GAO has said that it the results of the Centers for Academic Excellence program, intended to create an increased pool of culturally and ethnically diverse job applicants for intelligence community agencies, are unclear because of a lack of planning and oversight.
The program, which started in 2005, has provided grants to 29 colleges worth $69 million through 2021 for purposes such as developing curricula aligning with IC mission skills sets and competencies and competitively selecting students to participate. In its early years it was operated by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence; in 2011 it was moved to the Defense Intelligence Agency and next year the ODNI plans to again take direct control.
GAO said the DIA “has not developed results-oriented goals or documented an overall strategy for the program, evaluated external factors that could significantly affect the program’s success, defined and collected comprehensive metrics, or conducted an assessment of the program’s performance.”
It said that as it takes over the program again, the ODNI should take those steps, adding that “without sufficient planning and oversight, decision makers will also be unable to determine the return on investment in this long-standing program.” The ODNI concurred with the recommendations “but did not identify steps it plans to take to implement them,” the report said.