Joint Civilian Orientation Conference

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-06-29.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

Joint Civilian
Orientation Conference 6-169242
Department   of Defense


                          JUNE 29, b 9 7 1
                            COMPTROLLER       GENERAL     OF      THE   UNITED    STATES
                                            WASHINGTON.    D.C.     20548


Dear     Xr.    Reuss :

            This      is in reply                 to your        request        that   the General     kc-
counting         Office             (GAO) examine              into     certain      aspects    of selected
Department            of Defense                (DOD) public            affairs      programs;     namely,
mc”y.rfEy.        rrc ,LiM”rai.d
                             ,I. ..“4..,,_4 v*mHxs,
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                       ivilian             Orlentation-‘d.~nfk-~~~~~,                the Department        of
the Air’Force~‘DiX”tfnguished
           -_-._. .- ,l_. _ ,_                             Visitor        Program,       and the Secretary
of the Navy Guest                        Cru‘j;S.e’ Program’.        1.
                         .,ud.,.-r*u~.Y&wr~~~~-w~~ _
          In accordance         with  your   request     and discussion       with    our
representatives         on May 21) 1971)          it was agreed      that    we would
report      separately      on each program.          This   is our report        on the
Joint     Civilian     Orientation       Conference.        We will    issue    separate
reports      on the other         two programs      in the near future.

           Initially,         we intended       to review        the conferences             conducted
in 1969 and in 1970 to determine                       (1) the number            of civilian
guest     participants,            (2) the cost       of each conference,                 (3) the
type     and amount         of costs     recovered        from civilian            guest     partici-
pants e and (4) the method                 of selecting          guests.         We found,         how-
ever 9 that           only  one conference         was held        in each year.             Since
these      conferences         were similar        in the number            of civilian          guest
participants             and in the military          installations            visited,        we lim-
ited     our review         to the 40th        Conference        which      began with         regis-
tration         on April      19, 1970,      in Coronado,          California,          and concluded
on April          28, 1970,      at the Pentagon          in Washington,             D.C.

          Sixty-three         civilian       guests     participated           in the 40th       Con-
ference.         Each guest         arranged      his own transportation                  from his
residence         to Coronado         and from Washington,              D.C.,      to his res-
idence a Each guest               also    reimbursed        the Government            for    the costs
of his meals          and lodging         and for     the costs         of mementos          and other
miscellaneous          items      or personal        services        that     he obtained.         For
meals)      lodging)       and other        personal      services,        participants         were
billed      a total      of $22,000.

        We estimate             that   the costs                  incurred  by DOD to           conduct         the
40th   Conference,             which   were over                  and above the costs            billed,
amounted     to about           $80,000.

                                      50TH ANNIVERSARY                      1921- 1971 -

            TheJoint     Civilian       Orientation        Conference        Program,     es-
tablished      in 1948,         is one of many DOD public              affairs      progra1:i.s
designed     to foster          community      relations      through      the particip,,
tion    of civilian         guests.       Under      the program      an 8- to lo-day
tour    of selected         military      installations         is given       to a group
of civilian        leaders.

             purposes       of the program         are to (1) inform          leading
business,    professional,         and religious         representatives          about
the mission      of DOD and about        the strength          and readiness         of the
11,s. Armed Forces         and (2) encourage          the conference        participants
to impart    this     information     to their        communities        to stimulate
support   and interest          in DOD activities.

         The first     Joint   Civilian     Orientation      Conference     was held       in
November      1948.    In all,    40 conferences        have been held       since    1:>48.
During     the first     13 years     of the program,       a varying     number    of
conferences       were held    each year.        Since   1962,   however,      only   one
conference      has been held        each year.



          The 63 conferees            registered       on April        19, 1970.        The next
day they were flown              by helicopters         from     the Naval      Air     Station,
North     Island,     California,           to two Navy ships,            the U.S.S.       “Ju-
neau”     and the U.S.S.           “Oriskany,”       where     they watched         various        ship
exercises         and fleet      demonstrations.            The following        day they were
flown     by military        aircraft         to Vandenberg        Air    Force   Base,      Cali-
fornia    9 where     they watched            the launching        of a MINUTEMAN II

         On April        22, 1970,     the conferees        were flown     to the North
American      Air    Defense     Command,     Colorado      Springs,    Colorado.         They
attended      briefings        on the Air     Defense      Command and toured          the Chey-
enne Mountain          Complex.      From Colorado         Springs   they were flown           to
Fort    Hood,     Texas,     where   they viewed        day and night      weapon-firing
demonstrations.             They participated         in the firing      of such weapons


as the M-16 rifle9       the    M-60 and the N-50 machine guns, the
k-79 grenade launcher,          the go-millimeter       recoilless     rifle,
and the 105-millimeter          tank gun.      In all,    they fired      18,700
rounds of ammunition.           In addition,      they drove combat vehicles
such as the M-60 tank,          the M-551 Sheridan        tank,    and the M-113
personnel  carrier   --for      a total    of 45 miles.

           During. the next 3.days,        the conferees      visited     four military
installations         in North Carolina-      -the New River Marine Corps A1r
Station,       Camp Lejeune, .;Pope Air Force Base, and Fort Bragg.
While at these installations             they attended      numerous briefings           and
viewed part of the joint            Army-Air     Force firepower        demonstration
“Operation        Brass Strike,”      an annual military        training     exercise,
Some 6,000 military           personnel    and 81 aircraft        usually    are in-
volved      in this 3-day operation.            The conferees       were later     flown
to Washington,          D.C., where the Conference         ended on April        28,
1970, after        meetings    with high-ranking       DOD officials.

Estimated       costs

          In a statement        provided      during     the May 13, 1970, hearings
before      the Senate Committee            on Appropriations,        the Assistant
Secretary      of Defense (Public            Affairs)      estimated    the cost of the
40th Joint       Civilian      Orientation        Conference      at about $34,000.
He stzited     that,      of this    total,     $2O,OOQ was charged to the guest
participants        and $14,000 was borne by the Government.

        Our review  of the costs associated      with the 40th Conference
showed an estimated    total   program cost,of    about $102,000, with
$22,000 being charged     to the conferees     and $80,000 to DOD, as
presented   below.

        Costs     charged   to the    conferees

       DOD has issued administrative           instructions         that provide
that each conferee       pay for the cost of meals,             rooms, and of-
ficial  receptions.       For the 40th Conference,             each ‘conferee    paid
$325 to defray      these costs.    Additional       personal       expenses in-
curred  for such items as telephone          calls     and dry cleaning        were
also collected      from the conference      guests.        In addition,      many
guests elected      to purchase  a $20 phot~grayh           :iib#tim of their    visit.


       A breakdown of          the   total   costs    paid   by the participants
is presented   below.

                   Meals and lodging                         $16,000
                   Mementos and other
                     miscellaneous   items                     6,000

                       Total                                 $2.2.om
                                                                  - -

          In determining      the fee to be paid by each conferee,                 the
Assistant      Secretary    of Defense      (Public    Affairs)       requires    each
military     activity    to submit estimates          of the costs it expects
to incur     in conducting       its portion      of the Conference.           These
estimates,       which include      charges   for meals,        beverages,     lodging,
receptions,       and mementos,      are based upon 75 guests’participat-
ing in the program.           The estimates       are revised       to reflect     the
number of guests accepting             the invitation       and changes to the
proposed     itinerary.

        DOD has established            a special    fund for the handling        of
monies received         from the conference         members.      The fund is known
as the Joint      Civilian       Orientation      Conference     Fund and is handled
through   a checking         account    maintained     at a Washington,      D.C.,
bank D It is administered              by a representative        of the Assistant
Secretary    of Defense (Administration),                who collects    and disburses
all monies passing           through     the fund.     The accounting     procedures
used to operate         the fund are relatively           simple   and appear to pro-
vide satisfactory          control    B

           Costs   charged     to the    Government

         As we indicated        above, the Assistant          Secretary      of Defense
 (Public   Affairs)      stated    in congressional         hearings     that DOD in-
curred    costs of only $14,000 for the 40th Conference.                       The costs
that the Assistant          Secretary     referred    to covered       only transporta-
tion during       the Conference       and travel     allowances       for accompany-
ing DOD staff        personnel.       We believe    that there are other           costs
that should be considered             as applicable       to this    program,     We
estimate     that the total        costs incurred       by the Government        for the
40th Conference        were closer      to $80,000,       as shown below.


Costs     reported    by DOD:
        Cost of military    transportation                     $12,000
        Cost of DOD staff     travel     allowances              2,000

              Total    costs     reported      by DOD                       $14,000

Other      program costs computed by GAO:
        Services     provided     by 337 military       and
           civilian     personnel                                  37,000
        Use of combat and .noncombat ground
           vehicles                                                 2,000
        Use of military        weapons                             20,000
        Use of additional         military   aircraft,
           including     helicopters                                5,000
        Printing     of Joint     Civilian   Orientation
           Conference      booklets                                 1,000
        Security     checks conducted      on conferees             1,000

               Total   program      costs      computed   by GAO             66,000

               Total   estimated       costs                                $.80,

        In estimating       the costs of military         and civilian       person-
nel services,        we concentrated        only on those persons         who par-
ticipated     directly      in the planning,      briefing,       and escorting      of
the conferees      e In developing          the above costs,       we used salary
and wage rates         which were in effect       during     April    and May 1970.
Ths rates     were derived       from DOD directives         dealing     with stan-
dard rates      for costing      of military     personnel      services     and from
the Civil     Service      Commission     table  of civil.servick         employee
salary    and wage rates.

         Jn estimating    the costs of noncombat            ground vehicles,
military     aircraft,    weapons,    and combat vehicles,             we used 1970
estimates      provided   to us by the military           services.        These es - y
timates     were based on the types of vehicles                and aircraft
used; the number of miles          driven,      hours flown,        and ammunition
rounds expended;        and standard     military      service      budget esti-
mates for cost for each vehicle-mile                driven,     aircraft-hour
flown,     and ammunition-round        expended.        In all    instances     where


information  concerning      the    specific      type of vehicles   used was
not readily  determinable,         we used     the lowest vehicle    operating
cost for that class.

        The cost of printing   the Joint Civilian            Orientation  Con-
ference   booklets and the cost of DOD security              checks on the
conferees   are DOD estimates.

       In discussing      the di’ferences          between our cost estimate
for the 40th Joint       Civilian      Orientation      Conference   and that of
the Assistant     Secretary       of Defense (Public       Affairs),   DOD offi-
cials  informed    us that,       in their    view:

       1. Military    and civilian    personnel         costs would have been
          incurred   regardless     of whether        the Conference  was held
          and therefore      did not represent          a true cost of the Con-

       2. Ammunition     fired by the conferees was allocated to,                 and
          would have been expended as a part of, the firepower

       3. Use of military      aircraft    afforded      the crews additional
          training   exercises      and therefore      did not represent      a
          cost of the Joint       Civilian    Orientation      Conference.

        4. Printing   of the Conference     booklets     fell within    the
           bounds of informational      material     which was utilized
           throughout   DOD.

        5. Security    checks of the conferees           were made solely for
           the benefit     of DOD and therefore          should not have been
           charged to the 40th Conference.

        With respect   to the above costs borne by DOD, we are not
aware of any existing     statute  that would p>eclude      DOD from in-
curring    these costs or require    DOD to recover  the’full     cost of
the program from the guest participants.


Selection        of   participants

           The Assistant             Secretary        of,Defense         (Public      Affairs)       is
responsible            for    selecting        guest      participants          for   this     programs
subject        to the fina!.           approval       of the Secretary              of Defense.
The written            policy      governing       the selection            of participants
stipulates           that     all    nominees      be considered            without       regard     to
race,      religion,          or political          :onnecti.on        a

          Nominations        for    the 40th        Joint     Civilian     Orientation         Con-
ference        were received        from agencies           and organizations          within
DOD, members           of the Congress,           and the Defense          Orientation         Con-
ference        Association-      -an association            of previous       conference
participants          D Although        it is DOD poI.icy            not to actively         so-
licit     nominations        from non-DOD           organizations,         we have been in-
formed       that    there   is no regulation             prohibiting       outside      organi-
zations        from voluntarily           submitting        names of interested            civic
leaders        for   DODPs consideration.

          Our review       revealed     that,      of all     non-DOD       organizatians,
the Defense       Orientation         Conference        Association         had submitted
the highest       number      of nominations           and had had the greatest
impact      on the program         from   the standpoint            of nominee        participa-
tion.       For example,        of the 88 nominations               submitted       by non-DOD
organizations        9 72 were submitted             by the Association.                Of the
72 nominees,         21 participated          in the 40th         Conference.            By way of
comparison,        the largest        number     of nominations           received        from a
DOD organization           was 28.       Of these        28 nominees,         only     eight     par-
ticipated       in the Conference.

        We have discussed        our findings        with     DOD officials                     but did
not obtain    written      comments   on this      report.       We plan                    to make
no further    distribution       of this    report       unless   copies                    are


specifically      requested,  and then we shall   make distribution
only after     your agreement   has been obtained    or public     an-
nouncement     has been made by you concerning     the contents       of
the report.

                                       Sincerely   yours?

                                       Comptroller   General
                                       of the United   States

The Honorable  Henry S. Reuss
House of Representatives