Thursday, August 21, 2008

GAO: DEFENSE CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE: Adherence to Guidance Would Improve DOD’s Approach to Identifying and Assuring the Availability of Critical Tran

Highlights of GAO-08-851, a report to congressional requesters

The Department of Defense (DOD) established the Defense Critical Infrastructure Program (DCIP) to assure the availability of mission-critical infrastructure, including surface, sea, and air transportation assets to carry out its missions. GAO was asked to evaluate (1) the extent to which the U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) has identified, prioritized, and assessed critical transportation assets; (2) the extent to which DOD installation personnel have taken actions to help assure the availability of critical transportation assets, both within and independent of DCIP; and (3) how DOD is funding critical transportation asset assurance. GAO examined a nonprojectable sample of 22 critical transportation assets, reviewed relevant DOD guidance and documents, and interviewed cognizant officials.

What GAO Recommends
GAO recommends TRANSCOM (1) implement established criteria to identify critical transportation assets, and develop a timeline for doing so, (2) discontinue its use of vulnerability assessments as its primary tool for identifying its critical assets, and (3) finalize an agreement with the Joint Staff to participate as transportation experts on Joint Staff DCIP vulnerability assessments, and that the military services develop and implement service-specific DCIP guidance. DOD partially concurred with the recommendations. GAO modified one recommendation on vulnerability assessments, in response to agency comments.

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