December 5, 2021

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Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim Delivers Remarks at Virtual MOU Signing Ceremony with Korean Prosecution Service

12 min read
<div>It is with great pleasure that I sign this Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of the Department of Justice alongside my good friend, Prosecutor General Yoon. Enhancing the ties between our agencies has been an important priority for me during my tenure as Assistant Attorney General of the Antitrust Division. While only a few years ago we knew comparatively little about one another, our relationship has quickly blossomed into a strong and enduring friendship. I am extremely pleased that we have succeeded in developing important and lasting ties between our agencies, as underscored by our signing of this Memorandum of Understanding today.</div>

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery

It is with great pleasure that I sign this Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of the Department of Justice alongside my good friend, Prosecutor General Yoon.  Enhancing the ties between our agencies has been an important priority for me during my tenure as Assistant Attorney General of the Antitrust Division. While only a few years ago we knew comparatively little about one another, our relationship has quickly blossomed into a strong and enduring friendship. I am extremely pleased that we have succeeded in developing important and lasting ties between our agencies, as underscored by our signing of this Memorandum of Understanding today.

This Memorandum of Understanding is a shared recognition of the close ties between our agencies and our commitment to assisting one another in criminal cartel matters.  The agreement focuses on cooperation and coordination, and our agencies’ commitment to share information, when appropriate, and to give careful consideration to one another’s interests when conducting enforcement activities.  It acknowledges the value of keeping one another informed of important policy developments, and it encourages our agencies to create technical assistance and other joint training programs that can help to facilitate closer working relationships.

 In other words, this Memorandum of Understanding serves to memorialize and formalize what we have been implementing over the past few years.  With that in mind, I’d like to acknowledge a few of our shared collaborations and accomplishments that are very much in the spirit of this Memorandum of Understanding. 

First, we are working successfully on shared training initiatives.  We have had one such program already, and I understand that there already have been some initial conversations about additional training programs.  I hope that we can hold these programs in person soon, but in the interim, I have confidence in our resilience and creativity, and in our ability to conduct successful programs virtually.  Relationships between enforcers play a critical role in international cartel enforcement, and the Antitrust Division is eager to work together on similar training programs in the months and years to come. 

Second, we are cooperating and coordinating effectively on investigations.  Let me take this opportunity to express our deep gratitude for your guidance and assistance on our matters. I look forward to continuing our work together on investigations.

Third, in the spirit of the Memorandum of Understanding, we are successfully exchanging information about policy initiatives.  During the past three years, both of our agencies have benefitted from numerous study visits focusing on leniency policies and criminal trial procedures.  My colleagues here in Washington greatly enjoyed sharing information about our leniency policies, and we hope the information has been useful as Korea seeks to introduce significant reforms to its leniency program next year.  We look forward to the continuation of these study visits, and please know that our doors are open to you.

I understand that South Korea is likely to implement significant reforms to its competition laws in the coming year, and the Korean Prosecution Service will likely enjoy increased access to leniency applications and a broadened mandate to investigate and prosecute hard-core cartels.  As the Korean Prosecution Service works to strengthen its enforcement powers and more effectively tackle the harms presented by illegal cartels, please count on the cooperation and support of the Department of Justice. 

As I sign this Memorandum, I would like to acknowledge two members of my leadership team:  Richard Powers, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Criminal, and Rene Augustine, Deputy Assistant Attorney General for International and Policy.  They join me in welcoming the opportunity presented by this Memorandum of Understanding to buttress our shared efforts to deter, detect, and prosecute hard core anticompetitive agreements that deny our consumers the benefits of a vigorous and competitive marketplace.  

After the signing of the MOU documents, AAG Makan Delrahim provided short closing remarks: 

In the coming years, we look forward to strengthening our partnership.  I believe that we still have much to learn from one another, and this Memorandum of Understanding will help promote even greater dialogue to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of our investigations. 

Thank you for your friendship and for your partnership.  We wish you and your colleagues much success as you take on a prominent role in fighting hard-core cartels.  And of course, we wish you and your families good health and happiness in the months ahead. 

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The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), in consultation with Treasury, should issue timely guidance for auditing new and existing COVID-19-related programs, including Coronavirus Relief Fund payments, as soon as possible. Audits of entities that receive federal funds are critical to the federal government’s ability to help safeguard those funds.Also, Congress should amend the Social Security Act to explicitly allow the Social Security Administration to share its full death data with Treasury for data matching to prevent payments to ineligible individuals. GAO maintains that implementing these recommendations fully is critically important in order to protect federal funds from improper payments resulting from fraud and other risks. In this report, GAO also identifies new concerns about the timely reporting of improper payments for COVID-19 programs. 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For example, the Army made certain assumptions about the length of time units would spend in each stage of the ARFORGEN cycle, assumed that units would have all the vehicles that were included in their modified table of organization and equipment, and assumed units would accomplish all the training in the Army’s training strategy. However, prior GAO reports and Army readiness reports have both shown that units do not always have all the equipment, including vehicles included in their modified table of organization and equipment, available when they are conducting training. Army officials have also acknowledged that many units are not currently executing the ARFORGEN training cycle and the Army’s training strategy as envisioned. To the extent that units do not have all of their equipment, including vehicles, or complete all recommended training, the units’ actual miles driven may differ from the Army’s full spectrum training mile metric. According to a responsible Army official, the Army tracks historical data on actual miles driven and has, in the past, adjusted assumptions used to develop its tank mile metric to more closely reflect actual conditions. The Army plans to continue this practice now with the new metric in place. For example, when conducting its 2010 training strategy review, the Army reduced its estimated miles per training day and event to more closely reflect actual miles driven.The Army uses the full spectrum training mile metric to measure training activity. Specifically, the Army compares the actual miles its units have driven to conduct ground force training to its full spectrum training mile metric to determine how well it executed its training strategy. However, the Army does not use the full spectrum training mile metric to develop its training cost estimates or related funding needs. The Army uses its Training Resource Model, rather than its full spectrum training mile metric, to develop its training cost estimates and funding needs. While some of the inputs to the full spectrum training mile metric and the Training Resource Model are the same (i.e., the number and duration of training events and the numbers of units and vehicles available for training) the Training Resource Model contains unique inputs, such as cost factors that are not related to the full spectrum training mile metric. Specifically, the cost calculation in the Training Resource Model includes the cost to drive a vehicle, expressed as cost per mile, that are linked to the number of units and vehicles, as well as other indirect nonmileage support costs, such as civilian pay. The Training Resource Model, like the full spectrum training mile metric, assumes, among other things, that all recommended training events will be fully executed. To the extent that all training does not occur or other assumptions do not hold true, requirements could differ from estimates derived from the Training Resource Model. According to an Army official, the Training Resource Model is one of several sources of information the Army considers when developing its funding requests for training. For example, the official stated the Army uses historical data on actual miles driven to adjust its funding requests to more closely reflect actual conditions.Why GAO Did This StudyIn 2008, the Army issued a field manual that identified the need to expand its training focus so units would be trained and ready to operate across a full spectrum of operations including offensive, defensive, stability, and civil support operations. To support operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, for the last several years, the Army has focused its ground force training on preparing units for counterinsurgency operations. With the withdrawal from operations in Iraq, fewer units are engaged in counterinsurgency operations and now have more time to train for full spectrum operations.To reflect the shift in training focus, the Army, in April 2011, updated its training strategy and also established a new metric to measure training activity—referred to as the full spectrum training mile metric. This metric replaced the Army’s traditional tank mile metric, which represented the average number of miles the Army expected to drive its tanks while conducting training. In its fiscal year 2012 budget materials, the Army provided background information on its transition to the new metric, and, starting in fiscal year 2012, began using the new metric.House report 112-78 directed GAO to review the Army’s transition to the full spectrum training mile metric and report its findings by February 28, 2012. To address this mandate, we determined (1) how the Army's full spectrum training mile metric differs from its traditional tank mile metric; (2) the key assumptions associated with the full spectrum training mile metric and to what extent these assumptions reflect actual conditions; and (3) to what extent the Army uses the full spectrum training mile metric to measure training execution and develop training cost estimates and related funding needs. Additionally, for background purposes, this report includes information on how training is reflected in the Army’s operation and maintenance budget-justification materials.For more information, contact Sharon L. Pickup at 202-512-9619 or pickups@gao.gov.
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