Financial Management:

Accuracy of Air Force Aircraft and Missile Data Could Be Improved

AIMD-97-141R: Published: Aug 15, 1997. Publicly Released: Aug 15, 1997.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO performed an automated analysis of the Air Force's Reliability and Maintainability Information System (REMIS) database as of the end of fiscal year (FY) 1996, focusing on short-term actions the Air Force could take to improve the accuracy of aircraft and missile data in REMIS.

GAO noted that: (1) because REMIS data are relied upon by over 1,700 users for many purposes, from strategic planning and maintenance tracking to financial reporting, it is imperative that the data be as accurate as possible; (2) the database analysis GAO performed, which identified several errors, could be easily replicated by the REMIS program office on a regular basis, for example, monthly; (3) by performing such a regular analysis, the REMIS program office could help ensure that the system's many users have access to more accurate data at any point in time; (4) this type of proactive and systematic approach to identifying and then resolving this type of proactive and systematic approach to identifying and then resolving errors or discrepancies would help improve and maintain the accuracy of the database; (5) ensuring data accuracy is particularly important as the Air Force moves to implement its new equipment tracking system over the next several years; and (6) the accuracy of the Air Force's financial statements and reports would be improved if the Defense Finance and Accounting Service's (DFAS) Denver Center received reports that included: (a) all aircraft and missiles; and (b) information necessary to identify and eliminate from its reports all foreign-owned aircraft.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD has adopted a local operating instruction (dated January 5, 1998) requiring quarterly reconciliation of REMIS databases. The Air Force Aerospace Vehicle Distribution Officer (AVDO) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is performing the quarterly analysis. The first reconciliation, performed for the quarter ending September 30, 1997, identified discrepancies between the databases which the AVDO then corrected.

    Recommendation: The Commander, Air Force Materiel Command, should ensure that the REMIS program office performs an automated analysis on a regular basis, for example monthly, to identify internal inconsistencies or discrepancies, such as the mismatches GAO identified. Once identified, the problems should then be researched and resolved to help improve the accuracy of the database and identify systemic problems. It is especially important that such analysis and corrective follow-up action be performed at the end of each fiscal year, prior to submitting the data to DFAS Denver for financial statement preparation.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Air Force: Air Force Materiel Command

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The DFAS Denver Center has documented the agreed-upon procedures to provide complete information on all aircraft and missiles, and ensure that foreign-owned aircraft and missiles are excluded in preparing the Air Force's financial statements. These procedures have been included in DFAS-DE 7400.1R, "General Funds General Ledger Accounting Procedures."

    Recommendation: The Commander, Air Force Materiel Command, should ensure that the REMIS program office: (1) provides DFAS Denver complete information on all aircraft and missiles; and (2) either excludes foreign-owned aircraft from the data provided to DFAS Denver for its use in preparing the Air Force's financial statements or provides guidance to DFAS Denver for identifying and eliminating all foreign-owned aircraft from the REMIS data.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Air Force: Air Force Materiel Command

 

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