Strategic and Critical Materials Stockpile Policy Review

EMD-77-68: Published: Sep 9, 1977. Publicly Released: Sep 9, 1977.

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The policy for strategic and critical materials stockpile, announced by the Ford administration in October 1976, called for the capability of supporting U.S. defense requirements during a major war over a 3-year period and provided for supporting a broad range of basic economic needs for the civilian population.

The current stockpile goals may not be met within a reasonable period of time if the Federal Preparedness Agency (FPA), which is responsible for managing the stockpile, continues with its present cautious material acquisition policy and certain questionable management practices. These practices involve: (1) disposing of commodities under long-term sales contracts even though they are needed to satisfy stockpile goals; (2) offsetting shortages of various higher form materials with excesses of ores and other lower form (less refined) materials even though the industrial processing capacity may not be available to produce the higher forms; and (3) loaning stockpile materials to other Government agencies or contractors. Transportation capabilities and other factors may need to be considered in planning storage of material to be acquired. Alternative and complementary actions to stockpiling should be evaluated. The purposes and uses of the new stockpile may need to be made more explicit in governing legislation.

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