September 28, 2021

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Septuagenarian charged with manufacturing “ghost guns”

17 min read
A 73-year-old has been charged for selling illegally manufactured and unregistered firearms suppressors destined for a Mexican drug cartel

Read full article at: https://www.justice.gov June 15, 2021

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    In U.S GAO News
    The Department of Defense's (DOD) management of its supply chain network is critical to supporting military forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere and also represents a substantial investment of resources. As a result of weaknesses in DOD's management of supply inventories and responsiveness to warfighter requirements, supply chain management is on GAO's list of high-risk federal government programs and operations. In July 2010, DOD issued a new Logistics Strategic Plan that represents the department's current vision and direction for supply chain management and other logistics areas. Today's testimony draws from GAO's prior related work and observations from an ongoing review of DOD supply chain management, and, as requested, will (1) describe DOD's prior strategic planning efforts in the area of logistics, (2) highlight key elements in the new Logistics Strategic Plan, and (3) discuss opportunities for improvement in future iterations of this plan. In conducting its ongoing audit work, GAO reviewed the Logistics Strategic Plan, compared elements in the plan with effective strategic planning practices, and met with cognizant officials from DOD, the military services, and other DOD components as appropriate.Prior to the publication of its new Logistics Strategic Plan, DOD issued a series of strategic planning documents for logistics over a period of several years. In 2008, DOD released its Logistics Roadmap to provide a more coherent and authoritative framework for logistics improvement efforts, including supply chain management. While the roadmap discussed numerous ongoing initiatives and programs that were organized around goals and joint capabilities, it fell short of providing a comprehensive, integrated strategy for logistics. GAO found, for example, that the roadmap did not identify gaps in logistics capabilities and that DOD had not clearly stated how the roadmap was integrated into DOD's logistics decision-making processes. GAO's prior work has shown that strategic planning is the foundation for defining what an agency seeks to accomplish, identifying the strategies it will use to achieve desired results, and then determining how well it succeeds in reaching results-oriented goals and achieving objectives. DOD said that it would remedy some of the weaknesses GAO identified in the roadmap. The July 2010 Logistics Strategic Plan, which updates the roadmap, is DOD's most recent effort to provide high-level strategic direction for future logistics improvement efforts, including those in the area of supply chain management. The plan provides unifying themes for improvement efforts, for example, by including a logistics mission statement and vision for the department, and it presents four goals for improvement efforts with supporting success indicators, key initiatives, and general performance measures. One goal focuses specifically on supply chain processes. The plan is aligned to and reiterates high-level departmentwide goals drawn from both the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review and the 2009 Strategic Management Plan for business operations. Key initiatives in the plan appear to focus on issues that GAO has identified as needing management attention. While the Logistics Strategic Plan contains some of the elements necessary for strategic planning, it lacks some detailed information that would benefit decision makers and guide DOD's logistics and supply chain improvement efforts. The plan lacks specific and clear performance measurement information (such as baseline or trend data for past performance, measurable target-level information, or time frames for the achievement of goals or completion of initiatives), definition of key concepts, identification of problems and capability gaps, and discussion of resources needed to achieve goals. Further, linkages to other plans and some key related activities under way within logistics are unclear, and it is similarly unclear how the plan will be used within the existing governance framework for logistics. Without more specific information in the Logistics Strategic Plan, it will be difficult for DOD to demonstrate progress in addressing supply chain management problems and provide Congress with assurance that the DOD supply chain is fulfilling the department's goal of providing cost-effective joint logistics support for the warfighter.
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    In Crime News
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  • Global War on Terrorism: Reported Obligations for the Department of Defense
    In U.S GAO News
    Since 2001, Congress has provided the Department of Defense (DOD) with hundreds of billions of dollars in supplemental and annual appropriations for military operations in support of the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). DOD's reported annual costs for GWOT have shown a steady increase from about $0.2 billion in fiscal year 2001 to about $98.4 billion in fiscal year 2006. In fiscal year 2007, Congress provided DOD with about $161.8 billion in annual and supplemental appropriations for GWOT. To continue its GWOT operations, DOD has requested $141.7 billion in appropriations for fiscal year 2008. The United States' commitments to GWOT will likely involve the continued investment of significant resources, requiring decision makers to consider difficult trade-offs as the nation faces an increasing long-range fiscal challenge. The magnitude of future costs will depend on several direct and indirect cost variables and, in some cases, decisions that have not yet been made. DOD's future costs will likely be affected by the pace and duration of operations, the types of facilities needed to support troops overseas, redeployment plans, and the amount of equipment to be repaired or replaced. Future cost variables for other U.S. government agencies include the efforts to help form national and provincial governments and build management capacity as well as capable and loyal security forces in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Reconstruction activities to restore, sustain, and protect critical infrastructure will also impose costs. Also, healthcare costs will likely increase as more servicemembers require treatment from injuries and mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder. DOD compiles and reports monthly and cumulative incremental obligations incurred to support GWOT in a monthly Supplemental and Cost of War Execution Report. DOD leadership uses this report, along with other information, to advise Congress on the costs of the war and to formulate future GWOT budget requests. DOD reports these obligations by appropriation, contingency operation, and military service or defense agency. The monthly cost reports are typically compiled in the 45 days after the end of the reporting month in which the obligations are incurred. DOD has prepared monthly reports on the obligations incurred for its involvement in GWOT since fiscal year 2001. Section 1221 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006 requires us to submit quarterly updates to Congress on the costs of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom based on DOD's monthly Supplemental and Cost of War Execution Reports. This report, which responds to this requirement, contains our analysis of DOD's reported obligations for military operations in support of GWOT through April 2007. Specifically, we assessed (1) DOD's appropriations and reported obligations for military operations in support of GWOT to date and (2) DOD's fiscal year 2007 reported obligations for GWOT by military service and appropriation account.From fiscal year 2001 through July 2007, Congress has provided DOD with about $542.9 billion for its efforts in support of GWOT. DOD has reported obligations of about $429.1 billion for military operations in support of the war from fiscal years 2001 through 2006 and from the beginning of fiscal year 2007 through April 2007, the latest available data. The $113.8 billion difference between DOD's GWOT appropriations and reported obligations can generally be attributed to certain fiscal year 2007 appropriations and multiyear funding for procurement; military construction; and research, development, test, and evaluation from previous GWOT-related appropriations that have yet to be obligated, and obligations for classified activities, which are not included in DOD's reported obligations. DOD's total reported obligations related to GWOT have demonstrated a steady annual increase each fiscal year through 2006. Through April 2007, DOD's total reported obligations are already more than three quarters of the total amount of obligations it reported for all of fiscal year 2006. In addition, DOD's reported investment obligations--which include procurement; research, development, test, and evaluation; and military construction, through April 2007--are approximately one and a half times higher than its reported obligations for investments during all of fiscal year 2006. As a result, total reported obligations for fiscal year 2007 may well exceed the amount reported for fiscal year 2006. DOD's reported obligations to date include about $324.9 billion for operations in and around Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and about $76.5 billion for operations in Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, the Philippines, and elsewhere as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. It also includes about $27.7 billion for operations in defense of the homeland as part of Operation Noble Eagle. DOD's reported fiscal year 2007 obligations as of April 2007 total $76.6 billion. The Army accounts for the largest proportion of reported obligations--about $55.0 billion, nearly eight times higher than the almost $6.9 billion in obligations reported for the Marine Corps, the service with the next greatest reported amount. Among appropriation accounts, operation and maintenance, which include items such as support for housing, food, and services; the repair of equipment; and transportation to move people, supplies, and equipment, accounts for the largest reported obligations--about $38.9 billion. Obligations for investment, which include procurement; research, development, test, and evaluation; and military construction, account for more than a quarter of reported obligations or about $21.6 billion. In previous work, we reported that significant amounts of multiyear procurement funding provided in the fiscal year 2006 supplemental appropriation would likely not be obligated by DOD in fiscal year 2006 and would remain available for use in fiscal year 2007. 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    In U.S GAO News
    A joint venture protested the solicitation cancellation of a Department of the Navy contract for base operations and support services, contending that the Navy's (1) study resulting in its decision to cancel the solicitation was biased by a conflict of interest, (2) study was unjustified, (3) in-house management plan was misevaluated, and (4) assertion that in-house performance was comparable to contracted performance was unreasonable. GAO held that the Navy's study was flawed in several areas and could not be used as a reason to cancel the solicitation. Accordingly, the protest was sustained and GAO recommended that the Navy (1) issue a new solicitation drafted by individuals who will not also be drafting the in-house management plan, (2) prepare a new management plan with supporting documentation, (3) present the new plan for private sector solicitation, and (4) reimburse the protester for all expenses associated with filing the protest.
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