A GAO report found that the Army National Guard has implemented some internal controls to prevent improper incentive payments but it hasn’t planned for future changes.
The report follows $22 million of improper payments that the California Army National Guard (ARNG) made in cash bonuses and other incentives between 2004 and 2010. Since then ARNG has implemented controls such as checks of soldiers’ contracts to verify soldiers’ eligibility and automated rules within its Guard Incentive Management System.
While these controls have improved accountability, according to GAO, ARNG has not planned for future policy changes. For example, when the 2017 Selected Reserve Incentive Program was introduced ARNG did not incorporate these changes into its Guard Incentive Management System, including one change that affected 8,000 soldiers.
The report also found that ARNG had not planned for upcoming policy changes that would affect incentive payments such as the end of the current vendor contract in 2020 to support the Reserve Component Manpower System and the Army National Guard’s migration to the Integrated Personnel and Pay System.
GAO recommends that the director of the Army National Guard develop and implement a plan to identify, analyze, and address any significant changes that could affect internal controls for its Guard Incentive Management System.