materials,
and commercial transportation.  Additional service and component
contributions were at least $3 million.  These included pay and
allowances for most personnel working on the project, some travel and
per diem costs, and some contracting costs.  Project officials were
not able to determine all costs, however.  For example, the amount
did not include payments for staff management oversight and some
flights for personnel and supplies. 

In addition to DOD, many organizations have been involved in the
project, including the Metlakatla Indian community, the Bureau of
Indian Affairs, the Coast Guard, the Federal Highway Administration,
and the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities. 


   NAVAJO NATION BUILDING PROJECT
-------------------------------------------------------- Appendix II:2

The Navajo Nation Building Project, conducted for the benefit of the
Navajo Nation, is a multiyear engineering project that began in
fiscal
year 1995 and is sponsored by the Army National Guard.  During fiscal
year 1997, participants began reconstructing Blue Canyon Road between
Sawmill, Arizona, and Fort Defiance, Arizona.  About 420 Army
National Guard members from several states participated in the
project, expending about 32,400 days (about 2,400 days for engineers
and about 30,000 days for administrative and logistical support). 
Most of these participated with their units during their annual
training.  The units provided administrative and logistical support;
conducted rock quarry operations; regraded 9 miles of road; installed
shoulders, ditches, and drainage structures; applied a gravel surface
along 6 miles of road; and provided security.  The Navajo Nation
Council reported that the reconstructed Blue Canyon Road will provide
people residing in the area with an all-weather road that is passable
during inclement weather. 

The total DOD cost to fund this project is not known, but it was at
least $2.3 million.  This amount included about $1.9 million in
supplemental IRT funds that paid for expenses exceeding the amounts
units budgeted for annual training.  These expenses included pay and
allowances and travel and per diem for some participants,
transportation of soldiers and equipment, and the rental of equipment
at the project site.  Service and component contributions of at least
$423,000 were used for pay and allowances and some per diem for
participants on annual training.  Service officials were unable to
provide the amount spent for military airlift used to transport some
soldiers to the project site. 

In addition to DOD, the communities of Sawmill and Fort Defiance, the
Navajo Nation, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Indian Health Services,
the U.S.  Forest Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, and
the Arizona and New Mexico State Historic Preservation Offices made
contributions to the project. 


   OPERATION GOOD NEIGHBOR
-------------------------------------------------------- Appendix II:3

Operation Good Neighbor was an engineering project sponsored by the
Air Force Reserve for the benefit of the Navajo Nation.  During
fiscal
year 1997, the project to reconstruct roads near Gallup, New Mexico,
was planned and reconstruction activities begun.  About 38 Air Force
and Navy reservists and active duty Air Force personnel participated. 

Project officials told us that the certification of noncompetition
with the private sector had not been provided for this project.  They
said that they had been unsuccessful in their attempts to get
community officials to meet the requirement before starting the
project.  As a result, they had contacted Office of the Secretary of
Defense (OSD) officials and were told to continue the project,
without the certification. 

The Naval Reserve Seabees tasked to do the reconstruction over a
30-day period were able to work on only 2 of the 35 miles of
originally planned road reconstruction due to delays in obtaining
environmental clearances.  They completed the 2 miles in 2 days.  The
project was then shifted to the partially reconstructed Blue Canyon
Road project between Sawmill, Arizona, and Fort Defiance, Arizona. 
The Army National Guard had started this road reconstruction as an
IRT project earlier in the summer and had obtained all the required
clearances.  The Seabees regraded 11 miles of road, graveled 1.5
miles, and installed culverts where needed.  The Navajo Nation
Council reported that the reconstructed Blue Canyon Road will provide
people residing in the area with an all-weather road that is passable
during inclement weather. 

Because additional IRT funds were available, the project was expanded
to include building handicap ramps.  Air Force Reserve officials told
us they had been aware of the need for ramps and took advantage of
the available funding to build them.  Five Navy Reserve Seabees spent
10 days to construct 14 ramps at the homes of disabled Native
Americans.  They were supported by three Air Force personnel (two
active duty and one reservist).  Four of the eight participants (all
of the Air Force personnel and one Seabee) had been involved in the
road construction effort and stayed on to build the ramps.  The other
four participants were additional Seabees who joined the effort. 

On this project, 25 Seabees from several Naval Reserve units
reconstructed the road.  Seven of them had military specialties
unrelated to the road construction tasks they performed.  In
addition, three of the five Seabees who constructed the ramps for the
handicapped had military specialties unrelated to their tasks. 

The total DOD cost for Operation Good Neighbor in fiscal year 1997 is
not known, but it was at least $230,000 (over $28,000 of which was
spent during the ramp-building portion of the project).  Supplemental
IRT funds spent on the project were at least $203,000 and were used
for such expenses as military pay and allowances, equipment rental,
supplies, and fuel.  Additional service contributions were at least
$27,000 and included some pay and allowances.  The officials were not
able to determine all costs, however.  For example, the amount did
not include the cost of military airlift. 

In addition to DOD, many organizations have contributed to the
project, including the Navajo Nation, the Bureau of Indian Affairs,
the Southwest Indian Foundation, and the Western Health Foundation. 


   MIRT 97 - ADAMS COUNTY
-------------------------------------------------------- Appendix II:4

MIRT 97 - Adams County was a medical project conducted over a 4-day
period in fiscal year 1997 by approximately 120 medical personnel
from the Ohio Army National Guard.  The National Guard Bureau
sponsored the project, and the Ohio Army National Guard planned and
coordinated it.  This project involved providing medical services
such as immunizations, pediatric wellness clinics, dental
evaluations, vision and blood testing, physical examinations, and
referrals to about 500 people from a medically underserved community
located in the Appalachian region of Ohio.  Adams County, which was
designated by the U.S.  Department of Health and Human Services in
the Federal Register as having a primary medical care health
professional shortage in 1997, was selected as the participating
county by the Ohio Department of Health. 

This project was completed over 2 weekends, with approximately
60 medical personnel participating each weekend.  Medical personnel
screened about 165 people the first weekend and about 335 the second
weekend.  Unit and individual training tasks were accomplished,
either partially or totally, during this project.  Unit training
tasks accomplished included deploying a medical company to a new
operating site, establishing an area of operations, performing health
service support operations, and redeploying to the units' home
stations.  Individual tasks accomplished included taking vital signs,
administering medication, collecting specimens, and providing dental
care. 

The total DOD cost of this project is not known, but it was at least
$41,400.  Supplemental IRT funds used on the project were
approximately $8,800 and were used to pay for meals, lodging,
supplies, and equipment rental.  Ohio Army National Guard
contributions were at least $32,600.  This amount included fuel and
some pay and allowances for project participants.  Project officials
were unable to provide all costs.  For example, the amount does not
include the cost of some of the initial project planning meetings. 

In addition to DOD, a number of state and local organizations were
involved in the project, including the Ohio Department of Health, the
Ohio Family and Children First Initiative - Office of the Governor of
Ohio, and the Adams County Family and Children First Council. 


   OPERATION REEFEX 97
-------------------------------------------------------- Appendix II:5

Operation REEFEX is a multiyear engineering/infrastructure project
that has been ongoing since the early 1990s.  Project officials told
us the 1997 project, conducted for New Jersey, involved creating
artificial reefs by placing excess and obsolete combat vehicles,
which were demilitarized and cleaned, at designated offshore areas. 
In fiscal year 1997, the Army National Guard sponsored the project
and dropped 85 obsolete combat vehicles off the coast of New Jersey
over a 7-day period.  There was no documentation of a request or a
certification of noncompetition for this project.  The New Jersey
Army National Guard coordinated the project and hired a civilian to
manage it.  About 100 military personnel from the New Jersey Army
National Guard (about 45 participants), the Navy Reserve (about 37
participants), the Air Force Reserve (6 participants), and the Coast
Guard (about 18 participants) carried out the project.  Most of these
participants were in inactive duty training status.  In addition, the
Guard hired seven civilians to demilitarize the vehicles. 

New Jersey Army National Guard truck operators used military vehicles
to transport the demilitarized vehicles to a holding area for
temporary storage and subsequently transported the vehicles to the
barge loading site.  Once the vehicles were aboard a commercial
barge, military personnel from the New Jersey Army National Guard,
Navy Reserve cargo handling personnel, and Air Force Reserve air
transportation specialists secured the vehicles to the barge.  A
commercial tug then moved the barge to the designated locations and
the vehicles were released into the ocean.  Coast Guard crews and
personnel from a Navy Reserve inshore boat unit provided water
transportation to and from the reef site for the work crews and
provided security during the water transportation of the vehicles. 
Unit officials stated that participation in this project provided
their personnel with valuable hands-on training in, for example,
transporting vehicles, on- and off-loading vehicles, and securing
vehicles for movement. 

The total DOD cost for Operation REEFEX 97 is not known, but it is at
least $584,000.  Supplemental IRT funds spent for the project in
fiscal year 1997 were approximately $399,000.  These funds were used
to pay the eight civilians hired in support of the project and to pay
for supplies and equipment needed to demilitarize vehicles;
contracted services such as meals, hotels, and equipment repairs;
building rental and maintenance; and some costs for commercial tug
and barge rental, fuel, and military pay and allowances.  Service and
component contributions were at least $185,000 and primarily
consisted of pay and allowances for some of the personnel working on
the project.  Program officials were not able to provide the total
cost of service and component contributions.  For example, the amount
did not include the cost of some fuel and of operating some military
vehicles and boats. 

In addition to DOD, many organizations were involved in the project,
including the U.S.  Environmental Protection Agency, the New Jersey
Department of Environmental Protection, the New Jersey State Fish and
Game Office, and the Artificial Reef Association. 


   OPERATION CRESCENT CITY 97
-------------------------------------------------------- Appendix II:6

The Marine Corps Reserve sponsored and planned Operation Crescent
City 97, which was to have involved the demolition and reconstruction
of a basketball court.  The Reserve planned the project, and OSD
approved supplemental IRT funding for it.  However, according to
Reserve officials the project was canceled the day before work was to
have begun because they and the community failed to reach an
agreement that would allow them to meet some of the statutory
requirements.  For example, there was no written request letter; no
agreement on who would provide services unrelated to the Marine Corps
unit's mission-essential tasks, such as security of the construction
equipment; and no agreement on who would pay for certain aspects of
the project that had no training value, such as the removal and
disposal of the demolished materials. 

Had this project proceeded as planned, 13 Marines from an engineering
support battalion would have participated on the project for a period
of
15 days.  Their participation was expected to fulfill annual training
requirements.  When the project was canceled, alternate training was
arranged at a military base, where the Marines accomplished a variety
of construction projects in support of base facilities, such as
concrete pad construction, wood frame construction, and roofing work. 

The total cost of planning this project is not known.  A total of
about $4,400 in supplemental IRT funds was spent, but Marine Corps
Reserve officials said they could not provide the service
contribution. 




(See figure in printed edition.)Appendix III
COMMENTS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF
DEFENSE
========================================================== Appendix II



(See figure in printed edition.)



(See figure in printed edition.)


MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS REPORT
========================================================== Appendix IV

NATIONAL SECURITY AND
INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS DIVISION,
WASHINGTON, D.C. 

Carol Schuster, Associate Director
William Solis, Assistant Director

OFFICE OF THE GENERAL COUNSEL,
WASHINGTON, D.C. 

Maureen A.  Murphy, Senior Attorney

NORFOLK FIELD OFFICE

Janet Keller, Evaluator in Charge
Sharon Reid, Site Senior
Henry Arzadon, Evaluator
Linda Koetter, Evaluator

*** End of document. ***




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