GAO Faults Reserve Component Accounting:

Reacting to joint Congressional and Defense Department concern over the growing use of volunteer reserve forces, the Government Accountability Office reviewed the effect of elimination in 2005 of the so-called 180-day rule and subsequent annual authorization of a maximum number of reserve volunteers that can be on active duty for operational support purposes. Legislation did not define the term “operational support,” leaving that up to DOD, which was slow—by some six months—to publish a definition. Consequently, estimates by reserve components of the maximum number nearly doubled from 2005 to 2006 and are at the higher level for 2007. GAO says that DOD flubbed the first estimate in 2005, largely because of the definition problem. Now, even with a “definition,” GAO says the reserve components have “inconsistently” included certain categories of personnel. GAO offers a simple solution, to which DOD agrees. DOD and the reserve components must “develop guidance that clarifies and defines the categories of operational support.” Hmmmm.