oversight

Afghanistan: Improvements Needed to Strengthen Management of U.S. Civilian Presence

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 2012-02-27.

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

                United States Government Accountability Office

GAO             Report to Congressional Addressees




February 2012
                AFGHANISTAN

                Improvements Needed
                to Strengthen
                Management of U.S.
                Civilian Presence




GAO-12-285
                                                 February 2012

                                                 AFGHANISTAN
                                                 Improvements Needed to Strengthen Management of
                                                 U.S. Civilian Presence
Highlights of GAO-12-285, a report to
congressional addressees




Why GAO Did This Study                           What GAO Found
In March 2009, the President called for          U.S. agencies under Chief of Mission authority and the Department of Defense
an expanded U.S. civilian presence               (DOD) have reported expanding their civilian presence in Afghanistan and took
under Chief of Mission authority to              steps to improve their ability to track that presence. Since January 2009, U.S.
build the capacity of the Afghan                 agencies under Chief of Mission authority more than tripled their civilian
government to provide security,                  presence from 320 to 1,142. However, although State could report total Chief of
essential services, and economic                 Mission numbers by agency, in mid-2011 GAO identified discrepancies in State’s
development. In addition, the                    data system used to capture more-detailed staffing information such as location
Department of Defense (DOD) deploys              and position type. State began taking steps in the fall of 2011 to improve the
civilians under combatant commander
                                                 reliability of its data system. Also, DOD reported expanding its overall civilian
authority to Afghanistan to support
                                                 presence from 394 civilians in January 2009 to 2,929 in December 2011 to help
both combat and capacity-building
missions. DOD established the Civilian
                                                 assist U.S. efforts in Afghanistan. The extent to which DOD’s data is reliable is
Expeditionary Workforce (CEW) in                 unknown due to omissions and double counting, among other things. In a 2009
2009 to create a cadre of civilians              report, GAO noted similar data issues and recommended DOD improve data
trained, cleared, and equipped to                concerning deployed civilians. DOD concurred with the recommendation and
respond urgently to expeditionary                expects the issues will be addressed by a new tracking system to be completed
requirements. As the military draws              in fiscal year 2012.
down, U.S. civilians will remain crucial         DOD has taken preliminary steps to implement its Civilian Expeditionary
to achieving the goal of transferring
                                                 Workforce (CEW) policy, including establishing a program office; however, nearly
lead security responsibility to the
                                                 3 years after DOD’s directive established the CEW, the program has not been
Afghan government in 2014.
                                                 fully developed and implemented. Specifically, DOD components have not
For this report, GAO (1) examined the            identified and designated the number and types of positions that should
expansion of the U.S. civilian presence          constitute the CEW because guidance for making such determinations has not
in Afghanistan, (2) evaluated DOD’s              been provided by the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Officials stated that
implementation of its CEW policy, and            once key assumptions regarding the size and composition of the CEW have
(3) determined the extent to which U.S.          been finalized, implementing guidance will be issued. Until guidance that
agencies had provided required                   instructs the components on how to identify and designate the number and types
Afghanistan-specific training to their           of positions that will constitute the CEW is developed, DOD may not be able to
personnel before deployment. GAO
                                                 (1) make the CEW a significant portion of the civilian workforce as called for in
analyzed staffing data and training
                                                 DOD’s fiscal year 2009 Civilian Human Capital Strategic Plan, (2) meet
requirements, and interviewed
cognizant officials from the Department
                                                 readiness goals for the CEW as required in DOD’s Strategic Management Plan
of State (State), other U.S. agencies            for fiscal years 2012-2013, and (3) position itself to respond to future missions.
with personnel under Chief of Mission            U.S. agencies under Chief of Mission authority and DOD provided Afghanistan-
authority in Afghanistan, and DOD.               specific, predeployment training to their civilians, but DOD faced challenges.
                                                 State offered predeployment training courses to address its requirements for
What GAO Recommends                              Chief of Mission personnel and designated a centralized point of contact to help
GAO’s recommendations to DOD                     ensure that no personnel were deployed without taking required training,
include developing key assumptions               including the Foreign Affairs Counter Threat course. While predeployment
and identifying the number and types             training requirements were established for Afghanistan by the Office of the
of positions that should constitute the          Secretary of Defense and the Combatant Commander, DOD relied on its various
CEW, and establishing a process to               components to provide the training to its civilians. In some cases, DOD
identify and synchronize training                components offered duplicate training courses and did not address all theater
requirements. DOD concurred with                 requirements in their training because DOD did not have a process for identifying
GAO’s recommendations.                           and synchronizing requirements and coordinating efforts to implement them, as
                                                 called for in the Strategic Plan for the Next Generation of Training for the
View GAO-12-285. For more information,
contact Brenda S. Farrell at (202) 512-3604 or   Department of Defense. Absent this process, DOD could not ensure that its
farrellb@gao.gov, or Charles Michael Johnson     civilians were fully prepared for deployment to Afghanistan and that training
Jr. at (202) 512-7331 or johnsoncm@gao.gov.      resources were used efficiently.
                                                                                         United States Government Accountability Office
Contents


Letter                                                                                    1
               Background                                                                 4
               U.S. Agencies Reported Expanding Their Civilian Presence in
                 Afghanistan and Took Steps to Improve Their Ability to Track
                 That Presence                                                          11
               DOD Took Preliminary Steps to Implement CEW Policy but Did
                 Not Identify the Number and Types of Positions That Should
                 Constitute the CEW                                                     20
               U.S. Agencies Established Afghanistan-Specific Predeployment
                 Training Requirements, but DOD Faced Implementation
                 Challenges                                                             23
               Conclusions                                                              31
               Recommendations for Executive Action                                     32
               Agency Comments and Our Evaluation                                       33

Appendix I     Scope and Methodology                                                    37



Appendix II    Comments from the Department of Defense                                  41



Appendix III   GAO Contacts and Staff Acknowledgments                                   44



Tables
               Table 1: General Activities of U.S. Agencies under Chief of Mission
                        Authority in Afghanistan                                          5
               Table 2: Extent to Which Agencies Had Filled Chief of Mission
                        Staffing Requirements in Afghanistan, December 2011             13
               Table 3: Discrepancies between Chief of Mission Civilian Staffing
                        Matrix and ACPTS                                                15
               Table 4: Extent to Which DOD’s New Capacity-Building Programs
                        Had Filled Staffing Requirements in Afghanistan, as of
                        December 2011                                                   18
               Table 5: State-Required, Afghanistan-Specific Training for Chief of
                        Mission Personnel                                               24
               Table 6: Gaps and Duplication in Training Courses Provided to
                        DOD Civilians Deployed to Afghanistan                           30




               Page i                                                 GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
Figures
          Figure 1: Staffing Processes Used by State, USAID, and USDA to
                   Recruit and Identify Candidates for Positions in
                   Afghanistan                                                                      8
          Figure 2: Increase in U.S. Chief of Mission Presence in Afghanistan,
                   January 2009 through December 2011                                               12
          Figure 3: Reported Increase in DOD Overall Civilian Presence in
                   Afghanistan, January 2009 through December 2011                                  17
          Figure 4: Trainees React to Simulated Mortar Attack during
                   Interagency Civilian-Military Integration Training Exercise                      25
          Figure 5: Civilian Trainees Interact with Afghan Role Players in
                   Scenario Involving Afghan Casualties Resulting from a
                   NATO Airstrike                                                                   26




          Abbreviations
          ACPTS                Afghanistan Civilian Personnel Tracking System
          CEW                  Civilian Expeditionary Workforce
          CONUS                continental United States
          DOD                  Department of Defense
          FACT                 Foreign Affairs Counter Threat
          HMMWV                High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle
          MRAP                 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected
          State                Department of State
          USAID                U.S. Agency for International Development
          USDA                 U.S. Department of Agriculture


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          Page ii                                                           GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
United States Government Accountability Office
Washington, DC 20548




                                   February 27, 2012

                                   Congressional Addressees

                                   In March 2009, the President called for an expanded U.S. civilian
                                   presence to build the capacity of the Afghan government to provide
                                   security, essential services, and economic development with limited
                                   international support. In this expansion, U.S. agencies were to deploy
                                   civilian experts under the authority of the Chief of Mission 1 beyond the
                                   U.S. Embassy in Kabul to the provinces and districts to create more of an
                                   impact on Afghan lives by building the capacity of local government
                                   institutions. Housed with military personnel, these field-deployed civilians
                                   were to coordinate with their military and Afghan counterparts to integrate
                                   their capacity-building activities into the larger counterinsurgency
                                   campaign. Additionally, the Department of Defense (DOD) has deployed
                                   civilians to Afghanistan under the authority of U.S. Central Command to
                                   support combat operations through equipment maintenance, logistical
                                   support, and intelligence gathering and analysis. Some DOD civilians also
                                   deploy to build the capacity of Afghan security institutions such as the
                                   Afghan Ministries of Defense and Interior. DOD established the Civilian
                                   Expeditionary Workforce (CEW) by directive in January 2009 to serve as
                                   a source for such deployable civilians. 2

                                   Current U.S. strategy calls for provinces and districts to be transitioned to
                                   greater Afghan government control as local capacity improves and
                                   conditions allow. 3 The U.S. civilian expansion in Afghanistan and the
                                   deployment of those civilians into the field is crucial to these capacity-



                                   1
                                    Chiefs of Mission are the principal officers in charge of U.S. diplomatic missions and
                                   have full responsibility for the direction, coordination, and supervision of all government
                                   executive branch employees in that country, with some exceptions. The U.S. Ambassador
                                   to a foreign country is the Chief of Mission in that country.
                                   2
                                    Department of Defense Directive 1404.10, DOD Civilian Expeditionary Workforce (Jan.
                                   23, 2009).
                                   3
                                    The U.S. Strategy for Afghanistan refers to the strategy announced in a March 2009
                                   speech by the President and reiterated in a December 2010 strategic review under the
                                   auspices of the National Security Council. Planning and implementation of this strategy is
                                   further detailed in the August 2009 U.S. Government Integrated Civilian-Military Campaign
                                   Plan for Support to Afghanistan and the February 2010 Afghanistan and Pakistan
                                   Regional Stabilization Strategy.




                                   Page 1                                                             GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
building efforts, particularly as the United States, along with its North
Atlantic Treaty Organization partners, has committed to fully transferring
lead security responsibility to the Afghan government by the end of 2014.
Furthermore, a recent report from the Special Inspector General for
Afghanistan Reconstruction found that the cost of sustaining the U.S.
civilian presence would likely rise as the U.S. military presence decreases.

Because of broad congressional interest in Afghanistan, we performed our
work under the authority of the Comptroller General of the United States to
conduct work on his own initiative. In this report, we examine issues related
to the management of U.S. agency civilian personnel deployed to
Afghanistan under both Chief of Mission and DOD authority. Specifically,
we (1) examined the expansion of the U.S. civilian presence in
Afghanistan, (2) evaluated DOD’s implementation of its CEW policy, and
(3) determined the extent to which U.S. agencies had provided required
Afghanistan-specific training to their personnel before deployment.

For our first objective, to examine the expansion of the U.S. civilian
presence in Afghanistan, we obtained and analyzed staffing data from the
Department of State (State) and DOD regarding staffing requirements
and fill rates for all civilian positions under Chief of Mission authority and
key positions under combatant commander authority deployed in-country
following the President’s March 2009 call to enhance support of Afghan
national and subnational government institutions. To determine the
reliability of the staffing data, we reviewed available documentation
pertaining to the data systems and procedures used to develop staffing
data, examined the data for outliers and missing observations, and
conducted follow-up interviews to discuss questions that arose in our
analysis of the data. Furthermore, we compared State data against
staffing data obtained from other agencies under Chief of Mission
authority, including the U.S. Agency for International Development
(USAID), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the
Departments of Homeland Security, Justice, and the Treasury. We found
State’s staffing data to be sufficiently reliable to provide an indication of
the positions filled at the level of the agency but not sufficiently reliable to
report on more-detailed staffing information, such as position type. For
DOD, we compared program requirements and staffing data for the
Ministry of Defense Advisors program and Afghanistan Pakistan Hands
program with documentation obtained from the program office. Because
DOD staffing data were based on daily submissions from combatant
commands, we could not validate its accuracy; however, DOD officials
identified the data as sufficiently reliable to illustrate the increase in
DOD’s overall civilian presence, and we agree.


Page 2                                                    GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
For our second objective, to evaluate the implementation of DOD’s CEW
policy, we reviewed relevant documents to identify the structure of the
CEW, DOD’s plans for implementing the policy, and how the CEW related
to departmentwide programs and goals. In addition, we interviewed officials
from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the CEW program office, the
military services, and U.S. Central Command to further understand the
current status of efforts to fully implement the CEW, the department’s plans
for the CEW of the future, and how the CEW was currently supporting the
department’s needs for deployable civilians.

For our third objective, to determine the extent to which U.S. agencies
had provided required Afghanistan-specific and Foreign Affairs Counter
Threat (FACT) 4 training to their personnel before deployment, we first
identified Chief of Mission and DOD training requirements. For personnel
under Chief of Mission authority, we compared training requirements with
waiver logs, State Foreign Service Institute attendance rosters, available
staffing data, and State Diplomatic Security’s FACT Tracker to determine
whether civilians deploying through the Chief of Mission had received the
required training. For DOD, we compared the Office of the Secretary of
Defense and U.S. Central Command training requirements 5 with training
curricula contained in regulations, training websites, course schedules,
and course handbooks offered by DOD organizations that deploy civilians
to Afghanistan. In addition, we interviewed relevant officials from
agencies under Chief of Mission Authority and DOD. Finally, we observed
scenario-based training administered to Chief of Mission and DOD
personnel held at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center in Indiana.

We conducted this performance audit from May 2010 to February 2012 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.
Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain
sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our
findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that
the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and
conclusions based on our audit objectives. (See app. I for a more
complete description of our scope and methodology.)



4
 This training addresses threats that U.S. personnel might face in a number of high-threat
posts abroad.
5
 Counterinsurgency Qualification Standards and the U.S. Central Command Fragmentary
Order 09-1700.




Page 3                                                            GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
             The United States and its international partners from over 40 nations
Background   have been engaged in efforts to secure, stabilize, and rebuild Afghanistan
             since 2001. U.S. civilians have been a vital part of the U.S. strategy. To
             implement the U.S. strategy, the U.S. Mission Afghanistan committed in
             April 2009 to expand its civilian personnel both in Kabul and in the field.
             U.S. government civilians in Afghanistan generally fall under either the
             authority of the Chief of Mission (i.e., the U.S. Ambassador) or under
             DOD’s combatant commander authority. The Chief of Mission has
             authority over almost every U.S. executive branch employee there,
             except those under the command of a U.S. military commander or those
             on the staff of an international organization. 6 Although typically stationed
             at the U.S. Embassy and consulates, U.S. Chief of Mission personnel in
             Afghanistan can also be deployed at a variety of military facilities outside
             of Kabul. These field-deployed civilians rely on the military for security,
             mobility, food, and lodging but remain under Chief of Mission authority.
             The Chief of Mission presence in Afghanistan consists of personnel from
             several agencies performing a variety of activities, some of which are
             described in table 1.




             6
              Executive branch agencies under Chief of Mission authority must obtain Chief of Mission
             approval before changing the size, composition, or mandate of their staffs and when
             assigning personnel to the mission or host country, regardless of the duration or purpose
             of the proposed position or assignment. National Security Decision Directive 38 governs
             proposals for the establishment of or changes in full-time, permanent, direct-hire positions.
             We did not gather data on U.S. civilians working for international organizations in
             Afghanistan.




             Page 4                                                              GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
Table 1: General Activities of U.S. Agencies under Chief of Mission Authority in
Afghanistan

 U.S. Agency under Chief of Mission
 authority                                                General activities
 State                                                    Executive management of civilian presence at
                                                          post and in the field, personnel security, public
                                                          diplomacy, counternarcotics, capacity building
                                                          of governance sector, and other technical areas.
 USAID                                                    Social sector development, infrastructure,
                                                          stabilization, democracy and governance,
                                                          economic growth, and agriculture.
 USDA                                                     Agricultural expertise and capacity building of
                                                          Afghan Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and
                                                          Livestock.
 Department of the Treasury                               Mentoring and capacity building of finance-
                                                          oriented Ministries, as well as attaché function
                                                          and involvement in the Afghan Threat Finance
                                                          Cell.
 Department of Justice (e.g., Federal                     Combating corruption, disruption, and
 Bureau of Investigation and Drug                         dismantling of drug trafficking, improving the
 Enforcement Administration)                              security of courthouses, and capacity building of
                                                          justice and governance sectors, as well as of
                                                          counternarcotics institutions.
 Department of Homeland Security                          Capacity building for border management,
 (e.g., Customs and Border Protection                     security, and customs collection.
 and Immigration and Customs
 Enforcement)
Sources: State, USAID, USDA, Department of the Treasury, Department of Justice, and Department of Homeland Security.



In addition, DOD estimates that, since 2001, over 41,000 civilians have
deployed worldwide 7 to support combat operations, contingencies,
disaster relief, and stability operations, including ongoing operations in
Afghanistan. DOD civilians in Afghanistan serve under the authority of the
combatant commander responsible for operations in that area of the
world—the U.S. Central Command—and support a wide range of DOD
missions. These missions include combat support missions that have
traditionally been performed by military personnel such as equipment
maintenance, logistical support, and intelligence gathering and analysis;
noncombat support missions such as administrative positions within the



7
 Department of Defense, Report to Congress: Medical Care for Department of Defense
and Non-Department of Defense Federal Civilians Injured or Wounded in Support of
Contingency Operations (Washington, D.C.).




Page 5                                                                                       GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
joint task force headquarters; and capacity-building missions parallel to
the Chief of Mission effort to improve Afghan security institutions.

To integrate the U.S. civilian expansion into the broader counterinsurgency
and stabilization campaign outside of Kabul, the U.S. Mission Afghanistan,
U.S. Forces—Afghanistan, 8 and the International Security Assistance
Force 9 have established a framework for civilian-military activities. The U.S.
and International Security Assistance Force civilian-military effort includes
the use of provincial reconstruction teams and district support teams.
Provincial reconstruction teams are combined civilian and military groups
responsible for integrating the activities of all military and civilian elements
in an assigned province. This integration includes harnessing both civilian
and military resources to perform security, governance, and development
activities to implement the U.S. counterinsurgency and stabilization
strategy as well as to monitor and report on progress. District support
teams are combined civilian and military groups responsible for integrating
the security, governance, and development activities of all civilian and
military elements in an assigned district.

To enhance civilian-military coordination, the U.S. Mission Afghanistan
has established a parallel civilian structure within each relevant military
installation (i.e., regional command down to district support teams), with
senior civilian representatives and civilian team leads managing and
supervising Mission personnel at each level, as well as coordinating with
their military and local Afghan government counterparts. Together, the
senior civilians and military commanders at each level coordinate to
perform stability, capacity-building, and development operations in their
area of responsibility. Mission contingents at the field facilities typically
contain State, USAID, and/or USDA personnel. U.S. Drug Enforcement
Administration agents also deploy to some military facilities in the field but



8
 U.S. Forces—Afghanistan is the operational arm of DOD in Afghanistan responsible for
all missions not covered within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization mandate. The
commander of U.S. Forces—Afghanistan also serves as the commander of the North
Atlantic Treaty Organization-led International Security Assistance Force.
9
 Since 2001, the United States has worked with international partners under a United
Nations mandate to assist Afghanistan in creating a safe and secure environment, in part
through the International Security Assistance Force that oversees all coalition military
operations in Afghanistan and is organized around six regional commands. U.S. forces in
Afghanistan are deployed either as part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization-led
International Security Assistance Force or Operation Enduring Freedom.




Page 6                                                           GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
                                    primarily conduct counternarcotics activities with U.S. military and Afghan
                                    counternarcotics forces.

Chief of Mission and DOD            U.S. Mission Afghanistan develops requests for Chief of Mission civilian
Processes for Fulfilling Civilian   positions in Afghanistan, and State Headquarters approves these
Staffing Requirements               requests after consulting with other agencies. In addition, representatives
                                    from State, other U.S. agencies under Chief of Mission authority, and
                                    U.S. Embassy Kabul participate in periodic interagency staffing reviews.
                                    During these staffing reviews, participants use strategic “lines of effort” to
                                    classify and prioritize all Chief of Mission positions in Afghanistan
                                    according to their priority and feasibility of staffing. Strategic lines of effort
                                    for Afghanistan comprise management operations, agriculture, public
                                    diplomacy, rule of law, economic growth, counternarcotics, infrastructure,
                                    border management, stabilization, governance, threat finance, and
                                    bilateral relationship. Approved requirements and their staffing progress
                                    are discussed among State, other agencies under Chief of Mission
                                    authority such as USAID and USDA, and U.S. Embassy Kabul at
                                    biweekly teleconferences. Agencies under Chief of Mission authority rely
                                    on both temporary, external hires and permanent employees to staff
                                    civilian requirements in Afghanistan. In particular, agencies are relying on
                                    special hiring authorities to meet their staffing needs. 10 Figure 1 illustrates
                                    how State, USAID, and USDA recruit and identify candidates for positions
                                    in Afghanistan.




                                    10
                                      Examples include State “3161 hires” (see 5 U.S.C. § 3161), USAID Foreign Service
                                    Limited Appointments (see 22 U.S.C. § 3949), and USDA use of “Schedule B” hiring
                                    authority (see 5. C.F.R. § 213.3201).




                                    Page 7                                                         GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
Figure 1: Staffing Processes Used by State, USAID, and USDA to Recruit and Identify Candidates for Positions in Afghanistan




                                         Page 8                                                      GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
DOD relies on an established process for filling civilian positions in
Afghanistan. According to DOD officials, the department establishes
civilian requirements and fills positions through an integrated military and
civilian planning process. Civilian requirements begin at the Joint Task
Force level, with commanders identifying military and civilian personnel
needed to complete a mission. The commander specifies unit and
individual needs in request for forces and joint manning documents, and
sends these documents to the corresponding combatant commanders for
validation and position designation. When the joint manning document is
approved, the Joint Chiefs of Staff record and designate the service
responsible for filling positions. At that time, individual positions are
designated as military or civilian, or acceptable for either to fill. Once all
positions are validated and categorized, the request is sent to the Joint
Force Coordinator within the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 11 A list of
individual position requirements is then sent to the services for staffing.
Once the staffing source is identified, the requesting commander
becomes responsible for tracking which positions have been filled.

To enable the department to readily identify civilians to deploy in support
of its missions, including those in Afghanistan, DOD established the CEW
program in January 2009 within the Office of the Deputy Assistant
Secretary of Defense for Civilian Personnel Policy—which is under the
purview of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and
Readiness. 12 The CEW is dedicated to creating a cadre of DOD civilians
that are organized, ready, trained, cleared, and equipped in a manner that
enhances their availability to mobilize and respond urgently to
expeditionary requirements now and in the future.

As we previously reported, DOD’s use of civilian personnel to support
military operations has long raised questions about its policies on
compensation and medical benefits for such civilians. 13 Interest in issues


11
  This function was previously performed by U.S. Joint Forces Command, which DOD
disestablished in August 2011.
12
  Department of Defense Directive 1404.10, DOD Civilian Expeditionary Workforce (Jan.
23, 2009).
13
  GAO, DOD Civilian Personnel: Medical Policies for Deployed DOD Federal Civilians and
Associated Compensation for Those Deployed, GAO-07-1235T (Washington, D.C.: Sept.
18, 2007); and DOD Civilian Personnel: Greater Oversight and Quality Assurance Needed
to Ensure Force Health Protection and Surveillance for Those Deployed, GAO-06-1085
(Washington, D.C.: Sept. 29, 2006).




Page 9                                                         GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
                             related to deployed civilians increased as executive agencies began
                             deploying civilians to support efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2009, we
                             issued a report that addressed issues related to whether agencies that
                             deployed civilians had (1) comparable policies concerning compensation,
                             (2) comparable policies concerning medical care, and (3) policies and
                             procedures for identifying and tracking deployed civilians. The report
                             contained 18 recommendations made to nine agencies concerning
                             policies related to deployed civilians, including a recommendation to both
                             the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense to improve their
                             capability to identify and track deployed civilians. We reported that this
                             capability was critical, so that agencies could notify deployed civilians
                             about emerging health concerns that might affect them. 14

Chief of Mission and DOD’s   Both Chief of Mission and DOD civilians are to receive Afghanistan-
Training Requirements for    specific training before deployment. According to State, in June 2009
Personnel Deploying to       Afghanistan-specific training became mandatory for all Chief of Mission
Afghanistan                  personnel deploying to Afghanistan after October 1, 2009. State’s Foreign
                             Service Institute provides this training. In addition to this Afghanistan-
                             specific training, since 2008 State has required that Chief of Mission
                             personnel at high-threat posts such as Afghanistan, Iraq, or Pakistan take
                             the FACT course provided by State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security. 15
                             This course is designed to address the threats that personnel might face
                             in a number of high-threat posts and includes components on first aid,
                             firearms, counterthreat driving techniques, and duck-and-cover exercises.
                             In addition to these Chief of Mission courses, some U.S. agencies provide
                             their own mission-specific training. Mandatory training requirements for
                             DOD civilians deploying to Afghanistan have been established by the
                             Office of the Secretary of Defense and U.S. Central Command. 16 DOD
                             relies on a variety of organizations—including the Office of the Secretary
                             of Defense and each of the military services—to provide this location-
                             specific training to civilians prior to deployment to Afghanistan. In
                             addition, there are some mission-specific training requirements that



                             14
                               GAO, Human Capital: Actions Needed to Better Track and Provide Timely and Accurate
                             Compensation and Medical Benefits to Deployed Federal Civilians, GAO-09-562
                             (Washington D.C.: June 26, 2009).
                             15
                               Some law enforcement and other personnel with specialized training can be waived
                             from this course.
                             16
                               The U.S. Central Command is the combatant command that has operational authority
                             for an area of the globe that consists of 20 countries, including Afghanistan.




                             Page 10                                                        GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
                          civilians must complete. For example, some DOD personnel must
                          complete language and culture training beyond the normal requirement.


                          Since January 2009, U.S. agencies under Chief of Mission authority more
U.S. Agencies             than tripled their civilian presence and expanded outside Kabul in
Reported Expanding        response to the President’s 2009 announcement. DOD both created new
                          programs to build the security capacity of the Afghan government and
Their Civilian            reported expanding its overall civilian presence. U.S. agencies during the
Presence in               course of our review acknowledged data reliability problems with staffing
                          data and have efforts under way to improve the reliability of that data.
Afghanistan and Took
Steps to Improve
Their Ability to Track
That Presence

U.S. Chief of Mission     According to State, from January 2009 through December 2011, the Chief
Presence in Afghanistan   of Mission civilian presence more than tripled from 320 to 1,142 civilians,
More Than Tripled Since   an increase of 257 percent. Overall Chief of Mission staffing requirements
                          also grew during this period from 531 to 1,261 positions, and, as of
2009                      December 2011, about 91 percent (1,142 of 1,261) of those positions
                          were filled. As of October 2011, State officials did not foresee further
                          expansion of the U.S. civilian presence and planned to change their focus
                          to reconfiguring staffing resources as needed within the existing
                          presence. Figure 2 illustrates the increased U.S. Chief of Mission
                          presence in Afghanistan since January 2009.




                          Page 11                                               GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
Figure 2: Increase in U.S. Chief of Mission Presence in Afghanistan, January 2009
through December 2011




Note: According to State officials, U.S. Embassy Kabul also utilized “other Chief of Mission
civilians”—i.e., short-term deployments, key contractors, and eligible family members—to temporarily
fill some high-priority staffing gaps. Temporary staff totals included 137 for January 2010, 135 for
February 2011, and 97 for December 2011. State could not provide data on other Chief of Mission
civilians for January 2009. We could not verify the extent to which these temporary staff substituted
for official approved positions.


Of the nine executive branch agencies under Chief of Mission authority,
as of December 2011 State, USAID, Department of Justice, and USDA
had filled most of the Chief of Mission position requirements, as illustrated
in table 2.




Page 12                                                                   GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
Table 2: Extent to Which Agencies Had Filled Chief of Mission Staffing
Requirements in Afghanistan, December 2011

                                                                                                Percentage of
                                                                                                     position
                                                         Position                               requirements
    Agency                                          requirements            Positions filled            filled
    Mission                                                      1,261                1,142               90.6
      Kabul                                                           732               686               93.7
      Field                                                           529               456               86.2
    State                                                             594               577               97.1
    USAID                                                             378               366               96.8
    Department of Justice                                             154               116               75.3
    USDA                                                               77                55               71.4
    Department of Homeland                                             25                23               92.0
    Security
    Department of the                                                 16                 11               68.8
            a
    Treasury
    Department of                                                      15                12               80.0
    Transportation
    Health and Human                                                    1                 1             100.0
    Services
    Department of Commerce                                              1                 1             100.0
Source: State Department Chief of Mission Civilian Staffing Matrix.

Notes: These numbers reflect State data on requirements and filled positions as of December 6,
2011, and do not reflect any changes that have occurred since that time.
a
 The Department of the Treasury noted that State’s database had not been updated to reflect 13 total
approved Treasury positions. Treasury further noted that two of its positions listed as “open”
remained programmatically on hold, resulting in 11 active slots filled.


Additionally, the Chief of Mission presence expanded outside Kabul—a
response to the President’s call for greater U.S. civilian expertise at
provincial and district levels. From January 2009 through December
2011, field position requirements grew by approximately 260 percent
(from 147 to 529), and over 85 percent of those requirements were filled.
These positions are assigned to locations throughout Afghanistan,
including at military facilities such as provincial reconstruction and district
support teams and at State’s regional consulates.




Page 13                                                                                 GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
                              Comparing the Chief of Mission Civilian Staffing Matrix 17 numbers with
                              the position requirements reported by individual agencies, we found that
                              the data in the Chief of Mission Civilian Staffing Matrix were sufficiently
                              reliable for identifying high-level staffing information such as total number
                              of positions filled by each agency under Chief of Mission authority.
                              According to State officials, the high-level staffing data identified in the
                              Chief of Mission Civilian Staffing Matrix are updated weekly using data
                              from U.S. agencies and are also validated through periodic
                              teleconferences, including staff from State headquarters, other agencies,
                              and the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.


State Took Steps to           The 2010 Afghanistan and Pakistan Regional Stabilization Strategy
Enhance Its Ability to        emphasizes the need to match civilian personnel’s expertise to specific
Track Its Civilian Presence   mission requirements on the ground. Furthermore, according to federal
                              internal control standards, program managers need operational data to
                              determine whether they are meeting the goals of their agencies’ strategic
                              and annual performance plans and accounting for the effective and
                              efficient use of resources. 18 U.S. Embassy Kabul and State’s Office of
                              Orientation and In-Processing (responsible for ensuring that interagency
                              personnel meet all administrative, medical, and training requirements
                              before deploying to Afghanistan) began using a data system called the
                              Afghanistan Civilian Personnel Tracking System (ACPTS) in February
                              2011 to track Chief of Mission personnel’s locations and movements
                              (e.g., movement from Kabul to a district support team) and to identify
                              position-specific information (e.g., location, position title, appointment type
                              or grade, vacancy status, and the strategic line of effort to which a
                              position belongs). State officials noted that they planned to use this
                              information to optimize the U.S. presence in the next interagency staffing
                              exercise, when they might need to be prepared to reconfigure the existing
                              presence. However, when we examined this data system in March and
                              July 2011, we found discrepancies that called into question the system’s
                              reliability. For example, the ACPTS data we received were insufficiently
                              reliable to determine which strategic line of effort contained the greatest
                              staffing shortfall—crucial information for an interagency staffing exercise.



                              17
                               According to State officials, this matrix serves as the authoritative record on Chief of
                              Mission staffing requirements and positions filled in Afghanistan.
                              18
                                GAO, Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government, GAO/AIMD-00-21.3.1
                              (Washington D.C.: November 1999).




                              Page 14                                                             GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
                                         Over 60 percent of the ACPTS records for July 2011 (648 of 1,192) were
                                         missing data in at least 1 of 10 data fields. Our analysis revealed, for
                                         example, that 36 percent of the appointment grade fields and 30 percent
                                         of the line-of-effort fields were missing. We also found discrepancies
                                         between the ACPTS and Chief of Mission Civilian Staffing Matrix with
                                         regard to the overall position requirements and the number of positions
                                         filled. Table 3 lists the discrepancies we identified in State, USAID, and
                                         USDA totals.

Table 3: Discrepancies between Chief of Mission Civilian Staffing Matrix and ACPTS

                                        Position requirements                                                              Positions filled
Chief of Mission                     Chief of Mission                                                Chief of Mission Civilian
agency                        Civilian Staffing Matrix            ACPTS            Delta                       Staffing Matrix                    ACPTS               Delta
State              Kabul                              385               384             -1                                            360               317             -43
                   Field                              204               177           -27                                             149               134             -15
USAID              Kabul                              161               181            20                                             148               167             19
                   Field                              217               198           -19                                             153               179             26
USDA               Kabul                                17                19             2                                              10                10             0
                   Field                                60                61             1                                              44                33            -11
                                         Source: GAO analysis of State Chief of Mission Civilian Staffing Matrix (June 28, 2011) and ACPTS (July 7, 2011) datasets.



                                         Our discussions with State, USAID, and USDA officials revealed
                                         additional discrepancies in the ACPTS data, including duplicate entries,
                                         position titles that did not match official position documentation, and
                                         inaccurate arrival dates and appointment grade information.

                                         In June 2011, State officials acknowledged that these challenges
                                         prevented ACPTS from being used effectively to aggregate detailed,
                                         position-specific information regarding the overall U.S. civilian presence in
                                         Afghanistan. Although we could not verify the accuracy of the ACPTS
                                         system, during the course of our review and after several discussions with
                                         us regarding data reliability, in the fall of 2011 State began taking steps to
                                         improve the reliability of the ACPTS database. For example, according to
                                         State officials, the Office of Orientation and In-Processing recently
                                         completed a review of the ACPTS system that included correcting
                                         inaccuracies, revising data fields to better reflect actual information being
                                         entered, and deleting unnecessary data fields. State has also established
                                         standard operating procedures for updating the ACPTS system. For
                                         example, according to State officials, the U.S. Embassy’s Arrivals and
                                         Departure Unit will be responsible for completing the ACPTS records of
                                         newly deployed staff once they arrive in-country, and the Interagency



                                         Page 15                                                                                           GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
                           Provincial Affairs Office will be responsible for updating their location
                           information if their duty station changes in the field. Furthermore, in
                           October 2011, U.S. Embassy Kabul issued a new policy for Mission
                           staffing and accountability that established a notification and reporting
                           system to conduct accountability checks of Chief of Mission staff and also
                           outlined the responsibilities of supervisors and individuals in ensuring
                           staffing accountability and tracking. According to State officials, Embassy
                           Kabul conducts monthly data calls with all agencies present in Kabul in
                           accordance with this policy, and the collected data is reconciled with
                           ACPTS data.


DOD Reported Expanding     According to the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s Joint Personnel Status Report,
Its Civilian Presence in   DOD increased its overall civilian presence in Afghanistan by
Afghanistan                approximately 643 percent from January 2009 through December 2011.
                           While officials acknowledged that some inaccuracies existed in the data
                           provided by this report, they believed that the data fairly depict the
                           increase in the overall DOD civilian presence in Afghanistan. As shown in
                           figure 3, DOD reported its civilian presence in Afghanistan grew from 394
                           civilians in January 2009 to 2,929 in December 2011.




                           Page 16                                                GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
Figure 3: Reported Increase in DOD Overall Civilian Presence in Afghanistan,
January 2009 through December 2011




Note: We could not validate the accuracy of the data provided by the Joint Personnel Status Report.
DOD officials believe the data are sufficiently accurate to illustrate the increase in the civilian
presence in Afghanistan, and we agree.


These civilians serve in a variety of roles that support both DOD’s combat
mission and its capacity-building efforts. However, it is difficult to specify
the number of civilians within DOD’s overall civilian presence that
supported the capacity-building efforts because these civilians frequently
fill positions that support both combat support and capacity-building
missions. For example, civilians that deploy with the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers support multiple projects involving both Afghan National
Security Forces and U.S. military forces, making it difficult to identify the
number of civilians that support capacity-building efforts.

In addition, DOD established two programs to respond to the
department’s mission to build the capacity of the Afghan government. The
first program—Ministry of Defense Advisors, created in fiscal year 2010—
operates under the authority of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy
and deploys senior DOD civilians for up to 2 years to serve as advisors to
officials in the Afghan government’s Ministries of Defense and Interior to
exchange knowledge concerning defense-related issues. The Ministry of
Defense Advisor program was designed to forge long-term relationships



Page 17                                                                  GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
                              that strengthen Afghanistan’s security institutions. 19 The second
                              program—Afghanistan Pakistan Hands, created in fiscal year 2009—
                              operates under the authority of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and deploys DOD
                              civilians for 5 years to serve as experts on Afghanistan and Pakistan to
                              support the counterinsurgency strategy. Specifically, these civilians
                              engage directly with host country officials to enhance government,
                              interagency, and multinational cooperation and fill related positions
                              outside the region. As of December 2011, these programs had identified
                              requirements for 156 civilian positions, and 106 of these positions were
                              filled. At the time of our review, officials were unclear as to whether the
                              requirements for these two programs would stabilize, increase, or
                              decrease. In table 4, we show the extent to which each of these programs
                              had filled the required positions.

                              Table 4: Extent to Which DOD’s New Capacity-Building Programs Had Filled
                              Staffing Requirements in Afghanistan, as of December 2011

                                                                                   Position                                     Percentage of
                                  Program                                     requirements                Positions filled     positions filled
                                  Ministry of Defense                                        102                        60a                 59
                                  Advisor program
                                  Afghanistan Pakistan                                         54                       46                  85
                                  Hands program
                                  Total                                                      156                        106                 68
                              Source: Offices of Ministry of Defense Advisor and Afghanistan Pakistan Hands programs.
                              a
                               Program officials indicated that an additional 11 advisors had been selected to fill positions in
                              Afghanistan and would begin training in January 2012 for deployment in March 2012. Ministry of
                              Defense Advisor program officials indicated, however, that the number of candidates scheduled to
                              begin training was likely to change prior to the beginning of training.




DOD Took Steps to             Although DOD has aggregate staffing data for deployed civilians within a
Improve Its Ability to        country or geographical region, its current data system for tracking
Track Its Civilian Presence   deployed civilians may not provide sufficiently reliable information to
                              characterize the specific location and identity of deployed civilians within
                              a country. DOD uses the Joint Personnel Status Report to track the
                              number and location of military, civilian, and contractor personnel


                              19
                                For more information on DOD’s capacity-building efforts at the Afghan Ministries of
                              Defense and Interior, see GAO, Afghanistan: Actions Needed to Improve Accountability of
                              U.S. Assistance to Afghanistan Government, GAO-11-710 (Washington D.C.: July 20,
                              2011).




                              Page 18                                                                                   GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
deployed worldwide. This report is manually created each day by the
combatant commands to include the number and location of personnel
within their area of responsibility. 20 However, Joint Chiefs of Staff officials
told us that the system contains inaccuracies. For example, the officials
noted previous reports have omitted and double counted some personnel,
as well as listed some personnel in the wrong locations. The officials
stated they could not quantify the magnitude of these inaccuracies due to
the system’s reliance on manual updates from the individual combatant
commands and limited demographic data. We reported in 2009 that DOD
issued guidance and established procedures for identifying and tracking
deployed civilians in 2006 but concluded in 2008 that its guidance and
procedures were not being consistently implemented across the
department. In 2009, we found that these policies were still not being fully
implemented and recommended that DOD establish mechanisms to
ensure that these policies were implemented. 21 In response to this
recommendation, DOD stated that it would work with the Defense
Manpower Data Center to develop a tracking system for deployed
civilians and hoped to have the system completed by September 2009.

At the time of our review, Joint Staff officials stated that in conjunction
with the Defense Manpower Data Center, they had completed
development and were fielding this automated tracking system that would
access information from service specific personnel databases in
conjunction with Common Access Card usage in theater to establish and
record the specific location of employees. 22 According to DOD officials,
this new system will provide DOD with an automated system to track the



20
  DOD defines a combatant command as a unified or specified command with a broad
continuing mission under a single commander that typically has geographic or functional
responsibilities. Geographical commands include U.S. Africa Command, U.S. Central
Command, U.S. European Command, U.S. Northern Command, U.S. Pacific Command,
and U.S. Southern Command. Functional commands include U.S. Special Operations
Command, U.S. Strategic Command, and U.S. Transportation Command.
21
  GAO, Human Capital: Actions Needed to Better Track and Provide Timely and Accurate
Compensation and Medical Benefits to Deployed Federal Civilians, GAO-09-562
(Washington D.C.: June 26, 2009). This report examined a number of issues concerning
deployed civilians, including compensation and benefits; medical care during and following
deployment; and the ability of agencies to track the number and location of their deployed
civilians.
22
  The Common Access Card is the standard identification badge for all DOD personnel,
including military, reserve, guard, civilian, and contractors. The card is typically used to
enter military installations.




Page 19                                                              GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
                        number, identity, and location of deployed civilians. As we reported in
                        both 2005 and 2009, this type of information is critical for identifying
                        potential exposures or other incidents related to a civilian’s deployment. 23
                        DOD officials stated that, once operational within a combatant
                        commander’s area of responsibility, this system will automatically create a
                        report that fulfills Joint Personnel Status reporting requirements for
                        identifying the number and location of military, civilian, and contractor
                        personnel deployed globally. However, according to Joint Chiefs of Staff
                        officials, this system will not be ready to support these reporting
                        requirements within the Central Command area of responsibility until the
                        middle of fiscal year 2012.


                        The Office of the Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness is
DOD Took                responsible for overseeing implementation of the 2009 CEW directive,
Preliminary Steps to    including developing policy and implementing procedural guidance for the
                        CEW. To implement the policies in this directive, the heads of the DOD
Implement CEW           components are to identify and designate positions as emergency-
Policy but Did Not      essential, non-combat essential, and capability-based volunteers as part
                        of the CEW. 24 Emergency-essential positions are those that support the
Identify the Number     success of combat operations or the availability of combat-essential
and Types of            systems. Non-combat essential positions support the expeditionary
Positions That Should   requirements in other than combat or combat support situations.
                        Capability-based volunteers are employees who may be asked to
Constitute the CEW      volunteer for deployment, to remain behind after other civilians have
                        evacuated, or to fill the positions of other DOD civilians who have
                        deployed to meet expeditionary requirements in order to ensure that
                        critical expeditionary requirements are fulfilled. 25 Finally, according to the
                        directive, the components are to plan, program, and budget for CEW
                        requirements.




                        23
                          GAO-09-562 and GAO, Defense Health Care: Improvements Needed in Occupational
                        and Environmental Health Surveillance during Deployments to Address Immediate and
                        Long-Term Health Issues, GAO-05-632 (Washington, D.C.: July 14, 2005).
                        24
                          DOD officials noted that separate from the CEW, DOD components have some civilian
                        positions designated as “emergency-essential” and deploy those personnel to support
                        their specific missions.
                        25
                          Department of Defense Directive 1404.10, DOD Civilian Expeditionary Workforce (Jan.
                        23, 2009).




                        Page 20                                                        GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
We found that DOD had taken preliminary steps to implement the CEW.
Specifically, DOD had (1) established a CEW program office, (2) created
a database containing resumes submitted by volunteers, (3) advertised
expeditionary positions for civilians on a designated website, and (4)
established predeployment training requirements for volunteers selected
to fill CEW positions. 26 According to CEW officials, approximately 10
percent to 15 percent of the 2,929 filled civilian positions in Afghanistan
were filled by CEW volunteers and the remaining positions were primarily
filled by civilian personnel in the military services and other DOD
components.

However, the CEW program has not been fully developed and
implemented. In particular, DOD components have not identified and
designated the number and types of positions that should constitute the
emergency-essential, non-combat essential, and capability-based
volunteer segments of the CEW because guidance for making such
determinations has not been provided by the Office of the Secretary of
Defense. Office of the Secretary of Defense officials stated that once key
assumptions regarding the size and composition of the CEW have been
finalized, implementing guidance will be issued that will contain
information on how the components are to identify and designate
positions as emergency-essential, non-combat essential and capability-
based volunteers. However, Office of the Secretary of Defense officials
were not sure as to when this guidance would be issued. 27

By not developing guidance that instructs the components on how to
identify and designate the number and types of positions that will
constitute the CEW, DOD may not be able to (1) make the CEW a
significant portion of the civilian workforce as called for in DOD’s Fiscal
Year 2009 Civilian Human Capital Strategic Plan, 28 (2) meet readiness
goals for the CEW as required in DOD’s Strategic Management Plan for




26
  Training requirements included generic training applicable to all CEW selectees as well
as location-specific training.
27
  Office of the Secretary of Defense officials first indicated in June 2011 that this draft
guidance was being coordinated, but the final guidance has not yet been finalized and
issued.
28
 Department of Defense, Report on the Strategic Human Capital Plan for Civilian
Employees of the Department of Defense 2006-2010.




Page 21                                                               GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
Fiscal Years 2012-2013, 29 and (3) position itself to respond to future
missions.

First, in DOD’s fiscal year 2009 civilian human capital strategic plan, DOD
identified the CEW as a significant segment of the overall DOD civilian
workforce dedicated to supporting DOD operations, contingencies,
emergencies, humanitarian missions, stability and reconstruction
operations, and combat missions. Further, this plan noted the importance
of conducting a gap analysis 30 to identify any differences between the
current civilian workforce and the workforce that will be needed in the
future for each of the department’s “mission critical occupations”—i.e.,
occupations that are essential to carrying out the department’s mission. 31
In July 2011, we testified that identifying skills and capability gaps of the
civilian workforce is critical for DOD’s strategic planning efforts and that
DOD should conduct gap analyses to identify gaps in both the current and
the future workforces. 32 Completing a gap analysis is important for DOD
to develop strategies to acquire and retain the needed workforce. Further,
once workforce needs and strategies are identified, the DOD components
will be better positioned to plan, program, and budget for CEW
requirements as called for in the CEW directive.

Second, as called for by the Department of Defense Strategic
Management Plan for Fiscal Years 2012-2013, DOD’s goal to get the
right workforce mix should occur through several initiatives, including one
to improve the readiness of the CEW by increasing the percentage of



29
 Department of Defense Strategic Management Plan FY 2012-2013 (Sept. 20, 2011).
30
  Our body of work has consistently defined a workforce gap analysis to include gaps in
critical skills and competencies. See GAO, Human Capital: Opportunities Exist to Build on
Recent Progress to Strengthen DOD’s Civilian Human Capital Strategic Plan,
GAO-09-235 (Washington, D.C.: Feb. 10, 2009); DOD Civilian Personnel: Comprehensive
Strategic Workforce Plans Needed, GAO-04-753 (Washington, D.C.: June 30, 2004);
Human Capital: A Guide for Assessing Strategic Training and Development Efforts in the
Federal Government, GAO-03-893G (Washington, D.C.: July 2003); and A Model of
Strategic Human Capital Management, GAO-02-373SP (Washington, D.C.: Mar. 15,
2002).
31
  DOD’s civilian human capital strategic plan is published by the Under Secretary of
Defense for Personnel and Readiness.
32
  GAO, DOD Civilian Personnel: Competency Gap Analyses and Other Actions Needed to
Enhance DOD’s Strategic Workforce Plans, GAO-11-827T (Washington, D.C.: July 14,
2011).




Page 22                                                           GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
                           emergency-essential and non-combat essential personnel who are
                           qualified as ready. However, without an understanding of the number and
                           types of positions in the emergency-essential and non-combat essential
                           categories, the current CEW is not positioned to support this DOD priority.

                           Third, DOD officials told us that institutionalizing the CEW is critical to
                           DOD efforts to best utilize its total workforce structure—military, civilian,
                           and contractor personnel—because the difficulties associated with
                           identifying and deploying civilians are not unique to the ongoing
                           operations in Afghanistan. According to DOD officials, similar issues were
                           experienced in Bosnia, but because the organization and processes that
                           supported the deployment of civilians during that operation were not
                           retained, DOD had to reconstitute the capability to identify and deploy
                           civilians when the need arose for civilians to deploy to Iraq and
                           Afghanistan.



U.S. Agencies
Established
Afghanistan-Specific
Predeployment
Training
Requirements, but
DOD Faced
Implementation
Challenges

State Provided Required    State has established predeployment training requirements for all Chief of
Training for Personnel     Mission personnel deploying to Afghanistan, including courses offered by
Deploying to Afghanistan   State’s Foreign Service Institute, as well as key security training provided
                           by State’s Diplomatic Security Bureau—the FACT course. The Foreign
                           Service Institute’s Afghanistan-specific training courses address State’s
                           2009 training requirement for Chief of Mission personnel deploying to
                           Afghanistan and focus on providing Chief of Mission personnel with basic
                           professional skills and knowledge needed to participate in stabilization
                           and reconstruction activities as members of the U.S. Embassy Kabul or
                           its subordinate entities. Additionally, the training recognizes the
                           requirements for effectively operating in a complex environment, including


                           Page 23                                                 GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
                                          administrative, survival, and day-to-day functioning/life support. Table 5
                                          further describes the Foreign Service Institute’s training for Chief of
                                          Mission personnel.

Table 5: State-Required, Afghanistan-Specific Training for Chief of Mission Personnel

                                                                                                                     Interagency Civilian-Military
                  Afghanistan Familiarization               Afghanistan Field Orientation                            Integration Training Exercise
Course            Overview of                         For personnel assigned to provincial                           Applying lessons learned from the
description       •   Afghanistan’s history, culture, reconstruction teams:                                          Afghanistan Field Orientation course
                      and politics, including         •   Basic professional skills and                              in a simulated environment by working
                      counterinsurgency and border        knowledge essential for                                    with military colleagues,
                      issues;                             functioning as a member of a                               •    learning security procedures for
                  •   U.S. political and military         civilian-military field team.                                   travel by military convoy or
                      strategy in Afghanistan; and    •   Training on dealing with                                        helicopter, and
                  •   U.S. agency programs in             traumatic events, Afghan tribal                            •    using interpreters during scripted
                      Afghanistan.                        dynamics and Taliban tactics,                                   training events featuring Afghan
                                                          integration of civilian-military                                role-players.
                  •   Specific topics include threat      planning, and tools for
                      assessments,                                                                                   •    Scenarios include simulations of
                                                          assessing district stability.                                   insurgent attacks.
                      counterintelligence awareness,
                      and deployment-related
                      administrative and logistic
                      information.
                                          Source: GAO summary of Foreign Service Institute’s course catalog and materials for fiscal year 2011.



                                          All Chief of Mission personnel are required to take the Afghanistan
                                          Familiarization course, while all personnel deploying to locations outside
                                          of Kabul are also required to take the Afghanistan Field Orientation and
                                          the Interagency Civilian-Military Integration Training Exercise courses.
                                          According to State officials, the Afghanistan Familiarization course covers
                                          subjects that contribute to employees’ success on the job, such as
                                          orientation issues and State support at high-threat posts. Additionally, the
                                          Afghanistan Field Orientation course covers subjects that State has
                                          identified as needed for the success of provincial reconstruction teams
                                          and other civilian-military entities at the regional and district levels.
                                          According to State and contractor officials we interviewed during our
                                          observation of the Interagency Civilian-Military Integration Training
                                          Exercise at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center in Butlerville, Indiana,
                                          personnel who attend this training are able to practice working in
                                          situations they would likely encounter while deployed. The training
                                          includes working through an interpreter and heavily interacting with
                                          Afghan officials. In addition, because field-deployed civilians live and work
                                          alongside military colleagues, the exercises focus on the cultural (e.g.,
                                          education about military ranks) and practical (e.g., participation in convoy
                                          security) aspects of working with the military, as shown in figure 4.



                                          Page 24                                                                                          GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
Figure 4: Trainees React to Simulated Mortar Attack during Interagency Civilian-Military Integration Training Exercise




                                          During the Interagency Civilian-Military Integration Training Exercise,
                                          students get the opportunity to simulate living with the military on a
                                          Forward Operating Base, and travel by convoy and helicopter to meetings
                                          with their Afghan counterparts, played by domestic role-players. There is
                                          also the opportunity to work through interpreters, negotiate sensitive
                                          situations, and solve problems with Afghan authorities, officials, religious
                                          leaders, and villagers, as shown in figure 5.




                                          Page 25                                                       GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
Figure 5: Civilian Trainees Interact with Afghan Role Players in Scenario Involving Afghan Casualties Resulting from a NATO
Airstrike




                                         State implemented internal controls to help ensure that Chief of Mission
                                         personnel took the required training before deployment. State’s Office of
                                         Orientation and In-Processing acts as a central processing point for all
                                         Chief of Mission personnel deploying to Afghanistan and works with the
                                         Foreign Service Institute to ensure that all training requirements have
                                         been met. Examples of the Center’s training verification activities include
                                         accessing Foreign Service Institute online registration to determine the
                                         accuracy of enrollment records, tracking completion of personnel’s
                                         deployment checklists, and visiting classes to confirm enrolled personnel
                                         attended the course. According to State officials, in addition to these



                                         Page 26                                                      GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
controls, Embassy Kabul also checks to make sure that the training
requirement is met before granting country clearance to individuals about
to be deployed. The Office of Orientation and In-Processing also reviews
these country clearances before allowing individuals to deploy.

To test the reliability of State’s internal controls, we compared State,
USAID, and USDA names from a March 2011 run of ACPTS personnel
data against Foreign Service Institute training records and State training
waiver logs. The analysis yielded 134 names of personnel who could
have potentially missed required Foreign Service Institute training. After
the names were submitted to the Orientation and In-Processing Center,
State stated it was able to account for all of the personnel, either by
verifying that they had taken the training or possessed a valid reason for
not having taken the training. 33

According to State officials, the Office of Orientation and In-Processing
and Embassy Kabul also check to verify that personnel have taken the
FACT course before being deployed to Afghanistan. In June 2011, we
reported that Diplomatic Security had difficulty verifying training taken by
non-State personnel and made several recommendations. 34 Diplomatic
Security was aware of this problem and, in June 2011, was in the process
of implementing the FACT Tracker to address it. This tracker could be
checked by regional security officers at high-threat posts to confirm
required training was taken before granting personnel country clearance.
At the time of our review, Diplomatic Security officials stated that the
FACT Tracker was fully operational and could verify FACT training going
back to 2005.

To test this internal control, we selected a random sample of 65 names
from the July 2011 ACPTS personnel data and compared these names


33
  Examples included equivalent training courses taken, as well as miscellaneous
approved exceptions due to inaccuracies in the March 2011 ACPTS data, such as
duplicate or misspelled names and inaccurate location information. Four USAID personnel
did not take required training, three of whom deployed just as the training requirement was
coming into effect.
34
  For example, we recommended that Diplomatic Security develop or improve the process
to track its individual training requirements and completion of training more broadly. See
GAO, Diplomatic Security: Expanded Missions and Inadequate Facilities Pose Critical
Challenges to Training Efforts, GAO-11-460 (Washington D.C.: June 1, 2011). As of
October 2011, Diplomatic Security was taking steps to improve its tracking of training
through collaboration with the Foreign Service Institute.




Page 27                                                           GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
                             against data in the FACT Tracker. We and Diplomatic Security, through
                             the use of the FACT Tracker, were able to account for all 65 names. As
                             100 percent of our sample received FACT or other appropriate training,
                             we believe that State has established an effective system of internal
                             controls over its training. 35


DOD Provided                 According to DOD guidance, the Office of the Secretary of Defense for
Afghanistan-Specific         Personnel and Readiness is to develop policies, plans, and programs for
Training to Civilians, but   the training of DOD personnel, including civilians. 36 In November 2010,
                             the Office of the Secretary of Defense established counterinsurgency
Some Training Contained
                             standards and required training of individuals and units, including DOD
Gaps or Duplication          civilians deploying to Afghanistan, on such things as language and
                             cultural awareness. DOD guidance also requires U.S. Central Command
                             to coordinate and approve training necessary to carry out missions
                             assigned to the command and U.S. Central Command-established
                             theater-training requirements that apply to DOD civilians deployed to the
                             command’s area of responsibility. 37 U.S. Central Command theater-
                             training requirements include general requirements such as anti-terrorism
                             awareness training; chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear
                             personnel protective measures and survival skills; mine and unexploded
                             ordnance awareness; and requirements specific to the country of
                             deployment—for Afghanistan, the requirements include, for example,
                             language and cultural awareness training, implementation of the
                             Secretary of Defense-approved counterinsurgency qualification
                             standards, and High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV)
                             and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) egress training. Finally,
                             DOD’s 2010 strategic plan calls for the establishment of a requirements




                             35
                               In statistical terms, given that 100 percent of our sample took FACT or other equivalent
                             training, we can state with 95 percent confidence that fewer than about 5 percent of State,
                             USAID, and USDA personnel in Afghanistan during July 2011 did not receive FACT
                             training.
                             36
                               DOD Directive 5100.01, Functions of the Department of Defense and Its Major
                             Components (Dec. 21, 2010) and Department of Defense Directive 5124.02, Under
                             Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (USD (P&R)) (June 23, 2008). The
                             Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence retains oversight and policy responsibility for
                             DOD intelligence and security components.
                             37
                              DOD Directive 5100.01, Functions of the Department of Defense and Its Major
                             Components (Dec. 21, 2010).




                             Page 28                                                             GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
process that includes front-end analysis and synchronizing service
training programs with combatant commander requirements. 38

As shown in table 6, several DOD organizations deploying civilians to
Afghanistan provide predeployment training to address Office of the
Secretary of Defense, U.S. Central Command, and their own specific
requirements. To address these requirements, each of DOD’s
components independently developed its own training courses; however,
we identified some gaps and duplication in this training. For example, Air
Force civilians deploying to Afghanistan through the CEW were required
to attend both Air Force and CEW predeployment training. The CEW
predeployment training consists of an 11-day course that covers areas
such as personal and family benefits and legal information; survival skills,
including first aid; HMMWV rollover training and Counter-Improvised
Explosive Device training; and language and cultural awareness skills. As
a result, those Air Force civilians deploying through the CEW received
training on some of the same material, such as Counter-Improvised
Explosive Device training, twice prior to deployment. According to DOD
officials, in November 2011, DOD began granting some waivers from the
CEW training to Air Force civilians that completed Combat Airman Skills
Training. 39 However, DOD officials stated not all civilians deploying to
Afghanistan are required to complete this training; therefore, Air Force
civilians who do not receive Combat Airman Skills Training would still be
required to complete both Air Force and CEW predeployment training.
Additionally, some Army civilian training did not meet the requirements
established by U.S. Central Command. For example, Army civilian
training at the CONUS (continental United States) Replacement Center 40
did not cover either the U.S. Central Command-required HMMWV or
MRAP vehicle rollover techniques. Table 6 lists the gaps and duplication
we identified.




38
  DOD, Strategic Plan for the Next Generation of Training for the Department of Defense
(Sept. 23, 2010).
39
  Combat Airman Skills Training is special training provided to personnel who will be
going into a hostile and uncertain environment.
40
  The CONUS Replacement Center’s mission is to receive and process individual nonunit
related personnel and civilians for deployment to and redeployment from the theaters of
operations.




Page 29                                                           GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
Table 6: Gaps and Duplication in Training Courses Provided to DOD Civilians Deployed to Afghanistan

              Ministry of
              Defense           Civilian                   Afghanistan                                  Army CONUS             Air Force
              Advisors          Expeditionary              Pakistan             Army Corps of           Replacement            Expeditionary Force
              program           Workforce                  Hands                Engineers               Center                 training            Navy
Gap           None identified   None identified            None                 Topics that             Topics that            None identified         None
                                                           identified           should have             should have                                    identified
                                                                                been covered to         been covered to
                                                                                address                 address
                                                                                combatant               combatant
                                                                                commander               commander
                                                                                theater                 theater
                                                                                requirements:           requirements:
                                                                                     HMMWV                   Chemical,
                                                                                      and MRAP                 biological,
                                                                                      egress                   radiological,
                                                                                     Nonlethal                nuclear
                                                                                      weapons                 HMMWV
                                                                                                               and MRAP
                                                                                                               egress
                                                                                                              Nonlethal
                                                                                                               weapons
Duplication   None identified   Topics duplicated by       None                 None identified         None identified        Topics duplicated by    None
                                Air Force training:        identified                                                          CEW training:           identified
                                    Chemical,                                                                                     Chemical,
                                     biological,                                                                                    biological,
                                     radiological,                                                                                  radiological,
                                             a                                                                                              a
                                     nuclear                                                                                        nuclear
                                    Self-aid/buddy                                                                                Self-aid/buddy
                                          a
                                     care                                                                                           carea
                                    Cultural                                                                                      Cultural
                                               c                                                                                              b
                                     awareness                                                                                      awareness
                                    Counter                                                                                       Counter
                                     improvised                                                                                     improvised
                                     explosive device                                                                               explosive device
                                              a                                                                                              a
                                     training                                                                                       training
                                    Unexploded                                                                                    Unexploded
                                     Ordnance                                                                                       Ordnance
                                               a                                                                                              b
                                     Awareness                                                                                      Awareness
                                    Survival,                                                                                     Survival,
                                     evasion,                                                                                       evasion,
                                     resistance,                                                                                    resistance,
                                             a                                                                                              b
                                     escape                                                                                         escape
                                    Basic                                                                                         Basic
                                     marksmanship, if                                                                               marksmanship,
                                              d                                                                                                 d
                                     required                                                                                       if required
                                    Law of Armed                                                                                  Law of Armed
                                              c                                                                                              b
                                     Conflict                                                                                       Conflict
                                              Source: GAO analysis of DOD regulations, guidance, and training curricula.
                                              a
                                                  Denotes training that has hands-on or computer-based or classroom components.
                                              b
                                                  Denotes training that is computer-based.
                                              c
                                                  Denotes training that is classroom-based.
                                              d
                                                  Denotes training that is hands on.




                                              Page 30                                                                                    GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
              DOD organizations have independently developed training courses
              leading to some gaps and duplication in the training provided because the
              Office of the Secretary Defense for Personnel and Readiness, which has
              primary responsibility for civilian personnel policy, did not have a process
              for identifying baseline civilian predeployment training requirements,
              synchronizing service-specific training programs with combatant
              commander and other Office of the Secretary of Defense predeployment
              training requirements, and coordinating the efforts of key stakeholders,
              such as the military services and subordinate commands. In May 2011,
              we recommended that DOD improve the planning and coordination of
              language and culture training—a component of the Office of the Secretary
              of Defense’s counterinsurgency training. 41 In addition, during our review,
              an official in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel
              and Readiness stated that training standards should be established for
              the department and that the Office of the Secretary of Defense for
              Personnel and Readiness should require the services to incorporate
              these standards into the training the services provide.

              Without a process for identifying and synchronizing requirements and
              coordinating efforts to implement the requirements, the Office of the
              Secretary of Defense cannot ensure that DOD is preparing its civilians for
              deployment to Afghanistan and is using training resources efficiently.


              The U.S. civilian presence in Afghanistan and the deployment of civilians
Conclusions   to Afghan provinces and districts remain crucial to U.S. efforts to build the
              capacity of the Afghan government to provide essential services to its
              people with limited international support. With the increased focus on
              deploying more U.S. civilians throughout Afghanistan comes the need for
              the U.S. Mission to be able to track and monitor the movement and
              location of its civilian staff, especially given the ongoing drawdown of U.S.
              troops and plans to transition lead security responsibility to the Afghan
              government in 2014. We are encouraged by State and DOD’s efforts to
              improve tracking of deployed civilian personnel. Additionally, as DOD has
              expanded its involvement in overseas military operations worldwide, it
              has grown increasingly reliant on its civilian workforce to provide support
              to these operations. While DOD’s efforts to institutionalize the CEW are


              41
                GAO, Military Training: Actions Needed to Improve Planning and Coordination of Army
              and Marine Corps Language and Culture Training, GAO-11-456 (Washington, D.C.: May
              26, 2011).




              Page 31                                                        GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
                      commendable, until DOD makes decisions regarding the size of the CEW
                      and issues implementation guidance, the CEW may not be capable of
                      supporting future overseas operations as well as departmentwide goals to
                      strengthen and rightsize the DOD total workforce.

                      Furthermore, having policies and procedures in place to help ensure that
                      U.S. civilians receive necessary training before they deploy to a high-
                      threat working environment such as Afghanistan can enhance their safety
                      as well as their ability to accomplish the mission. While agencies present
                      under Chief of Mission authority benefit from a centralized set of training
                      requirements and internal controls, DOD’s civilian training process does
                      not have the same level of oversight or centralized control. Enhancing
                      DOD’s civilian training process would provide greater synchronization of
                      training requirements while still allowing the various components to tailor
                      their training to mission-specific needs.


                      To enable DOD to make the CEW a significant portion of the civilian
Recommendations for   workforce, meet readiness goals for the CEW, and position itself to
Executive Action      respond to future missions, we recommend that the Secretary of Defense
                      direct the Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and
                      Readiness to take the following two actions:

                  •   Develop key assumptions concerning the size and composition of the
                      emergency-essential, non-combat essential, and capability-based
                      volunteer categories referred to in the 2009 CEW directive.

                  •   Finalize the implementation guidance to DOD components on how to
                      identify and designate the number and types of positions that constitute
                      the emergency-essential, non-combat essential, and capability-based
                      volunteer categories.

                      To provide a consistent approach for synchronizing predeployment
                      training for DOD civilians, we recommend that the Secretary of Defense
                      direct the Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and
                      Readiness to take the following two actions:

                      •   Establish a process to identify and approve predeployment training
                          requirements for all DOD civilians.

                      •   Establish a process to coordinate with key stakeholders such as the
                          military services and subordinate commands to ensure that
                          requirements are synchronized among and within DOD components
                          and with departmentwide guidance.



                      Page 32                                                GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
                         We provided a draft of this report to DOD, State, USAID, USDA, as well
Agency Comments          as the Departments of Homeland Security, Justice and the Treasury.
and Our Evaluation       DOD provided written comments, reprinted in their entirety in appendix II,
                         and concurred with our four recommendations—characterizing them as
                         supporting its current initiative to transform the CEW. Specifically,

                     •   DOD concurred with our recommendations to (1) develop key
                         assumptions concerning the size and composition of the emergency-
                         essential, non-combat essential, and capability-based volunteer
                         categories referred to in the 2009 CEW directive and (2) finalize the
                         implementation guidance to DOD components on how to identify and
                         designate the number and types of positions for these categories. DOD
                         did not specify how it would implement these recommendations.

                     •   DOD concurred with our recommendation to establish a process to
                         identify and approve pre-deployment training requirements for all DOD
                         civilians. DOD stated that through the process of identifying pre-
                         deployment training requirements, DOD will establish a core set of
                         training needs that are applicable under all circumstances under which
                         DOD civilians may deploy. DOD also stated that it will develop policy that
                         recognizes the agility necessary to prepare DOD civilians for unique
                         mission requirements and conditions now and in the future.

                     •   DOD concurred with our recommendation to establish a process to
                         coordinate with key stakeholders such as the military services and
                         subordinate commands to ensure that training requirements are
                         synchronized among and within DOD components and with department-
                         wide guidance. DOD stated the process it develops for identifying pre-
                         deployment training requirements will account for the need to make the
                         best use of resources using guiding principles and criteria from the
                         Secretary of Defense and advice from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
                         Staff as needed to ensure an agile and effective contingency workforce.

                         State, the Department of the Treasury, and the Department of Homeland
                         Security provided technical comments, which we have incorporated into
                         the report as appropriate. The Department of the Treasury noted that
                         State’s database had not been updated to reflect 13 total approved
                         Treasury positions. Treasury further noted that two of its positions listed
                         as “open” remained programmatically on hold, resulting in 11 active slots
                         filled. We incorporated this technical comment in our report.




                         Page 33                                                GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
We are sending copies of this report to the appropriate congressional
committees; the Secretaries of Agriculture, Defense, Homeland Security,
and State; the U.S. Attorney General; the Administrator of USAID; and
other interested parties. The report also is available at no charge on the
GAO website at http://www.gao.gov.

If you or your staff have any questions about this report, please contact
Brenda S. Farrell at (202) 512-3604 or farrellb@gao.gov or Charles
Michael Johnson Jr. at (202) 512-7331 or johnsoncm@gao.gov. Contact
points for our Offices of Congressional Relations and Public Affairs may
be found on the last page of this report. Key contributors to this report are
listed in appendix III.




Brenda S. Farrell
Director
Defense Capabilities and Management




Charles Michael Johnson Jr.
Director
International Affairs and Trade




Page 34                                                 GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
List of Addressees

The Honorable Carl Levin
Chairman
The Honorable John McCain
Ranking Member
Committee on Armed Services
United States Senate

The Honorable John Kerry
Chairman
The Honorable Richard G. Lugar
Ranking Member
Committee on Foreign Relations
United States Senate

The Honorable Joseph I. Lieberman
Chairman
Committee on Homeland Security
  and Governmental Affairs
United States Senate

The Honorable Daniel K. Inouye
Chairman
The Honorable Thad Cochran
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Defense
Committee on Appropriations
United States Senate

The Honorable Patrick J. Leahy
Chairman
The Honorable Lindsey Graham
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on the Department of State,
  Foreign Operations and Related Programs
Committee on Appropriations
United States Senate




Page 35                                     GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
The Honorable Howard P. “Buck” McKeon
Chairman
The Honorable Adam Smith
Ranking Member
Committee on Armed Services
House of Representatives

The Honorable Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Chairman
The Honorable Howard L. Berman
Ranking Member
Committee on Foreign Affairs
House of Representatives

The Honorable C.W. Bill Young
Chairman
The Honorable Norman D. Dicks
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Defense
Committee on Appropriations
House of Representatives

The Honorable Kay Granger
Chairwoman
The Honorable Nita M. Lowey
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations
  and Related Programs
Committee on Appropriations
House of Representatives

The Honorable Jason Chaffetz
Chairman
The Honorable John F. Tierney
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland
  Defense and Foreign Operations
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
House of Representatives




Page 36                                        GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
Appendix I: Scope and Methodology
             Appendix I: Scope and Methodology




             To review the U.S. civilian presence in Afghanistan, we obtained
             information from pertinent strategic planning, recruitment, staffing, and
             reporting documents and interviewed relevant officials from the
             Departments of Agriculture (USDA), Defense (DOD), Homeland Security,
             Justice, State (State), and the Treasury, as well as the U.S. Agency for
             International Development (USAID). We did not examine costs for the
             deployment or support of civilian personnel in Afghanistan due to a
             concurrent review by the Office of the Special Inspector General for
             Afghanistan Reconstruction on this topic, published in September 2011. 1

             To examine the expansion of the U.S. civilian presence in Afghanistan,
             we obtained and analyzed staffing data from State and DOD regarding
             staffing requirements and fill rates for all civilian positions under Chief of
             Mission authority and key positions under combatant commander
             authority deployed in-country following the President’s March 2009 call to
             enhance support of Afghan national and subnational government
             institutions. Our scope was limited to U.S. direct hires and did not include
             locally engaged staff or contractors. Because, according to DOD officials,
             the majority of DOD civilians directly serve in combat support positions,
             we focused our request for staffing data on organizations or programs
             intended to enhance the capacity of the Afghan government, which
             included the Ministry of Defense Advisors and Afghanistan Pakistan
             Hands programs. We validated reports on Chief of Mission staffing
             progress through interviews with officials representing agencies that
             deployed staff to fill positions in Afghanistan since January 2009,
             including officials from Homeland Security, Justice, State, the Treasury,
             USAID, and USDA. We did not meet with officials from several agencies
             with fewer than five permanent staff deployed to Afghanistan, such as the
             Departments of Transportation and Health and Human Services.

             To assess the reliability of the staffing data reported by State and DOD
             for civilians in Afghanistan, we reviewed available documentation,
             examined the data for outliers and missing observations, and conducted
             follow-up interviews to discuss questions that arose in our analysis of the
             data. Additionally, for Chief of Mission data, we compared complementary
             datasets from State’s Afghanistan Civilian Personnel Tracking System


             1
              The U.S. Civilian Uplift in Afghanistan Has Cost Nearly $2 Billion, and State Should
             Continue to Strengthen Its Management and Oversight of the Funds Transferred to Other
             Agencies, Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction Audit-
             11-17 and Department of State Office of Inspector General AUD/SI-11-45 (Sept. 8, 2011).




             Page 37                                                         GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
Appendix I: Scope and Methodology




(ACPTS) and the Chief of Mission Civilian Staffing Matrix to identify
whether any reporting discrepancies existed. We requested datasets from
State from each database over corresponding time periods; our first data
run compared February 10, 2011, Chief of Mission Civilian Staffing data
with March 16, 2011, ACPTS data; our second data run compared June
28, 2011, Chief of Mission Civilian Staffing Matrix data with July 7, 2011,
ACPTS data. We further met with State officials to identify the cause and
effect of discrepancies that were found to exist, in order to assess
whether the discrepancies limit the ability of U.S. agencies to evaluate
their staffing progress. For DOD, we requested data from the Ministry of
Defense Advisors program, the Afghanistan Pakistan Hands program,
and the Joint Personnel Status Report to identify DOD’s civilian presence
in Afghanistan. We also met with officials from the Ministry of Defense
Advisors program, Afghanistan Pakistan Hands program, and Joint Chiefs
of Staff to discuss the data sources, internal controls, and data reliability
related to their respective staffing data. We found State civilian staffing
data for Afghanistan to be sufficiently reliable to provide an indication of
the positions filled at the level of the agency, but State ACPTS data were
not sufficiently reliable to report on more-detailed staffing information,
such as position type. For the Ministry of Defense Advisors program and
the Afghanistan Pakistan Hands program, we found that program
documents supported the requirements and the number of filled positions
that the program offices provided and that the data from these programs
were sufficiently reliable to illustrate the positions filled within these
programs. However, the extent to which DOD staffing data in the Joint
Personnel Status Report are reliable is unknown because previous
reports have omitted or double counted personnel. DOD officials noted
that while errors do occur in the daily submission of Joint Personnel
Status Report data from the combatant commands, the reports are
accurate enough to identify trends in DOD’s civilian presence over time,
and we agree. As of late 2011, we could not fully verify the accuracy of
the ACPTS system. However, during the course of our review and after
several discussions with us regarding data reliability, State began taking
steps to improve the reliability of the ACPTS database.

To evaluate the implementation of DOD’s Civilian Expeditionary
Workforce (CEW) policy, we obtained and reviewed relevant documents.
Specifically, we reviewed the DOD directive that established the program
to understand the structure of the CEW as presented in this document
and reviewed the 2009 DOD Civilian Human Capital Strategic Plan to
identify the steps DOD had established as a road map for implementing
the CEW directive. We also reviewed other documents such as DOD’s
Strategic Management Plan Fiscal Years 2012-2013 to determine how


Page 38                                                 GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
Appendix I: Scope and Methodology




the CEW related to high-priority departmentwide programs. In addition,
we interviewed Office of the Secretary of Defense and CEW program
officials to further understand the current status of efforts to fully
implement the CEW and the department’s plans for the CEW of the
future. We also interviewed U.S. Central Command officials to determine
how the CEW was being used to satisfy its needs for deployable civilians
in Afghanistan and officials from the Air Force, Army, and Navy, to
determine how these agencies coordinated efforts to identify deployable
civilians.

To determine the extent to which U.S. agencies had provided required
Afghanistan-specific training to their personnel before deployment, we
reviewed predeployment training requirements established by the
Department of State for all Chief of Mission personnel and the
requirements set by various programs and components within the DOD.
We did not analyze training provided by the Department of Justice or its
components due to its specialized law-enforcement nature. For DOD
training, we reviewed training programs for the CEW, Ministry of Defense
Advisors program, Afghanistan Pakistan Hands program, and U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers as well as civilian training for the Air Force, Army, and
Navy. We focused on these DOD programs because of their capacity-
building focus. On two separate occasions, we observed scenario-based
training administered to Chief of Mission personnel and the Ministry of
Defense Advisors program, both held at the Muscatatuck Urban Training
Center in Indiana.

To assess the extent to which the agencies complied with predeployment
training requirements for Chief of Mission personnel, we compared a
March 2011 data run of State, USAID, and USDA personnel from State’s
ACPTS system against Foreign Service Institute training rosters for the
three Afghanistan-specific, mandatory training courses as well as against
a State training waiver log. We focused on State, USAID, and USDA
personnel due to the size of their respective civilian presence, as well as
their primacy in deploying civilians to the field. This analysis yielded 134
names that did not appear on the Foreign Service Institute rosters or in
the waiver log, which we submitted to State’s Office of Orientation and In-
Processing for explanation. Additionally, to test Diplomatic Security’s
FACT Tracker, we selected a random sample of 65 State, USAID, and
USDA names from July 2011 ACPTS personnel data and compared
these names against data in the FACT Tracker. This sample was
designed so that if we found that all sample cases received FACT or
other appropriate training, we would be at least 95 percent confident that
fewer than about 5 percent of State, USAID, and USDA personnel in


Page 39                                                 GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
Appendix I: Scope and Methodology




Afghanistan during July 2011 did not receive FACT training. Although we
note weaknesses in ACPTS’s data reliability, we judged the database
sufficiently reliable to compare names against training rosters, waiver
logs, and the FACT Tracker.

For DOD personnel, we compared the training curricula utilized by the
military services, defense agencies, and the CEW to U.S. Central
Command, U.S. Forces—Afghanistan, and Office of the Secretary of
Defense requirements and guidance to see whether the training
addressed the requirements. In addition, we compared the various
training received by deploying civilians to determine if there was any
duplication or repetition in the training provided. Because training record
keeping within DOD is decentralized, we did not verify individual training
records to establish whether deployed civilians had received the required
training. We did, however, review the procedures that the military services
and defense agencies have in place to ensure that deploying civilians
have taken required training. In addition, we interviewed officials with the
Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness,
CEW training office, Air Force, Army, Navy, U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers, and U.S. Central Command to discuss the predeployment
training requirements for deployed civilians.

We conducted this performance audit from May 2010 to February 2012 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.
Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain
sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our
findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that
the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and
conclusions based on our audit objectives.




Page 40                                                GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
Appendix II: Comments from the Department
             Appendix II: Comments from the Department
             of Defense



of Defense




             Page 41                                     GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
Appendix II: Comments from the Department
of Defense




Page 42                                     GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
Appendix II: Comments from the Department
of Defense




Page 43                                     GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
Appendix III: GAO Contacts and Staff
                  Appendix III: GAO Contacts and Staff
                  Acknowledgments



Acknowledgments

                  Brenda S. Farrell, (202) 512-3604 or farrellb@gao.gov
GAO Contacts      Charles Michael Johnson Jr., (202) 512-7331 or johnsoncm@gao.gov


                  In addition to the contacts named above, Hynek Kalkus, Assistant
Staff             Director; Kimberly Seay, Assistant Director; David Adams; Adam
Acknowledgments   Bonnifield; Virginia Chanley; David Hancock; Mae Jones; Linda Keefer;
                  Shakira O’Neil; and John Wren made key contributions to this report.




(320766)
                  Page 44                                             GAO-12-285 Afghanistan
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