Inspector General Robert P. Storch announced today that the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General released the “Annual Report to Congress Pursuant to FY 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, Section 554.”
Section 554 directs the DoD OIG to report annually to Congress on findings and recommendations related to the effects of DoD policies, programs, systems, and processes for diversity and inclusion, as well as their effectiveness in preventing and responding to supremacist, extremist, and criminal gang activity of members of the Armed Forces. In conjunction with that mandate, the DoD IG also reports on behalf of the Secretary of Defense to Congress regarding the DoD’s implementation of policies to address prohibited activities and statistics regarding reporting and investigation of prohibited activities by members of the Armed Forces.
“The report provides Congress and the public with comprehensive and timely information about DoD’s diversity and inclusion policies and programs, and the status of the DoD’s efforts to prevent and investigate allegations of supremacist, extremist, and criminal gang activity within the Armed Forces,” said IG Storch.
This latest annual report discusses the release of 19 oversight reports that resulted in 90 recommendations for improvement in the DoD’s policies, programs, systems, and processes related to diversity management, sexual assault, and prohibited activity programs. It also highlights the status of DoD’s implementation of their policies and programs in these areas.
The report further describes how the Military Services have fulfilled Section 554 reporting requirements and updated policies related to diversity management and prohibited activities. The Offices of the Army IG, the Naval IG, and the Air Force IG provided the information contained within the report for their respective Military Departments. From October 2022 through September 2023, 275 prohibited activity allegations were referred for investigation or inquiry. However, tracking of allegations not referred for inquiry or investigation is challenging, impacting data accuracy. The report highlights ongoing challenges in compiling and validating data, emphasizing the need for consistent implementation of data collection.