Publicly Released: August 31, 2020
The objective of this evaluation was to determine whether:
- the DoD’s transfer to the Government of Ukraine of military equipment requiring enhanced end-use monitoring (EEUM), including Javelin missiles, Javelin Command Launch Units, and night vision devices (NVDs), was in accordance with law and DoD guidance; and
- Ukraine’s security and accountability of U.S.-provided military equipment requiring EEUM met the criteria prescribed by law and regulation.
The purpose of the DoD’s end-use monitoring program, also referred to as the Golden Sentry program, is to verify that defense articles transferred by the United States Government to foreign recipients are used in accordance with transfer agreements, such as a letter of offer and acceptance (LOA). Monitoring the use of U.S.-origin defense articles is a joint responsibility of partner nations and the United States. Partner nation recipients must agree to:
- use U.S.-provided defense articles only for their intended purpose and maintain the security of any article with substantially the same degree of protection afforded to it by the United States Government, and
- permit observation and review by, and furnish necessary information to, U.S. representatives.
EEUM requires physical security assessments of storage facilities and serial number inventories of a specific list of defense articles to verify compliance with the LOA.
DoD officials generally complied with EEUM requirements for Javelin missiles and their associated Command Launch Units. However, the DoD did not fully comply with EEUM requirements for NVDs until 2018, the year the Office of Defense Cooperation-Ukraine (ODC) began conducting required EEUM physical inventories in Ukraine. By January 2020, however, information in the DoD’s Security Cooperation Information Portal (SCIP) database about the quantity, location, and condition of NVDs was not accurate.
The information in the DoD’s database was inaccurate because the Armed Forces of Ukraine did not always report the loss, theft, or destruction of its U.S-provided EEUM-designated NVDs in a timely manner, as required by the LOAs.
Serial number stickers on some U.S.-supplied NVDs became illegible or fell off, especially during operational deployments or combat, making it difficult to conduct serialized inventories of these articles.
We also found that Ukraine’s storage facilities for Javelin anti-armor missiles and their associated Command Launch Units met physical security requirements set forth in LOAs.
We recommend that the DSCA Director take the following actions:
- withhold DSCA’s recommendation that the Government of Ukraine receive additional U.S.-provided NVDs until Armed Forces of Ukraine officials provide loss reports in a timely manner as described by the terms of the LOA;
- develop a new information field within the SCIP to indicate when an article is lost pending an official report;
- develop a process, in coordination with the Commanding General of U.S. Army Security Assistance Command, to place permanent serial numbers on each NVD provided to the Government of Ukraine;
- establish a frequency for Compliance Assessment Visits (CAVs) for countries identified as high risk, according to the criteria established in the Security Assistance Management Manual, with intervals between CAVs not to exceed a maximum time specified by the DSCA; and
- reschedule a CAV to Ukraine within 12 months of publication of this report.
We recommend that the Chief, ODC-Ukraine:
- request written guidance and procedures from the DSCA addressing how and when compensatory measures can replace LOA-directed requirements specified in the NVD storage facility physical security checklist and update their EEUM standard operating procedures to reflect that guidance.
Management Comments and Our Response
The Acting Director of the DSCA agreed with four of the five recommendations directed to the DSCA. Specifically, the Acting Director agreed that Ukraine not receive more NVDs until the Ukrainian Armed Forces provides timely loss reports, or until a DSCA CAV to Ukraine reports positive findings related to NVD accountability. The Acting Director also agreed to a SCIP enhancement allowing security cooperation officials to indicate a disposition status of “Pending Official Documentation” for NVDs reported lost, but for which official partner nation documentation has not yet been received. The Acting Director further agreed to develop a process to permanently mark serial numbers on each NVD, stating that Military Departments will be requested to include a requirement for permanent serial number plates in future contracts with NVD manufacturers. Finally, the Acting Director agreed to schedule a CAV for Ukraine within 12 months of publication of this report. Therefore, the recommendations are resolved, but remain open. We will close these four recommendations when we verify that the Acting Director has implemented the corrective actions.
The Acting Director did not agree with our recommendation to establish a required frequency of CAVs for high-risk countries. The Acting Director stated that requiring a specific frequency for CAVs is unworkable because the ability to conduct a visit within a set timeframe may be impacted by unsafe security conditions, scheduling conflicts, unavailability of support personnel, or other factors beyond the DSCA’s control. We agree that scheduling CAVs involves a number of factors beyond the DSCA’s control, such as constrained internal resources and unsafe operating environments. We also determined that the corrective action plan provided with the DSCA official’s response, which includes a goal to ensure that Ukraine is included as a priority on an updated CAV schedule, meets the intent of our recommendation. Therefore, this recommendation is resolved, but remains open until we verify that the DSCA has conducted a CAV in Ukraine.
The ODC-Ukraine Security Cooperation Chief agreed with our recommendations. This recommendation is resolved, but open; we will close the recommendation once we have verified the resolution.
The Security Cooperation Chief also stated that his office requested written guidance and procedures from the DSCA stating how and when compensatory physical facility security measures can replace LOA-directed requirements specified in the NVD storage facility physical security checklist. This recommendation is resolved, but open; we will close the recommendation once we have verified that ODC-Ukraine has updated its EEUM standard operating procedures to reflect that guidance.
This report is a result of Project No. D2019-DEV0PB-0169.000.