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Defense Institution Reform Initiative Program Elements Need to Be Defined

DODIG-2013-019

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What We Did

Our objective was to determine the effectiveness of the Defense Institution Reform Initiative (DIRI) Program process regarding identifying and sustaining the defense capabilities of its partner nations. We determined whether the DIRI Program published information was sufficient to define the program’s mission and goals, program strategy, and performance measures and whether defense institution building policy or procedures existed. We also determined whether Center for Civil-Military Relations (CCMR) program officials maintained sufficient DIRI Program documentation..

What We Found

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Partnership Strategy and Stability Operations (DASD PSO) program officials administered the DIRI Program since its inception in 2009 without a defined and published program mission and goals, program strategy, or performance measures. Furthermore, CCMR program officials did not adequately implement procedures to establish a clear tracking process for DIRI Program engagements or document all DIRI Program efforts. Specifically, CCMR program officials did not prepare 24 event plans for the 175 DIRI Program engagements held through August 2009 and April 2012. In addition, 149 event plans and 173 engagement reports lacked approval. This occurred because the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy did not develop defense institution building policy to guide the DIRI Program or any other defense institution building-related efforts. Also, DASD PSO and CCMR program officials stated they wanted flexibility to execute the DIRI Program. As a result, DASD PSO program officials had an insufficient basis for determining the program’s effectiveness in partnering with 17 countries or of its use of the $20.2 million provided to the program as of 3rd Quarter FY 2012. Furthermore, without defined performance measures, DASD PSO and CCMR program officials could not account for the program’s results. Because CCMR program officials did not adequately implement tracking and documentation procedures, a complete record of what was accomplished during DIRI Program engagements and lessons-learned from those engagements were not easily accessible or disseminated. Lastly, the lack of defense institution building policy allowed overlapping missions in DoD’s defense institution building-related efforts. An emerging and growing program, DIRI needs written guidance to govern the program and define how it fits with other U.S. security cooperation and defense institution building efforts. In addition, corrective actions that officials take will help ensure the efficient use of the approximately $12 million requested for the DIRI Program in FY 2013.

What We Recommend

The Under Secretary of Defense for Policy should issue guidance that defines the DIRI Program’s mission and goals, program strategy, and performance measures. He should also issue guidance that defines defense institution building roles and responsibilities and implement procedures that require the coordination of a defense institution building program’s mission and goals, program strategy, and performance measures with other security cooperation activities. In addition, the Director, CCMR, should develop and implement procedures to document all individual DIRI Program efforts, provide evidence of review and approval of those documents, and establish a clear tracking method for each effort  

Management Comments and Our Response

The Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Partnership Strategy and Stability Operations and the Director, CCMR, agreed or partially agreed with the report recommendations, but not all their comments were responsive.

This report is a result of Project No. D2012-D000JA-0092.000.