Army Incentive Funds Need More Effective Targeting To Reduce Critical Personnel Shortages

Gao ID: FPCD-83-10 March 2, 1983

GAO reported on its review of the Army's Selected Reserve Incentive Program. The purpose of the review was to determine whether the Army is: (1) targeting incentive funds to correct the more critical personnel shortages in units and skills; and (2) adequately evaluating the effects of the incentives on strength levels.

Although Army policy is to target incentives to high-priority units and critical skills, GAO found that about one-third of the incentives awarded in fiscal year 1981 went to persons with noncritical skills in low-priority units. The poor use of incentive funds resulted from changes in criteria the Army used to determine eligibility for incentives. GAO found that units no longer classified as high priority continued to be eligible to award new incentives. Moreover, GAO found that the Army did not know whether incentives were being effectively targeted because it had not developed an adequate reporting system on their use. Beginning in fiscal year 1983, the Army deleted low-priority units from incentive eligibility and began basing eligibility for critical skills on specific occupations rather than the broader career management fields. Although expenditures for the incentive program have increased, the Army has not determined the effectiveness of the incentives in assisting selected reserve recruiting and retention efforts. Data are not available to determine whether the program is reducing personnel shortages in essential units and skills or to assist Congress to determine whether the program should be modified.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

Director: Martin M. Ferber Team: General Accounting Office: National Security and International Affairs Division Phone: (202) 275-4133

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