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GAO Study on Defense Exports, Reporting Needs to be Improved

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Wednesday, 27 October 2010 10:06

The United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report that analyzed export data from the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) and Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) programs. Exports under these programs represent billions of dollars a year of such things as defense articles and services, as well as critically sensitive technology.

Pursuant to numerous laws including the Arms Export Control Act (AECA), federal agencies must report certain types of sales to the Congress. The Congress requested that the GAO identify the magnitude and nature of defense exports and assess the information currently reported on these exports to the Congress.  The exports review had a total value of $19 billion to $22 billion annually from 2005 to 2009.

The GAO recommended that "Congress consider whether it needs specific data on exported defense services and is recommending that State [Department] publicly report consolidated defense export data on DCS and FMS in a consistent manner. In the absence of additional direction and resources from Congress, the Department of State did not agree. GAO believes the recommendation remains valid."

The report is available for download here

 

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