Foreign Military Sales: Observations on DOD's Approach to Developing Price and Availability Estimates for Foreign Customers
Feb 6, 2019
DOD manages the procurement of billions of dollars in defense items and services on behalf of foreign customers through the FMS program. These sales help support the defense industrial base and are vital to U.S. foreign policy and national security interests.
The FMS process generally begins with a request by a foreign government for information about a U.S. defense item or service. Requests for price and availability data are an optional step in the process. DOD guidance is to generally respond to such requests within 45 days.
The fiscal year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act included a provision for GAO to review DOD's process for developing price and availability data for foreign customers. This report addresses, among other objectives, (1) price and availability requests DOD received from fiscal years 2014 through 2018, (2) how DOD develops price and availability data, and (3) the factors that can influence the timeliness of DOD's responses to foreign customers with price and availability data.
GAO analyzed DOD price and availability data for fiscal years 2014 through 2018, the latest data available; and reviewed documents for a non-generalizable sample of five price and availability responses—varying by estimate value—provided to foreign customers by the Army, Navy, and Air Force. GAO also interviewed defense contractors and DOD officials.
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