WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US Army quite literally does not know what its own personnel are doing when they are on “borrowed” duty, a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report said.
“The Army does not know the extent to which it used borrowed military personnel during fiscal years 2013 and 2014 because it is unable to distinguish borrowed military personnel from the larger category of special duty personnel in its monthly special duty reports,” the report said.
The term borrowed appears to be used in the report to define US military personnel who are taken from their regular duties to carry out more informal activities.
The GAO explained the US Army does not collect complete and accurate data on special duty use through its reporting mechanisms.
“[B]ecause of these shortcomings in its data… the Army does not know the extent to which the use of borrowed military personnel affected readiness and training,” the report acknowledged.
“Borrowed military personnel were used in various capacities outside of their Military Occupational Specialty including as lifeguards, grounds maintenance personnel, and gym attendants,” the report stated.
The US Army does not even have any formal requirement “to monitor this usage even though Army officials said this usage of borrowed military personnel would continue,” it said.
As a result, the US Army “risks allocating its resources inefficiently and ineffectively,” the report concluded.
The GAO recommended that the US Army move to establish a requirement and guidance for monitoring the use of borrowed military personnel and improve oversight of cost reporting.
The Government Accountability Office is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress and investigates how the US federal government spends taxpayer dollars.