September 22, 2021

News

News Network

International Security: DOD and State Need to Improve Sustainment Planning and Monitoring and Evaluation for Section 1206 and 1207 Assistance Programs

10 min read
<div>In 2006, the United States created two new programs, authorized in Sections 1206 and 1207 of the Fiscal Year 2006 National Defense Authorization Act, to respond to the threats of global terrorism and instability. These programs have provided over $1.3 billion in military and nonmilitary aid to 62 countries and are due to expire in 2011 and 2010, respectively. The Congress mandated that GAO assess the programs. This report addresses the extent to which the programs (1) are consistent with U.S. strategic priorities, (2) are distinct from other programs, (3) address sustainment needs, and (4) incorporate monitoring and evaluation. GAO analyzed data and program documents from the Departments of Defense (DOD) and State (State), and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and interviewed U.S. and host country officials.The Section 1206 and 1207 programs have generally been consistent with U.S. strategic priorities. The Section 1206 program was established to build the military capacity of foreign countries to conduct counterterrorism and stabilization operations. DOD and State have devoted 82 percent of this program's funds to address specific terrorist threats, primarily in countries the U.S. intelligence community has identified as priorities for the counterterrorism effort. The Section 1207 program was established to transfer DOD funds to State for nonmilitary assistance related to stabilization, reconstruction, and security. DOD, State, and USAID have devoted 77 percent of this program's funds to countries at significant risk of instability, mostly those the United States has identified as vulnerable to state failure. Based on agency guidelines, the Section 1206 program is generally distinct from other programs, while the Section 1207 program is not. In most cases, Section 1206 projects addressed urgent and emergent counterterrorism and stabilization priorities of combatant commanders and did so more quickly than other programs, sometimes in a year, whereas Foreign Military Financing (FMF) projects can take up to 3 years to plan. DOD and embassy officials GAO spoke to consistently explained why projects do not overlap those of FMF and other programs, although project proposals GAO reviewed did not always document these distinctions. Section 1207 projects are virtually indistinguishable from those of other foreign aid programs in their content and time frames. Furthermore, the Section 1207 program has entailed additional implementation costs and funding delays beyond those of traditional foreign assistance programs, while the 1206 program has not. The uncertain availability of resources to sustain Section 1206 projects poses risks to achieving long-term impact. Enabling nations to achieve sustainable counterterrorism capabilities is a key U.S. policy goal. The long-term viability of Section 1206 projects is threatened by (1) the limited ability or willingness of partner nations to support new capabilities, as 76 percent of Section 1206 projects are in low- or lower-middle-income countries, and (2) U.S. legal and policy restrictions on using FMF and additional Section 1206 resources for sustainment. In contrast, sustainment risks for Section 1207 projects appear minimal, because State, USAID, and DOD are not restricted from drawing on a variety of overlapping funding sources to continue them. DOD and State have incorporated little monitoring and evaluation into the Section 1206 and 1207 programs. For Section 1206 projects, the agencies have not consistently defined performance measures, and results reporting has generally been limited to anecdotal information. For Section 1207 projects, the agencies have defined performance measures and State requires quarterly reporting on project implementation. However, State has not fully analyzed this information or provided it to DOD to inform program management. As a result, agencies have made decisions to sustain and expand both Section 1206 and 1207 projects without documentation of progress or effectiveness.</div>
Department of Defense For the Section 1206 program, the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of State, should develop and implement specific plans to monitor, evaluate, and report routinely on Section 1206 project outcomes and their impact on U.S. strategic objectives.

Closed – Implemented

In November 2012, DOD finalized the Section 1206 Assessment Handbook intended “to assist Section 1206 stakeholders in planning and executing their responsibilities in the Section 1206 Assessment Process.” Specifically, it focuses on the preparation and conduct of baseline and program assessments and outlines steps to do so. Subsequently, in December 2012, DOD published a “for official use only” report to Congress on Section 1206 assessments detailing the results of five 2012 pilot assessments conducted in the Philippines, the Republic of Georgia, Djibouti, Tunisia, and Poland. According to agency officials, DOD plans to apply the assessment methodology in eleven additional recipient countries in 2013. Section 1206 program officials stated that this effort was taken, in part, based on GAO’s recommendations in GAO-10-431, and that while 2013 is considered a transition year for the assessment process, they eventually plan to assess and maintain evaluations for every recipient country.

Department of Defense For the Section 1206 program, the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of State, should base further decisions about sustaining existing Section 1206 projects on the results of such monitoring and evaluation.

Closed – Implemented

Following the publication of our report, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has taken three actions to help ensure that Section 1206 project sustainment decisions are based on the results of monitoring and evaluation. First, in fiscal year 2012, the office has implemented a program assessment process, that evaluates, among other things, how partner nations are sustaining/plan to sustain training and equipment. Second, May 2013 updates to program guidance note GAO’s report in emphasizing the importance of both providing baseline assessments of proposed recipients and planning for the sustainment of Section 1206 projects. Third, Section 1206 project proposal templates were updated in fiscal year 2014 so that fiscal year 2015 proposals would require information regarding any related previous Section 1206 projects and how new projects would complement those efforts. Instituting a formal assessment process and updating guidance and project proposal templates with respect to assessments and sustainment planning serve to ensure that new project proposals carefully consider these two elements.

Department of Defense For the Section 1206 program, the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of State, should estimate the cost of sustaining projects at the time they are proposed and, where possible, obtain a commitment from partner nations to fund those costs.

Closed – Implemented

Following the 2010 publication of our report, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has taken two actions to address this recommendation. First, in fiscal year 2014, DOD updated the Section 1206 project proposal submission form for fiscal year 2015 to require inclusion of an estimate the cost of project sustainment. Second, the same proposal submission form requires an assessment of partner nation ability to sustain training and equipment as well as potential use of national funds to sustain the project. Further emphasizing these proposal requirements, in May 2013, DOD updated Section 1206 guidance with a reference to our report noting the importance of estimating project sustainment costs at the time of proposal.

Department of Defense For the Section 1206 program, the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of State should seek further guidance from the Congress on what funding authorities are appropriate to sustain Section 1206 projects when the Secretary determines that (a) projects address specific terrorist and stabilization threats in high-priority countries, (b) reliable monitoring and evaluation have shown that projects are effective, and (c) partner nation funds are unavailable.

Closed – Implemented

DOD concurred with the recommendation. Following the publication of our report, and according to DOD officials, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has sought guidance from congress on multiple occasions regarding sustainment resources for Section 1206 programs that would meet the criteria set in our recommendation. According to DOD officials, these efforts have led to changes in the authorizing language for the Section 1206 program to help recipient countries sustain Section 1206 capabilities. For example, authorizing language in the fiscal year 2013 National Defense Authorizing Act (P.L. 112-239) allows for use of Section 1206 funding on “small-scale military construction activities.” The Congressional Research Service has described this action in a 2014 report as one that could help recipient nations sustain and maintain Section 1206 capabilities.

Department of Defense For the Section 1207 program, the Secretary of Defense, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Administrator of USAID, should develop and implement specific plans to monitor, evaluate, and report on their outcomes and their impact on U.S. strategic objectives to determine whether continued funding for these projects is appropriate under other authorities and programs.

Closed – Implemented

Following the issuance of our report, and in response to a Matter for Congressional Consideration contained in the report, Congress did not reauthorize the Section 1207 program. As such, this recommendation is no longer relevant.

More from:

News Network

  • Commemoration of the Massacre of Mahshahr and Designation of Iranian Officials Due to Involvement in Gross Violations of Human Rights
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Michael R. Pompeo, [Read More…]
  • Italy Travel Advisory
    In Travel
    Reconsider travel to [Read More…]
  • U.S. Government and the State of Illinois Reach Agreement with Peoria and the Greater Peoria Sanitary District to Reduce Water Pollution from Sewer System
    In Crime News
    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Justice, and the state of Illinois today announced an agreement with the city of Peoria and the Greater Peoria Sanitary District (GPSD) that will yield significant reductions of sewage discharges from Peoria’s wastewater systems into the Illinois River and Peoria Lake.
    [Read More…]
  • The United States and United Kingdom: Reaffirming Our Alliance
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Departments of Justice and Homeland Security Release Data on Incarcerated Aliens
    In Crime News
    Today, the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security released the Alien Incarceration Report for Fiscal Year 2019.  The data shows that 94 percent of confirmed aliens incarcerated in Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and United States Marshals Service (USMS) facilities were unlawfully present in the United States.  Additionally, the report found that nearly 70 percent of known or suspected aliens in BOP custody had been convicted of a non-immigration-related offense, and 39 percent of known or suspected aliens in USMS custody had committed a non-immigration-related offense.
    [Read More…]
  • Department of Justice Files Complaint Against California Company To Stop Distribution of Adulterated Animal Drugs
    In Crime News
    The United States filed a civil complaint to stop a California company from manufacturing and distributing adulterated animal drugs, the Department of Justice announced today.
    [Read More…]
  • Attorney General William P. Barr Announces Updates on Operation Legend in Memphis
    In Crime News
    During a visit with law enforcement in Memphis today, Attorney General William P. Barr announced updates on Operation Legend, which was expanded to Memphis on Aug. 6, 2020.
    [Read More…]
  • Export-Import Bank: Status of End-Use Monitoring of Dual-Use Exports as of August 2021
    In U.S GAO News
    Why GAO Did This Study EXIM's mission is to support the export of U.S. goods and services overseas through loans, loan guarantees, and insurance, thereby supporting U.S. jobs. In 1994, Congress passed legislation authorizing EXIM to facilitate the financing of U.S. exports of defense articles and services with both commercial and military applications, provided that the bank determines these items are nonlethal and primarily meant for civilian end use. Included in the same act was a provision for GAO, in conjunction with EXIM, to report annually on the end uses of dual-use exports financed by EXIM during the second preceding fiscal year. This report (1) examines the status of EXIM's monitoring of dual-use exports that it continued to finance in fiscal year 2019, as of August 2021; and (2) identifies any new dual-use exports that EXIM financed in fiscal year 2020. To address these objectives, GAO reviewed EXIM documentation and data on dual-use exports and interviewed EXIM officials. What GAO Found As of August 2021, the Export-Import Bank (EXIM) was monitoring the end use of a single transaction that it continued to finance in fiscal year 2019, as summarized below: Two satellites for the government of Mexico. A fixed service satellite was launched in December 2012 and became operational in February 2013, and a mobile service satellite was launched in October 2015 and became operational in December 2015. For 2021, EXIM received all documents from the government of Mexico on time and subsequently determined that Mexico was in compliance with the bank's dual-use policy. EXIM did not finance any new exports under its dual-use authority in fiscal year 2020, according to EXIM authorization data and EXIM officials. For more information, contact Kimberly Gianopoulos at (202) 512-8612 or gianopoulosk@gao.gov.
    [Read More…]
  • Virginia Attorneys Sentenced for Attempting to Extort a Multinational Chemicals Company
    In Crime News
    Two Virginia attorneys were sentenced today on federal extortion charges for their roles in a scheme to extort a multinational chemicals company by threatening to inflict substantial financial and reputational harm on the company if their demands for a $200 million payment disguised as a purported “consulting agreement” were not met.
    [Read More…]
  • Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Request: U.S. Government Accountability Office
    In U.S GAO News
    This testimony discusses the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) budget request for fiscal year (FY) 2013. GAO very much appreciates the confidence Congress has shown in the efforts to help support the Congress in carrying out its constitutional responsibilities and to help improve government performance and accountability for the benefit of the American people.GAO is requesting an appropriation of $526.2 million for FY 2013 to support a staffing level of 3,100. This funding level represents a modest increase of 2.9 percent over FY 2012, and is 5.4 percent below our FY 2010 level. The majority of the requested increase represents the first step in rebuilding our staff capacity to a level that will enable us to optimize the benefits we yield for the Congress and the nation.We have carefully reviewed every aspect of our operations from a zero base to identify opportunities to reduce costs without sacrificing the quality of our work and preserving our ability to assist the Congress in addressing the most important priorities facing the nation. However, given that staff costs now represent about 81 percent of our budget and the deep reductions already taken in our infrastructure programs, reducing the size of our workforce could not be avoided. By the end of FY 2012, for the first time in over 75 years, GAO’s staffing level will drop below 3,000 staff, resulting in a net reduction of 11 percent in our staff capacity, or 365 people, in only a 2-year period.GAO’s work directly contributes to improvements in a broad array of federal programs affecting Americans everywhere and remains one of the best investments across the federal government. With this committee’s support, in FY 2011, GAO provided assistance to every standing congressional committee and about 70 percent of their subcommittees. GAO issues hundreds of products annually in response to congressional requests and mandates. Our work yielded significant results across the government, including financial benefits of $45.7 billion—a return on investment of $81 for every dollar invested in GAO. Our findings and recommendations produce measurable financial benefits for the federal government, enabled through the actions of Congress and Executive Branch agencies, ultimately making funds available to reduce government expenditures, reallocate funds to more productive areas, or increase revenues.
    [Read More…]
  • Argentina Travel Advisory
    In Travel
    Do not travel to [Read More…]
  • West Virginia Man Charged with Federal Civil Rights Offenses
    In Crime News
    A federal grand jury in West Virginia returned an indictment Tuesday charging a former West Virginia police officer and firefighter with civil rights offenses against two victims, using fire to commit a felony, and witness tampering.
    [Read More…]
  • Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt Delivers Remarks Announcing Goldman Sachs/1mdb Enforcement Actions
    In Crime News
    Good Afternoon. I am Brian Rabbitt, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division. I am joined today by Acting U.S. Attorney Seth DuCharme of the Eastern District of New York, Assistant Director in Charge Bill Sweeney of the FBI, Stephanie Avakian, Director of the Enforcement Division at the Securities and Exchange Commission, and Assistant General Counsel for Enforcement Jason Gonzalez of the Federal Reserve Board. We are here today to announce enforcement actions of historic significance.
    [Read More…]
  • Designation of Al-Qa’ida Supporters
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Gulf Coast Health Care Fraud Strike Force Expanded to Include Eastern District of Texas
    In Crime News
    The Department of Justice announced the expansion of the Criminal Division, Fraud Section’s existing Gulf Coast Health Care Fraud Strike Force to include the Eastern District of Texas.
    [Read More…]
  • Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction: Opportunities for DHS to Better Address Longstanding Program Challenges
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found In April 2016, GAO evaluated Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plans to consolidate chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear security programs into the Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) office. GAO recommended DHS use, where appropriate, the key mergers and organizational transformation practices identified in prior work, such as conducting adequate stakeholder outreach. DHS agreed with and addressed the recommendation by soliciting employee feedback on the transformation and formed a leadership team for the consolidation, among other practices. However, GAO observed that significant challenges remained at the CWMD office—such as low employee morale and questions about program efficacy. GAO has ongoing work evaluating these issues and plans to issue a report in early 2022. Over the past decade, GAO has also conducted extensive work evaluating legacy and ongoing programs managed by the CWMD office and has identified program management challenges and opportunities for improvement in the following program areas: Biosurveillance programs: Since 2009, GAO has reported on progress and challenges with two of DHS's biosurveillance efforts—the National Biosurveillance Integration Center and the pursuit of replacements for the BioWatch program (aimed at detecting aerosolized biological attacks). For example, DHS faced challenges defining these programs' missions and acquiring suitable technologies. In December 2009 and September 2012, GAO highlighted the importance of following departmental policies and employing leading management practices to help ensure that the mission of each program is clearly and purposefully defined and that investments effectively respond to those missions. DHS agreed with and addressed these recommendations. Most recently, DHS agreed to a May 2021 GAO recommendation that it should follow best practices for conducting technology readiness assessments for a biodetection effort and described planned efforts to conduct one before the next key decision event. Nuclear/radiological detection: In May 2019, GAO found that the CWMD office lacked a clear basis for proposed changes to the strategies of the Securing the Cities program, which is designed to enhance the nuclear detection capabilities of federal and nonfederal agencies in select cities. GAO found the strategies were not based on threats or needs of the participating cities. DHS agreed with our recommendations aimed at improving communication and coordination with participating cities, but has not fully implemented them. Chemical defense: In August 2018, GAO found that DHS had not fully integrated and coordinated its chemical defense programs and activities, which could lead to a risk that DHS may miss an opportunity to leverage resources and share information. Improved program integration and coordination could lead to greater effectiveness addressing chemical threats. DHS agreed to develop a strategy and implementation plan to aid integration of programs, which it expects to finalize in September 2021. Why GAO Did This Study In December 2018, statute established the CWMD office, reorganizing several legacy offices, including the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office and Office of Health Affairs into one. The office manages programs intended to enhance the United States' ability to detect, deter, and defend against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats. However, programs operated and managed by the CWMD office have faced longstanding challenges, some which predate the reorganization. This statement describes our 2016 work related to the CWMD office formation and findings from our past reports on CWMD programs from 2009 through May 2021, including challenges and opportunities for the effective operations and implementation of key programs related to biodefense, nuclear security, and chemical security. To conduct our prior work, GAO reviewed relevant presidential directives, laws, regulations, policies, strategic plans, and other reports and interviewed federal, state, and industry officials, among others.
    [Read More…]
  • Announcing New Assistance to Respond to Humanitarian Challenges in Central America
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Ned Price, Department [Read More…]
  • Former Commander of Naval Station Guantanamo Bay Sentenced to Prison
    In Crime News
    A former Commander of Naval Station Guantanamo Bay (GTMO) was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison following his multiple convictions of obstructing justice and making false statements, in connection with the death of a civilian at the naval base.
    [Read More…]
  • Statement Regarding Federal Civil Rights Investigation Into Shooting of Jacob Blake
    In Crime News
    Eric S. Dreiband, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, and Matthew D. Krueger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin released the following statement related to the Aug. 23, 2020, shooting of Jacob Blake:
    [Read More…]
  • Ukraine National Day – 30 Years of Independence
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
Network News © 2005 Area.Control.Network™ All rights reserved.