From acquisition to operations and maintenance, Department of Defense weapons programs are consistently of interest to the federal government and the public. Since 2000, we have been assessing DOD’s most costly weapons program, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The defense acquisition best practices we have developed have helped us recommend ways to control costs for such an ambitious program.
October 10, 2014
Tagged acquisition, ASM, best practices, budget, cost, cost estimates, DCM, defense, Department of Defense, F-35, joint strike fighter, podcast, quick look, sustainment, weapon systems
As autumn brings the chocolates, lollipops, and other sweets that come with Halloween, this is an excellent time to remember your teeth! October is National Dental Hygiene Month, which highlights the importance of keeping your mouth, teeth, and gums clean and healthy to prevent tooth decay and disease. We have issued several reports related to dental health and children’s access to dental services.
October 7, 2014
Tagged dental coverage, dental hygiene, dental services, dental visits, dentist, HC, health, health care, Medicaid, oral care
GAO’s workforce is organized largely by subject area, with most employees working in 1 of 14 mission teams, many of which we have highlighted on the WatchBlog. Today we’ll be putting the spotlight on the Homeland Security & Justice (HSJ) team, which works on issues such as border security and immigration, emergency preparedness and response, and justice and law enforcement.
October 3, 2014
Tagged ATF, border, border security, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, Bureau of Prisons, campaigns, CBP, critical infrastructure, Customs and Border Patrol, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, DHS, DOJ, elections, emergency preparedness, emergency response, FEMA, homeland security, HSJ, immigration, judiciary, Justice, law enforcement, mission team, Secure Flight, Transportation Security Administration, TSA
Since 2004, the Navy has been working on acquiring a new class of ship intended to provide surface combat capabilities near the shore (the littoral zone). The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) was intended to have lower acquisition costs and to use innovative manning, training, and maintenance concepts. These concepts would minimize crew size and reduce operating costs over the long term. While previous surface combat ships had specialized equipment built into them for different missions, the LCS was designed to be reconfigurable for 3 different types of missions. As this new ship program continues to produce ships, we have been reporting on concerns and risks related to the Navy’s purchase and deployment of the LCS.
September 30, 2014
Tagged acquisition, class, defense, Department of Defense, Freedom, independence, LCS, Littoral Combat Ship, Navy, risk, seaframe, ships, shipyard, U.S. Navy, USS Freedom, weapon system
From the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in East Africa, to recent al Qaeda and Boko Haram attacks in Northwest Africa, events have suggested that both regions are vulnerable to terrorism and violent extremism. The United States provides training and equipment to military and law enforcement agencies in partner countries, and works with local populations at risk of becoming involved in violent radicalization. We issued two reports this year on U.S. regional programs in East Africa and Northwest Africa. These programs are helping improve the ability of African countries to counter terrorist groups, but both need stronger program management from the State Department to meet their goals and protect taxpayer dollars.
September 26, 2014
Tagged al Qaeda, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, al-Murabitoun, Algeria, Ansar al-Sharia, AQIM, Boko Haram, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, counterterrorism, Department of State, East Africa, IAT, international affairs, international relations, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, military, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Northwest Africa, police, PREACT, public diplomacy, security, security assistance, Senegal, Somalia, State Department, Tanzania, terrorism, terrorist, TSTCP, Tunisia, U.S. Agency for International Development, Uganda, USAID, violent extremism
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is intended to replace a variety of existing aircraft in the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps within the next four years. Sustaining the F-35 program over its lifecycle carries an estimated cost of approximately $1 trillion.
Hear our podcast with Cary Russell, a director in GAO’s Defense Capabilities and Management team, who led a recent review on continued planning efforts for the F-35.
September 23, 2014
Tagged acquisition, Air Force, aircraft, cost, DCM, Department of Defense, F-35, F35, jet, joint strike fighter, life cycle, Marines, Navy, planning, podcast, sustainment planning, weapon systems
Technology advancements, such as hydraulic fracturing, have greatly increased U.S. production of oil and natural gas. This increase poses challenges for oil and gas transportation infrastructure, such as pipeline and rail.
Hear our podcast with Frank Rusco, a director in GAO’s Natural Resources and Environment team, who led a recent review of oil and gas transportation infrastructure issues.
September 22, 2014
Tagged energy, fracking, gas, hydraulic fracturing, infrastructure, natural resources, NRE, oil, pipeline, rail, safety, Transportation
Arghh, matey! September 19 may be International Talk Like a Pirate Day, but modern pirates continue to threaten commercial shipping lanes and fishing boats, particularly along the coasts of Africa. In 2014, we assessed the problem of piracy and the U.S. role in counterpiracy efforts off the Horn of Africa and in the Gulf of Guinea.
September 19, 2014
Tagged counterpiracy, Department of Defense, East Africa, GAO, government accountability office, Gulf of Guinea, Horn of Africa, hostage, HSJ, IMB, International Maritime Bureau, maritime crime, Office of Naval Intelligence, piracy, pirate, Somalia, State Department, usgao
Federal regulation is a basic tool of government. Agencies issue thousands of regulations, or rules, each year to achieve public policy goals, such as ensuring that:
- workplaces, air travel, foods, and drugs are safe;
- the nation’s air, water, and land are not polluted; and
- taxes are collected.
September 17, 2014
Tagged agencies, Congressional Review Act, cost-benefit analysis, federal, Federal Register, final rule, international cooperation, notice, oversight, regulation, regulatory, regulatory process, retrospective analysis, rule, rulemaking