Military Operations: Actions Needed to Improve Oversight and Interagency Coordination for the Commander's Emergency Response Program in Afghanistan, Report to Congressional Committees   [open pdf - 1MB]

"U.S. government agencies, including the Department of Defense (DOD) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have spent billions of dollars to develop Afghanistan. From fiscal years 2004 to 2008, DOD has reported obligations of about $1 billion for its Commander's Emergency Response Program (CERP), which enables commanders to respond to urgent humanitarian and reconstruction needs. As troop levels increase, DOD officials expect the program to expand. Under the authority of the Comptroller General, GAO assessed DOD's (1) capacity to manage and oversee the CERP in Afghanistan and (2) coordination of projects with USAID. Accordingly, GAO interviewed DOD and USAID officials, and examined program documents to identify workload, staffing, training, and coordination requirements. In Afghanistan, GAO interviewed key military personnel on the sufficiency of training, and their ability to execute assigned duties. GAO recommends that DOD evaluate workforce needs, ensure adequate staffing, and establish CERP training requirements, and that DOD and USAID collaborate to create a centralized database of project data, including milestones for completion. DOD concurred or partially concurred with GAO's recommendations, citing recent actions taken. GAO believes its recommendations remain valid."

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