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entitled 'Defense Management: Observations on DOD's Analysis of Options 
for Improving Corrosion Prevention and Control through Earlier Planning 
in the Requirements and Acquisition Processes' which was released on 
May 29, 2009. 

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GAO-09-694R: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 
Washington, DC 20548: 

May 29, 2009: 

Congressional Committees: 

Subject: Defense Management: Observations on DOD's Analysis of Options 
for Improving Corrosion Prevention and Control through Earlier Planning 
in the Requirements and Acquisition Processes: 

This report formally transmits the attached briefing in response to 
section 1041 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act 
for Fiscal Year 2009 (see enclosure I). The act requires the 
Comptroller General to review the Department of Defense's report on 
options for improving corrosion prevention and control, including the 
methodology used to assess the potential options, and provide the 
results to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees within 60 
days after submission of the Department of Defense report. On April 
29, 2009, we provided the briefing to staff of your committees to 
satisfy the mandate and 60-day reporting requirement. 

We are sending copies of this report to the appropriate congressional 
committees. We are also sending copies to the Secretary of Defense; the 
Deputy Secretary of Defense; the Under Secretary of Defense 
(Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics); the Secretaries of the Army, 
Navy, and Air Force; and the Commandant of the Marine Corps. This 
report will also be available at no charge on our Web site at 
[hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov]. Should you or your staffs have any 
questions concerning this report, please contact me at (202) 512-8365 
or solisw@gao.gov. Contact points for our Offices of Congressional 
Relations and Public Affairs may be found on the last page of this 
report. Key contributors to this report were Tom Gosling, Assistant 
Director; Janine Prybyla; Matt Spiers; and Allen Westheimer. 

Signed by: 

William M. Solis:
Director, Defense Capabilities and Management: 

List of Congressional Committees: 

The Honorable Carl Levin:
Chairman:
The Honorable John McCain:
Ranking Member:
Committee on Armed Services:
United States Senate: 

The Honorable Ike Skelton:
Chairman:
The Honorable John M. McHugh:
Ranking Member:
Committee on Armed Services:
House of Representatives: 

[End of section] 

Enclosure: 

Observations on DODís Analysis of Options for Improving Corrosion 
Prevention and Control through Earlier Planning in the Requirements and 
Acquisition Processes: 

Briefing for Congressional Committees: 

April 29, 2009: 

Background: 

The Department of Defense (DOD), through its costs of corrosion 
studies, has identified nearly $12 billion in annual corrosion costs 
(not including Air Force aircraft and missiles). Corrosion also affects
equipment readiness and safety. 

For many years, DOD has recognized that earlier planning could lead
to corrosion prevention and control benefits. For example, 

* In 2003, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, 
and Logistics issued a policy memorandum stating that corrosion 
prevention should be specifically addressed at the earliest phases of 
the acquisition process. 

* DODís 2003 Directive 5000.01 on the defense acquisition process 
states that program managers shall consider corrosion prevention and 
mitigation when making trade-off decisions that involve cost, useful 
service, and effectiveness. 

However, in 2007 we reported that most of the major acquisition 
programs we reviewed had not incorporated key elements of corrosion
prevention planning. 

Section 1041 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act 
(NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2009 requires the Secretary of Defense, acting
through the Director of Corrosion Policy and Oversight, to submit a
report on corrosion prevention and control (CPC). Specifically, the
report should include: 

* comments and recommendations regarding potential improvements in CPC 
through earlier planning; 

* an evaluation and business case analysis of options for improving CPC 
in DODís requirements and acquisition processes, including the impact 
of such potential improvements on system acquisition costs and life 
cycle sustainment; and; 

* an analysis of the following four options for including corrosion
control and prevention: 
- as a key performance parameter (KPP) for assessing the selection of 
materials and processes, 
- as part of an existing KPP for sustainment, 
- as part of the capability development document in the joint 
capabilities integration and development system, and, 
- as a requirement for weapon system managers to assess their CPC 
requirements over the systemís life cycle and include the results in 
their acquisition strategy prior to contract solicitation. 

The NDAA also requires GAO to review DODís report, including the
methodology used to analyze the four options. 

Engagement Objectives: 

1. Identify the methodology and criteria DOD used to assess the four
options for improving CPC in the requirements and acquisition
processes; 

2. Assess the extent to which DOD analyzed the impact of the options
on system acquisition costs and life cycle sustainment, and; 

3. Determine whether service and Joint Staff officials agree with DODís
assessment and if they have identified other potential options for
improving CPC in DODís requirements and acquisition processes. 

Scope and Methodology: 

We reviewed DODís March 6, 2009, report on CPC improvement options, 
obtained supporting documentation, and interviewed Corrosion Policy and
Oversight officials at the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for
Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics: 

* to identify the criteria and methodology used, including the input 
received from the acquisition and logistics communities, to assess the
options, 

* to assess the analysis of the impact of corrosion improvement options
on system acquisition costs and life cycle sustainment, and, 

* to determine the current availability of corrosion cost data, and
ongoing and planned efforts to obtain additional data. 

We also interviewed corrosion, logistics, and acquisition officials 
from the military services and the Joint Staff: 

* to obtain their views regarding the four options, and, 

* to determine if other options have been identified or if other 
efforts are ongoing to improve CPC. 

We conducted this performance audit from February 2009 through April 
2009 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing 
standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit
to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis
for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We 
believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our
findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. 

Summary: 

DODís methodology for assessing the four options used several 
qualitative criteria and informal input from corrosion, acquisition, and
logistics subject matter experts. 

DODís report did not quantitatively analyze the impact of the options 
on system acquisition costs and life cycle sustainment. According to
officials, the data is not yet available to do so, but efforts are 
ongoing or planned that are expected to provide additional information 
for a quantitative business case analysis. 

Military service and Joint Staff officials generally agreed with DODís
assessment of the four options, and identified two other options for 
improving CPC that were not included in DODís report. The recently 
designated military department corrosion executives plan to assess 
whether implementation guidance is needed for a new CPC planning 
requirement that was recently incorporated in the acquisition process. 

Objective 1: Methodology and Criteria Used to Assess Options: 

DODís methodology for assessing the four options used several 
qualitative criteria to evaluate the likelihood that each option will 
successfully improve lifecycle CPC actions and result in an effective 
program. 

Based on our review of DODís report, we identified the following
qualitative criteria DOD used to assess the options: 

* direct relationship to CPC, 

* probability of influencing CPC, and, 

* ability to be stated in operational terms and linked to a capability
requirement (such as personnel and system performance). 

According to officials, these criteria were used to evaluate the overall
ability of each option to influence early CPC and maintain CPC as a
priority throughout the development and fielding of a system. 

DODís assessment did not address the feasibility of implementing each 
option or the steps that would be necessary for implementation. 

Informal input was sought from corrosion, logistics, and acquisition
subject matter experts across the department from July through October 
2008 through a briefing at a DOD Corrosion Forum, several meetings, and 
circulation of report drafts. 

Informal input was obtained from officials from the following: 

* July 2008 Corrosion Forum (84 attendees); 

* Corrosion Working Integrated Product Teams; 

* Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Logistics and Materiel Readiness); 

* Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Maintenance Policy and 
Programs); 

* Joint Staff Ė Logistics; 

* Joint Staff Ė Requirements. 

On the basis of this approach, DOD concluded that including CPC in the 
sustainment KPP (materiel availability metric) was the option with the 
highest likelihood of successfully improving CPC because this KPP: 

* Has already been implemented and is acceptable to the operational 
communityóin 2007, the Joint Staff established the sustainment KPP as a 
mandatory KPP for all major defense acquisition programs, and, 

* Has a strong likelihood of influencing CPC throughout the system life 
cycle if the effects of corrosion on materiel availability can be 
characterized. According to officials, however, predicting, measuring, 
and assessing the relationship between corrosion and the sustainment 
KPP is challenging. 

DOD rated the remaining three options as having a low to moderate 
likelihood of successfully improving CPC on their own because they are 
difficult to express in operational terms and link to a capability
requirement. 

However, DOD recognized these options had higher potential if 
implemented with one or more of the other options. For example, 

* Including CPC as part of the capability development document could be 
very effective if implemented with the sustainment KPP. 

* Including CPC as part of the acquisition strategy, if tied to a 
capability requirement, should ensure the appropriate program structure 
is in place to implement improved CPC. 

Objective 2: Impact of Options on Acquisition and Sustainment Costs: 

DODís report did not quantitatively analyze the impact of the options 
on system acquisition costs and life cycle sustainment. 

Although two graphs in the report display quantitative relationships 
between corrosion spending and readiness, Corrosion Policy and 
Oversight officials based these graphs on assumptions regarding 
potential impacts, not actual studies or results. 

Officials explained that they were unable to assess the costs and 
benefits of earlier CPC planning due to a lack of the following 
validated data: 

* Effects of corrosion on system availability, and, 

* Associated reduction in life cycle costs resulting from improvements. 

In addition, while DODís cost of corrosion studies have highlighted 
general areas where corrosion costs are occurring, officials said data 
regarding the factors driving corrosion costs are also lacking. 

Efforts are ongoing or planned that are expected to provide some of the 
necessary data for a quantitative business case analysis. 

* For example, the Corrosion Policy and Oversight office has sponsored 
a study to assess the impact of corrosion on materiel availability 
(sustainment KPP). 
- The current focus is to determine the best methodology for the
study. 
- A report was initially due in June 2009, but this date could slip
due to data issues. 

* In addition, service return on investment status reports for fiscal
year 2005 CPC projects are due to the Corrosion Policy and Oversight 
office in September 2009. 

* To varying degrees, the services are using DOD cost of corrosion
studies to investigate the factors driving corrosion costs. 

Objective 3: Perspectives of Service and Joint Staff Officials on CPC 
Options: 

Service and Joint Staff officials we spoke with generally agreed with 
DODís assessment of the four options. Some officials suggested other 
ways for improving CPC during the acquisition process, including: 

* A corrosion-specific sub-metric to support the sustainment KPP: The 
Army is currently studying the usefulness of various metrics with 
regard to measuring the impact of corrosion, as the materiel 
availability metric is influenced by many factors in addition to
corrosion. 

* A corrosion engineer: Air Force officials suggested that corrosion 
planning could be improved if a full-time, government corrosion 
engineer was required in each System Program Office whose sole 
responsibility is to plan, implement, and monitor CPC activities. 
However, the potential costs and benefits of this option have not been 
studied or evaluated by the Air Force. 

In December 2008, DOD issued DOD Instruction (DODI) 5000.02 and 
required that a CPC plan be part of the acquisition strategy for
major defense acquisition programs. 

The corrosion executives are currently assessing the needs of their
respective military departments, including the need for implementation 
guidance related to the new corrosion requirement in DODI 5000.02. 

The Army, Navy, and Air Force designated corrosion executives in 
January 2009, as required by Section 903 of the fiscal year 2009 NDAA. 

* Army Ė Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition Policy 
and Logistics; 

* Navy Ė Division Director, Ship Structures and Materials, Naval Sea 
Systems Command; 

* Air Force Ė Associate Director, Logistics, Office of the Deputy Chief 
of Staff for Logistics, Installations and Mission Support. 

Concluding Observations: 

While DODís methodology was based on a qualitative analysis, with 
limited supporting data, DODís report recognizes that CPC 
considerations are rightly placed at the earliest stages of the
requirements and acquisition processes. 

DOD and the services have taken actions to improve early CPC planning
by: 

* Including corrosion prevention and control planning as a mandatory 
element in the acquisition plans for major acquisition programs, 

* Designating corrosion executives to coordinate department-level
corrosion control and prevention program activities (including budget
programming), and, 

* Initiating a study of the impact of corrosion on material 
availability to more directly link the sustainment KPP to corrosion in 
the future. 

However, these actions have all been recently undertaken and it is too
early to determine the effects of these changes. 

Views of Agency Officials: 

To obtain agency views, we discussed a draft of this briefing with 
officials from the Corrosion Policy and Oversight Office. 

They concurred with the facts presented. 

[End of enclosure] 

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