Report | Aug. 9, 2016

Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Agency Needs to Improve Assessment and Documentation of Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Initiatives (Redacted) DODIG-2016-120


Our audit objective was to determine whether the Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Agency (JIDA) effectively managed initiatives for rapid deployment on the battlefield. Specifically, we evaluated JIDA processes for identifying, validating, and prioritizing requirements for countering improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and for developing, demonstrating, and delivering solutions to the battlefield.


When followed, JIDA processes to identify, validate, and prioritize requirements for counter-IEDs and to develop, demonstrate, and deliver solutions to the battlefield were effective. However, JIDA was unable to finalize conclusions on required assessments of 8 of 95 counter-IED initiatives because not enough data were available to analyze. The following factors contributed to the lack of data:

  • Joint Staff did not make sure Services and combatant commanders completed timely assessments of the adequacy of JIDA‐furnished equipment following initial delivery to theater for demonstration; and
  • Army Test and Evaluation Command terminated its in-theater team’s collection and reporting on the operational capabilities and limitations of counter-IED solutions because of in-theater force management reductions.

As a result, for the 95 initiatives, valued at $1.6 billion, JIDA spent $112.5 million for eight counter-IED initiatives without showing evidence that the solutions were proven to help the warfighter in countering IEDs.

Additionally, we determined that of the six non-statistically selected initiatives we reviewed, JIDA personnel did not follow established policy to:

  • transfer one initiative to Army, the requesting service; and
  • obtain a program management agreement between JIDA and the managing Service or DoD Agency for all six initiatives.

This occurred because JIDA personnel did not complete and record all required initiative documentation in their centralized database, or make sure the Director, JIDA, provided a waiver from established policy where appropriate. As a result, JIDA spent $446.8 million on the six sampled initiatives without sufficient documentation to justify transferring and assigning program management responsibilities for initiative development to the requesting service.


We recommend the Director, Joint Staff, establish controls to make sure the sponsors for counter-IED solutions complete an assessment of operational effectiveness and post completed assessments to the Knowledge Management/Decisions Support repository. In addition, we recommend that the Director, JIDA, develop control procedures to make sure the required supporting documentation is completed and captured.

Management Comments and Our Responses

The Director, Joint Staff, and the Director, JIDA, agreed with all recommendations. However, their comments did not fully address what actions they planned to implement the recommendations. The Director, Joint Staff, did not state how he would make sponsors complete assessments of operational effectiveness within 6 months. Further, the Director, JIDA, did not specify the control procedures he would establish to make sure required documentation was completed. Therefore, we request the Director, Joint Staff, and the Director, JIDA, provide additional comments to this report by September 9, 2016.

This report is a result of Project No. D2015-D000AE-0222.000.