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GAO Reports – Army Patriot Modernization, SEC Conflict Minerals Rule

  • Patriot Modernization: Oversight Mechanism Needed to Track Progress and Provide Accountability, GAO-16-488: Published: Aug 25, 2016. Publicly Released: Aug 25, 2016: “While the currently fielded version of the Army’s Patriot surface-to-air missile system is an improvement over prior versions, the Army currently plans to spend about $2.9 billion between fiscal years 2013 and 2021 on an upgrade strategy to address a variety of capability needs. These efforts are intended to improve the system’s performance, reliability, and communications as well as address obsolescence and sustainment issues. The figure below shows planned costs for ongoing efforts, near-term upgrades which begin fielding prior to fiscal year 2017, mid-term upgrades which begin fielding between fiscal years 2017 and 2021, and long-term upgrades—including a long-term radar solution. Key among the mid-term efforts are major software upgrades called Post Deployment Build-8 (PDB-8) and PDB-8.1, which are intended to improve communications and system capabilities against threats. The Army plans to begin operational testing for PDB-8 and PDB-8.1 in fiscal years 2016 and 2019, respectively. These testing results will reveal the extent to which the near and mid-term upgrades work as intended.”
  • SEC Conflict Minerals Rule: Companies Face Continuing Challenges in Determining Whether Their Conflict Minerals Benefit Armed Groups, GAO-16-805: Published: Aug 25, 2016. Publicly Released: Aug 25, 2016: ” Armed groups in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) continue to profit from the exploitation of minerals, according to the United Nations. Congress included a provision in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that, among other things, required SEC to promulgate regulations regarding the use of conflict minerals from the DRC and adjoining countries. The act also required Commerce to develop a list of worldwide processing facilities and to assess IPSAs filed in conjunction with SEC disclosures, and included provisions for GAO to assess the SEC regulations’ effectiveness in promoting peace and security and report on the rate of sexual violence in the DRC and adjoining countries. This report examines (1) company disclosures filed in 2015 in response to the SEC conflict minerals regulations, (2) challenges to companies’ due diligence efforts related to the processing facilities in conflict minerals supply chains and efforts to mitigate those challenges, and (3) Commerce’s actions regarding its conflict minerals-related requirements under the Dodd-Frank Act. The report also provides information on sexual violence in the DRC and three adjoining countries. GAO analyzed a generalizable random sample of SEC filings and interviewed relevant officials.”

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