Report | July 21, 2021

Audit of the DoD’s Management of Global Train and Equip Program Resources Provided to U.S. Africa Command Partner Nations (DODIG-2021-102)

Audit

Publicly Released: July 23, 2021

Objective

The objective of this audit was to determine whether the DoD properly transferred Global Train and Equip program equipment to U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) partner nations and adequately monitored the equipment to ensure that the equipment was used in accordance with U.S. law, DoD regulations, and transfer agreement terms and conditions.

Our audit focused on Global Train and Equip program equipment provided to USAFRICOM partner nations from FY 2017 through FY 2020. Our review included Global Train and Equip program cases that contained equipment requiring enhanced end-use monitoring (EUM). In addition, all but one of the cases included equipment requiring routine EUM.

 

Background

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) is responsible for directing, administering, and providing guidance for the management of the DoD’s Building Partner Capacity (BPC) case process. The purpose of building partner capacity is to build the capacity of partner nation forces to conduct counterterrorism, maritime and border security, and other operations that contribute to existing international coalition operations. The DSCA implements 10 U.S.C. § 333 through the Global Train and Equip program using BPC cases. Each fiscal year, the DoD must notify Congress of the purpose, type, and cost of equipment, training, and services planned during the fiscal year before authorizing expenditures for any BPC case. The BPC case process includes the transfer of equipment from the U.S. Government to the partner nation.

The DoD’s Golden Sentry program, also known as the EUM program, is designed to verify that equipment transferred by the U.S. Government to foreign recipients is being used for the intended purpose and is being safeguarded from unauthorized transfer, loss, and theft. The DSCA established EUM guidance in its Security Assistance Management Manual (SAMM), including a requirement to maintain an accurate accounting of enhanced EUM-designated equipment.

There are two types of EUM—routine EUM and enhanced EUM. Routine EUM is required for all equipment transferred by the U.S. Government to a partner nation. Performance of routine EUM includes visual observations or verbal inquiries of the partner nation and is required quarterly. Enhanced EUM is required for specific items, such as night vision devices and missiles. The SAMM requires a serial number inventory of enhanced EUM equipment within 90 days of transfer to the partner nation and annual inventories after the initial inventory date. In addition, during the performance of enhanced EUM inventories, a physical security assessment of the facilities storing the enhanced EUM equipment is required.

USAFRICOM is responsible for providing oversight of DoD Security Cooperation Officers (SCOs) located at U.S. Embassies throughout Africa. The SCOs are responsible for receiving equipment and transferring the equipment to the partner nation. SCOs must upload the Transfer and Receipt document signed by the SCO and partner nation representative in the Security Cooperation Information Portal (SCIP) within 30 days of equipment transfer. After the SCOs transfer equipment, SCOs are responsible for performing routine and enhanced EUM and reporting their observations in the SCIP.

 

Finding

We determined that the DSCA ensured that Global Train and Equip program equipment scheduled for transfer to USAFRICOM partner nations was within categories approved by Congress and met type and cost limitations. However, the SCOs did not fully account for the equipment that was transferred, and SCOs did not perform routine and enhanced EUM of the equipment. Specifically, SCOs did not:

  • account for the transfer of 104,624 pieces of equipment, valued at $13.1 million, for 9 of 12 BPC cases in which the SCO transferred part or all of the equipment listed in the letter of offer and acceptance;
     
  • perform routine EUM in 47 of 112 quarters we reviewed; or
     
  • perform enhanced EUM for 221 pieces of equipment, valued at $1.2 million, out of 530 pieces of equipment, valued at $2.1 million, that required enhanced EUM. Specifically, the SCOs did not annotate in the SCIP whether annual inventories were conducted and did not maintain an accurate inventory of enhanced EUM-designated equipment in the partner nations’ possession.

In addition, in some cases, the SCOs kept transfer documentation offline instead of uploading it into the SCIP as required by the SAMM.

Due to the rotational nature of the SCO position, the SCOs who did not properly account for the equipment and did not perform routine and enhanced EUM were not available for us to interview. Therefore, we could not determine why the SCOs did not fully account for transfers, perform routine and enhanced EUM of Global Train and Equip program equipment, or include required documentation in the SCIP.

However, USAFRICOM and DSCA officials did not provide the level of oversight necessary to determine SCO compliance with transfer and routine and enhanced EUM requirements of the SAMM. In a contingency environment where positions are filled on a rotational basis, it is essential for oversight personnel to identify any missing documents in the SCIP before the SCO’s departure.

As a result, the DSCA does not have an accurate, readily available inventory of all equipment in the possession of USAFRICOM partner nations. In addition, the DSCA did not have assurance that USAFRICOM partner nations used 530 pieces of equipment, valued at $2.1 million, only for their intended purposes.

 

Recommendations

Among other recommendations, we recommend that the Director, USAFRICOM, Strategy, Engagement and Programs (J-5), develop a written process that details the roles and responsibilities of the USAFRICOM BPC and EUM officials in their day-to-day oversight and monitoring of the SCOs.

We also recommend that the DSCA Director to add explicit language to the SAMM that describes the combatant command responsibility for oversight of the SCO’s receipt, transfer, and routine and enhanced EUM documentation in the SCIP.

 

Management Actions Taken

During the audit, we informed DSCA and USAFRICOM officials that deficiencies existed in their oversight of SCO compliance with SAMM requirements for the receipt, transfer, and routine and enhanced EUM of Global Train and Equip program equipment. DSCA officials took immediate action and provided the audit team with documentation that resolved two recommendations related to oversight of transfer and EUM documentation in the SCIP.

 

Management Comments and Our Response

The USAFRICOM, Strategy, Engagement and Programs (J-5) Division Chief agreed with the recommendation to develop a written process that details the roles and responsibilities of the USAFRICOM BPC and EUM officials in their day-today oversight and monitoring of the SCOs and stated that USAFRICOM would implement changes to existing EUM policy. Therefore, the recommendation is resolved but will remain open.

The DSCA Director agreed with our recommendations to update the SAMM to include explicit language describing the combatant command responsibility for oversight of SCO transfer documentation in the SCIP and add criteria for assessing SCO compliance with routine and enhanced EUM documentation requirements during compliance assessment visits. Therefore, these recommendations are resolved but remain open.

The DSCA Director disagreed with our recommendation to determine the feasibility for USAFRICOM to provide mutual support for enhanced EUM inventories of deployed equipment; therefore, this recommendation is unresolved. The Director stated combatant commands can direct mutual support without DSCA guidance. However, we disagree because the SAMM only allows combatant commands to issue supplementary guidance already established and the SAMM does not include any guidance for mutual use of SCOs. In addition, the SAMM requires DSCA approval for any deviations.

Although the DSCA Director disagreed with our recommendation to assess the feasibility for SCOs to periodically assess working condition of equipment during routine and enhanced EUM performance, she thoroughly explained several reasons why SCO assessment of working condition is not feasible, including lack of availability of partner nation technical facilities and specialized personnel. We agree with the Director’s assessment because non-specialized personnel could ultimately damage the equipment. This could create additional liability and expense to DoD to replace or repair equipment damaged by SCOs who did not have the technical knowledge required to test the operational performance of equipment within the required maintenance standards. Therefore, this recommendation is closed.

 

This report is the result of Proj. No. D2020-D000RJ-0172.000.