FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Inspector General (IG) Robert P. Storch announced today that the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General (DoD OIG) released the “Audit of the DoD Exceptional Family Member Program,” which highlights concerns regarding the oversight and standardization of the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) across the Military Services.
The DoD established the EFMP to assist military families in finding specialized medical providers, educational services, and community support for family members with special needs.
IG Storch stated, “The audit report released today highlights that, while there has been limited progress, there is much work to be done by the Department to ensure the standardization of the Exceptional Family Member Program across the Services, as required by the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2021.
Until the EFMP is standardized, the DoD will not be able to fully assess the effectiveness of the program across the Department or provide a systematic approach to identifying gaps in available support, which can increase stress of military families and adversely impact force readiness.”
This report detailed that the DoD did not take sufficient actions to improve oversight of the EFMP and did not fully implement previous Government Accountability Office recommendations to develop performance metrics. This resulted in the DoD’s inability to properly analyze EFMP trends and gaps in medical and educational services, and to systematically implement improvements for underserved geographic regions.
To address these issues, the DoD OIG recommended that the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness update policy and standardize processes for the EFMP and Family Member Travel Screening. Additionally, the DoD OIG recommended development of a DoD information technology system to maintain readily available and reliable data to support oversight of the EFMP.