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COMPTROLLER GENERAL'S
REPORT TO THE CONGRESS

EXTENSIVE USE OF MILITARY PERSONNEL
IN CIVILIAN-TYPE POSITIONS
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE B-146890

DI GEST

WHY THE REVIEW WAS MADE

Department of Defense (DOD) policy is that civilians will be used to fill
all positions not requiring military personnel for reasons of law, training,
security, discipline, rotation, or combat readiness or because of a need for
a military background to successfully perform assigned duties.
The General Accounting Office (GAO) reviewed the use of military personnel
in civilian-type positions because, if DOD's policy were followed strictly,
the departments could make greater use of military personnel in military
positions and could hold military manpower requirements at the minimum
needed to safeguard the Nation's security.

Lower military requirements should make it easier to achieve the goal of an all-volunteer force.

FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS

The five military installations included in the GAO review were using
military personnel instead of civilians to a greater extent than that in-
tended by DOD's policy. Installation commanders were reluctant to recom-
mend the use of civilians in certain positions occupied by military per-
sonnel because of limitations imposed by budgetary restrictions and by
civilian employment ceilings. Although the services recognize the bene-
fits and importance of the stated policy of DOD, that is, using civilians
in positions not requiring military personnel, this policy has not been
followed consistently. (See p. 7.)
In GAO's opinion, less than full application of DOD's policy has resulted
from the failure of the military departments to determine which types and
numbers of positions should be filled by military personnel and which types
and numbers should be filled by civilians. Since these determinations have
not been made, installation commanders must make subjective decisions con-
cerning assignments. These decisions often are inconsistent with DOD'S
policy.

Until the military department headquarters make these determinations and
provide implementing guidelines to installation officials, there is every
reason to believe that this condition will continue. (See p. 17.)
The military departments have personnel survey teams which periodically
review the management and utilization of personnel at military installa-
tions. The survey teams, as a general rule, have not adequately considered

Tear Sheet

TARCH 20.1972

1

whether DOD'S policy on the use of civilian employees is being applied properly. (See p. 7.)

In GAO's opinion, to monitor compliance with DOD's staffing policy by 10 commanders, internal review teams must relate personnel assignments to t guidelines provided by the headquarters. This can be done only if documentation supporting personnel assignments which devia te from the staffi guidelines is available for review. (See p. 14.)

RECOMMENDATIONS OR SUGGESTIONS

The Secretary of Defense should direct that each military department heat quarters review all types of personnel positions, except those designa tet as being in deployable military units having a combat or combat-support mission, and, for each type, determine whether:

--The position must be filled by military personnel.

--The position could be filled by either military personnel or civiliar

and the circumstances in which the position would be used for militar personnel, such as for rotation or for career development.

--The position need not be filled by a military incumbent and should be

filled by a civilian.

The findings of the review should be formalized in specific guidelines fo use by all military installations in designating whether individual positions should be filled by military personnel or by civilians. Moreover, when personnel assignments that deviate from these position designations are made, justifications for such actions should be documented in official installation records, and such assignments should be for only limite periods. (See p. 18.)

Also all conversions of military positions to civilian positions should b
preceded by manpower-requirement reviews which will establish the need fo
the positions; which will give adequate consideration to the potential fo
reducing military support positions as such conversions are made; and, if
appropriate, which will determine whether the functions involved should
continue to be accomplished by Government personnel or by contractors.
(See p. 18.)

As part of the scope of manpower reviews, personnel survey teams should determine whether personnel assignments comply with the policy and the guidelines. Since the survey teams' findings can provide the military de partment headquarters with information needed to ensure compliance with DOD's policy, the results of the teams' reviews should be reported to the headquarters. (See p. 18.)

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AGENCY ACTIONS AND UNRESOLVED ISSUES

DOD did not agree that the lack of staffing guidance at the installation level was the major restriction to full application of DOD's policy on the use of civilians. DOD said that the principal constraints had been restrictions on civilian employment and budgetary limitations. (See p. 12.)

DOD believed that there were several measures which could, and should, be
considered to encourage greater use of civilians consistent with DOD'S
policy. These measures are (1) a policy of assurance by the Congress that
the funds and, if necessary, the civilian spaces will be provided for each
military-to-civilian conversion and (2) authority from the Congress for the
Secretaries of the military departments to transfer funds between appropria-
tions to convert military jobs to civilian jobs as the opportunities occur.
(See p. 12.)

GAO agrees that restrictions on civilian employment and budgetary limitations are constraints on the use of civilians. The Congress considers amounts to be appropriated annually for DOD on the basis of the President's budget requests, which include estimates of military and civilian personnel requirements.

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Since military personnel costs and civilian personnel costs are funded in
separate appropriations, GAO is recommending that DOD prepare and include
in its future budget requests realistic estimates of the numbers of military
personnel and civilians it intends to use. Unless these estima tes are pre-
pared within the framework of DOD's policy, it is not reasonable to expect
the Congress to appropriate funds for the use of civilians and military per-
sonnel on a basis consistent with that policy. (See p. 12.)
Civilian personnel ceilings usually are established by the Office of Manage-
ment and Budget. DOD must provide that Office with realistic estimates of
the numbers of military positions that can be converted to civilian posi-
tions and with convincing justification of the numbers of positions needed
to be retained to accomplish its mission.

its mission. (See p. 13.)

MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE CONGRESS

Substantial numbers of positions occupied by military personnel could be
converted to civilian positions in fiscal year 1973. GAO recommends that,
if the Congress wishes to permit early action on the substitution of ci-
vilians for an equivalent or greater number of military personnel, DOD
be authorized to transfer such funds as may be required from the appropriate
fiscal year 1973 military personnel appropriations to the appropriations
from which civilians are compensated. A precedent for this authority was
provided in the Department of Defense Appropriation Act of 1955.

Tear Sheet

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