GAO Mission and Operations:

Analysis of the Implementation of DOD's Resources Management Public Affairs Plan

NSIAD-85-53: Published: Feb 15, 1985. Publicly Released: Mar 27, 1985.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO examined the Department of Defense (DOD) Public Affairs Plan which was designed to enhance media and public understanding of and support for the DOD management improvement program.

GAO was unable to determine the full extent of the plan's activities and their associated costs; however, based on an examination of available speeches and transcripts, GAO did not find any: (1) activities that warranted referral to the Merit Systems Protection Board as possible Hatch Act violations; (2) evidence that DOD personnel violated the Federal Elections Campaign Act, laws pertaining to the expenditure of federal funds, or the antipublicity prohibitions of DOD appropriations acts; or (3) evidence that the participation of the Inspector General in the program violated the Inspector General Act. In the minds of some observers, the Inspector General created the perception of being involved in partisan political activity and compromised his independence by participating in press conferences during the period of the national election. However, the Inspector General stated that he was aware of the importance of his independence and would in no way consciously allow it to be compromised. Since he regretted that the timing of his press conferences gave the perception of political involvement on his part, he provided assurances that he will be even more sensitive to the possibility of such a perception in the future.

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