What We Did
In 2009, DoD developed the Ministry of Defense Advisors (MoDA) pilot program to support a pool of civilians capable of building ministerial capacity in Afghanistan. Our audit objective was to determine whether the program met its intended purpose. Specifically, we determined whether MoDA program goals, objectives, and resources were managed effectively and efficiently.
What We Found
MoDA program officials did not establish a performance management framework to include goals, objectives, and performance indicators to assess progress and measure program results. Instead, program officials relied on North Atlantic Treaty Organization Training Mission- Afghanistan/U.S. Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan [the Command] officials to determine whether MoDAs were effectively building ministerial capacity in the Afghanistan Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Interior. Also, program officials did not establish goals and objectives to determine whether an adequate number of MoDA positions were filled in a timely manner.
This occurred because program and Command officials did not establish a cooperative agreement to identify roles and responsibilities and communicate and share information. Other contributing factors cited by program officials included an absence of DoD guidance on building ministerial capacity and the tentative nature of a pilot program creating uncertainty of its future. Without a framework, program officials cannot fully assess the effectiveness of the program in building ministerial capacity or hold individuals accountable for achieving program results. In addition, Command officials may not have effectively and efficiently managed MoDA resources. Specifically, officials were unable to justify the need for all 97 authorized MoDA positions and placed 5 of 28 MoDAs interviewed into nonadvisory positions with Afghan officials. This occurred because Command officials did not develop criteria to identify and validate MoDA positions. As a result, MoDAs may be unable to fully exchange expertise and build long-term relationships with Afghan ministry officials.
What We Recommend
Among other recommendations, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Partnership Strategy and Stability Operations and Command officials should work together to establish a performance management framework and cooperative agreement and develop and implement criteria to identify and validate MoDA positions.
Management Comments and Our Response
Comments from the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Partnership Strategy and Stability Operations were responsive and no additional comments are necessary. However, comments from the Commander, Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan were partially responsive and additional comments are required.