Need for Consolidation of Naval Oceanographic Activities

CED-79-27: Published: Jan 25, 1979. Publicly Released: Mar 5, 1979.

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GAO has expanded an ongoing review of the assets and activities of the Naval Oceanographic Program and addressed certain questions regarding the Navy's effort to consolidate its oceanographic activities. Over 200 oceanographic activities are being conducted and managed in separate Navy commands, and academic institutions without any overall coordination. Beginning in 1966, the Navy attempted to reorganize and consolidate management of all oceanographic activities. All programs would be under the control of the Oceanographer of the Navy.

GAO found that while the Navy relocated several activities to the National Space Technology Laboratory, it never fully met its commitment to consolidate all major Washington based activities under one command. There has also been opposition within the Navy to any moves toward consolidation. The Navy has not yet been able to solve the problems which are caused by a fragmented program. Effective coordination of the oceanographic activities would result in: better program formulation and review; better resource allocation; better utilization of expensive facilities; elimination of duplication; and less management redundancy.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Navy should fufill the commitment made to the Congress to consolidate all oceanographic activities under one program manager and all Washington based activities at one approved site. Completion of the National Oceanographic Center is the best possibility. All other research and development tasks should be identified and included in the Navy's longe range plan for consolidation.

    Agency Affected:

 

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