oversight

Chemical Warfare: DOD's Reporting of Its Chemical and Biological Research

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-08-02.

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

      ·,
                                                                                                   ...
                                                                                                   I


                            United States General Accounting Office
__:;~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~---=o.<-~~~~~~~·




GAO                         Report to the Chairman, Committee on
                            Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate



August 1990
                            CHEMICAL
                            WARFARE
                            OOD's Reporting of Its
                            Chemical and
                            Biological Research




                   ..   I                             RELEASED
                            RESTRICTED--Not t.o be released outside the '
                            General Accounting Office unless specifically '
                            approved by the Offtce of Congressional
                            Relations.


GAO/NSIAD-90-102                                                              . . . '1:      .:·
                                                                                     ·.··.
GAO                United States
                   General Accounting Office
                   '\Vashington,D.C.20548

                   National Security and
                   International Affairs Division

                   B-238363

                   August 2, 1990

                   The Honorable John Glenn
                   Chairman, Committee on
                     Governmental Affairs
                   United States Senate

                   Dear Mr. Chairman:

                   You asked us to assess the Department of Defense's (DOD) reporting of
                   its chemical warfare and biological defense research programs for accu-
                   racy and completeness. The threat of worldwide chemical/biological
                   proliferation has spurred numerous hearings and legislative efforts to
                   more effectively control chemical warfare and biological defense activi-
                   ties. To assist the Congress in its oversight role, DOD is required to pre-
                   pare different reports on the subject. This report discusses three DOD
                   reporting documents for chemical warfare and biological defense
                   research programs and suggests ways to improve reporting.


                   Our review indicated that ooo's reports are generally accurate and con-
Results in Brief   sistent with one another and comply with the requirement that DOD
                   identify the amount, purpose, and necessity for each expenditure. Don's
                   annual report of biological and chemical research program obligations
                   does not, however, describe intermediate or overall program goals and
                   objectives or set the accomplishments in the perspective of a broader
                   purpose. Even though not required, we believe that such information is
                   necessary because, without a specialized scientific background, having
                   only details on projects does not provide enough information for most
                   readers to know whether or not progress is being made toward the
                   objectives of the program or the relative impo1tance of the results being
                   reported.


                   The Department of the Army manages DOD's chemical warfare and bio-
Background         logical defense research programs. The chemical warfare part of the
                   program involves research in both offensive and defensive measures,
                   and is targeted towards developing protective clothing and equipment,
                   techniques to identify and detect chemical weapons that hostile forces
                   might employ, decontamination methods, and medical treatments. The
                   biological part of the program is restricted by national policy and the
                   terms of the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention to only defensive
                   research. The goals of the Biological Defense Research Program are to


                    Pagel                                        GAO/NSJ:AD.9().102 Chemical Warfare
                         B-238363




                          develop measures for detection, decontamination, treatment, and protec-
                          tion, with particular emphasis on developing vaccines and drugs to pro-
                          tect against selected biological warfare agents.

                          During fiscal year 1989 DOD reported obligations of about $308 million
                          for the research, development, test, and evaluation of these programs.
                          About $226 million was reported for the chemical program, and $82 mil-
                          lion for the biological program. DOD provides various reports to the Con-
                          gress and the international community on its chemical and biological
                          programs.


                          Our tests of the following documents showed that they were generally
Reports Are Generally     accurate.
Accurate and
                        • DOD's Annual Report on Chemical Warfare-Chemical/Biological
Consistent With One       Defense Research Program Objectives, which provides information on
Another                   monies spent for research, development, test, and evaluation;
                        • congressional descriptive summaries, which are included as part of oon's
                          annual budget justification packages; and
                        • U.S. Report to the United Nations Department of Disarmament Affairs,
                          which provides data on U.S. biological research as it relates to the 1972
                          Biological Weapons Convention.

                          We found that project 1 objectives and accomplishments for seven
                          selected projects reported in congressional descriptive summaries were
                          accurate and consistent with those reported in other documents, such as
                          oon's annual report. The annual report's objectives and accomplish-
                          ments were consistent with other supporting documentation. Reported
                          obligations for fiscal year 1988 differed between the annual report and
                          comparable budget documents, mainly because funds were reallocated
                          at the end of the fiscal year and data for each report were submitted at
                          different times.


                          ooD's annual report does not describe the overall goals of the Chemical
Additional Data Could     Warfare and Chemical/Biological Defense Programs. The report details
Be Reported               objectives and accomplishments for 31 smaller efforts in various phases
                          of research and development, but does not describe the individual

                           1
                            For the purposes of this rrport, we define a project as a dist.met, reportable segment of a program or
                           program element. ln the budget reportmg process, a program element nonnally defines a research
                           development effort with specific design, cost. schedule, and capability parameters.



                           Page2                                                         GAO/NSIAD-90·102 Chemical Warfare
                     B-238363




                     accomplishments in the context of either intermediate or overall pro-
                     gram goals. While this information is not required by law, it would pro-
                     vide a clearer picture of overall program intent, progress> and associated
                     obligations.

                     The U.S. annual report to the United Nations on biological defense
                     research includes data on research facilities performing biological
                     research and published scientific papers from civilian agencies> such as
                     the Center for Infectious Disease of the Centers for Disease Control, but
                     contains little information from the military community on what it has
                     published. DOD considers its biological research to be open and, gener-
                     ally, unclassified, and it encourages the exchange of scientific research
                     information. According to DOD and Arms Control and Disarmament
                     Agency officials, a list of U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infec-
                     tious Disease publications and presentations has been included in the
                     April 1990 U.S. submission to the United Nations.


                      ooo's reporting on chemical warfare and biological defense research is
Conclusions and       generally accurate and consistent to ensure compliance with reporting
RecoIJUllendation     requirements. However, we believe the report is incomplete because it
                      does not address intermediate and overall goals, and implies progress
                      toward goals without actually discussing them. DOD's annual report pro-
                      vides detail on individual research projects, but does not describe inter-
                      mediate or overall goals or how the accomplishments of the projects
                      relate to the goals. We believe the inclusion of such information in ooo's
                      annual report would provide basic oversight information and further
                      the recipients' understanding of DOD's biological and chemical research
                      programs and the progress being made. We recommend that the Secre-
                      tary of Defense change the scope of the annual DOD report to include

                    • a description of Chemical Warfare-Chemical/Biological Defense
                      Research Program and intermediate goals and
                    • a statement of progress as it relates to the program or intermediate
                      goals.

                      The U.S. report to the United Nations, until recently, did not include mil-
                      itary scientific articles that are published in scientific journals. Because
                      Army officials included this information in the April 1990 U.S. submis-
                      sion to the United Nations, we make no recommendations regarding this
                      report.




                      Page3                                         GAO/NSIAD-90-102 Chemical Warfare
                      B-238363




                       DOD generally agrees with the report findings, but did not agree with our
Agency Comments and   'specific finding and recommendation related to the need to include goals
Our Evaluation         and a statement of progress in the annual report. First, it believes that
                       including information on U.S. forces' vulnerabilities would make the
                       report classified, and thereby limit report dissemination. Second, it
                       believes the information included in current reports responds to con-
                       gressional direction and is sufficient for oversight.

                      We believe our recommendation is still valid because (1) none of the
                      overview information we believe should be included is classified and (2)
                      although the overview information we suggest is not required by law,
                      we continue to believe that the DOD report does not now provide enough
                      perspective for comprehensive oversight. Divulging specific vulnerabili-
                      ties of the U.S. forces is not required to implement our recommendation.


                      We believe that including information on program goals and a statement
Matter for            of progress in achieving them would improve DOD's annual report by set-
Congressional         ting it in perspective and allow more comprehensive oversight. How-
Consideration         ever, in view of ooo's position not to include this information in its
                      annual report, your Committee may wish to consider whether it believes
                      such information would be beneficial in meeting its oversight responsi-
                      bilities, and initiate efforts to modify the reporting requirements
                      accordingly.


                      Appendix l describes the defense reporting in more detail. Appendix II
                      sets forth the objectives, scope, and methodology of our review.
                      Appendix III contains comments by DOD.

                      As arranged with your office, unless you publicly announce its contents
                      earlier, we plan no further distribution of this report until 30 days from
                      its issue date. At that time, we will send copies to the Secretaries of
                      Defense and the Army, and other interested parties. We will also make
                      copies available to others upon request.




                       Page 4                                      GAO/NSIAD.90-102 Chemical Warfare
B-238363




This report was prepared under the direction of Donna M. Heivilin,
Director, Logistics Issues, (202) 275-8412. Other major contributors are
listed in appendix IV.

Sincerely yours,




Frank C. Conahan
Assistant Comptroller General




Page5                                       GAO/NSIAD-90-102 Chemical Warfare
Contents


Letter                                                                                               1

Appendix I                                                                                           8
Chemical Warfare-
Chemical/Biological
Defense Research
Reporting
Appendix II                                                                                        14
Objectives, Scope, and
Methodology
Appendix III                                                                                        16
Comments From the
Department of
Defense
Appendix IV                                                                                         21
Major Contributors to
This Report
Table                    Table I. l: Research Areas Reported by DOD                                  9




                         Abbreviations

                         DOD      Department of Defense


                         Page 6                                       GAO/NSIAD-90-102 Chemical Warfan>
Page7   GAO/NSIAD-90-102 Chemical Warfare
Appendix I

Chemical Warfare Chemical/Biological
Defense Research Reporting

                      The threat of worldwide chemical/biological proliferation has spurred
                      numerous hearings and legislative efforts to more effectively control
                      and report on chemical warfare and biological defense activities. Legis-
                      lative actions include increasing export controls, mandating sanctions
                      against nations using chemical/biological warfare, and reinstating the
                      legislative requirement for the Department of Defense (DOD) to report on
                      its chemical and biological defense program obligations. These actions
                      indicate the need and desire for the Congress to have a thorough
                      reporting of chemical and biological research programs and of the
                      expenditures associated with them.


                      DOD's Annual Report on Chemical Warfare-Chemical/Biological
DOD's Annual Report   Defense Research Program Obligations, which is compiled by the Army's
on Chemical           Chemical, Research, Development and Engineering Center, is intended to
                      help the Congress maintain oversight of research programs. The annual
Warfare-Chemical/     reporting requirement was established in 1975 by P.L. 93-608. It
Biological Defense    required the Secretary of Defense to submit reports on expenditures of
Research              monies for chemical and biological research of lethal and nonlethal
                      agents. The report is to include an explanation of expenditures including
                      the purpose and necessity for them.

                      In 1986, the Congress terminated the reporting requirement as part of a
                      cost savings measure and to reduce the administrative burden on DOD. 1
                      However, the requirement was reinstated in 1989. 2 The Congress cited
                      the need for better oversight.

                      DOD's annual reports on the status of its Chemical Warfare and Chem-
                      ical/Biological Defense Research Programs are organized by research
                      category: basic research, exploratory, advanced, and full-scale develop-
                      ment, and testing. For example, in 1988 DOD indicated that it had obli-
                      gated over $2 million for exploratory development in its lethal chemical
                      program, a reporting area of the Chemical Warfare and Chemical
                      Defense Research Program.

                      The report excludes unfunded research and activities involving smoke.
                      Although DOD does not consider smoke to be a chemical agent, it has


                      1Section 602 of the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986 (P.L.
                      99-433).
                      2
                       Section 243 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 1990 and 1991 (P.L.
                      101-189).



                      Pages                                                       GAO/NSIAl).9().102 Chemical Warfare
                                         Appendix I
                                         Chemical Warfare-Chemical/Biological
                                         Defense Research Reporting




                                         historically been included in the chemical research program for manage-
                                         ment purposes. Table I. I shows the areas of research that DOD reports.

Table 1.1: Research Areas Reported by
DOD                                       Chemical Warfare and Chemical Defense
                                            Program                             Biological Defense Research Program
                                          Chemical research                     Biological defense research
                                        • Lethal chemical program               Defensive systems
                                                                     --·----
                                          Incapacitating chemical program       ,Stimulant test support
                                          Chemical defensive equipment program  Management and support
                                          .                        ------
                                          Training support
                                          Stimulant test support
                                                                     - ·- ·-------------
                                          Management and support


                                         Although similar data are reported through the budget process, the
                                         annual report is the only one which summarizes, in one document, the
                                         status of ooo's Chemical Warfare and Chemical/Biological Defense
                                         Research Program activities. We found the report to be generally accu-
                                         rate, and DOD believes it is sufficient to assist the Congress in its over-
                                         sight of the chemical/biological program. Some data, such as overall
                                         program or intermediate objectives and status of progress, are not
                                         reported. There is, however, no requirement to report these data.


Data Could Be More                       We assessed the accuracy and completeness of the annual report by
Complete                                 comparing data for 7 of the 31 projects in ooo's 1988 annual report with
                                         similar data in congressional descriptive summaries, which are used to
                                         justify ooo's budget requests. Both reports describe individual program
                                         and project objectives, accomplishments, and obligations by fiscal year.

                                          Our analysis showed that objectives and accomplishments for the seven
                                          selected projects were consistent with those reported in the congres-
                                          sional descriptive summaries and other supporting documentation. How-
                                          ever, the descriptions were unlikely to be useful unless a reader had a
                                          great deal of technical background. The report did not define the Chem-
                                          ical Warfare and Chemical/Biological Defense Program goals and did not
                                          explain how individual accomplishments relate to these goals. For
                                          example, "Defensive Systems" is an exploratory development program
                                          reported under the Biological Defense Research Program. This program
                                          is aimed at, among other things, developing vaccines against potential
                                          threat agents and anti-agent drugs. In 1988, DOD reported 20 results for
                                          this program. Among the items reported were such results as
                                          researchers had defined parameters of distribution and clearance for


                                          Page9                                         GAO/NSIAD-90·102 Chemical Warfare
 Appendix I
 Chemical Warl'are--Chemlcal/Biological
 Defense Research Reporting




  certain toxins, identified an intracellular site of action of tetanus toxin,
  and found that a lipid-sugar coating induced protective immunity
  against aerosol challenges.

  The accuracy and apparent relevance of reported results notwith-
  standing, we found that project descriptions such as this do not indicate
  their relative contribution in meeting such intermediate goals as devel-
  oping vaccines. Without such a perspective, it is also impossible to ascer-
  tain progress toward overall Biological Defense Research Program goals
  of deterrence, returning personnel to duty, or preventing mortality in
  personnel following biological attack We found the same type of
  reporting for most of the projects described in the annual report.

  Where results cannot be related directly to overall goals, a description of
  the results' relationship to intermediate goals would help provide a
  clearer picture of progress. Examples of the type of information we
  believe would be useful are already found in greater detail in portions of
  some lower-level reports. The Army's Medical Research Institute of
  Infectious Diseases reports its mission and objectives and its strategies
  to achieve the objectives. Work unit summary data include brief state-
  ments that help relate the work unit to the strategies and thus provide a
  perspective of how the work is helping to achieve goals. For example:

• "An understanding of the protective immune mechanisms ... [is a] pre-
  requisite for the development of effective vaccines and therapeutic mea-
  sures, and [is] the focal [point] for this research."
• "The goal of this study is to develop and optimize rapid, simple tests for
  identifying agents of biological warfare potential or geographic impor-
  tance .... In previous years, rapid assays to detect antigens and antibo-
  dies were developed for a number of militarily relevant viral diseases.
  After optimization, many of these assays were field~tested under Work
  Unit No. 809-EA-005. In all cases, the antibody assays worked ... [but]
  there is a need to simplify the test format and procedures.''

  The limits of current reporting can also be demonstrated by the Army's
  field protective mask. Since 1977, the Army has reported a military
  requirement to provide respiratory protection in a contaminated envi-
  ronment. The Army initially bought the current M-17 series mask in the
  1960s and now considers it obsolete. In 1986 and 1987, the Army
  reported that the XM-40 series-a product of Army research-would
  replace the M-17. The mask was not discussed in the 1988 report
  because it was going into production and reporting was no longer
  required once research was completed. The Army has experienced


  Page 10                                        GAO/NSlAD-90·102 Chemical Warfare
                          Appendix I
                          Cllemical Warfare-Chemical/Biological
                          Defense Research Reporting




                          delays in awarding the production contract. In this case, the initial
                          objectives and accomplishments for this program were documented, and
                          the Army expects to eventually achieve production. However, the final
                          achievement of a program goal would not now be disclosed in the annual
                          report. Although we do not propose detailed reporting on production
                          status in this case, we believe it would be useful to recognize when the
                          ultimate goal of a fielded mask that works has been met.

                          DOD is not required to summarize the progress of its research or define
                          program goals and accomplishments. However, we believe such basic
                          oversight information in the annual report would aid in better under-
                          standing DOD's Chemical Warfare-Chemical/Biological Defense
                          Research Programs. Officials in the Office of the Secretary of Defense
                          stated that they are concerned, however, about increasing the number of
                          reporting requirements imposed on them.


                          DOD also reports to the Congress through congressional descriptive sum-
The Budget                maries to justify its budget submissions. These summary reports provide
Justification Reporting   the Congress with a budgetary snapshot of ooo's chemical and biological
                          research programs, including obligated funds and planned obligations.

                          DOD submits a descriptive summary for each research program element
                          funded in the current or budget year. These summaries are included as
                          justification material for review by congressional oversight committees.
                          Each summary must indude, among other things, project descriptions,
                          accomplishments, and obligations.

                          Both program element and project data are reported in congressional
                          summaries. However, programs and projects reported in descriptive
                          summaries are not the same as those reported in the annual report. For
                          example, the program element "Chemical, Smoke and Equipment
                          Defeating Technology" is repo1ted in oon's descriptive summaries. For
                          budget reporting purposes, this program represents four projects. One of
                          these projects is called "Chemical Munitions." In the annual report, this
                          research effort is reported under the "Chemical Warfare and Chemical
                          Defense Program" as an exploratory development effort within the
                          lethal chemical program and the incapacitating chemical program. These
                          two "programs" in the annual report represent the "project" called
                          ''Chemical Munitions." as repoited in the descriptive summaries.
                                                                          '
                           The reported data result from compiling and condensing information
                           from several sources, induding the Office of the Secretary of Defense,


                           Page 11                                    GAO/NSIAD-90-10.2 Chemical Warfllrt"
                          Appendix I
                          Chemical Warfare-Chemical/Biological
                          Defense Research Reporting




                          Army headquarters, local commands, and subordinate activities, such as
                          government and contractor research laboratories.


Reported Data Are          Our tests of reported data associated with the budget process for seven
                           chemical and biological research projects showed that (1) the objectives
Accurate                   remained consistent throughout the reporting chain, and (2) broad
                           accomplishments reported in the descriptive summaries were supported
                           by more detailed results in subordinate documentation.

                           Since program objectives and results must be condensed and incorpo-
                           rated into limited space (1 and 2 pages), managers judgmentally decide
                           which results to include in the summaries. Thus, not all project results
                           will appear in the descriptive summaries. For example, for a medical
                           chemical defense project, 22 results were reported in 1988 work unit
                           summaries. Six results were reported in the 1988 annual report and
                           three in the descriptive summaries. However, documentation for this
                           project and the others we tested was consistent.


                           The use of poison gas during World War I resulted in conventions to
The U.S. Report to the     outlaw chemical and biological warfare. The first convention, the 1925
United Nations             Geneva Gas Protocol, prohibits the member nations, including the
                           United States, from being the first to use chemical and biological
                           weapons in war, but not from developing, producing, possessing, or
                           transferring them. In addition, the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons
                           Convention prohibits stockpiling and acquisition of biological agents or
                           toxins of types and quantities that have no justification for prophy-
                           lactic, protective, or other peaceful purposes.

                           In 1987, representatives from over 100 countries that participated in the
                           1972 convention conferred to strengthen the convention's authority and
                           enhance confidence in implementing its provisions. The participants
                           mutually agreed to

                         • exchange data on research centers and laboratories meeting high
                           national and international safety standards;
                         • exchange information on all outbreaks of infectious diseases and similar
                           occurrences caused by toxins;
                         • encourage the publication of results of biological research directly
                           related to the convention in scientific journals generally available to par-
                           ticipating countries, as well as promotion of use for permitted purposes
                           of knowledge gained in this research; and


                           Page 12                                       GAO/NSJAD.90-102 Chemical Warfare
                             Appendix I
                             Chemical Warfare-Chemical/Biological
                             Defense Research Reporting




                           • promote contacts between scientists engaged in biological research
                             directly related to the Convention, including exchanges for joint
                             research on a mutually agreed basis.

                             The participants agreed to report annually to the United Nations
                             Department for Disarmament Affairs.

                             As a party to this agreement, the United States reports annually to the
                             United Nations on its biological research activities. Although the United
                             States appears to fulfill its reporting requirements, we observed that the
                             report contained little detail on military scientific publications.


More Detailed Data Could     Our examination of 10 nations' reports to the United Nations, including
                             the U.S. report, showed that 5 included listings of published articles.
Be Provided                  Two of the five reports cited military articles and three did not. The U.S.
                             report contained detailed listings of over 500 publications from the
                             Center for Infectious Disease of the Centers for Disease Control and the
                             Plum Island Animal Disease Center. However, no such listing was pro-
                             vided for military organizations. Instead, the United States reported
                             titles of 46 journals in which research centers and laboratories,
                             including the Army's Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases,
                             may have published. We noted 162 military scientific articles published
                             in the Institute's 1988 Annual Report, a document approved for public
                             release, with unlimited distribution, but they were not included in the
                             report to the United Nations.

                             DOD   considers its biological research to be open and generally unclassi-
                              fied, and it encourages the exchange of scientific research information.
                              We discussed this lack of military articles in the report to the United
                              Nations with DOD officials. They said that such data has been included in
                              the April 1990 U.S. submission to the United Nations.




                              Page 13                                     GAO/NSIAD-90-102 Chemical Warfare
Appendix II

Objectives, Scope, and Methodology


                The Chairman, Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, requested
                us to examine ooo's reporting of its chemical and biological research
                program activities. He asked us to review ooo's system to determine if
                the reported data are of sufficient accuracy and completeness to permit
                oversight of the programs and ensure compliance with international
                commitments.

                To accomplish this objective, we interviewed officials and examined
                records at DOD headquarters offices, including the Office of the Secre-
                tary of Defense, the Department of the Army, and the Arms Control and
                Disarmament Agency, Washington, D.C. We analyzed relevant laws, leg-
                islative history, and regulations. We also visited the following Army
                subordinate commands:

              • Medical Research and Development Command;
              • Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick,
                Maryland;
              • Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense, Aberdeen Proving
                Ground, Maryland; and
              • Chemical Research, Development, and Engineering Center, Aberdeen
                Proving Ground, Maryland.

                To assess the adequacy of reporting, we identified and examined three
                reports: (1) ooo's Annual Report on Chemical Warfare-Chemical/Bio-
                logical Defense Research Program Obligations, (2) the U.S. Report to the
                United Nations, and (3) DOD's congressional descriptive summaries.

                We assessed the accuracy and completeness of the 1988 annual report
                and the budget process by comparing similar data in the report with
                fiscal year 1990-1991 congressional descriptive summaries, which are
                used to justify ooo's budget requests to the Congress. We focused our
                efforts on and analyzed supporting documentation for seven projects
                judgmentally selected from congressional descriptive summaries: (1)
                BSl 1-medical chemical defense research program, (2) A554-lethal
                chemical and incapaeitating chemical programs, (3) A875-medical
                defense against chemical agents, (4) DE83-chemical detection and
                warning materiel, (5) A871-defensive systems, (6) D847-drug and
                vaccine development, and (7) D019-M40/M42 protective mask.

                The seven accounted for 23 percent of the projects reported in the 1988
                annual report. We used the 1988 report since it was the most current.
                We also reviewed annual reports from 1987, 1986, and 1976-1978 for



                Page 14                                     GAO/NSIAD-90-102 Chemical Warfare
  Appendix U
  Objectives, Scope, and Methodology




  continuity and descriptive summaries for fiscal years 1987 through
  1991.

  The supporting documentation that we reviewed for the projects
  included

• congressional descriptive summaries, which describe program elements
  and projects;
• Army research and development descriptive summaries, the forerunner
  of congressional descriptive summaries;
• the "Joint Service Chemical Warfare/Chemical, Biological Defense Man-
  agement Review, OUSDRE FY 1988 Science and Technology Program
  Review, for the Medical Chemical Warfare Defense Program," which
  summarizes program goals and accomplishments;
• program element thrust area accomplishment sheets, compiled by an
  Army subordinate command;
• annual reviews and analyses, the results of monitoring research labora-
  tories; and
• work unit summaries, which are compiled by contractor and govern-
  ment laboratories to report on the progress of a particular unit of work.

  We analyzed the U.S. annual report to the United Nations for 1989, and
  compared it with international reporting requirements and similar
  reports from 9 of 19 other countries. We also focused our analysis on
  data provided by the Department of Defense.

  Our work did not include a review of biological or chemical program
  issues. It also did not assess the reported goals or progress toward
  achieving goals of the biological program, which is the subject of an
  ongoing review.

   We conducted our review from September through December 1989 in
   accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.




   :Page 15                                    GAO/NSIAD-9-0-102 Chemical Warfare
Appendix III

Cormnents From the Department of Defense




               IS\               DIRECTOR OF DEFENSE RESEARCH AND ENGINEERING

                                           WASHINGTON, DC 2.0301·3010


               ~
               (UATl                                                            1 6 APR !990



                 Mr. Frank c. Conahan
                 Assistant Comptroller General
                 National Security and Internal Affairs Division
                 u.s. General Accounting Office
                 Washington, o.c. 20548
                 Dear Mr. Conahan:
                      This is the Department of Defense (DoD) response to the
                 General Accounting Office (GAO) draft report entitled "CHEMICAL
                 WARFARE: DoD's Reporting of Its Chemical and Biological
                 Research," dated February 23, 1990 (GAO Code 398002), OSD
                 Case 8246.
                     The Department agrees in part with the report findings and
                 recommendations. The DoD recognizes the need to report more
                 fully publications arising from the Biological Defense Research
                 Program and will ensure that a complete listing is provided in
                 the annual report to the United Nations Department for
                 Disarmament Affairs. The DoD is pleased that the GAO review of
                 budget justification reporting confirmed the facts that: (l) the
                 objectives remained consistent throughout the reporting chain,
                 and (2) broad accomplishments reported in the descriptive
                 summaries were supported by more detailed accomplishments in
                 subordinate documentation.
                      The Department does not agree with the specific finding and
                 general recommendation that relates to the need for inclusion of
                 program goals, objectives, accomplishments, and production of
                 fielded equipment in the annual report to the Congress. This
                 report provides funding information and a synopsis of research
                 accomplishments. Other reports required by the Congress
                 (Congressional Descriptive Summaries) provide a clear statement
                 of goals, objectives and accomplishments for each program
                 element.
                     The Department is fully and completely responding to
                 direction from the Congress, with the current documentation
                 sufficient to assist the Congress in its oversight of the
                 Chemical Warfare and Chemical/Biological Research Programs.




                       Page 16                                          GAO/NSIAD-90-102 Chemical Warfare
     Appendix ill
     Comments From the Department of Defense




    Each finding and recommendation is specifically addressed in
the enclosure. The DoD appreciates the opportunity to comment
on the draft report.
                                   Sincerely,




      Page 17                                   GAO/NSIAD-90·102 Chemical Warfare
                     Appendix ID
                     Comments From the Department of Defense




                            GAO DRAFT REPORT - DATED FEBRUARY 23, 1990
                                  (GAO CODE 398002) OSD CASE 8246
                      "CHEMICAL WARFARE:        DOD'S REPORTING OP ITS CHEMICAL
                                        AND   BIOLOOICAL RESEARCH"
                                    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE COMMENTS

                                                 * ** * *
                                                  FINDINGS

                • FINDING A: Background: Do~'s Chemical Warfare And Biolociical
                  Defense Research Programs. The GAO reported that the
                  Department of the Army manages the DoD chemical warfare and
                  biological defense research programs. According to the GAO,
                  the chemical warfare portion of the program involves research
                  in both offensive and defensive measures, and is targeted
                  towards developing protective clothing and equipment,
                  techniques to identify and detect chemical weapons,
                  decontamination methods, and medical treatments. The GAO
                  explained that the biological portion is restricted by
                  national policy and the terms of the 1972 Biological Weapons
                  Convention to defensive research only. According to the GAO,
                  the Biological Defense Research Program is geared to
                  developing measures for detection, decontamination, treatment,
                  and protection, with emphasis on developing vaccines and drugs
                  to protect against selected biological warfare agents. The
                  GAO noted that in FY 1989 the DoD spent about $223 million on
                  the chemical program and $83 million on the biological
Now on pp 1-2     program. (pp. 2-3/GAO Draft Report)
                  DoD Response: Concur. The DoD obligated approximately
                  $308 million in FY 1989, of which approximately $226 million
                  was devoted to the chemical program and $82 million was spent
                  on the biological defense program.
                • FINDING B: DoD's Annual RePQrt on Chemical Warfare -
                  Chemical/Biological Defense Research. The GAO reported that
                  the Department's Annual Report on Chemical Warfare -
                  Chemical/Biological Defense Research provides Congress with
                  information on expenditures for chemical and biological
                  research of lethal and nonlethal agents and includes a full
                  explanation of the expenditures including the purpose and
                  necessity for them. The GAO explained that the DoD reports on
                  the status of the applicable programs by research category.
                  The GAO observed that, although similar data are reported
                  through the budget process (Finding C), the annual report is
                  the only report which summarizes in one document the status of
                  the Department's Chemical Warfare and Chemical/Biological
                  Defense Research Program activities.




                      Page 18                                     GAO/NSJ.AD..90-102 Chemical Warfare
                            Appendix III
                            Comments From the Departmrnt of Defense




                       The GAO compared data for seven of the 31 projects in the DoD
                       1988 annual report with similar data in congressional
                       descriptive summaries and found that objectives and
                       accomplishments for the selected projects were consistent with
                       those reported in the Congressional summaries and other
                       supporting documentation. The GAO found, however, that the
                       report did not define the Chemical Warfare and
                       Chemical/Biological Defense Program goals and did not explain
                       how individual program accomplishments achieved the goals.
                       The GAO acknowledged that the DoD is not required to summarize
                       the overall progress of its research or define overall
                       progress of its research, but concluded that such information
                       in the annual report would aid the recipients of the report to
                       better understand the DoD Chemical Warfare-Chemical/Biological
Now on pp 2-3, 9-11    Defense Research Programs. (pp. 3-6, pp. 9-13/GAO Draft
                       Report)
                        DoD Response: Partially concur. The GAO correctly stated
                        that the DoD was not responsible for incorporation of goals,
                        objectives, and program accomplishments in the annual report
                        to the Congress. It is the DoD position that such information
                        should not be incorporated in the report. The Congressional
                        Descriptive Summaries are prepared for each program element
                        supporting the chemical/biological program, and clearly state
                        goals, accomplishments for the past fiscal year, and the
                        planned program for the out years. In addition, the Congress
                        wants an unclassified report for widespread dissemination. If
                        the additional information were included, the annual report
                        would be classified, because it would divulge specific
                        vulnerabilities of the U.S. forces.
                      • Finding C: The Budget Justification Reporting, The GAO
                        reported that the DoD provides descriptive summaries to the
                        Congress that contain budgetary snapshots of DoD chemical and
                        biological research programs, including obligated funds and
                        planned obligations. According to the GAO, the swrunaries are
                        included as budget justification material for review by
                        Congressional oversight committees and must include project
                        descriptions, accomplishments, and obligations. The GAO
                        pointed out that both program element and project data are
                        reported in Congressional summaries, however, programs and
                        projects reported in descriptive summaries are not the same as
                        those reported in the annual report (Finding B).
                        The GAO reported that its tests of reported data associated
                        with the budget process for seven chemical and biological
                        research projects showed that:
                        -   the objectives remained consistent throughout the reporting
                            chain: and
                        - broad accomplishments reported in the descriptive summaries
                          were supported by more detailed accomplishments in
                          subordinate documentation.




                             Page 19                                  GAO/NSIAD-90-102 Chemical Warfare
                          Appendix Ill
                          C<>nunents From the Department of Defense




                       The GAO further reported that since program objectives and
                       accomplishments must be condensed and incorporated into one or
                       two pages, 111ana9ers judgmentally decide which accomplishments
                       to include in the summaries. The GAO observed that, as a
                       result, not all project accomplishments appear in the
                       descriptive sWIU'llaries. (pp. 3-6, pp. 14-16/GAO Draft
Now on pp 11-12        Report)

                       DoD Response:      Concur.
                     • Finding D: The U.S. Report To The United Nations. The GAO
                       reported that, as a party to a 1987 agreement to strengthen
                       the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, the United
                       States reports annually to the United Nations Department for
                       Disarmament Affairs on biological research activities. The
                       GAO reviewed 10 nations 1 reports to the United Nations,
                       including the U.S. report, and found that 5 reports included
                       listings of published articles, of which only 2 cited military
                       articles. According to the GAO, the U.S. report contained
                       detailed listings of over 500 publications from the Center for
                       Infectious Disease of the Centers for Disease Control, and the
                       Plum Island Animal Disease Center, but no such listing was
                       provided for military organizations. The GAO found that the
                       u.s. reported titles of 36 journals in which research centers
                       and laboratories, including the Army's Medical Research
                       Institute of Infectious Diseases, may have been published.
                       The GAO noted 162 military scientific articles were published
                       in the Institute's 1988 Annual Report which is available to
                       the public but were not included in the report to the United
                       Nations. The GAO pointed out that the DoD considers its
                       biological research to be open and generally unclassified, and
                       encourages the exchange of scientific research information,
                       The GAO reported that the Army has agreed to include military
Now on pp 3, 12-13     articles in the April 1990 report.     (pp. 3-6, pp. 16-19/GAO
                       Draft Report)
                       DoD Response:       Concur.

                                                         *** * *
                                                     RECOMMENDATION


                     • RECOMMENDATION: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of
                       Defense include in the annual DoD report a description of
                       overall Chemical Warfare - Chemical/Biological Defense
Now on p 3             Research Program goals and a statement of progress in
                       achieving overall program goals. (p. 6/GAO Draft Report)
                       DoD Responses Nonconcur. It is the Department 1 s position
                       that the information included in the current reports fully and
                       completely respond to the direction from the Congress, and is
                       sufficient to assist the Congress in its oversight of the
                       chemical/biological program. (See the DoD response to
                       Finding B.)




                          Page 20                                     GAO/NSlAJ>..90-102 Chemical Warfare
Appendix IV

Major Contributors to This Report


                        Uldis Adamsons, Assistant Director
National Security and   Elizabeth G. Mead, Evaluator-in-Charge
International Affairs   John D. Sawyer, Evaluator
Division,
Washington, D.C.




(398002)                Page 21                                  GAO/NSIAD-91).102 Chemical Warfare
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