FAS | Military Analysis | GAO |||| Index | Search |


Selective Service: Cost and Implications of Two Alternatives to the Present System (Letter Report, 09/10/97, GAO/NSIAD-97-225).

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the organization and
costs of the Selective Service System (SSS) draft registration program
and estimates of the comparative costs and organizational structure
changes of two selected alternatives: (1) a suspended registration
alternative, under which most of SSS' infrastructure would remain
intact, including a significant portion of its staff and all of its
local, district appeal, civilian review, and national boards; and (2) a
deep standby alternative, which would suspend registration, reduce a
substantial portion of the workforce, and disband the local, district
appeal, civilian review, and national boards.

GAO noted that: (1) most of SSS' potential cost reductions, under either
a suspended registration or a deep standby alternative, would result
from reductions in personnel; (2) SSS estimates that the suspended
registration alternative would reduce authorized and assigned civilian,
active military, and part-time military reserve personnel by about 33
percent; (3) these reductions would produce first-year cost savings of
$4.1 million and subsequent annual cost savings of $5.7 million; (4) SSS
estimates that the deep standby alternative would reduce authorized
civilian, active military, and part-time reserve personnel by about 60
percent; (5) the latter alternative reflects a dismissal of thousands of
trained, unpaid local, review, and appeal board volunteers; (6) under
the deep standby alternative, the part-time state directors, who
according to SSS officials are paid for an average of 14 days of work
per year, would not be paid; (7) altogether, these reductions would
produce first-year cost savings of $8.5 million and subsequent annual
cost savings of $11.3 million; (8) under both alternatives, mass
registrations would be needed if a mobilization were authorized; (9)
SSS' plans show that the agency could currently meet the Department of
Defense's (DOD) requirement to provide the first draftees at 193 days;
(10) in contrast, SSS officials believe that the agency would be unable
to meet DOD's current requirements for unpaid manpower under either
alternative; (11) the reason cited is the time needed to reinstate an
active registration system (for either alternative), to reconstitute and
train the boards, and to rebuild their supporting infrastructure (for
the deep standby alternative); (12) SSS officials estimate that in
reinstating registration after suspension, they could meet DOD's
requirement for the first draftees in about 217 days; (13) they also
estimate that in reinstating a registration system, reconstituting and
training the boards, and rebuilding the supporting infrastructure after
a deep standby posture, they could meet DOD's requirement for the first
draftees in about 374 days; (14) officials told GAO that these estimates
represent their best assessment of the time required to return to full
operations; and (15) SSS officials also estimated that the cost to
reinstate a suspended registration could total about $17.2 million and
the cost to revitalize the agency from a deep standby posture could
total about $22.8 million.

--------------------------- Indexing Terms -----------------------------

 REPORTNUM:  NSIAD-97-225
     TITLE:  Selective Service: Cost and Implications of Two 
             Alternatives to the Present System
      DATE:  09/10/97
   SUBJECT:  Selective service
             Military enlistment
             Military personnel
             Cost analysis
             Reductions in force
             Federal agency reorganization
             Mobilization
             Combat readiness
             Emergency preparedness
             Defense contingency planning

             
******************************************************************
** This file contains an ASCII representation of the text of a  **
** GAO report.  Delineations within the text indicating chapter **
** titles, headings, and bullets are preserved.  Major          **
** divisions and subdivisions of the text, such as Chapters,    **
** Sections, and Appendixes, are identified by double and       **
** single lines.  The numbers on the right end of these lines   **
** indicate the position of each of the subsections in the      **
** document outline.  These numbers do NOT correspond with the  **
** page numbers of the printed product.                         **
**                                                              **
** No attempt has been made to display graphic images, although **
** figure captions are reproduced.  Tables are included, but    **
** may not resemble those in the printed version.               **
**                                                              **
** Please see the PDF (Portable Document Format) file, when     **
** available, for a complete electronic file of the printed     **
** document's contents.                                         **
**                                                              **
** A printed copy of this report may be obtained from the GAO   **
** Document Distribution Center.  For further details, please   **
** send an e-mail message to:                                   **
**                                                              **
**                    <[email protected]>                        **
**                                                              **
** with the message 'info' in the body.                         **
******************************************************************


Cover
================================================================ COVER


Report to Congressional Requesters

September 1997

SELECTIVE SERVICE - COST AND
IMPLICATIONS OF TWO ALTERNATIVES
TO THE PRESENT SYSTEM

GAO/NSIAD-97-225

Selective Service

(703186)


Abbreviations
=============================================================== ABBREV

  DOD - Department of Defense
  SSS - Selective Service System

Letter
=============================================================== LETTER


B-277597

September 10, 1997

The Honorable Peter A.  DeFazio
The Honorable Ronald V.  Dellums
The Honorable Dana Rohrabacher
The Honorable Gerald B.  Solomon
House of Representatives

This report responds to your requests that we review the Selective
Service System's (SSS) draft registration program and other selected
alternatives.  We reviewed two alternatives, suspending active
registration and placing the agency in "deep standby." A suspended
registration alternative would eliminate the current requirement for
men between the ages of 18 and 26 to register for a possible military
draft.  Under this alternative, most of SSS' infrastructure would
remain intact--including a significant portion of its staff and all
of its local, district appeal, civilian review, and national boards. 
The "deep standby" alternative would suspend registration, reduce a
substantial portion of the workforce, and disband the local, district
appeal, civilian review, and national boards.  Between 1976 and 1980,
SSS operated in a deep standby posture similar to the one detailed
above. 

We reviewed the organization and costs of the current program, and
agency estimates of the comparative costs and organizational
structure changes of the two alternatives.\1 Further, assuming
implementation of either of the two alternatives, we obtained
estimates on how quickly and at what cost SSS could be returned to
its present posture and a draft conducted upon mobilization. 
Ultimately, any decision to change SSS would require policy judgments
that involve other considerations, some of which cannot be
quantified, in addition to cost and time required to respond to a
national emergency. 


--------------------
\1 Initially, we also considered a passive registration system.  Such
a system would automate identification/registration, requiring no
actions by individuals to register.  After consultations with your
staffs, we discarded this alternative because its implementation
would raise constitutional issues. 


   BACKGROUND
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :1

SSS is an independent agency within the executive branch of the
federal government.  Its missions are to (1) provide untrained
manpower to the Department of Defense (DOD) for military service in
the event of a national emergency declared by the Congress or the
President, (2) administer a program of alternative service for
conscientious objectors in the event of a draft, and (3) maintain the
capability to register and forward for induction health care
personnel if so directed in a future crisis.  SSS' authorizing
legislation, the Military Selective Service Act,\2 requires that all
males between the ages of 18 and 26 register with SSS under
procedures established by a presidential proclamation and other rules
and regulations.  Men are required to register within 30 days of
reaching age 18. 

SSS operations have fluctuated since the end of the draft in 1973. 
In 1975, President Ford terminated registration under the act by
revoking several presidential proclamations.\3 In 1976, SSS state and
local offices were closed, placing the agency in a deep standby.  In
1980, following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, President Carter
issued a proclamation to establish the current registration
procedures.\4 Under these procedures, SSS has been registering young
men between the ages of 18 and 26, but not classifying them for a
potential draft. 

According to SSS officials, the September 30, 1996, version of the
registration database contained about 13 million names of men between
the ages of 18 and 26 and represented about 92 percent of the
eligible universe of males subject to registration.  Men are most
vulnerable to being drafted during the calendar year they reach age
20 and become increasingly less vulnerable each year through age 25. 
SSS officials estimate that registration compliance for men
considered "draft eligible," those aged 20 through 25, is 95 percent. 
A detailed description of registration methods appears in appendix I. 

Currently, SSS operates as a backup for the recruiting efforts of the
volunteer armed forces in case an emergency compels a reintroduction
of the draft.  To carry out its operations, SSS is authorized a staff
of
197 civilians (166 on board as of June 1, 1997); 15 active military
personnel (2 additional positions are funded by the Air Force); 745
part-time authorized reservists (518 are funded); 56 part-time state
directors (one in each state, territory, the District of Columbia,
and New York City); and
10,635 uncompensated civilian volunteer members of local, review, and
various appeal boards.  The state directors would manage state
headquarters and oversee their states' Area and Alternative Service
Offices and boards for SSS in the event of a mobilization.  The local
and district appeal boards would review claims that registrants file
for draft deferments, postponements, and exemptions in a
mobilization.  Under the Alternative Service Program, civilian review
boards review claims for job reassignment based on conscientious
objector beliefs.  SSS' 1997 budget is $22,930,000, which is divided
as follows:  $7,810,000 for operational readiness (includes all
boards activities), $7,360,000 for registration (includes public
awareness activities), and $7,760,000 for administration.  (All cost
figures provided in this report are in 1997 dollars.)


--------------------
\2 50 U.S.C.  app.  451-471a. 

\3 Proclamation No.  4360, 40 Fed.  Reg.  14567 (1975). 

\4 Proclamation No.  4771, 45 Fed.  Reg.  45247 (1980). 


      DOD'S VIEWS ON REGISTRATION
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :1.1

Although DOD does not currently foresee a military crisis of a
magnitude that would require immediate reinstatement of the draft, it
continues to support registration for all men between the ages of 18
and 26.  The registration process furnishes a ready pool of
individuals that could be drafted when needed to meet DOD's emergency
manpower requirements. 

Until 1994, DOD required the first inductees to be available 13 days
after mobilization notification and 100,000 to be available 30 days
after notice.  That year, DOD modified its requirements, prescribing
accession of the first inductees at 6 months plus 13 days (that is,
on day 193) and 100,000 inductees at 6 months plus 30 days (that is,
on day 210).  For a draft of doctors, nurses, and other medical
personnel, the first inductees are presently slated to report on day
222.  SSS officials stated that they can provide personnel to DOD in
the event of an unforeseen emergency assuming adequate funding and
staff.  DOD based its time line modifications on the expectation that
active and reserve forces would be sufficient to respond to perceived
threats, thereby mitigating the need for an immediate infusion of
inductees.  We did not validate the current DOD requirements for
inductees.  However, according to DOD, the current requirements
maintain an adequate margin of safety and provide time for expanding
military training capabilities. 


   RESULTS IN BRIEF
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :2

Most of SSS' potential cost reductions, under either a suspended
registration or a deep standby alternative, would result from
reductions in personnel.  SSS estimates that the suspended
registration alternative would reduce authorized and assigned
civilian, active military, and part-time military reserve personnel
by about 33 percent (to 123 civilian, 13 active military, and 504
reserve personnel).  These reductions would produce first-year cost
savings of $4.1 million and subsequent annual cost savings of $5.7
million.  SSS estimates that the deep standby alternative would
reduce authorized civilian, active military, and part-time reserve
personnel by about 60 percent (to 77 civilian, 10 active military,
and 305 reserve personnel).  The latter alternative reflects a
dismissal of thousands of trained, unpaid local, review, and appeal
board volunteers.  In addition, under the deep standby alternative,
the part-time state directors, who according to SSS officials are
paid for an average of 14 days of work per year, would not be paid. 
Altogether, these reductions would produce first-year cost savings of
$8.5 million and subsequent annual cost savings of $11.3 million. 

Under both alternatives, mass registrations would be needed if a
mobilization were authorized.  SSS' plans show that the agency could
currently meet DOD's requirement to provide the first draftees at 193
days.  In contrast, SSS officials believe that the agency would be
unable to meet DOD's current requirements for untrained manpower
under either alternative.  The reason cited is the time needed to
reinstate an active registration system (for either alternative), to
reconstitute and train the boards, and to rebuild their supporting
infrastructure (for the deep standby alternative).  SSS officials
estimate that in reinstating registration after suspension, they
could meet DOD's requirement for the first draftees in about 217 days
(24 days more than the current 193-day requirement).  They also
estimate that in reinstating a registration system, reconstituting
and training the boards, and rebuilding the supporting infrastructure
after a deep standby posture, they could meet DOD's requirement for
the first draftees in about 374 days (181 days more than the current
193-day requirement).  Officials told us that these estimates
represent their best assessment of the time required to return to
full operations.  SSS officials also estimated that the cost to
reinstate a suspended registration could total about $17.2 million
and the cost to revitalize the agency from a deep standby posture
could total about $22.8 million. 

Figure 1 shows a comparison of the current level of operations and
the two alternatives--suspending registration and placing the agency
in a deep standby. 

   Figure 1:  Selective Service
   System's Current Operations and
   Alternatives

   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


   EFFECTS OF THE OPTIONS ON
   ORGANIZATION AND COSTS
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :3

The portions of the $22.9 million 1997 budget that could be most
affected by the alternatives total approximately $15.2 million:  $7.4
million for the registration program and $7.8 million for operational
readiness.  Registration program activities include handling and
entering information into the database on new registrants, producing
and distributing publicity material about the requirement to
register, running subprograms on registration compliance and address
updates, deactivating registrants who no longer remain eligible
because of age, and verifying the registration of individuals who may
be applying for federal or state employment or other benefits. 
Operational readiness activities include organizational planning;
National Guard and reserve training and compensation; tests and
exercises; and various boards' operations, including training,
automatic data processing support, and other logistical types of
support. 

Suspending the current registration requirement, with or without
maintaining the boards, would generate cost savings primarily through
reduced personnel levels.  However, savings derived from implementing
either option would be partially offset by the cost of downsizing the
agency to accomplish planning and maintenance missions only and by
severance costs associated with reducing personnel levels.  SSS
officials estimate one-time severance costs (including severance pay,
unemployment insurance, lump sum leave, and buyouts) of $1.6 million
for the suspended registration alternative and of $2.8 million for
the deep standby alternative. 

Also, under current federal law and a number of state laws, certain
benefits may be denied to individuals who fail to register for a
draft.\5 SSS officials estimate that the current cost to verify
registration to ensure compliance with such provisions totals about
$1.6 million annually.  Therefore, the amount of savings under either
alternative would depend upon whether the agency is required to
continue its verification function (for individuals who were subject
to registration prior to suspension) or whether the applicability of
such provisions is suspended. 

According to SSS officials, under the suspended registration
alternative,
74 civilian, 4 active duty military, and 241 part-time reserve
positions may be eliminated.  SSS officials estimated first-year cost
savings of $4.1 million and subsequent annual cost savings of $5.7
million under this alternative.  SSS would maintain the various
boards, their training and operating programs, and the ability to
update automated data processing capabilities as technology advances. 
The agency also informed us that it would continue readiness planning
and training plus conduct or participate in mobilization field
exercises to test and fine-tune its role in national security
strategies. 

SSS officials told us that under the deep standby alternative,
120 civilian, 7 active duty military, and 440 part-time reserve
positions may be eliminated.  Also, 10,395 local and appeal board
members and 240 civilian review board members (all unpaid volunteers)
would be dismissed.  In addition, the 56 state directors would move
to an unpaid status.  SSS officials estimated first-year cost savings
of $8.5 million and subsequent annual cost savings of $11.3 million
under this alternative.  SSS would be placed at a level at which it
could accomplish planning and maintenance missions only, including
the ability to update automated data processing capabilities as
technology advances. 


--------------------
\5 For example, these benefits include federal and some state
educational assistance and eligibility for most federal and some
state employment.  See 50 U.S.C.  app.  462(f) and according to SSS
similar laws in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware,
Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts,
Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South
Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas.  (New Jersey recently passed similar
legislation, which is awaiting the governor's signature.)


   TIME AND COSTS REQUIRED TO
   REINSTITUTE FULL OPERATIONS
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :4

Under either the suspended registration or the deep standby
alternative, reactivation of a draft registration process would be
initiated upon receipt of authorization.  The President can reinstate
registration requirements by issuing a proclamation,\6 but the
Military Selective Service Act does not currently allow induction
into the armed forces.  The Congress would have to pass legislation
giving the President induction authority.\7 Two major concerns
relating to the implementation of either of the alternatives are
whether SSS could meet DOD's requirements, given the time needed to
make the agency fully operational, and how much reconstitution would
cost. 

SSS officials estimate that recovering from suspended registration or
a deep standby and delivering the first draftees to the induction
centers would take more time than DOD's current 193-day requirement. 
They estimate it would take about 24 more days to deliver the first
draftees after recovering from the suspended registration
alternative.  The officials expect that the recovery costs would
total about $17.2 million.  SSS officials also estimate that
revitalizing the agency from a deep standby posture and delivering
the first draftees would take about 181 more days than DOD's current
requirement and would cost about $22.8 million.  These costs cover
rehiring personnel; obtaining data processing capability; and
acquiring equipment, supplies, and other resources needed to conduct
a mass registration and return the agency to its present operating
capability.  These costs also cover acquisition of necessary
additional office and data processing space. 

SSS officials informed us that if the agency reinstated registration
after having operated under either the suspended registration or deep
standby option, it would need to conduct a time-limited registration
of the 19- and 20-year-old groups and then conduct a continuous
registration of all males in the remaining age groups (those between
the ages of 21 and 26).  The agency's experience in conducting a
2-week registration of the 19- and 20-year-old age groups was very
successful during the peacetime reinstatement of registration in
1980.  However, the agency could not project with a high degree of
confidence that it would similarly succeed when conducting a
time-limited registration during wartime or a national crisis.  SSS
officials stated that unless the mass registration program can
achieve high levels of compliance (at least 90 percent of the
targeted population), the fairness and equity of the ensuing draft
could be called into question.  Additionally, officials said the
"lottery," which would be used to determine the order of call in a
draft, could be delayed until high compliance is achieved to preclude
men with birthdates that draw low numbers from willfully refusing to
register. 

In 1980, SSS demonstrated that it could achieve a high percentage of
compliance during a time-limited registration.  At that time, SSS
conducted two time-limited registrations, after recovering from a
deep standby posture.  During these registrations, 87 percent of the
young men born in 1960 and 1961 (19- and 20-year-olds) registered
during a 2-week period in July 1980, and 77 percent of the young men
born in 1962 (19-year olds) registered during a 1-week registration
period in January 1981.\8 SSS officials indicated that these mass
registrations occurred after 6 months of publicity and public debate
and with no threat of an impending draft.  In the view of SSS
officials, a return to registration from either alternative described
in this report is likely to be in connection with a war or crisis,
and they believe early compliance rates cannot be predicted in a
crisis environment.  SSS officials stated that the agency's main
problem in gearing up in 1980 was in reinstating and activating the
local, district appeal, and national boards in preparation for a
possible draft.  They said the process would be time-consuming
because more than 10,000 volunteers forming 2,000 boards would need
to be identified, appointed, and trained.  SSS officials also
stressed that to help ensure fairness, the composition of the boards
should racially and ethnically reflect the demographics of the young
men in the communities they would serve.  Given the agency's
experience in recovering from a deep standby in 1980, SSS officials
added extra time to their current estimates of the time required to
make the agency fully operational.  SSS officials believed that the
variables that could affect the timeliness, fairness, and equity of a
future draft made it prudent to build additional time into their
estimates to conduct a draft, should registration be suspended or the
agency placed in deep standby. 


--------------------
\6 50 U.S.C.  app.  453(a). 

\7 50 U.S.C.  app.  467(c). 

\8 Alternatives to Current Draft Registration Program Needed Unless
Level of Compliance Improves (GAO/FPCD-82-20, Apr.  19, 1982). 


   AGENCY COMMENTS
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :5

SSS reviewed a draft of this report and stated that the report did an
excellent job of analyzing the dollar requirements of peacetime
registration and estimating the structure and funding changes that
may result if national security policy was changed to abandon the
current registration requirement.  SSS also commented that our report
did not address some aspects of continuing peacetime registration
that it characterized as equally important, but less tangible.  Those
aspects included viewing peacetime registration as (1) low-cost
insurance against unforeseen threats, (2) a sign to potential
adversaries of U.S.  resolve, and (3) a link between the all
volunteer military force and society at large.  We did not review
these implications of continuing peacetime registration as part of
our audit scope and clarified the report to reflect this fact.  SSS
also provided technical comments, which we incorporated as
appropriate.  SSS comments are presented in appendix II. 


   SCOPE AND METHODOLOGY
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :6

In performing our review, we interviewed and obtained documents from
SSS officials in Financial Management; Planning, Analysis, and
Evaluation; Operations; Public and Congressional Affairs; and
Information Management.  We identified SSS' current mission and
operating parameters, focusing on the draft registration system.  We
made preliminary inquiries regarding four alternatives to SSS'
present operations, that is, two passive registration alternatives, a
suspended active registration alternative, and a deep standby
alternative.  Since passive registration alternatives would raise
constitutional issues and possibly encourage lawsuits regarding
fairness and equity of such systems during mobilization, we did not
address these alternatives. 

For the two remaining alternatives, we obtained from SSS estimates of
costs that could be saved upon implementation of either alternative. 
Since the cost savings would surface through reductions in personnel,
we obtained from SSS the effect of implementing either alternative on
its staffing levels.  In addition, we obtained from SSS cost
estimates associated with revitalizing registration or with moving
the agency from a deep standby posture to full operational status. 
SSS also gave us time estimates for the revitalization of both the
registration process and the board structure and its assessment of
the alternatives' effects on meeting DOD's manpower and mobilization
time frame requirements.  We did not validate the cost and time
estimates but made judgments on their reasonableness by discussing
the methods and assumptions SSS used to develop the estimates and by
matching baseline information to agency backup documents.  We did not
review the policy implications of changing or continuing the
peacetime registration program. 

We conducted our review between December 1996 and July 1997 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. 


---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :6.1

We are sending copies of this report to the Chairmen and Ranking
Minority Members of the House Committee on Government Reform and
Oversight, Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, House and Senate
Committees on Appropriations, House Committee on National Security,
Senate Committee on Armed Services, and House and Senate Committees
on the Budget; and the Director of the Selective Service System; the
Secretary of Defense; and the Director, Office of Management and
Budget.  We will also make copies of the report available to others,
on request. 

Please contact me on (202) 512-5140 if you have any questions
concerning this report.  Major contributors to this report are listed
in appendix III. 

Mark E.  Gebicke
Director, Military Operations
 and Capabilities Issues


CURRENT REGISTRATION METHODS
=========================================================== Appendix I

Men between the ages of 18 and 26 can register with SSS in six ways: 
(1) fill out an SSS form at U.S.  Postal Service facilities
throughout the nation and at U.S.  embassies or consulates overseas;
(2) complete and return a registration reminder mail-back postcard or
a compliance postcard required as a result of having been identified
by SSS from various databases; (3) join the military or Job Corps;
(4) complete a registration form provided by volunteer registrars;
(5) register when applying for student financial assistance; and (6)
initiate registration by computer using the Internet. 

Men may register at any one of the more than 34,000 post offices in
the United States and U.S.  territories by completing SSS Form 1. 
During fiscal year 1996, about 386,000 individuals used this
procedure to register.  Registrants should receive a registration
acknowledgement and a Selective Service number within 90 days.  If
the registrant does not receive acknowledgement within this time
frame, he is required to contact SSS. 

SSS sends reminder postcards to young men about to turn 18, based on
driver licenses lists received from states' departments of motor
vehicles and similar lists from other sources.  In fiscal year 1996,
over 2 million young men were sent reminder mail-back registration
postcards, and 792,435 men returned the registration portion.  SSS
also does list matching to identify eligible males who have not
registered as required, using data from each state's departments of
motor vehicles, Department of Defense high school recruiting lists,
the U.S.  Immigration and Naturalization Service's files of
individuals seeking citizenship or legal residency status, voter
registration files, and the Department of Education.  Once identified
as possible nonregistrants, the individuals are sent a reminder,
including a compliance postcard.  About 343,300 men registered after
receiving at least one communication requiring compliance.  The names
of those who did not register or respond are referred to the
Department of Justice for possible prosecution. 

The third registration method is the automatic registration of active
duty and reserve military personnel as well as males in the Job Corps
who have not reached age 26 at the time of their enlistment. 
Approximately 55,400 military personnel and about 16,700 Job Corps
members were automatically registered through this method in fiscal
year 1996.  Beginning in fiscal year 1998, the U.S.  Immigration and
Naturalization Service plans to include on its forms language for
automatic registration of all eligible male aliens applying for
citizenship or adjustment of status. 

SSS also has more than 10,000 volunteer registrars in public and
private schools who advise eligible males of their responsibility to
register.  The volunteers provide registration forms and collect and
forward the completed forms to SSS.  Additionally, SSS has about
4,300 volunteer registrars in the National Association of Farmworkers
program and in various state agencies and state military departments. 
Approximately 60,500 men were registered by volunteer registrars
during fiscal year 1996. 

The electronic registration procedure can be used by students
applying for student financial assistance and by individuals who
initiate registration through the Internet.  In 1982, the Congress
amended the Military Selective Service Act\1 to provide that any
student who is required to register with SSS but has failed to do so
is ineligible for student assistance under title IV of the Higher
Education Act of 1965.  Since then, the Department of Education and
SSS have implemented a telecommunications datalink that is used for
electronic registration and registration verification.  A student is
automatically registered by marking the box "register me" on the
Application for Federal Student Aid.  During fiscal year 1996, about
177,600 men registered using this method. 

Beginning in March 1997, men who have access to the Internet can
initiate the registration process by filling in name, date of birth,
address, and social security number on an on-line registration form. 
This information is downloaded to SSS, which sends the registrant a
card requesting that the information be verified.  When the
verification card is returned and SSS sends the registration
acknowledgement to the registrant, registration is completed.  All
new registrants receive an acknowledgement card from SSS.  The card
serves as proof of registration and gives each registrant a unique
Selective Service number. 



(See figure in printed edition.)Appendix II

--------------------
\1 See 50 U.S.C.  app.  462(f). 


COMMENTS FROM SELECTIVE SERVICE
SYSTEM
=========================================================== Appendix I



(See figure in printed edition.)



(See figure in printed edition.)



(See figure in printed edition.)



(See figure in printed edition.)



(See figure in printed edition.)


MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS REPORT
========================================================= Appendix III

NATIONAL SECURITY AND
INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS DIVISION,
WASHINGTON, D.C. 

Sharon A.  Cekala
Carol R.  Schuster
William E.  Beusse
Robert J.  Lane
George M.  Delgado
MaeWanda Michael-Jackson

OFFICE OF THE GENERAL COUNSEL,
WASHINGTON, D.C. 

Mark C.  Speight

*** End of document. ***





FAS | Military Analysis | GAO |||| Index | Search |


Maintained by Webmaster