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DoD — Small Business and Strategic Sourcing: Lessons from Past Research and Current Data

August 28, 2014 Comments off

Small Business and Strategic Sourcing: Lessons from Past Research and Current Data
Source: RAND Corporation

The Department of Defense (DoD) may face challenges as it attempts to maintain its goal of spending about 23 percent of its prime-contract dollars for goods and services with small businesses and at the same time apply strategic-sourcing practices to reduce total costs and improve performance in ways that will not conflict with small-business goals while making DoD purchasing more effective and efficient. Strategic sourcing practices, for example, recommend consolidation of the supply base to reduce total costs, which can lead to fewer, larger, longer-term contracts with fewer and, often, larger suppliers.

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DoD and VA Take New Steps to Support the Mental Health Needs of Service Members and Veterans

August 26, 2014 Comments off

DoD and VA Take New Steps to Support the Mental Health Needs of Service Members and Veterans (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Defense/U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Today, President Obama will announce 19 new executive actions that the Departments of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Defense (DoD) are taking to improve the mental health of service members, veterans and their families. Today’s announcement builds on the actions the Departments have taken in response to the President’s 2012 Executive Order on service members, veterans and their families’ mental health. In response to the Executive Order, VA has increased its mental health staffing, expanded the capacity of the Veterans Crisis Line, and enhanced its partnerships with community mental health providers. DoD is reviewing its mental health outreach programs to prioritize those with the greatest impact; DoD and VA worked to increase suicide prevention awareness and, DoD, VA and the National Institutes of Health jointly developed the National Research Action Plan on military and veteran’s mental health to better coordinate federal research efforts. These efforts and actions represent the latest in DoD and the VA’s continued commitment to ensure that this Administration is working to fulfill our promise s to service members, veterans and their families, and we will continue to look for additional ways to do so in this space, both thorough our work and work with the private sector.

DOD Strategy for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction

August 6, 2014 Comments off

DOD Strategy for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Defense

The pursuit of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and potential use by actors of concern pose a threat to U.S. national security and peace and stability around the world. Adversaries may use WMD to threaten or carry out attacks on the United States, our forces at home or abroad, or our allies and partners. Our political will and military capability to provide security, resist coercion, and defeat aggression must not be undermined by WMD.

This document, the Department of Defense Strategy for Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction, represents the Department of Defense’s response to the WMD threat. It specifies desired end states, prescribes priority objectives, delineates a strategic approach for achieving those objectives, and outlines the countering WMD activities and tasks necessary for success.

In a constrained fiscal environment, we are focusing our efforts on preventing acquisition and countering the most likely threats. Accordingly, this strategy emphasizes early action through pathway defeat, shaping the environment to dissuade actors from pursuing WMD, and cooperating with partners to achieve countering WMD goals. We are prioritizing capabilities that counter operationally significant risks and activities that are best executed by the Department rather than by partners in the U.S. Government or the international community.

This strategy provides foundational guidance for enacting the Department’s countering WMD policies, plans, and programs and advances a comprehensive response to existing and developing WMD threats.

See also: Fact Sheet on DOD Strategy to Counter WMD (PDF)

Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2014

August 5, 2014 Comments off

Annual Report to Congress: Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2014
Source: U.S. Department of Defense

The People’s Republic of China continues to pursue a long – term, comprehensive military modernization program designed to improve the capacity of its armed forces to fight and win short – duration, high – intensity regional contingencies. Preparing for potential conflict in the Taiwan Strait, which includes deterring or defeating third – party intervention, remains the focus and primary driver of China’s military investment. However, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) also is placing emphasis on preparing for contingencies other than Ta iwan, including potential contingencies in the South and East China Seas.

Lack of Planning in $34.4 Million Department of Agriculture Soybean Program in Afghanistan

July 29, 2014 Comments off

Lack of Planning in $34.4 Million Department of Agriculture Soybean Program in Afghanistan (PDF)
Source: Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction

The Honorable Tom Vilsack Secretary U.S. Department of Agriculture

Dear Mr. Secretary:

Thank you for your response to my inquiry letter dated April 17, 2014, concerning the Soybeans for Agricultural Renewal in Afghanistan Initiative (SARAI) funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). After examining the materials that you provided, I’m concerned about the viability of the project and the apparent lack of analysis and planning performed prior to the project’s initiation. I’m most troubled by the following issues:

• The USDA confirmed that soybean production in Afghanistan has not met expectations and that there are doubts concerning the long-term sustainability of a soybean processing factory built as part of the project.

• The project’s implementer, the American Soybean Association, did not conduct feasibility or value-chain studies prior to initiation of the project in 2010.

• Scientific research conducted for the UK Department for International Development between 2005 and 2008 concluded that soybeans were inappropriate for conditions and farming practices in northern Afghanistan, where the program was implemented.

• Despite the lack of prior planning and analysis, and despite evidence that may have put the success of the program in doubt, USDA provided $34.4 million in commodities, transportation, and administrative funds to ASA for SARAI.

Military sexual assault: a comparative legal analysis of the 2012 department of defense report on sexual assault in the military: what it tells us, what it doesn’t tell us, and how inconsistent statistic gathering inhibits winning the “invisible war”

July 28, 2014 Comments off

Military sexual assault: a comparative legal analysis of the 2012 department of defense report on sexual assault in the military: what it tells us, what it doesn’t tell us, and how inconsistent statistic gathering inhibits winning the “invisible war” (PDF)
Source: Wisconsin Journal of Law, Gender & Society

In May 2013, the Department of Defense released its 2012 Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO) report. 1 It is two volumes, totaling 1,494 pages of information related to military sexual assault. 2 While this seems an overwhelming amount of information, a thorough analysis reveals many inconsistencies, problems in the information gathering, and the absence ofmany vital statistics. Much of the report is focused on the Department of Defense and individual military branches touting their efforts at eradicating sexual assault, becoming akin to a “show and tell” exhibition rather than providing accurate, rigorous, and useful information. This Article discusses the numerous flaws in the data gathering and reporting process and how these errors are inhibiting the implementation of effective battle tactics on this front.

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Approaches for Establishing Fraud Risk Assessment Programs and Conducting Fraud Audit Risk Assessments Within the Department of Defense

July 25, 2014 Comments off

Approaches for Establishing Fraud Risk Assessment Programs and Conducting Fraud Audit Risk Assessments Within the Department of Defense
Source: U.S. Department of Defense, Office of Inspector General

Objective
The objective of the review was to identify approaches for establishing fraud risk assessment programs and conducting fraud risk assessments within the DoD. The review focused on various DoD activities including procurement, retail, and financial operations.

What We Found
We identified numerous innovative approaches for conducting fraud risk assessments. Of the 33 DoD organizations we interviewed,* 13 were conducting entity-wide risk assessments, 26 were conducting fraud risk assessments when performing audit-related work, 23 were providing fraud awareness training, and 3 were concentrating on internal control evaluations.

DoD entities are encouraged to modify any of the described approaches to suit their specific mission, size, and fraud vulnerabilities. The approaches were developed through research and interviews with 100 subject matter experts representing DoD organizations, academic institutions, private companies, and nonprofit organizations.

Fraud risk assessment approaches developed by the Marine Corps Nonappropriated Funds Audit Service; Army and Air Force Exchange Service, Audit Division; and the Army Audit Agency are highlighted within this report. Additionally, entity-wide fraud risk assessment approaches developed by the DoD Investigative Organizations; Naval Exchange Service Command, Office of Internal Audit; and the Naval Sea Systems Command Office of the Inspector General are also discussed in detail. The report also contains information on auditor and entity-wide fraud risk assessment approaches developed by external DoD organizations.

We used documentation obtained from the subject matter experts to develop example documents included in the report Appendixes. Example documents include audit organization fraud risk assessment policies, financial statement audit fraud interview questionnaire, and an entity-wide fraud risk assessment report. The report also provides information on auditor fraud brainstorming and interviewing techniques and DoD fraud case study examples.

Management Comments and Our Response
We have incorporated draft report comments received from the Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command; Naval Audit Service; Defense Health Agency; Defense Information Systems Agency, Office of the Inspector General; Air Force Office of Special Investigations; and Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. No further comments are required.

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