This Is Not a Joke: Government Issues Study of a Study About Studies

ABC News

The Pentagon was inundated with so many studies in 2010 that it commissioned a study to determined how much it cost to produce all those studies.

Now the Government's Accounting Office has reviewed the Pentagon's study and concluded in a report this week that it's a flop.

The study of a study of studies began in 2010 when Defense Secretary Robert Gates complained that his department was "awash in taskings for reports and studies." He wanted to know how much they cost.

Two years later, the Pentagon review is still continuing, which prompted Congress to ask the GAO to look over the Pentagon's shoulder. What they found lacked military precision.

The GAO found only nine studies that had been scrutinized by the Pentagon review, but the military was unable to "readily retrieve documentation" for six of  the reports.

The Department of Defense's "approach is not fully consistent with relevant cost estimating best practices and cost accounting standards," the GAO concluded. In fact, they often did not include items like manpower, the report found.

The Pentagon "partially concurs" with the GAO's report.

The cost of the study of the study of the studies was not immediately available from the GAO.

View Comments