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DoD Needs a Comprehensive Approach to Address Workplace Violence DODIG-2016-002

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Objective

We determined whether DoD was effectively implementing programs to address workplace violence threats and incidents.

Finding

DoD did not have a comprehensive DoD-wide program to address workplace violence threats and incidents. Specifically, DoD has not developed a workplace violence prevention and response program for the entire DoD workforce (military, civilian, and contractor personnel). In the absence of a comprehensive DoD-wide workplace violence program, the Services and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency used different approaches to address workplace violence.

This occurred because DoD:

  • implemented the Secretary of Defense’s August 2010 final direction, while the Services and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency implemented the Fort Hood review board’s recommendations, and
  • did not exercise sufficient oversight to ensure that the Fort Hood and Defense Science Board report recommendations were properly addressed and closed.

As a result, military personnel, DoD civilian employees, and contractors were not equally prepared to prevent and respond to an act of workplace violence, which could jeopardize their safety during a threat or incident.

Recommendations

Among other recommendations, we recommend that the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Global Security review and analyze the Fort Hood and Defense Science Board recommendations and the concurrent internal reviews conducted by the Military Departments, Combatant Commands, and DoD Components to:

  • verify that existing policies and procedures have addressed identified gaps and deficiencies; identify systemic issues not addressed; and identify opportunities for streamlining processes and eliminating redundancies; and
  • develop and execute an implementation plan to close existing gaps and deficiencies through cross-functional coordination with DoD Components; employ corrective action to remedy systemic issues identified; streamline processes and eliminate redundancies; and provide completion dates for any outstanding recommendations.

Management Comments and Our Response

The Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Global Security provided comments on the report but did not address Recommendation 1.a or 1.b. The Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness provided comments on the report but did not address Recommendation 2. Comments from the Director, Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy partially addressed Recommendation 3. As a result of management comments, we renumbered Recommendation 2 as Recommendation 2.a, added Recommendation 2.b, and revised Recommendation 3. Therefore, we request the Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Global Security, and Director, Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy provide additional comments on the recommendations by November 16, 2015.

This report is a result of Project No. D2014-D000RF-0078.000.