United States General Accounting Office Report to the Secretary of Defense October 1990 INTERNAL CONTROLS Funding of International Defense Research and Development Projects GAO/NSIAD-91-27 united states GAO General Accounting Office Washington, D.C. 20548 National Security and International Affah Division ES-237823 October 30,199o The Honorable Richard B. Cheney The Secretary of Defense Dear Mr. Secretary: We reviewed the practices and procedures the Navy and the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD)used to disburse fiscal year 1988 funds that were provided by your office for the North Atlantic Treaty Organi- zation (NAID) cooperative research and development projects. Our work focused on whether the Navy disbursed these funds for the purposes intended by the Department of Defense Authorization Act of 1986 and by subsequent authorizations and appropriations acts. The Department of Defense Authorization Act of 1986 initiated the NA?~D Background Cooperative Research and Development Program. The act stated that the purposes of the program were to support NATOconventional warfare research and to encourage a more equitable sharing of research and development costs among NATOnations. (See app. I for a more detailed discussion of the program.) Our review indicated that OSDand the Navy did not have sufficient Results in Brief internal controls to adequately ensure that funds disbursed for NATO cooperative research and development projects are actually used for the purposes intended and in accordance with authorizing legislation. There are no written Department of Defense directives or instructions for the NATOresearch and development project certification and funding process. The Navy’s International Research and Development Office realigned program funding without first seeking required OSDapproval. For example, of the $50.6 million of fiscal year 1988 funds OSDreleased to the Navy for NATI cooperative research and development projects, $39 million was released by the Navy to specific research and development projects approved by OSDbut not in the amounts CSDauthorized. (See app. II.) In addition, $7.9 million was used by the Navy to fund adminis- trative support services for the research and development office, but only $3.7 million was authorized by OSDto be spent for this purpose. We found that the Navy’s research and development office took actions that made it difficult to account for these funds. (See app. III.) Furthermore, Page1 GAO/NSLUbBl-27 NAlU CooperativeFunding B-227822 7 the Navy did not report to OSDhow these funds were spent until April 1990. The services are required to report quarterly to OSDon how these funds are spent. Section 1103 of the Department of Defense Authorization Act of 1986 required that funded projects be conducted under memorandums of understanding between the participating countries. However, some of the approved projects did not have memorandums of understanding. As of January 1,1990, the Navy had not completed memorandums of understanding with other nations for 11 of the 17 research and develop- ment projects that were funded in fiscal year 1988. (See app. IV.) A NATOcooperative research and development project is statutorily defined as a project “under a memorandum of understanding (or other formal agreement).” We examined whether fiscal year 1988 funds allo- cated in various committee reports for NAR)research and development could be used for projects that were not NA?Dcooperative research and development projects because they were not conducted under memoran- dums of understanding. Because the fiscal year 1988 research and development appropration was a lump sum, without funds specifically earmarked for the NA?Dprojects, the fiscal year 1988 funds could legally be used for all research and development activities, including those that had the potential to be NATOcooperative projects but which then had no memorandums of understanding. Nonetheless, House and Senate Com- mittees on Armed Services and on Appropriations reports on the legisla- tion show that funds were approved for NATOcooperative research and development. In view of the committees’ actions and the continuing requirement that NA'IDcooperative projects be conducted under memo- randums of understanding, the release of funds from the Department of Defense’s NA'IDresearch and development account for projects without a memorandum of understanding seems contrary to the intent expressed in the congressional committee reports. We recommend that you (1) issue written instructions for the implemen- Recommendations tation of NAIU cooperative research and development programs and (2) establish sufficient internal controls necessary for the Departments of Defense and the Navy to ensure that the funds made available for the program are used appropriately. Page2 GAO/NSWBl-27NA!lOCooperativeFunding R-237823 In its comments on a draft of this report, the Department of Defense Agency Comments and concurred with most of our findings. It did not agree that the Congress Our Evaluation originally intended that NATOresearch and development funds be dis- bursed only to projects under completed memorandums of under- standing. That question has been resolved because the Department now requires the prerequisite memorandum of understanding or other formal agreement. The Department concurred with our recommendation for the issuance of written instructions. The Department is preparing a handbook of guide- lines that should be issued by January 1991. The Department acknowledged that the Navy realigned funds without authorization and concurred that internal controls are needed. To that end, the Department has disbanded the Navy’s International Research and Development Office and transferred its functions to the Interna- tional Programs Office, which has an internal control program. The Department stated that (1) the Navy will distribute funds directly to responsible project offices, (2) the project managers will report on how the funds were used, and (3) the Navy will submit timely and accurate quarterly reports to the Department. (The Department of Defense’s com- ments are included in app. VI.) We believe that the Department has initiated the steps necessary to establish the proper framework for handling future NATOcooperative research and development funds, but implementation will be the key to effective controls. As you know, the head of a federal agency is required by 31 USC. 720 to submit a written statement on actions taken on these recommenda- tions to the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs and the House Committee on Government Operations not later than 60 days after the date of the report and to the House and Senate Committees on Appropri- ations with the agency’s first request for appropriations made more than 60 days after the date of the report. Our objectives, scope, and methodology are detailed in appendix V. Copies of this report are being sent to the Chairmen, House and Senate Committees on Appropriations and on Armed Services, House Com- mittee on Government Operations, and Senate Committee on Govem- mental Affairs; the Secretary of the Navy; and the Director of the Office Page3 GAO/h’SIADBl-27Bald Cooperative Funding E227822 of Managementand Budget. Copies will also be made available to others upon request. Pleasecontact me at (202) 275-6504 if you or your staff have any ques- tions concerning the report. Mar contributors to this report are listed in appendix VII. Sincerely yours, Martin M Ferber Director, Navy Issues Page4 Contents Letter Appendix I The NATO Cooperative Researchand Development Program Appendix II Funds Not Disbursed in Accordance With Authorization Appendix III 12 Funds Used for Agency Actions 13 Administrative Support Services Appendix IV 15 Projects Without Agency Comments and Our Evaluation 17 Memorandums of Understanding Were Authorized and Funded Appendix V 18 Objectives, Scope,and Methodology Appendix VI 19 Comments From the GAO Comments 26 Department of Defense Page6 Content9 Appendix VII 27 Major Contributors to This Report Tables Table II. 1 NATO Cooperative R&D Program Fiscal Year 11 1988 Funding Table IV. 1: Status of MOUs for the Navy’s International 15 R&D Projects Abbreviations AAW anti-air warfare DOD Department of Defense MOU memorandum of understanding NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization OSD Office of the Secretary of Defense R&D research and development SSTD Surface Ship Torpedo Defense Page7 GAO/NSIAIb91-27 NAllI CooperativeFunding Appendix I The NATOCooperativeResearchand DevelopmentProgram The Congress initiated the NATOCooperative Research and Development Program under section 1103 of the Department of Defense Authoriza- tion Act of 1986.’ The program’s purposes were to support NATI conven- tional warfare research and to encourage a more equitable sharing of research and development (R&D) costs among NARI nations. This act resulted from congressional concerns that, collectively, NA~ countries had spent significantly more resources on defense than members of the Warsaw Pact, but the Warsaw Pact had produced and deployed more major combat items than the NA?Dcountries. The Congress concluded that a major reason for this was inadequate cooperation among NAP countries on research, development, and production of military equipment.* According to OSDofficials, written Department of Defense (DOD) direc- tives or instructions for the NATO R&Dproject certification and funding process do not exist. Instead, the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Industrial and International Programs) certifies an international project when it meets certain criteria specified in the act. To be selected as an international cooperative project, OSDstipulates that a project must . meet a critical conventional force deficiency, . have a secure position in service/agency priorities, . be suitable for collaboration, and l be supported in the Five-Year Defense Plan or in the next Program Objectives Memorandum submission. Once a cooperative R&Dproject is certified, the Deputy Under Secretary grants authority to the services to negotiate a memorandum of under- standing (MOU) with participating governments or potential interna- tional partners. 06~ officials review the draft MOU to ensure that an equitable arrangement exists for the United States and then authorize the appropriate project official in the services to complete the agreement. In addition to certifying cooperative R&Dprojects, the Deputy Under Sec- retary authorizes and determines funding levels for the projects. According to OSDofficials, the two criteria to be used for releasing NATO cooperative R&D funds to such a project are (1) it must be a certified cooperative project and (2) an international MOU must be completed. The ‘P. L. 99146,99 Stat. 712. 21n1987,the Congressexpandedthe program to include five non-NAT0nations(Australia, Israel, Egypt, South Korea,and Japan). Page8 GAO/NSIAD9137NAT0CooperativeFundhug AppendixI TheNAKI Cooperativelleaead and DevelopmentProgram individual services allocate the funds to their certified projects. If proj- ect managers are unable to obligate the funds or if other international projects require a higher funding priority, the funds may be realigned. However, officials from the services’ international R&Doffices must seek CSDapproval before they realign these funds among projects. DOD concurred that there were no specific written directives and stated that the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition is pre- paring a handbook of guidelines. Page 9 GAO,./NSIALHU-27 NkKl %qm-ative Fundine Appendix II Funds Not Disbursedin Accordance With Authorization OSD requires written justificationfor each project funding request and approves each request based on that documentation. It also requires project managers to (1) expend funds only for approved programs and within the amounts authorized, (2) obtain prior approval for realigning funds, and (3) report quarterly on how funds are being expended. These internal controls, however, have not been effectively implemented. The Navy’s R&Doffice did not follow OSDrequirements for using these funds and did not report to OSDon how fiscal year 1988 funds were spent until April 1990. During our review of the Navy’s fiscal year 1990 Research, Develop ment, Test, and Evaluation budget request, we noted a discrepancy between the amount ck3Dhad authorized in fiscal year 1988 to be spent on specific projects and the amount that the Navy’s international R&D projects had received from the R&D office. OSDreleased about $50.6 mil- lion-$46.9 million for specific R&Dprojects and $3.7 million for admin- istration and project start-up costs-to the R&Doffice, which, in turn, only released about $39 million to the authorized projects. The remaining funds were used for administrative services and for funding a program in which the Navy did not request funds.’ The R&D office did not seek required OSD approval for the added project, nor did it seek approval for realigning funds to pay for administrative expenses. Infor- mation on project funding is presented in table II. 1. ‘06D authorizedthe SAXONprogram asaninternational cooperativeR&J3project.However,the Navy did not requestfiscal year 1988funding for this pmject. Page10 GAO/NSlAD-fM-27 NA!IOCooperativePnnding AppendixII FundsNot Disbursedin Accordance With Authorization Table 11.1NATO Cooperative RID Program Fiscal Year 1989 Funding Amount Expenditure authorixe$Sbr; authorized by the Project R&D office Difference Automatrc Ship Classification $200,000 $200,000 . --__ Coastal/Harbor Defense 300,000 256,000 - 44,000 E2C Drsplay Software 400,000 16,316 - 303,664 Fiber Optic Sensor Array 500,000 500,000 . Hull Degaussmg System 1,300,000 1,110,000 - 190,000 Magnetrc Anomaly Detector 300,000 700,OOo + 400,000 Maritime Patrol Arrcraft 90 1,ooo,ooo 1.400.000 + 400.000 Mass Memory Module 200,000 200,000 . NATO AntI-Air Warfare System 9,000,000 7,517,876 -1462,124 NATO Frigate Replacement 1,oOO,OOo 927,000 - 73,006 Nrqht Attack Avionics 8,900.000 3.818.000 -5.082.000 Radar Upgrade for Fighter Aircraft 6,300,OOO 4,980,ooO - 1,320,OOO Remotely Piloted Vehicle 2,700,OOO 776,667 - 1,923,333 Rolling Airframe Missile Upgrade 2,600,000 3,800,OOO +1,200,000 Surface Ship Torpedo Defense 11,400,000 9,570,ooo - 1,830,006 Tactical Command for Over-the- Horizon 800,000 3,170,000 +2.370,000 Subtotal $46,900,000 $36,941,659 Other Projects SAXON-FPN a 3.373.000 +3.373.000 Cooperatrve Opportuntties Documentsb 3,700,oOO 7,902,530 +4.202,530 Total 550.600.000 $50.217.389 aFunds not requested. bAdminrstratrve support for the Navy’s international R&D office DOD concurred that the Navy did not disburse funds as authorized and stated that it has taken several steps to preclude recurrence. A new organization, the Navy’s International Programs Office, will assume the function of the Navy’s R&D office and will be responsible and account- able to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development and Acquisition). In ,addition, the Navy established a management control directive that should ensure that DOD controls are followed. Further- more, the Navy has assured OSDthat it will submit accurate, timely, quarterly reports. Finally, DOD stated that the Navy no longer receives funds unless the reports are complete. We agree with DOD'S opinion that these additional internal controls should be sufficient to ensure that the Navy uses the NATOcooperative R&D funds according to DOD’S authorization. Page11 GAO/NSIADSl-27NAlOCooperativeFunding Appendix III Funds Used for Administrative support services OSDauthorized the Navy to spend about 7 percent, or $3.7 million, of its total fiscal year 1988 allocation of $60.6 million for administrative sup- port services. However, the Navy expended 16 percent, or $7.9 million, of the allocation for this purpose. In addition, we found that the Navy (1) did not report to OSDon how the funds were used, (2) made mis- leading statements of purpose on contracts and work orders to show that funds were used for authorized projects, and (3) used multiple agents to disburse the funds, which made it difficult to account for the funds. The R&Doffice channeled funds for administrative support for itself through several activities, including the NATOAnti-Air Warfare (AAW) Office in the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, D.C.; the Air Force Air Development Center in Rome, New York; the Naval Ocean Sys- tems Center in San Diego, California; the Naval Underwater Systems Center in Newport, Rhode Island; and the Naval Ordnance Station in Indian Head, Maryland. The projects through which funds were chan- neled did not receive benefits or deliveries from the contractors. The fol- lowing four cases show how funds were used to obtain administrative support services with NATOcooperative R&Dfunding. In the first case, the R&Doffice provided $697,124 to the NATOAAWproj- ect office in the Naval Sea Systems Command for work on AAWsystems. As arranged with the R&Doffice, the NATOAAWproject office, in turn, allocated these funds to the Air Force Development Center, Rome, New York, which contracted to develop prototype software for an R&Doffice document tracking system. This software development was performed by the contractor that was conducting ongoing research for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to develop an expert management information system. Because the R&Doffice had problems tracking large quantities of docu- ments, its officials arranged for the R&Doffice to be the model office for the development of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s information system. Consequently, the R&Doffice requested the NAID AIW project office to submit this contract through its account, giving the appearance that the funding was for the NATOm project. NAVI AKWoffi- cials never saw the actual contract, and work on the NA?DAAWsystems was never undertaken. As of April 1990, the Navy had not received the software delivery required by the contract. Page12 Appendtsill Pun& Usedfor Adahistrative support !!wvices In the second case, an administrative contract for the R&Doffice was managed through the Naval Ocean Systems Center, San Diego, Cali- fornia. The R&Doffice provided $1 million to the Center, which con- tracted for what was supposed to be a prototype system to be used for developing and testing new automation concepts for assessment of anti- submarine warfare technology. According to the contractor, the contract was actually to develop prototype software to track Data Exchange Agreements. The contract was not specifically tied to research on anti- submarine technology. As of April 1990, the Navy had not received the prototype software from the contractor. In the third case, the R&Doffice disbursed funds to the Naval Under- water Systems Center, Newport, Rhode Island, which entered into two contracts for a total of about $2.7 million. The statement of work for these contracts describes tasks to support the Surface Ship Torpedo Defense (SSTD)project. However, SSTDproject officials did not see these contracts, did not know about them, and did not work with the contrac- tors involved. When we showed the contracts to these officials, they stated that the contracts did not support the SSTDproject and that they had not received any benefits from these contracts. Our review of the actual tasks cited in the statement of work for these contracts revealed that their scopes were limited to providing administrative support to the RBtDoffice. In the fourth case, the F&D office provided $3.1 million to the Naval Ord- nance Station, Indian Head, Maryland, stating on the work order that the work was for the SSTDproject. However, it was not. Rather, it was for this station to perform administrative services such as the develop- ment of a financial software data program for the R&Doffice to better manage itself. For example, engineers evaluated various project candi- date proposals and cooperative agreements and reviewed new requests for proposals for contract support. Some of the funding was used to purchase computer systems for the station’s research facility and hard- ware for the R.&LIoffice. In addition, the station purchased a facsimile and a copier machine, and it was developing a financial accounting system for the R&Doffice. All of these items were procured with KATO R&Dprogram funding. Agency Actions port services. Both OSDand Navy officials have taken steps to control the flow of funds for administrative uses. OSDasked the Navy to provide justification and documentation on how fiscal year 1988 funds were Page13 GAO/NSIADSl-27NKlU CooperativeFunding AppendixIIl FbndaUsedfor Administrative support services used, which the Navy provided in April 1990. Also, the R&Doffice has suspended and/or allowed to expire all contracts and work orders for administrative support. The Naval Investigative Service and the Naval Audit Service are investigating the use of these funds. Page14 GAO/NSIADSl-27NATOCooperativeFunding Appendix IV ProjectsWithout Memorandumsof UnderstandingWereAuthorized and Funded Eleven of the 17 Navy international R&Dprojects were approved for funding through fiscal year 1988 R&Dappropriations without first having obtained memorandums of understanding between the partici- pating countries and the Navy. The status of MOUSfor these projects as of January 1, 1990, is shown in table IV. 1. Table IV.l: Status of MOUs for the Navy’s International R&D Projects Program title Completed MOU Automatic Ship Classification No Coastal/Harbor Defense No E2C Display Software No Fiber Optic Sensor Array No Hull Degaussing System No Magnetic Anomaly Detector No Maritime Patrol Aircraft 90 Yesa Mass Memory Module No NATO Anti-Air Warfare System Yesb NATO Frigate Replacement Yes” Night Attack Awonics No Radar Upgrade for Fighter Aircraft No Remotely Piloted Vehicle Yesd Rolling Airframe Missile Upgrade Yes% Surface Ship Torpedo Defense Yes’ Tactical Command for Over-the-Horizon No SAXON-FPN (not authorized bv OSD to be funded) No %gned April 5, 1989. bSigned October 19, 1987. ‘Signed January 25, 1988 dSigned June 7, 1968. %igned August 16, 1989. ‘Signed October 26, 1988. We assessed whether these projects complied with the 1986 legislation and were appropriately funded. The legislation originally authorizing the NA?Dcooperative R&Dprojects, specifically section 1103 (c)(2), required that MOUSbe completed before the projects could be considered NATDcooperative projects. In addition, section 1103 (c)(l) earmarked $200 million that could only be used for such projects. Section (c)(l) per- tained only to 1986 R&Dfunding and, subsequently, lapsed, while the requirement of section 1103 (c)(2), now stated in 10 U.S.C. 2350a, still applies to NATOcooperative projects. Concerning projects funded with Page16 GAO/NSIAD-Sl-27NAlOCooperatlveF'unding Appendix l-V . ProjectaWithout Memomndumeof Undemtandin2WereAuthorizedandFunded 1988 R&D appropriations, Senate and House Committees on Armed Ser- vices and on Appropriations reports stated the amounts of R&Dfunds that were to be appropriated for NATDcooperative F&D projects. These reports allocated funds by program, such as “NAKI Research and Devel- opment.” However; the fiscal year 1988 authorization1 and appropria- tion2 legislation authorize and appropriate F&D funds on a lump sum basis. Consequently, since neither law specifically addresses NATOR&D projects, legally fiscal year 1988 R&D funds were available for any R&D activity without regard to what the various committees may have indi- cated in their committee reports. Nonetheless, in view of the committees’ actions and the continuing statutory requirement that a NATDcoopera- tive project be under an MOU(or other formal agreement), release of funds from DOD’S NA?DR&Daccount for R&Dprojects without MOUs seems contrary to the intent expressed in the congressional committee reports. According to Navy and DODofficials, an MQU was generally considered a prerequisite for funding projects, but they frequently made exceptions in order to start projects. For example, the Navy F/A-18 radar upgrade received about $5 million in fiscal year 1988 funding from the F&D office, even though an MOUhad not been completed. This project is funded through the Navy’s fiscal year 1990 budget, and it also will receive additional funds from Canada once an agreement is completed. On January 28,1988, the Deputy Secretary of Defense issued a memo- randum to the secretaries of the military departments regarding the selection of NATDand non-NAm cooperative R&Dprojects for fiscal year 1988. The memorandum stated that: Since MOU negotiations can take up to a year or more, and not ail proposals are likely to result in MOUs,Nunn Amendment (NAT0 and non-NATOcooperative) funds will be provided to the project sponsors as satisfactory MOUs are achieved. If neces- sary, projects will be initiated with FYr1989 funds. This approach allows the Ser- vices and Agencies more time to conclude MOUsand to ensure that outyear funds are programmed. In fiscal year 1988, the Navy requested $30 million in start-up funds from 0s~ for potential NATOR&Dprojects without ~0~s. On March 3, 1988, OSDofficials requested a DODGeneral Counsel opinion on whether an MOU was necessary before releasing yA’l0 cooperative R&D funds to the Navy. On March 10, 1988, the General Counsel concluded that fiscal ‘P.L. 100-180!4201,101stat. 1046. 2P.L.100-202,101stat. 1329-69. Page 16 GAO/NSLkD-Sl-27 NAl0 CoopemtiveFunding AppendixIV ProjectaWithout Memorandumsof UnderstandingWereAuthorizedandFunded year 1988 funds could be legally released to international projects before MOUS are completed. However, the General Counsel cautioned that it appeared that the Congress appropriated the 1988 funds to carry out the continuation of the NAI~I cooperative R&D Program and suggested that not doing so might “present an issue of relationships with the Con- gress”. He further suggested that the NATI cooperative R&D funds be used in accordance with the original statutory framework. Notwith- standing this caution, OSDauthorized the Navy to fund projects that did not have MOUs. OSDofficials told us that for fiscal year 1990 and beyond, they have revised their policy to reflect the 1989 codification of section 2350a, Public Law 101-189, which they said now requires an MOU before releasing funds to a NATO cooperative R&D project. DOD did not concur that the intent of the Congress was that an MOU be in Agency Comments and place before the start of a project. DOD stated that the requirement for Our Evaluation an MOU had been consistently interpreted by the Navy as meaning there was intent and progress toward an MOU. The Navy did not believe it was necessary to have a completed agreement. DOD also commented that because the fiscal year 1988 legislation was silent, DOD officials made several attempts within DOD to find a correct interpretation. Our review of the initiating legislation, the Defense Authorization Act of 1986, indicated that the original intent of the Congress was to require an MOU (or other formal agreement). Since the enactment of section 1103 of Public Law 99-146 on November 8, 1985, a NATD cooperative R&D project by definition requires an MOU or formal agreement to be a NATOcoopera- tive R&D project. In view of this continuing requirement, the use of funds allocated by committee reports and by OSD for NATOR&D projects to projects without MOUS seems to be contrary to congressional intentions. Notwithstanding DOD and Navy noncurrence with the position we have taken in this appendix, 0s~ subsequently adopted a policy of requiring a completed MOU before funds are disbursed. Page17 GAO/NSIAD91-27 NAlI3CooperativeFunding Appendix V Objectives,Scope,and Methodology - Our objectives were to determine how the Navy’s International Research and Development Office distributes and uses funds provided by OSDfor international cooperative projects. To achieve these objectives, we inter- viewed officials from the Departments of Defense and the Navy in Washington, D.C.; representatives from defense research laboratories and defense contractors; and officials from 20 Navy international pro- grams, 17 of which received fiscal year 1988 funding. We also examined OSD,Navy Comptroller, and individual Navy program funding docu- ments. On the basis of information that the Naval Investigative Service and the Naval Audit Service provided, we limited the review to the dis- tribution of funds appropriated for fiscal year 1988, most of which were distributed to the services during fiscal year 1989.’ To verify the R&D office’s accounting records and to determine how the funds were spent, we compared funding documents and information provided by indi- vidual Navy international R.&D program managers with OSD records. Our review was conducted in cooperation with the Naval Investigative Service and the Naval Audit Service. Our review also was conducted from October 1989 to April 1990 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. ‘Research, development, test and evaluation funds may be obligated during a 2-year period. Fiscal year 1988 funds expired on September 30,1989. Page18 GAO/NSIAl%91-27 NAlQCooperativeFunding Appendix VI CommentsFrom the Department of Defense Note: GAO comments supplementing those in the report text appear at the THE UNDER SECRETARY OF DEFENSE end of this appendix. WASHINGTON. DC 20301 1 5 AUCi 1990 Mr. Frank C. Conahan Assistant Comptroller General General Accounting Office Washington, D.C. 20548 Dear Mr. Conahan: This is the Department of Defense (DOD) response to the General Accounting Office (GAO) draft report, "INTERNAL CONTROLS: Concerns About Controls Over Fuhding of International Defense Research and Development Projects," dated June 28, 1990 (GAO Code 39434l/OSD Case 8401). The DOD basically concurs in most of the report findings. The Department only partially concurs in the second recommendation and the corresponding finding that concludes new controls are now required. The Navy did not properly follow the controls that were in place and has subsequently improved its control. It is the DOD position that if the in-place and new controls are followed, there will be adequate control. Detailed comments on the findings and recommendations are included in the enclosure. Corrective actions have been taken as outlined. Thank you for this opportunity to review and to comment on the subject GAO draft report. Aincerely, Donald J/Yo&ey Deputy Under Secretary Enclosure for Acquisition Page19 GAO/NSIADSl-27 NAl0Cooperativr Funding AppendixW CommentaPromtheDepartmentofDefense GAO DRAFT REPORT - DATED JUNE 2&1990 (GAO CODE 394331) OSD CASE 8401 “INTERNAL CONTROLS: CONCERNS ABOUT CONTROLS OVER FUNDING OF INTERNATIONAL DEFENSE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS” DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE COMMENTS FINDINGS giImmL& gtion . Bgg . The GAO reported the Congress concluded that there was inadequate cooperation among North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries on research, development, and production of military equipment: and, consequently, the Department of Defense Authorization Act of 1986 initiated the North Atlantic Treaty Organization cooperative research and development program. The GAO noted that, according to DOD officials, there are no written DoD directives or instructions for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization research and development certification and funding process. Instead, the GAO found that the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Industrial and International Programs) certifies an international project when it meets certain criteria specified in the Act. The GAO also found that, once a project is certified, the Deputy Under Secretary grants authority to the Services to negotiate a memorandum of understanding with participating governments or potential internationsl partners. The GAO observed that, in addition, the Deputy Under Secretary authorizes and determines funding levels for the Military Services* international research and development projects. The GAO further observed that, according to officials of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the two criteria to be used for releasing North Atlantic Treaty Organization research and development funds for these projects are (1) it must be a certified international project and (2) an international memorandum of understanding must be signed for the project. The GAO also noted that officials from the Services' international research and development offices must seek Office of the Secretary of Defense approval before they realign the Now on pp. 1 and 8-9. funds among projects. (p. 1, pp. 8-lo/GAO Draft Report) s~ornnents: Concur. There are no written directives specifically relating to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization research and development certification and funding. There are, however, guidelines which cover all funds (DoD Accounting Manual DOD 7220.9-M chapter 21 Funding Controls and Chapter 28 International Agreements). ENCLOSURE Page20 FINDMG: Clone . g . The GAO reported that the Office Of the Secretary of Defense requires project managers to (1) expend funds only for approved programs and within the amounts authorized, (2) obtain prior approval for realigning funds, and (3) report quarterly on how funds are being expended. The GAO concluded, however, that the cited internal controls have not been effectively implemented. The GAO reported that the Navy's International Research and Mvelopment Office realigned program funding without first seeking required Office of the Secretary of Defense approval. The GAO found that the Office of the Secretary of Defense released about $47 million for specific Sea comment 1 FY 1988 projects to the Navy office--which, in turn, only released about $39 million to the authorized projects. The GAO further found that the remaining funds were used for adminimtrative services (in addition to the $3.7 million that was authorized for that purpose) and for funding of the SAXON-FPM program (an authoritmd program for which the Navy had not requested funds). In report table 11.1. the GAO met out the mpecific amOtUtt8 authorized for FY 1988 projects and the amounts actually spent. The GAO almo found that the Navy did not report to the Office of the Secretary of Defense until April 1990 how PY 1988 funds were spent. In l ummmry, the GAO concluded that the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Navy do not have sufficient intmrnal controls to adequatmly ensure that funds disbursed for North Atlantic Treaty Organization cooperative research and developmmnt projects are actually used for the purposes intended and in accordance with the authorizing Nowonpp.l-2and 10-11. legislation. (pp. 2-3, pp 12-13/GAO Draft Report) s: Concur. The primary control function from the Office of the Secretary of Defense to the Services is the quarterly report required on every release of funds. The preparation and review of this report forcmm a careful analysis of how the funds are spent. In the past, the Navy failed to complete the report accurately and in a timely manner. The Navy no longer receives funds unless the reports are complete. Am a result of the Dmfenme Management Review, the Department of the Navy has established a new organization (Navy International Programm office) responsible and accountable to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Development and Acquisition) for management control of Defense Research & Development (Nunn) funds. Additionally, the Navy has established a management control program directive (IPD-89-27), which is in place and which will ensure that the Do0 management control criteria for ume of theme funds are followed. Finally, the Navy International Programs office management oversight of the Navy Defense Research and Development international program efforts will ensure that the Navy project managers follow the management control criteria for use of theme funds. The Navy ham assured the Office of the Secretary of Defense #at it will submit accurate, timely quarterly reports in the future. Page21 GAO/IWAD91-27 NKlU Cooperative Pnndin8 AppendixvI Comment8FTomtheDepartmentofDefenae . . trative SIJQQO~~ Services. The FRSDING: F.!anUsedlS GAO reported that the Office of the Secretary of Defense authorized the Navy to spend services about 7 percent--or $3.7 million of its total FY 1988 allocation of $50.6 million-- for administrative support. The GAO found, however, that the Navy actually expended $7.9 million for that purpose. The GAO further found that the Navy research and development office channeled funds for administrative support to itself through several activities. In one case, for example, the GAO found that $597,124 provided the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Anti-Air Warfare project office was used to develop software for a document tracking system in the Navy research and development office. In a second case, the GAO identified cited a $1 million contract relating to antisubmarine warfare technology, managed through the Naval Ocean System Center, which (according to the contractor), was actually used to develop software to track Data Exchange Agreements. In a third case, the GAO found that that same center entered into two contracts, totalling about $2.7 million, which were described as support for the Surface Ship Torpedo Defense project. The GAO reported that the actual tasks in the statement of work for the cited projects were to provide administrative support to the research and development office. Finally, the GAO found that the $3.1 million provided the Naval Ordnance Station, Indian Head, Maryland, for work on the torpedo defense project was also for administrative support to the research and development office. The GAO noted that both office of The Secretary of Defense and Navy officials have taken steps to control the flow of funds for administrative uses, including (1) requiring the report finally delivered in April 1990, (2) the suspension or expiration of all contracts and work orders for administrative support, and (3) examinations by the Naval Investigative Service and Naval Audit Service. The GAO concluded that the Navy did not report to the Office of the Secretary of Defense how the funds were used. The GAO also concluded that the Navy made misleading statements of purpose on contracts and work orders in order to show that funds were used for authorized projects and used multiple agents to disburse the funds (thus making it difficult to account for them). The GAO also concluded that 1988 research and development appropriations expended for administrative costs were not inconsistent with the Now on pp. 2 and 12-14 legislation authorizing or appropriating the funding. (PP 2-4, pp 14-17/GAO Draft Report) JloD Ce: Concur. The 1988 research and development appropriations expended for administrative costs were not inconsistent with the legislation authorizing or appropriating the funding. -D: proiects Without Memoranda of Understanding . The GAO reported thatsection 1103 (c) (2) of the Department of Defense Authorization Act of 1986 (now 10 U.S.C. 2350a) requires that memoranda of understanding be completed before projects can be considered North Atlantic Treaty Organization cooperative research and development projects. The GAO pointed out that Page22 GAO/NSIAD91-27NATOC~operativeFunding AppendfxyI CommentaFkomtheDepartmentofDefenee FY 1988 Senate, House of Representatives and conference appropriations reports stated the amounts of appropriated funds that were to be used for such projects. The GAO found, however, that the FY 1988 authorization and appropariations legislation actually authorized and appropriated research and development funds on a lump mum basis--and, thus, FY 1988 research and development funds were legally available for any research and development activity. The GAO observed, therefore, that although the intent of the Congress was that memoranda of understanding be in place for such projects, the lump mum nature of the FY 1988 legislation provided the Navy with the opportunity to fund projects legally without the intended memoranda of understanding. The GAO found that, am a result, 11 of the 17 Navy international research and development projects were approved for FY 1988 funding without first having memoranda of understanding between the participating countries and the Navy. In report table IV.l, the GAO provided a list showing those memoranda of understanding which had been signed for the Navy's international research and development projects as of January 1, 1990. The GAO noted that, according to a Navy official, the DoD policy has always been to release funds after a memorandum of understanding has been signed. The GAO noted that, on January 28, 1990, the Deputy Secretary of Defense issued a memorandum pointing out negotiations on memoranda of understanding could take up to a year or more. The GAO reported that, in FY 1988, the Navy requested $30 million in start-up funds for projects without memoranda of understanding. The GAO noted that Office of the Secretary of Defense officials requested a DOD General Counsel opinion on whether a signed memorandum of understanding was necessary for a project to receive North Atlantic Treaty Organization cooperative research and development funds. The GAO noted that, on March 10, 1988, the General Counsel stated that funds could be released to international projects before memoranda of understanding were signed, but that such disbureementa might be contrary to congressional intentions. The GAO found that the Office of the Secretary of Defense nevertheless authorized the Navy to fund projects that did not have a memorandum of understanding in effect. The GAO noted that Office of the Secretary of Defense officials stated that, for FY 1989 and beyond, they have revised their policy to reflect the codification of Sec. 2350a, P:ublic Law 101-189, which now requires a memorandum of understanding before releasing funds to a North Atlantic Treaty Organization cooperative research and Now on pp. 2 and 15-l 7 development project. (p. 3-4, pp. 18-22/GAO Draft Report) s: Nonconcur. Most of the facts are correct, but there is some ambiguity as to their interpretation. The DOD takes exception to the GAO observation that the intent of the Congress was that a Memorandum of Agreement be in place prior to the initiation of a project. The requirement that the project have a Memorandum of Understanding had consistently been interpreted by the Navy as meaning there was intent and progress toward a Memorandum of Understanding type of project. In FY 1987, when the Navy had full authority on all the funds it, in Page23 GAO/N~91-27NA3OCoeperatlveF'undiag fact, allocated funds for several projects that did not yet have an Agrarment. The FY 1988 legislation was silent as to the agreement and it was widely understood #at congress meant Memoranda of Agreement projects and, in deference to common Navy practice, deliberately avoided any mention of it. Since this was the first year that Office of the Secretary of Defense had the remponsibility to distribute the funds, several attempts were made to find a correct interpretation. They were: (a) the Comment 2. General Counsel office stated there ware no legal restrictions to the ume of post FY 1986 Nunn funds prior to agreement signing. (b) the Navy Asmimtant Secretary made a determination that it was appropriate to spend the funds and requested they be released, and (c) prior to release of the funds, the funding reguemt was sent to General Counsel with the statement that this is an appropriate use of the funds. The General Counsel provided concurrence. It is unclear what is meant that a Navy official Comment 3, indicated there always was a policy of requiring the Memorandum of Agreement be signed before expenditure of funds, mince this was the first year of the Office of the Secretary of Defense fund allocation and, previously, the Navy had conmimtently used funds prior to Memoranda of Agreement signing. ******* RECDHMRNDATIONS mu: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Lhfenme issue specific written instructions for the implementation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Now on p. 2. cooperative research and development program. (p. 5/GAO Draft RmpoW s: Concur. The office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition is preparing a handbook of guidelines that will consolidate useful information for identifying, submitting, and funding International Cooperative projects. The handbook will be completed by January 1991. The guidelines required for the treatment of the funds addressed in this report, however, were explicitly clear. Each time the funds were transmittmd, the authorizing document identified the specific project, the fact that the funds could be used only on that project, and that a report covering fund usage was required each quarter. -2: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense establish sufficient internal controls necessary for the Department of Defense and the Navy to assure that the funds made available for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization cooperative research and development program are used appropriately. Now on p. 2. (p. 5/GAO Draft Report) s: Concur. The recommendation is mout, however, and concurrence is based on the fact that appropriate controls are Page24 already in place. While it is tNe that the Navy realigned funds without authorization, additional internal COntrOlS are no longer needed. At that time, the funds dimburming office co-mingled all the Nunn funds and relied on the Program office (OP-098F) to make allocation decimionm. Since that time, OP-098P haa been dimemtablished and its functions transferred to the Navy International Progrmmm Office. That office ham in place a formal internal controla program. The Navy will henceforth segregate NUIUI project accounting lines. All project funds will be dimtributed directly to the ~esponmible project office with all funding requirements stated. Project managers will be required to report on planning and execution of all funds. In addition, the Navy will accurately complete the required quarterly reports and submit them to the Office of the Secretary of Defense in a timely manner. Page25 AppendixVI Comment9From the Department of Defense 1. DOD released a total of $50.6 million of fiscal year 1988 funds for GAO Comments Navy NA?D cooperative research and development. About $47 million was designated for specific projects, and $3.6 million was designated for administrative purposes. 2. DOD’S comments must be tempered by the fact that the DOD Office of General Counsel cautioned DOD officials that release of funds to nonagreement projects may be contrary to congressional intentions because the original authorization stipulated that agreements were necessary. 3. The text of the report has been revised based on this comment. Page26 GAO/NSIAD91-27 Bald CooperativePunding Appendix VII Major Contributors to This Report Brad Hathaway, Associate Director National Security and John J. D’Esopo, Assistant Director International Affairs Paul J. O’Brien, Evaluator-in-Charge Division, Washington, Debra L. Logan, Evaluator DC. (394341) Page 27
Internal Controls: Funding of International Defense Research and Development Projects
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-10-30.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)