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08 Jun 2011

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GAO Wants Tighter Management of ISR Programs

Added by Category: Daily Intelligence Brief, General


The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently issued a study, entitled “Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance: Actions Are Needed to Increase Integration and Efficiencies of DOD’s ISR Enterprise,” which highlights that the department must improve its control over varied ISR programs to be effective. The principle author of the report, Davi D’Agostino, the GAO’s Director of Homeland, Defense, Emerging Threats and Warfare, examined the more than $80 billion spent in 2010 on ISR programs by the Pentagon. The key finding was that ISR spending was fragmented, making it difficult to determine how ISR funds are used across DoD.

The purpose of the report is as follows:

This report examines the extent to which: (1) DOD manages and oversees the full scope and cost of the ISR enterprise; (2) DOD has sought to identify and minimize the potential for any unnecessary duplication in program, planning, and operations for ISR; and (3) DOD’s ISR Integration Roadmap addresses key congressionally directed management elements and guidance.

According to SIGNAL Magazine, D’Agostino, labels as “fragmented” some of the current ISR activities, and lists nine agencies – some within the Defense Department, some within the intelligence community – that have a role in overseeing the department’s ISR capabilities. “I think it makes it very challenging for them to have a handle on the whole picture,” she states in the article.

The short recommendation from the introduction of the actual report simply states:

GAO recommends that DOD compile and aggregate complete ISR funding data, establish implementation goals and timelines for its efficiency efforts, and give priority to examining efficiency in ISR collection activities. DOD agreed or partially agreed with these GAO recommendations. GAO also suggests that Congress consider holding DOD accountable to address required elements of the ISR roadmap.

Be sure to check out the full report here.

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