Drug Control: Status of Obligations for Fiscal Year 1990 DOD Counternarcotics Funds

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-09-25.

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

     *              United   States   General   Accounting   Office
                    Fact Sheet for Congressional
&A0                 Requesters

September   19!I0
                    DRUG CONTROL                                      ‘.
                    Status of Obligations
                    for Fiscal Year 1990
                    DOD Counternarcotics
                      United States
GAO                   General Accounting Office
                      Washington, D.C. 20648

                      National Security and
                      International Affairs Division


                      September 25,199O

                      The Honorable Alfonse M. D’Amato
                      Co-Chairman, Caucus on
                        International Narcotics Control
                      United States Senate

                      The Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
                      Chairman, Legislation and National
                        Security Subcommittee,
                      Committee on Government Operations
                      House of Representatives

                      This fact sheet responds to your request for information on the status of
                      obligations for the fiscal year 1990 Department of Defense (DOD) coun-
                      ternarcotics appropriation of $460 million. Specifically, we (1) compared
                      the obligation rates for counternarcotics funds accounts to obligation
                      rates for similar defense program accounts and (2) ascertained the rea-
                      sons for any delays in obligating counternarcotics funds.

                      DOD'S most current financial obligation data indicates that, as of July 31,
 Results in Brief     1990, obligation rates for counternarcotics appropriation accounts were
                      generally lower than those for defense programs as a whole. According
                      to DOD officials, delays in obligating counternarcotics funds are attribu-
                      table to the late receipt of obligation authority, extensive and time-
                      consuming reprogramming actions, DOD policy decisions requiring con-
                      gressional approval, changes in counternarcotics programs required by
                      the final appropriations act, sequestration deliberations, and apportion-
                      ment issues.

                      In comparing obligation rates of funds in the counternarcotics program
 Counternarcotics     accounts with comparable DoD-wide accounts, we found that the obliga-
 Program Obligation   tion rates for counternarcotics programs were lower for Operations and
 Rates                Maintenance (24 percent less); National Guard Military Personnel
                      (13 percent less); Procurement (50 percent less); and Research, Develop-
                      ment, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) (73 percent less). The coun-
                      ternarcotics program’s Military Construction account had an obligation
                      rate 71 percent higher than the comparable Don-wide accounts.
                      Appendix I provides additional details on the obligation rates for both
                      counternarcotics and nob-wide accounts.


                        National Guard support is provided to domestic marijuana eradication.
                        The marijuana growing season is from July through September. National
                        Guard personnel are not involved in the eradication effort until late in
                        the fiscal year, and obligation of their pay and allowances is timed to
                        this effort.

                        DOD officials believe that they will be able to obligate most of the funds
                        appropriated for this account for counternarcotics activities by the end
                        of fiscal year 1990.

Procurement             Procurement funds are available for obligation for 3 fiscal years fol-
                        lowing appropriation; therefore, first year obligation rates do not neces-
                        sarily predict final obligation performance. The obligation rates for
                        counternarcotics procurement funds appropriated in fiscal year 1990
                        are low because of extensive reprogramming requirements. Moreover,
                        requested reprogramming and transfer requests submitted in April 1990
                        were not approved by the pertinent congressional committees until
                        August 1990. Thereafter, an estimated additional 30 to 45 days of
                        normal processing time elapsed before the funding documents were
                        made available to the service or defense agencies by the DOD

                        The contracting process-advertisement     for bids, resolution of small
                        business set-aside issues, and screening and selection of vendors-nor-
                        mally requires an additional 4 months or more to complete. Procurement
                        funds are obligated when a contract is awarded.

                        DOD officials are confident that the funds appropriated for coun-
                        ternarcotics procurement will be obligated before the 3-year time limita-
                        tion expires.

Research,Development,   RDT&E funds are available for obligation for 2 fiscal years following
Test and Evaluation     appropriation. The obligation rates for counternarcotics funds appropri-
                        ated in fiscal year 1990 for this account are low for the same reasons
                        cited for the procurement appropriation.

                        DOD officials are confident that the funds appropriated for coun-
                        ternarcotics in this account will be obligated before the 2-year time limi-
                        tation expires.

                         Page 3                            GAO/NSlAD!M-296PS   DOD Counte marcotics   Funds
Page 6   GAO/NSL4Df3O.296PS   DOD C!mmtemarco   tic-a Funds
-        II

Major Contributors to This &port

                        Gary K. Weeter, Assistant Director
National Security and   Anton G. Blieberger, Evaluator-in-Charge
International Affairs   Rahul Gupta, Evaluator
Washington, D.C.

(398145)                Page 7                           GAO/‘NSlAD.UO.2S6FS   DOD Countemarcotics   Funds
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Appendix I                                                                                                                                          -

Obligation Data for DOD Countern~coti~
Program and DODWide Accounts for Fiscal
Year 1990

Dollars    in thousands
                     DOD Counternarcotics Proqram                                                    DOD-Wide Totals
                                 Appropriations                                      Appropriations                                        Difference
Accounts                      Available’     Obligated       Percent         --   Availableb     Obligated   Percent                        (Percent1
National    Guard                 $56,369
                                   ___~~~       $38,937         69.08              $4,372,127       $3,597,086           82.27                   (13.19)
Operattons &
Maintenance                        96,385        56,217         58.33             101,183,059       83,768,259           82.78                   (24.46)
                                  __-       ~
Procurement                       243,108        20,423           8.40       -     83,253,424       48,456,349           58.20                   (49.80)
RDT&E                              10,400           779           7.49             40,921,160       33,081,/X33          80.84                   (73.35)
Construction                        3,700         3,680         99.46               6,555,282         1,865,069          28.45                    71 .Ol

                                                Note: Obligation data is as of July 31, 1990
                                                aAccordtng to DOD offictals, appropnations avatlable total $4C9,962,99O Congress appropnated
                                                $450 mtllron for DOD counternarcottcs acttvtties tn fiscal year 1999 Of that amount $3,263,0oo was
                                                sequestered, 52,500.ooO IS betng wtthheld by the Department of the Treasury for a classified program,
                                                and $34275.000 was pendtng reprogramming approvals.

                                                bTotal awlable budgetary resources, which Include appropnattons.    retmbursements, other income, and
                                                unobltgated balances canted forward from pnor years.

                                                Page 6                                          GAO,‘TC~IAEL~ZS~FS      DOD Cam,, termrcotimFunds

               In performing our work, we interviewed DOD officials of the Office of the
Scopeand       Coordinator for Drug Enforcement Policy and reviewed financial data,
Methodology    reports, and other documents related to DOD counternarcotics financial
               management. We compared obligation data for DOD counternarcotics pro-
               grams and other appropriations using the most current DOD data avail-
               able (July 31, 1990).

               We conducted our review between September 4 and September 11,199O.
               Due to the brief time available to complete this assignment, we did not
               independently verify DOD’S financial data or the accuracy of the expla-
               nations for delays in obligating counternarcotics funds provided by pro-
               gram and budget officials.

               We did not obtain written agency comments. However, we discussed a
               draft of this fact sheet with DOD officials and incorporated their com-
               ments, as appropriate.

               Unless you publicly announce its contents earlier, we plan no further
               distribution of this fact sheet until 7 days from its issue date. At that
               time, we will send copies to interested congressional committees, the
               Secretary of Defense, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve
               Affairs, and the Director, Office of Management and Budget. Copies will
               also be made available to others on request. Please contact me at (202)
               2754841 if you or your staff have any questions concerning this fact
               sheet. Other major contributors are listed in appendix II.

               Director, Command, Control, Communications,
                 and Intelligence Issues

               Page 4                            GAO/NSlAMWB6FS DODC~un~rnarcotics Funds

                               Defense program and budget officials noted that the counternarcotics
Reasonsfor Delays in           accounts require significant interagency coordination not necessary in
Obligating                     managing most other DOD accounts, making it difficult to draw compari-
Counternarcotics               sons. They indicated that this extensive coordination lengthens the time
                               required to obligate counternarcotics funds. For example:
                           . Congress directed that all state National Guard plans be reviewed in
                             coordination with the Attorney General of the United States.
                           l Obligation of funds supporting integration of command, control, commu-
                             nications, and intelligence assets into an effective network is predicated
                             on the Drug Enforcement Telecommunications Implementation Plan
                             schedule, for which the Office of National Drug Control Policy is
                           l The ability to provide training and logistical support to law enforcement
                             agencies is predicated on specific requests from them.
                           . A significant portion of aerostat radar surveillance systems funding is
                             dependent on the U.S. Customs Service, which is the contracting activity
                             for these systems.

                               DOD  officials cited the following additional reasons for delays in obli-
                               gating fiscal year 1990 counternarcotics funds in accounts involving
                               operations and maintenance, National Guard military personnel, pro-
                               curement. and RDT&E.

Operations and                 Operations and maintenance funds are available only for obligation
Maintenance                    during the fiscal year for which they are appropriated. Delays in obli-
                               gating the fiscal year 1990 funds resulted from late receipt of obligation
                               authority (the Department of Defense Appropriations Act 1990 was not
                               enacted until November 2 1,1989) and extensive reprogramming actions
                               required primarily by a congressional decision to appropriate coun-
                               ternarcotics funds to a central transfer account. These reprogramming
                               actions required counternarcotics program managers to obtain internal
                               and external approvals before funds could be distributed to the services
                               and defense agencies for their use. These actions required time-
                               consuming intra- and inter-departmental coordination.

                               DOD officials were unable to predict if funds appropriated for operations
                               and maintenance would be fully obligated by the end of fiscal year 1990.

National Guard Personnel       National Guard personnel funds are available for obligation only during
                               the fiscal year for which they are appropriated. A large percentage of

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