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Thursday, September 21, 2023

OIG to Assess U.S. Merchant Marine Academy’s Infrastructure, Culture, Policies and Programs

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Maritime Administration (MARAD) is responsible for improving the U.S. marine transportation system to meet the Nation’s economic, environmental, and security needs. 

As part of its broad mission, MARAD oversees the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA)—one of five Federal service academies—which is tasked with educating and graduating licensed Merchant Marine Officers and commissioned officers in the Armed Forces to serve America’s maritime transportation and defense needs. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2020 directed the Secretary of Transportation to enter into an agreement with the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) to conduct an independent, comprehensive assessment of USMMA systems, training, facilities, infrastructure, information technology and stakeholder engagement. The assessment, issued in November 2021, also identified needs and opportunities for the Academy’s modernization and contained 67 recommendations.

The NDAA for fiscal year 2023 directs the DOT Office of Inspector General (OIG) to audit MARAD’s actions to address 24 of NAPA’s 67 recommendations. These 24 recommendations relate to areas such as USMMA’s facilities and infrastructure, institutional culture and supportive learning environment, and sexual assault and sexual harassment policies and programs. 

OIG plans to begin this audit immediately and will conduct its work at DOT Headquarters in Washington, DC with MARAD, the Office of the Secretary, as needed, and USMMA in Kings Point, NY.

Read more at DOT OIG

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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