March 4, 2008
Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski said yesterday that she was frustrated by findings in a government report that the Pentagon has yet to establish uniform sexual assault and harassment reporting requirements for military academies.
Although Mikulski (D-Md.) praised efforts at the U.S. Naval Academy to raise awareness and battle the problem, she said Defense Department leaders should be more out front on the subject.
"What can we get out of the powers that be at the Pentagon? This is not a treaty negotiation, though it seems like it," Mikulski said at a quarterly meeting of the academy's board of visitors, of which she is a member.
The Government Accountability Office report, released this year, found that the Defense Department has "only minimally" addressed congressional interest in how well sexual assault prevention programs are working at the nation's military academies.
The GAO recommended that the Defense Department adopt comprehensive and uniform reporting requirements to analyze incident data, survey results and academy programs to battle sexual harassment and assault.
Cmdr. Ricks Polk, the Naval Academy's sexual assault response coordinator, said the Pentagon is developing uniform reporting requirements. "I anticipate it will be soon," Polk said.
-- Associated Press