State Dept’s Counternarcotics Programs: Over $1 Billion, Five Countries And …

The GAO released its report on  the Department of State’s Counternarcotics Performance Management System recently. Excerpts:

The Department of State (State) received over $1 billion in its fiscal year 2010 appropriation for international counternarcotics assistance programs. The vast majority of this funding—about 90 percent in fiscal year 2010—supports counternarcotics programs in five countries—Mexico, Afghanistan, Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia. State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) is primarily responsible for implementing U.S. assistance programs involving eradication of illicit crops, interdiction of drug trafficking, and drug demand reduction, which represented about 85 percent of State’s counternarcotics appropriation in fiscal year 2010.2 INL implements a large share of its funding through contractors, primarily for aviation support for eradication and interdiction efforts.

The chart below includes funding from Economic Support Fund and Development Assistance accounts, implemented by USAID for alternative development programs, but excludes centrally managed accounts and Overseas Contingency Operations funding.

Extracted from GAO report

According to INL officials responsible for contract management, INL generally does not link the performance of individual contracts to its overall program performance assessments, in part because performance measures in contracts relate specifically to fulfillment of contract requirements rather than broad program goals. For example, performance measures in the aviation equipment and support contracts define targets for availability of aircraft and the number of flights to be conducted, not drug interdiction or eradication targets. In addition to aviation equipment and support, which constitute the bulk of contract obligations related to counternarcotics efforts, other INL counternarcotics contract activities include meal services and lodging for counternarcotics personnel, and commodities, such as fuel and vehicles. According to INL officials, State does not have a centralized inventory of counternarcotics contracts.

Overseas posts are generally responsible for setting contract requirements and conducting contract oversight of counternarcotics activities.

Help me out here — isn’t this a tad confusing?

If the performance of the individual contracts are not linked to the overall program, and if each post is responsible for contract requirements and oversight, how are all these activities tie together into a coherent and effective counternarcotics program as a whole?