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Military Personnel: DOD Needs to Improve Funding Process for Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Programs


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DOD's MWR programs provide servicemembers and their families with three categories of programs: Category A (e.g., fitness and libraries), Category B (e.g., camping and performing arts), and Category C (e.g., golf). DOD oversees the percentage of appropriated funding allocated to MWR programs by category and measures the military services' compliance with established funding targets. DOD set the targets at 85 percent for Category A and 65 percent for Category B. DOD did not set a target for Category C since this category has the ability to generate revenue from user fees. House Report 115-200 accompanying a bill for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 includes a provision for GAO to review DOD's MWR programs. GAO assessed the extent to which (1) the services have met DOD's established funding targets for each category of MWR programs and DOD has comprehensively evaluated the relevance of its targets, and (2) DOD has oversight structures and performance measures that include measurable goals, including those for cost-effectiveness, by which to review MWR programs. GAO analyzed MWR program information for fiscal years 2012-2017 and compared DOD's MWR policy with guidance for using measures and evaluating goals.



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