oversight

Review of the Cost and Operations of DOD's Service Academies

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-04-04.

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

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                         United States General Accounting     OfTIce      /#/        0 3     f
                         Testimony
I’ GAO
                                                                        llllllllllllllll
                                                                                141038


    For Release     on    Review    of the Cost     and    Operations           of   DOD's
    Delivery              Service    Academies
    Expected   at
    9:30 a.m.
    Wednesday
    April   4,   1990


                          Statement  of
                          Paul L. Jones,     Director,         Manpower         Issues,
                          National. Security      and     International            Affairs
                          Division

                          Before    the
                          Subcommittee     on Manpower    and      Personnel
                          Commi.ttee    on Armed Services
                          Senate




    GAO/T-NSIAD-PO-28
Mr.        Chairman          and Members               of     the      Subcommittee,


I     am    pleased          to be here             today           to discuss             the     preliminary                results
of our         on-qoing            review         of    the         cost       and operations               of     the        U.S.
Military          Academy,           the     U.S.            Naval         Academy,         and the         U.S.        Air      Force
Academy.            As you requested,                         we are           examininq           academies'             academic
and military                 proqrams,            including                orqanizational                structure,
staffinq          patterns,            performance                   of qraduates,                 the    cost       and
financial           operations,              and proqram                    oversiqht.               I will        summarize               our
findinqs          to date           and     thefi       discuss             each     of     these        areas       in       moft?

detail.


Results          in Brief


Althouqh          the        academies'             orqanizational                   structures,              academic
requirements                 for    their         faculties,                and approaches                to educatinq                    and
traininq          academy           students            are         similar,         they        still      have        some
siqnificant             differences.                    For        example,          the     faculties             at     the
Military          and Air           Force      Academies                   are     composed          almost        entirely               of
military          officers,            while           the     Naval         Academy         faculty          is     about           50
percent          civilian.             Althouqh               the      minimum         faculty           requirements                 are
qenerally           being          met and all                of     the       academies           have     been accredited,
accreditation                 boards        and the            visitinq             professors            have questioned
the        effectiveness             of     the        predominantly                 military            faculties             at     the
Military          and Air           Force         academies.
The education                    and training                philosophies                  of         the     three       academies             are
aimed       at producing                    career       military                officers.                  The academies
currently            produce              over       3,000      officers                 per     year,         compared           to    about

19,000        from         all       other        sources.             As a group,                     academy           graduates           tend
to stay        in         the      service           lonqer         than         qraduates              from        the    Reserve
Officer        Training                  Corps       (ROTC) and Officer                          Candidate/Traininq
School.             Academy qraduates                        also      appear             to proqress                 throuqh          the
ranks       more rapidly                   and to hiqher                    levels             than     officers           from        other
sources.



Costs       at the          Military              and Air           Force          academies                are     comparable,
while       costs          historically                 have        been         lower          at the         Naval       Academy.                In
fiscal       year          1988,          the     reported            cost         per     qraduate                was $224,000              for
the      Military           Academy,              $220,000            for        the      Air         Force        Academy,        and
$150,000            for     the          Naval      Academy.                Differences                 in academy
maintenance,                faculty              traininq,            student             dininq            services,           and
medical        costs             account          for    much of             the       cost       differences.


Our work            to date              indicates           that      the         academies'                 financial          reports
do not        include              all     the      costs       that         are       directly               related          to academy
operations.                 In addition,                 the        academies              have         recently           taken        action
to exclude                two previously                 included                costs,          faculty            traininq           and
academy        preparatory                   school          costs.              We believe                 that      excludinq          these
costs       results              in under-reporting                         of     the     true         cost        of    academy
operations.
       P


                                                                       2
.
With         regard       to proqram                 oversiqht,                 the     academies              have received
relatively              little              external          oversiqht               or review.                   The Board               of
Visitors,             an external                   advisory             qroup        at each            academy,              can not
reasonably             be expected                   to provide                 in-depth           oversiqht.                   Also,            the
academies             have qenerally                       not     received             much attention                     from        service
audit         aqencies,             except           for         several         audits           of    nonappropriated                          fund
activities             at        the     Air        Force         Academy.


THE ACADEMIC, MILITARY,                                AND PHYSICAL PROGRAMS


The mission               of each              of    the      academies               is     to prepare               students              to
become         career         military               officers.                  While        the       mission            of    the        Air
Force         Academy         has remained                    unchanqed,                in    recent           years           the     missions
of     the     Military             and Naval               academies             were modified                     to reflect                   the
additional             qoal         of       inspirinq             their         qraduates              to continue                   to    serve
the      nation        as leaders                   beyond         their         term        in    the        service.


Students          receive              a 4-year             education              consisting                 of    (1)        an
accredited             academic                proqram            with         a foundation               in the           humanities,
social         sciences,               basic         sciences,                 and enqineerinq,                     (2)        military
traininq          with        emphasis               on leadership,                     and (3)           physical              education
intended          to      instill              confidence                and competitiveness.


The academies                 are        hiqhly            selective.                 They        seek men and women
between         the       aqes         of      17    and 22 who have                       above-averaqe                   hiqh        school
acade'mic         achievement;                      hiqh      colleqe            entrance              exam        scores;

                                                                           3
leadership              potential               shown throuqh                       athletics             and extracurricular
activities,                and adequate                     physical             aptitude              as demonstrated                          throuqh
a physical              aptitude               examination.


About       12,000          to      16,000                students          apply         each         year       for         admission             to
the     various            academies,                 out      of which               each       academy              accepts              about

1,300       to     1,400.             Averaqe               Scholastic                Aptitude            Test          (SAT)          scores        for
students           accepted              for         admission              to the             three      academies                  in     1988

ranqed           from      564      to    588             in verbal             and      642      to     668         in math.               Averaqe
national           SAT scores                  for         students             enterinq              colleqe           in      1988        were     428
for     verbal          and 476 for                   math.


Academic           Proqram


The academies                    have     a core              curriculum                 requirinq              up      to      44     courses           in
the     basic        sciences,                 enqineerinq,                     social          sciences,               and humanities,
leadinq           to a Bachelor                      of     Science             deqree.            Students                  can choose             from
amonq       17     majors           at the            Military              Academy,             18     majors               at the         Naval
Academy,           and      25      majors            at      the     Air        Force          Academy.                The academies
emphasize            the         scientific                 and technoloqical                          education                considered
desirable            for       career           military              officers,                 which          reflects              the
academies'              qoal        of    producinq                  qeneralists                 rather           than          specialists.


Our analysis                indicates                 that       the        academies'                 major         course
requirements                in enqineerinq                       are        comparable                 to several                prominent
civiiian           universities.                          However,              beyond          the     majors            area,           the

                                                                            4
academies           also       require             a siqnificant                       amount        of military               and
physical           traininq           and offer                  fewer         electives             than         civilian
universities.


Faculty         Staffinq             and Credentials


The academic                faculties              at      the     Military                 and Air         Force       academies                are
predominantly                military              personnel                 with       only      about           2 to 3 percent                  of
the      faculty        positions                beinq        filled              by    civilians,                primarily           visitinq
faculty         members             from     other           institutions.                       In contrast,                 the     Naval
Academy's           faculty           is        split       about            evenly           between        military               and
civilian           personnel.


For      the    most        part,         the      academies                 require           a doctorate              deqree            for
tenured         faculty         and at             least          a master's                  degree        for      other       faculty
positions.              At the            Military            Academy,                 16     percent        are       tenured            and 26
percent         have doctorates,                         while       at the             Air      Force       Academy           11     percent
are      tenured        and 38 percent                      have         doctorates.                    At the        Naval          Academy,
about       42 percent               of    the          faculty          are        tenured          and about               50 percent
have       doctorates.


The rationale                behind          the         virtually                all-military               faculties               at    the
Military           and Air           Force         academies                 is     that       military            officers           serve
as role         models,         provide                 motivation                toward        a military              career,
relate         course        material              to military                    concerns,             and emphasize
       Y
teachinq           rather       than         research              and publication.                          Military           and Air

                                                                         5
Force       Academy          officials              told            us that          the    military               faculty                 also
assists        in providing                    military              training            and that              the      officers
themselves            qain         valuable            experience.


Naval       Academy officials                       have            indicated            that         having         a mix of
civilians           and military                  personnel                 is   beneficial                   because           the

civilians           provide              continuity,                 a hiqher            level          of     academic
expertise,            and a continuum                          of    professional                    learninq           for      the
academic        program.                  They      told            us that         having            half       the       faculty                made
up     of military              officers            is         sufficient             to provide                 role         models              and
exposure           to current              Navy practices.


Accreditation


The academies                are      subject             to        accreditation                 reviews            by reqional
associations              every           10     years.              The Military                 Academy            and the                Naval
Academy       were        accredited                by the            Middle          States            Association                   of
Colleqes        and Secondary                     Schools              in    1989        and         1986,       respectively.
The Air       Force         Academy              was accredited                     in     1989         by the          North          Central
Association            of     Colleqes              and Schools.                      In addition,                   the
Accreditation               Board          for      Enqineerinq                  and Technoloqy                      has accredited
the     enqineering              proqrams              at each              academy.


Althouqh        all       the       academies              meet         accreditation                    requirements,                       the
most      recent       accreditation                     reports             raise         some         concerns              about

spec:fic        aspects             of     the     academic                 proqrams            at      the     Military               Academy

                                                                        6
and the           Air       Force       Academy.            For        example,               in      its      1989      accreditation
report          on the         Military        Academy,                the       Middle             States         Association
stated          that        "the    large          number        of        rotatinq                faculty         places           a major
burden          on the         fewer       permanent             faculty               in providing                   continuity               in
the      academic            programs."              The Association                          recommended                that         the
Military           Academy          "consider              increasing                  its         civilian           faculty,
particularly                 in fields             . . . such               as the            humanities."


The Military                 Academy's         visitinq               professors                    reported           in     1989          that
at     civilian             colleqes,         juniors            and seniors                   are          taught       by        faculty
with       doctorates,              while      most         of    the         curriculum                    at the       Military
Academy           is     tauqht        by faculty            with           master's                deqrees           throuqh          all         4
years.            They       recommended             that        the        percentaqe                  of permanent
associate              professors           with      doctorates                  at         the      academy          be increased
from       15 to 25 percent                   of     the     faculty.


The      1989      accreditation               report            on the           Air         Force           Academy         by      the

North       Central           Association             states              that         "the         intellectual                vitality
and depth              of    the    faculty          as a whole                  are         adversely             affected            by the
relative           lack       of    Ph.D.s         among the                faculty."


Military           Training


The military                 instruction            proqram               consists             of      both        classroom                and
hands-on           training.              The program                 is      intended                to provide              each
stude*nt          with       the    basic      knowledge,                   skills,            and attitudes                    believed

                                                                      7
to be essential                      for        effective            performance             as a commissioned
officer.               Courses             in military                training           cover     the       orqanization,
operation,               and role               of     the     academy's            parent        service.            In       addition,
some of          the         academic            courses            have       a particular             military
orientation,                  like         the       History         of Technology                and Warfare.                  Academy
officials              also      said           that       other       courses           such     as psychology,                  while
part       of    the      academic               proqram,            also       enhance          leadership           ability.


Naval       Academy            midshipmen                  must      pass       a comprehensive                   professional
competency              exam prior                   to qraduation.                   The other           academies              test
cadet       military             knowledqe                 on a course-by-course                         basis.


Hands-on            training               is    the       primary          focus        during        the    summer months                 at
all     three        academies.                      In    their       first        summer,        students           receive
basic       training             as a transition                       from      civilian          to service              academy
life.           The following                    summers            generally            expose        the    students            to the
operations              of     their            service            and to       leadership           development.
Midshipmen              act      as crew               aboard        Navy vessels                and advance              to    assume
the     duties          and responsibilities                              of    junior       officers.              Air        Force
cadets          attend         survival                traininq,            receive         training          in aviation,                 and
field       traininq             at Air              Force        bases        throuqhout          the       world.            Military
Academy          cadets          receive               field        training,            serve     as platoon              leaders
with       active        Army units,                      and attend            specialty          training,              such      as
Airborne            or Northern                  Warfare            training.
Throuqhout             their        4    years,         cadets         and midshipmen               are       exposed           to
military          experience               throuqh         their        student          command structures.
Within       these           structures,             the     students            are    qiven       the       opportunity                 to
function          in        leadership          positions,              and administer                  or enforce              the
standards            of      conduct.           Commissioned               officers          supervise               the
students'            command structures                     and provide                individual             counseling.


Physical          Training


The academies                  have physical               development             programs             consisting              of
required          physical              education          courses,          required            participation                  in
intramural,                 intercolleqiate,                or club          sports,         and physical                  fitness
tests.           The proqrams               are      designed           to ensure          that         graduates           are
fit,       and possess             the      stamina         to     meet      emerqencies                and endure
hardship.              Academy           officials          state         that     the     programs              also      instill
competitiveness                   and physical              couraqe,             and provide              further
leadership             training.


Attrition


The academies                 define        attrition            as any student                  loss      before
qraduation.                  Althouqh         students           may be separated                   for       a variety              of
reasons,          including              academic          deficiencies                and honor           violations,
most     attrition              results         from       resignations.                  Recent          data       indicate
that     about         82     percent         of     attrition            occurs        during          the      first      2




                                                                   9
years.              Students                who are          separated            or resign                before           the      start         of
their         third            year         do not         incur         an active             duty        obligation.


From         1979         to        1989,      attrition             at    the        service          academies                has
declined.                  During            this         period,         attrition             dropped             from        about         30
percent             to 22 percent                    at      the     Naval        Academy,             38     percent             to     25
percent             at     the        Military             Academy,            and     about          39    percent             to     27
percent             at     the        Air     Force          Academy.             Academy officials                          attribute
this         reduction                in attrition                  to better             screening               in      the     admissions
process             and qreater                  numbers            of    qualified              candidates.


PERFORMANCE AND RETENTION OF ACADEMY GRADUATES


To     date,         we have                obtained          only        limited          information                    on the
performance                    of     academy          graduates               relative           to officers                   commissioned
throuqh             other           programs.               We were            able       to obtain               some data              in    the
areas         of     career            proqression                  and retention.                     Our preliminary
analysis             of        proqression                 data      indicates             that        academy              graduates              are
promoted             at        a hiqher             rate      than        officers             from        other          commissioning
sources.                 Althouqh             academy              qraduates           constitute                 about         14     percent           of
all     active             duty        officers,              they        comprised             approximately                     31    percent
of     the     officers                selected              for     general           officer             rank        in    1988.            We are
currently                obtaining              additional                information                 on progression                     throuqh
the     ranks,             includinq                the     universe            of eligible                 officers              from        each       of
the     accession                   sources.



                                                                          10
Care        should           be     taken           to avoid               reading             too      much into             these
statistics.                     There          are        several              factors             related          to career
progression                  which           can confound                      a straight               comparison               of     academy
graduates                with       officers                   from      other           commissioning                    sources.            For
example,            academy               graduates                receive               a regular             commission               whereas
most        other          newly          commissioned                    officers                 receive          a reserve
commission.                     This         means that                  academy              qraduates             are      protected              from
reductions-in-force.                                     Also,         academy              graduates              have qenerally
received            a larqer                 allocation                 of      combat-related                      line      officer
positions                which          traditionally                     have           been        the     main        route         to    senior
leadership                positions.                      It     is     difficult                  to determine               whether           the
qreater            success              of    academy              qraduates                  is due to the                  quality          of      the
academies'                proqrams                 or other              factors              associated             to a greater                   or
lesser        degree              with        various              sources               of    commissioninq.


An Air        Force             Academy             study          found            that       its      qraduates             have          been more
likely        to         complete             undergraduate                         pilot          traininq          than        Air        Force
officers            from          other            commissioninq                     sources.                In     fiscal        years         1979
throuqh            1988,          Air        Force             Academy          graduate               attrition             from
underqraduate                     pilot            training             was         18      percent,           compared           to 24
percent            for      total            Air      Force            pilot         training               attrition.                 Academy
officials                attribute                 the         lower      pilot             traininq           attrition               to the
qreater         exposure                  to flight                training                 that      Air      Force         Academy          cadets
receive.




                                                                               11
The mission             of     the         academies          is     to provide                   instruction                and
motivation            for      qraduates             to make the                 military               a career.                  By law,
academy         graduates             are      now required                   to serve             at    least          5    years           on
active       duty.           This         obligation              will        increase             to 6 years                starting
with      the      class       of     1996.          Graduates                can also             incur        additional
active       duty       service             commitments              for       high         cost        training,              such          as
pilot       training.


Approximately                34      percent         of    the       graduates               from        all      three            academies
have      resiqned           during          their        first          8    years         of     service.                 This         period
generally            covers          the     completion              of       the      academy           graduates'                     initial
service         commitment.


Academy graduates                     have        historically                 remained              in the           service              longer
than      officers           from         other      sources:                46 percent             remaining                on active
duty      longer        than         15    years,         compared             to 28 percent                    of officers                       from
other       sources.              Again,          however,           we need to caution                           against                drawing
a firm       conclusion               reqardinq            these             raw statistics                    because             of      the
impact       that       factors             such     as type             of    commission                and length                 of
obligated            term      of     service          can have on retention.                                   Among the
academies,            the      Air        Force      Academy's                retention             rate        after          15        years           is
the     highest         at 50 percent,                    compared             to      44    percent            for         graduates               of
the     Military           Academy,           and 42 percent                     for        the     Naval         Academy.




                                                                    12
FINANCIAL                 OPERATIONS AND COST TRENDS


Reported             operatinq                costs           for      fiscal             year         1988      were         about             $243

million             for      the        Military          Academy,                  $239 million                     for      the         Air      Force
Academy,             and $168 million                          for      the         Naval          Academy.


The academies'                      reported             operating                  costs          in constant                     1989         dollars
increased                 between            fiscal       years              1979         and      1988        at an average                       annual
rate         of     1.7      to 2.6           percent.                Over          this          period,            the      academies'                   costs
in constant                  1989         dollars         rose          by        about           33    percent             at the              Military
Academy,             about          17     percent             at      the        Naval           Academy,            and about                  37
percent            at the           Air       Force       Academy.                   During             this         same period,                      the
academies'                 cost        per      graduate              rose          in constant                  1989         dollars              by      about

19     percent             at     the      Military                 Academy,              about         5     percent              at the          Naval
Academy,             and almost                  29 percent                 at the           Air        Force         Academy.


The academies                     report          costs             using         38 common categories                               divided                 into
3 broad            cateqories:                   Institutional                      Support,                Instructional
Activities,                  and Student                 Related              Activities.


The fiscal                year         1988       cost         for      Naval            Academy operations                               is over             $70
million            less         than       the        other          two academies.                           Differences                  in
Institutional                     Support             costs          were         responsible                  for      over         $47 million
of     the        cost      difference.                   The smaller                      physical             size          of     the         Naval
Academy            is one factor                      in the          difference.                      Although               the         Military
and A*ir Force                    academies              maintain                 over       16,000            and         19,000          acres,

                                                                             13
respectively,                    the        Naval         Academy          only       has      338         acres.         Further,             the
Military              and Air             Force          academies             have    to maintain                  about           11.4      and
7.8      million           square            feet         of    building            area,       respectively,                   whereas
the      Naval         Academy              has     4.3        million          square         feet         to maintain.
Another          factor              is     that         the    Military            Academy           and Air          Force          Academy
have       hospitals               while           the     Naval         Academy only                 has a clinic,
requirinq              more serious                  medical             cases        to be transferred                        to a local
civilian              hospital              or to the             Bethesda            Naval          Hospital.              As a result,
no hospital                care           costs      were         reported            as a Naval                  Academy       expense              in
fiscal          year       1988.



Differences                in Instructional                           Activities             costs          accounted           for        over
$15      million.               One cause                 of    these       differences                    is     associated           with
the      academies'                policies               reqardinq             faculty         traininq.                 The Military
and Air          Force          academies                 sponsor          officers            in obtaining                 advanced
deqrees.               The Naval                  Academy,            however,         does          not        sponsor        faculty
training             because              their      faculty             members,            including              military
officers,              obtain             their      master's              degrees           prior          to beinq           selected              as
instructors.                    In        1988,      faculty             training            costs          amounted           to     $14.7

million          for       the        Army and $7.9                    million         for      the         Air     Force.


Differences                in the            Student            Related           Activities                costs      accounted               for
over       $6    million              in fiscal                year      1988.         The biqqest                  difference
involved             the      costs          of     the        academies'             student          dininq          services:               $9.2
million          at     the      Air         Force,            $9.0      million          at the            Military         Academy,                and
$6.4       iillion          at        the     Naval            Academy.            The Naval                Academy         and the

                                                                          14
,




    Military              Academy               contract          out        some cadet              dining              services,                 while          the
    Air      Force          Academy              uses      qovernment                personnel.                    We are          in the               process

    of      obtaining                  additional              information                 on the          dining            services.


    In      Auqust          1989,             the      academies             decided             to change               their          basis            for
    reporting               certain              Institutional                  and Instructional                            costs.                In
    fiscal           year         1989,          the      academies             beqan         excluding               preparatory                        school
    costs,           reported                 as $15.7          million             in the          previous               year.          Their
    rationale               for         this        change        was that                preparatory                school             operations
    are      separate                  from      academy         operations.                       Also     starting               in     fiscal               year
    1989,          the      Air         Force          Academy          beqan        reporting              only           33 percent                   of
    their          faculty              traininq           costs,            while         the      Military               Academy             beqan
    reporting               only          24 percent             of      these            costs.           The full               faculty
    traininq              cost          for      the      2 academies                totaled              $22.6       million                 in    fiscal
    year          1988.           Their          rationale             for     this          change           is     that         the     officers'
    advanced              deqrees              provide          benefits             during          the       remainder                 of        their
    military              careers.


    We do not               believe              that      these         chanqes             in their              cost       reporting                    are
    justified.                    The preparatory                      schools             exist          as an adjunct                   to        the
    academies.                    If      the       academies           did         not     exist,          the       preparatory
    schools           would             not      exist.          Therefore                 we believe               that          the
    preparatory                   schools              should      be        included            as part            of      the     total               cost
    of      the      academies.                     Likewise,           we believe                  that       the         full     cost            of
    service-funded                       graduate              education             for      academy              faculty          selectees
    should           be    associated                   with     the         academies              because           it      was the

                                                                               15
education                 requirements                of    the        academy           positions             which          necessitated
those         officers              to be sent              to graduate                  school.            In addition,                 there
is     no assurance                     that     an officer                 whose graduate                  education               was funded
by the             service          to qualify                for      a faculty             position             would        necessarily
stay         for     a full             career        in the           service.              For     these         reasons,             we
believe             that      the        costs        of    the        preparatory                 schools         and faculty
training             should             continue           to be reported                    as costs             properly
attributable                  to the            academies.


To date,             we have             identified                 a number          of other           costs          that        have      not
been         included             by the         academies.                  For      example,            in      fiscal        year         1989

about         $9.8         million             in summer training                        costs       were         not      reported           at
the      Military             Academy.                The Military                  Academy          also         does        not    report
medical             costs         for     dependents.                      Although          the     Naval         Academy           reported
room and board                     costs         in    fiscal              year     1989,        they       did        not     report
procedural                 costs         associated             with         hospitalization                      of    its     students,
staff,             and dependents.


We also             found         some problems                     with     accounting              accuracy.                 For
example,             at     the         Naval      Academy            we found              67 instances                of over-             and
under-reported                     costs         resultinq                 in about          $6.6       million              in cost
errors.              We need             to do additional                         work      to determine                the     validity
of     the     academies'                 cost        data.




                                                                           16
OVERSIGHT AT THE ACADEMIES
The service                     academies              receive             manaqement           oversight              throuqh         their
respective                     service             chain      of      command and external                          oversiqht          from
various             independent                     organizations.


Service             oversiqht                 of     the      academies              is     similar          to that         of    any major
command.                  In     the         Army and the                Air       Force,       staff         under        the     Deputy

Chief          of     Staff            for      Personnel              act        as liaisons            between           the     service
and      its        respective                  academy.              These         offices           coordinate             policy
changes             by         forwardinq             proposals                throuqh         the      chain        of    command,
review          personnel                    actions,          such          as cadet          separations,                and serve             as
the     academies'                     representatives.                           The Navy           introduced            a special
advocate             position                 in     1988,          which         reports       directly             to the        Assistant
Vice         Chief         of Naval                 Operations.                   The duties            of    this        office       are       to
monitor             all         the        Navy's          hiqher          education          programs,              represent          the
Naval          Academy                in     the     budqetinq               process,         and assess              graduate
performance.                       As this            office          was recently                 established,               we were            not
able         to assess                 its     effectiveness.


The academies                      all        have         internal            review        qroups          that     provide          some
installation                     oversiqht.                   Military             Academy operations                      are     reviewed
by     its      Internal                   Review          Office        as well            as the       Academy's            Office         of
the     Inspector                 General.                  The Internal                  Review       Office         conducts          about

30 audits                 of     academy             units          each       year.         The Inspector                 General          at
the     Military                 Academy             reviews          complaints              and conducts                 inquires          of
         Y


                                                                             17
specific         academy-related                        matters,            often         at     the     request         of    the
Superintendent.


Although         the     Naval            Academy does                 not      have an Inspector                       General,          it
relies       on two departments                          for       internal              oversight.             One department
conducts         reviews            for         both     appropriated                    and nonappropriated                     funds.
One function             of        the     other         department                 is    to conduct            economy          and
efficiency             reviews            of     commercial                activities,              such       as family
services,         transportation,                        supply,            and food             services.


The Air        Force         Academy does                 not         have      a separate               internal         review
office,        relyinq         on program                 reviews             by its           service         audit      agency       and
the       academy's          Inspector             General.                 Accordinq             to     the    Air      Force
Academy's         Inspector                General,             his        office         conducts          unit
effectiveness,                operational                 readiness,                 and functional                   manaqement
inspections             at    the         academy         and handles                    complaints.


Normal       external          oversight                 of     academy             operations            is    the
responsibility                of     the         Board         of Visitors,                the     Office          of    the
Secretary         Of     Defense,                and the           service           audit        agencies.              In
addition,        oversight                 of     the     academic             program            is provided             by the
accreditation                associations.                      Also,         the        academies          have occasionally




                                                                      18
been         the         subject            of     special                 reviews,              such as the             ones        conducted            by

US’      and the              DOD      Committee                  on Excellence                        in Education                in the        mid-
1970s.



The Boards                  of Visitors                    of        the     academies                 are    composed             of     Members         of
Conqress                 and private                citizens                 appointed                 by the        President,              Vice
President,                  and conqressional                               leaders.               By law,            the    Boards          are
charqed             with           inquiring               into        the         morale          and discipline,                      curriculum,
instruction,                       physical             equipment,                      fiscal         affairs,          academic            methods,
and other                  academy           matters              that            the      Boards         decide         to consider.                    The
Boards             meet       at      the        academies                  once         or      twice       a year         for     a few days.
They      do not              have       their            own staff                    and rely           mainly         on academy              staff
for      information                   and assistance                             in preparinq                their         reports.             Each
Board         sends           a report              to the             President                  once       a year.


The total                 reported               costs          of     the         Boards          of Visitors               for        fiscal      year
1989      was $4,255                   for        the        Naval           Academy,              $9,764          for      the     Military
Academy,                 and $26,508                for         the         Air        Force       Academy.              The cost            reported
by     the         Air      Force        is       higher              because              the     cost       of     round         trip     military
air      transportation                          from        Washington                    to Colorado               Sprinqs            is reported
at approximately                        $600            to      $1,800             per        flying         hour.          In addition,                 the
Air      Force            reported               $74,154              as the             cost      for       the     time         Academy        staff
spent         in         support        of        the        Board           of Visitors.

1 Financial      Operations     of the Five Service     Academies     (GAO/FPCD-75-
117,    Feb. 6, 1975);      Academic and Military     Programs of the Five
Service     Academies    (GAO/FPCD-/6-8,      Oct. 31   1975)     Student  Attrition
at the Five Service         Academies   (GAO/FPCD-7:-12,      Mar. 5, 1976) ; and
The Five Service        Academies:    A Followup   Report   (GAO/FPCD-77-78)
                                                                                  19
We have            found         no DOD reviews                    of     the        academies              since        the      Committee
on Excellence                    in Education                    examined            academy             operations              in the     mid-
1970s.


All      three         academies               are      also       subject               to audit           by their           respective
service            audit         agencies.                 Some of            the        audits          that     have been
conducted            were         reviews             of    nonappropriated                        funds,         while        others       have
occurred            as part              of    servicewide                audits.              Since            January          1988,     the
Air     Force        Audit          Acjency           has issued               eiqht         audit          reports         on various
academy            nonappropriated                      fund       activities,                    four      of which           were      on the
Academy's            Athletic                 Association.                    Academy officials                         stated      that
neither          the       Army Audit                Agency         nor        the        Naval          Audit        Service       have
issued        an audit              report            focusinq           specifically                     on their          respective
academy          since           1985.          Military            Academy               officials              informed          us that
the     Army Audit                Aqency          was conductinq                         two multi-site                  audits,         one on
personnel            and the              other        on communications.                                A Naval         Academy
official            stated          that        the        Navy Audit               Service              had not         conducted          any
recent        multi-site                  audits           involving               the     Naval          Academy.


Given        the     cost         and prominence                    of        the     academies,                 they     are      receiving
relatively              little            external             oversight.                  The lack              of     independent
staff        and the             limited           time        spent          at    the      academies                make it
unrealistic                to expect              the       Boards         of Visitors                    to provide
comprehensive                    evaluations                of     academy           programs.                   In addition,              the
      u


                                                                         20
Army and Navy           audit    agencies         have     not   been particularly          active   at
their    respective         academies.




In closinq,       Mr.     Chairman,         our     testimony      today     constitutes       a status
report       on our   work      at    the   academies.           We will     be performing
additional       work     at    the     academies         and expect       to produce      a final
report       by the   end of         this   year.         This   concludes     my prepared
statement.        I will        be happy       to answer         any questions.




                                                     21
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