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Preventing Sexual Harassment: DOD Needs Greater Leadership Commitment and an Oversight Framework
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE WASHINGTON DC
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Sexual harassment is a form of unlawful discrimination that can jeopardize the militarys combat readiness and mission accomplishment by weakening interpersonal bonds and eroding unit cohesion. GAO was asked to examine the most current available data on sexual harassment in the military and to assess the Department of Defenses DoD efforts to address this issue. GAO evaluated the extent to which DoD did the following 1 developed and implemented policies and programs to help prevent and address incidents of sexual harassment involving service members, 2 maintained visibility over the occurrence of sexual harassment involving service members, and 3 provided oversight of its policies and programs for addressing incidents of sexual harassment. To conduct this review, GAO analyzed DoD and service policies and DoDs available sexual harassment complaint data. GAO also conducted small-group discussions and administered a nongeneralizable survey during site visits to six military installations. GAO is making a total of five recommendations to improve the implementation and oversight of DoDs sexual harassment policies and programs, such as specifying uniform data elements when collecting and reporting complaint data and developing an oversight framework to help guide the departments efforts. DoD concurred with GAOs recommendations and noted that it will develop an executable plan, prioritize actions, and address resourcing for the changes recommended.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE