The General Accounting Office (GAO) was asked to investigate the National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB's) procurement of training courses provided by the firm of Miller & Friends. GAO was specifically asked to investigate allegations that NTSB (1) kept incomplete records of training procurements, (2) circumvented procurement regulations by splitting a contract into individual purchase orders, (3) improperly procured training courses from Mr. John Miller by paying the same instructor through different names and accounts, (4) accepted the misrepresentation of an instructor's qualifications, and (5) allowed instructors to use abusive training techniques in classes that NTSB employees were required to attend. (Background: Mr. Timothy Forte, NTSB's Director of Aviation Safety, sent groups of employees to a series of leadership and management courses given by Miller & Friends in fiscal years 1990 through 1993 at a cost of $167,185, exclusive of travel and per diem expenses. Typically about 20 NTSB employees attended each course, at a cost of at least $410 per employee.) GAO's investigation found, in brief, the following: The NTSB maintained incomplete records regarding the training courses obtained from Miller & Friends. The records that were maintained indicated that the NTSB did not seek competition for the Miller & Friends training courses nor did it provide any justification for awarding those contracts without competition. The available records also indicated that the total billing for one of the training courses was split between several purchase orders. Further, NTSB officials did not pursue questions concerning Mr. Miller's qualifications. While some NTSB employees objected to attending courses and to the training techniques used in the Miller & Friends courses, others described the courses in positive terms. Finally, in one instance, Mr. Forte failed to properly report reimbursement that he had received for travel expenses from an NTSB vendor.

  • Record URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Report to the Chairman, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Committee on Energy and Commerce, House of Representatives.
  • Corporate Authors:

    U.S. General Accounting Office

    441 G Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20548
  • Publication Date: 1994-7


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 7 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00667759
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: GAO/OSI-94-20
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 26 1994 12:00AM