B-170924 BEC 2 2 9971 0 Dear Senator Proxmire: Ill11 llnlllllllllllll llllllllllllllllllllllllll LM095468 This is in further response to your letter of October 18, 1971, in which you referred to the magazine entitled "Army" that is published by the Association of the U.S. Army. you ,;, ,- -.IJ- 1 called attention to the magazine's inclusion of advertising by 9 firms having contracts with the Department of Defense. You ( raised questions concerning the practice of allowing active duty military personnel to wri articles that would be pr~ntedin magazine-5 published military associations that sell advertising space to d contractors. Section 202 of Executive 0 er 11222--Standards of Ethi- cal Conduct for Government Of / icers and Employees--and Depart- ment of Defense directives encourage writing for publication so long as the laws, provisions of the order, and agency and Civil Service regulations concerning conflict of interest and outside employment are observed. Department of Defense Direc- tive 5500.7--Standards of Conduct--in pertinent part, also en- courages personnel to write for publications. It recognizes that such wri$ing may be compensated and also generally re- stricts the writings to that information which is in the public domain. Also applicable is Department of Defense Directive 5230.9-- Clearance of Department of Defense Public Information--which provides that military and civilian personnel may write articles for publication, unless such activity (1) prevents the public's prompt receipt of complete information through the usual public information media, (2) is contrary to law, or (3) is inconsis- tent or incompatible with the ethical standards of conduct for a Federal employee. This directive generally restricts the publication of ar- ticles that deal with national defense plans, policies, pro- grams, or operations and that are signed by key military and civilian personnel to official publications of the Department of Defense and other Government agencies, service journals, house organs, recognized scientific and professional journals, and encyclopedias. Neither of the two directives cited 50fH ANNWERSARY 1921- 1971 B-170924 precludes the publication of articles in magazines which sell advertising. Staff of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Af- fairs) provided the following additional information generally pertinent to the questions set out in your letter. 1. Information concerning plans, policies, programs, or operations of the Department of Defense or the Govern- ment proposed for publication--whether such informa- tion is prepared by personnel of the Department as an official or personal enterprise--must be submitted to the Assistant Secretary for review and clearance prior to release when the information (a) is of national in- terest, (b) originates at or is proposed for release at the seat of the Government, (c) may be questionable from a security or policy standpoint, (d) concerns sub- jects of potential controversy among the military ser- vices or significant policy within the purview of other agencies of the Federal Government, or (e) is in spe- cial categories which may be designated from time to time by the Assistant Secretary. 2. Clearance authority for information not requiring re- view by the Assistant Secretary may be delegated to the lowest echelon competent to evaluate the content and implications of the information. 3. The Office of the Assistant Secretary does not main- tain a list of military association journals which routinely publish articles signed by military and civilian personnel. 4. Although that Office maintains a file of articles it has approved for publication, the contents of the file may or may not indicate where the articles are to be published. Also the file would not indicate when the articles were to be published, whether the authors were to be compensated, or whether the articles had been written during duty hours or on the authors' 2 B-170924 personal time. The degree to which such information may be maintained by lower echelons authorized to clear articles for publication is not known. In the absence of any readily available list of military association publications--such as Army--we made a limited search of periodicals stocked by the Library of Congress and the Army Library at the Pentagon, We identified a number of such magazines which are published by military-interest groups, which contain advertising from both defense and nondefense firms, and which feature, in varying degrees, articles written by active duty military personnel. The principal private associations and their publications that we identified follow, Service Association Magazine Army Association of the U.S. Army Army Air Force Air Force Association Air Force Magazine Navy Navy League of the United States Navy Marines Marine Corps Association Marine Corps Gazette A more detailed listing of the publications we identified is included in the enclosure to this letter. The degree of depen- dence upon active duty military personnel for contributions in the monthly issues we examined at the two libraries varies from fewer than half the articles in some issues to all the ar- ticles in other issues. We could find no official records concerning payments to active duty military personnel who write for such publica- tions. We informally contacted representatives of Army maga- zine and asked whether active duty military contributors received payment for their articles. They stated that, to their best knowledge, those individuals whose articles were written during off-duty hours were paid and that most articles they published had been prepared during off-duty hours. Not- withstanding this, each year a few payments are returned to the publisher by contributors who stated that their articles were written during duty hours. 3 B-170924 We were told that commandants of the Army schools are advised by the Army magazine, informally, of subject matter areas of particular current interest and that this interest is communicated, also informally, to individuals who have per- sonal knowledge or experience in such areas. Most articles received for publication in the magazine are not solicited from individuals. From time to time, however, some individ- uals may be asked to prepare an article on a special subject. This is best illustrated by the contents of the Green Book which is issued annually by the Army magazine. In 1971 the Green Book was issued in October. The authors of articles appearing in that issue are, with few exceptions, officers or civilians of high rank or position. The Army magazine repre- sentatives stated that these individuals received no payment because the publishers considered the articles to be expres- sions of official opinion which were largely ghost written dur- ing duty hours. We trust that the information furnished is fully respon- sive to your request. If additional discussion is desired, we shall be pleased to meet with you or members of your staff. Comptroller General of the United States Enclosure The Honorable William Proxmire United States Senate 4 ENCLOSURE UILITARY INTERFST ASSOCIATIONS PUBLISHING 'IAGAZINES WHICH SELL ADVERTISING SPACE AND PC'BLISff ARTICLES CONTRIBtiTED BY ACTI\'E DDTY ':ILITARY PERSONNEL Approximate num- ber of by-lined articles con- tributed by ac- tive duty mili- tary personnel Less More Publishing association than than Periodical and address Issues checked ~half -Half -half Air Force iifagazine Air Force Association Aug. 1971 X 1750 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. Sept. 1971 X Washington, D.C. 20006 Oct. 1971 X Army Association of the United States Army Apr. 1971 X 1529 18th Street, NW. May 1971 X Washington, D.C. 20036 July 1971 X Oct. 1971 x Navy Navy League of the United States Oct. 1970 x 818 18th Street, NW. Nov. 1970 X Washington, D.C. 20006 Dec. 1970 X Marine Corps Gazette Marine Corps Association Oct. 1971 X Box 1775, Marine Corps Base Nov. 1971 x Quantico, Virginia 22134 Aerospace Historian Air Force Historical Foundation Spring 1971 X Building 819 Summer 1971 X Boiling Air Force Base, D.C. 20332 The Hawaii Guardsman Hawaii National Guard Association Spring 1971 Fort Ruger, Hawaii 96816 Summer 1971 Leatherneck Leatherneck Association, Inc. July 1971 P. 0. Box 1918 Oct. 1971 Xlarine Corps Headquarters Washington, D.C. 20013 Military Engineer Society of American Military Engineers July-Aug. 1971 X 800 17th Street, NIV. Sept.-Oct. 1971 X Washington, D.C. 20006 Naval Engineers Journal American Society of Naval June 1971 X Engineers, Inc. 1012 14th Street, NW. Washington, D.C. 20005 Ordnance American Ordnance Association Mar.-Apr. 1971 X Union Trust Building Sept.-Oct. 1971 X Washington, D.C. 20005 Signal Magazine Armed Forces Communications and Oct. 1971 X Electronics Association Nov. 1971 X 1725 Eye Street, NW. Washington, D.C. 20006 The Review Defense Supply Association July-Aug. 1971 X 1026 17th Street, NW. Sept.-Oct. 1971 X Washington, D.C. 20036 U.S. Naval Institute United States Naval Institute Oct. 1971 X Proceedings Annapolis, Maryland 21402 V*F*W Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S.A. Oct. 1971 X V.F.W. Building Kansas City, Missouri 64111
Questions Concerning the Practice of Allowing Active Duty Military Personnel To Write Articles That Would Be Printed in Magazines Published by Military Associations That Sell Advertising Space to Defense Contractors
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-12-22.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)