Financial Management:

Army Lacks Accountability and Control Over Equipment

AIMD-93-31: Published: Sep 30, 1993. Publicly Released: Sep 30, 1993.

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GAO reviewed the Army's Continuing Balance System-Expanded (CBSX) central logistics system, focusing on whether: (1) internal controls for managing and maintaining accountability for Army equipment are adequate; and (2) equipment records maintained by individual Army units are accurate.

GAO found that: (1) the Army's resources may be improperly wasted and its readiness impaired because the information it uses for equipment purchases, distribution, and deployment is not reliable; (2) CBSX contains unreliable information due to unexplained equipment balance fluctuations, poor unit records management, and accounting errors; (3) Army unit records often do not reflect on-hand equipment quantities and types because units do not record equipment promptly or accurately or complete physical counts; (4) Army regulations do not provide specific procedures to ensure that unit-level records are accurate and oversight measures have been implemented; (5) Army units cannot ensure that equipment is protected from loss or is being used as authorized; and (6) the Army needs to modify its procedures to improve unit inventory accounting, fully implement its oversight program, and improve regulations governing equipment records management.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Reports from the U.S. Army Logistics Integration Activity (USALIA) indicate that CBSX reporting accuracy and timeliness is a special interest item in FY 1995 as it has been in the past.

    Recommendation: To improve the Army's CBSX compatibility rate and the accuracy of unit equipment records, the Acting Secretary of the Army should require the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics to place CBSX accuracy, including unit compatibility rates and accounting for in-transit equipment balances, among the Command Logistics Review Program special interest items.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In DOD's November 22, 1993, response to the GAO report, DOD nonconcurred with the recommendation, asserting that the Army had already documented, in sufficient detail, guidance for recording equipment transactions and conducting physical counts of equipment. Rather, DOD contended that the problem was lack of compliance with existing guidance--which would be emphasized.

    Recommendation: To improve the Army's CBSX compatibility rate and the accuracy of unit equipment records, the Acting Secretary of the Army should revise regulations governing the recording of equipment transactions and physical count procedures to specifically require units to inspect equipment data plates to validate the type of equipment received and subsequently counted to ensure that equipment is recorded accurately and that errors are corrected during physical counts.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Army Regulation 710-2 (Unit Supply Update 14, dated February 28, 1994) directs implementation of the Command Supply Discipline Program and prompt command corrective actions when evaluations highlight problems with compliance. According to the DOD IG, this guidance has been fully implemented.

    Recommendation: To improve the Army's CBSX compatibility rate and the accuracy of unit equipment records, the Acting Secretary of the Army should direct commanders to implement the Command Supply Discipline Program and to require corrective action when evaluations identify noncompliance with equipment regulations.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

 

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