We conducted this audit in response to a referral from the U.S. Army Office of the Inspector General. In August 2000, the Army transferred a C-12 Operational Support Airlift aircraft to the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) to be used by the U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) for administrative travel of senior officials. We determined whether DoD had adequate oversight and accountability of the C-12 aircraft and whether USASOC officials complied with applicable Federal and DoD guidance when justifying the use of the aircraft.
USSOCOM officials did not provide adequate oversight and accountability of the USASOC C-12 aircraft in accordance with DoD guidance. USSOCOM officials did not report the aircraft in their Operational Support Airlift inventory for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s FY 2012 review. In addition, USSOCOM officials did not make the aircraft visible for centralized scheduling. This occurred because USSOCOM, Army G-3/5/7, and USASOC officials expressed confusion about who was responsible for providing oversight and accountability of the aircraft. As a result, USASOC may be operating an underused aircraft in excess of the required Operational Support Airlift aircraft inventory. In addition, DoD is at an increased risk that misuse of the aircraft by senior officials may occur and go undetected.
Although USASOC officials generally complied with DoD guidance when requesting and approving the use of military airlift, they did not comply with Federal and DoD guidance when justifying the cost of using military airlift flights. Specifically, USASOC officials did not use the C-12’s actual cost when determining the most cost effective flight for administrative travel. Instead, USASOC officials used the Army’s FY 2011 standard cost of $1,228 and FY 2012 standard cost of $1,311. In addition, USASOC officials improperly reduced the cost in FY 2012 by $262 (20-percent), to account for pilot training. This occurred because USSOCOM officials directed USASOC to use pre-established DoD rates and endorsed the training reduction to justify additional flights on the C-12 aircraft. As a result, DoD lacks reasonable assurance that USASOC officials used the most cost effective flights.
We recommend that the Commander, USSOCOM, assume responsibility for providing oversight and accountability of the C-12 aircraft, report the aircraft in their inventory, and make the aircraft visible for centralized scheduling. We also recommend that the Commanding General, USASOC, develop and use the actual cost per flying hour rate for the C-12 aircraft.
All required commands responded; comments were responsive and met the intent of our recommendations. No additional comments are required.
This report is a result of Project No. D2012-D000JA-0193.000.