The Marine Corps Inspection System Should Use Resources More Efficiently

FGMSD-80-20: Published: Dec 20, 1979. Publicly Released: Jan 21, 1980.

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The Inspector General of the Marine Corps conducts inspections and investigations as directed by the Commandant, and audits all Marine Corps nonappropriated fund activities except exchanges. The objectives of the inspection program are to evaluate: leadership and the use of resources; welfare, morale, and discipline; compliance with Marine Corps policies and procedures; work practices and safety and health conditions; and local inspection procedures. The Inspector General inspected 271 activities in fiscal year 1978 using the 11 full-time inspectors heavily aided by temporary inspectors from other Marine Corps activities. Also, the Inspector General's Field Audit Service audited the accounting practices of 146 nonappropriated fund activities with a total revenue of about $94 million.

The Marine Corps Inspector General's Field Audit Service can save about $1 million annually by eliminating overstaffing; GAO identified 42 of 122 positions that could be cut or reassigned without hurting operating capability. The thrust of reports are compliance oriented, contain insignificant findings, and usually do not develop the causes of problems disclosed during inspections. Staff could be used more effectively by reducing the frequency of noncombat force inspections which are twice as frequent as the combat force inspections. The extensive use of temporary inspectors just invites problems. The Field Audit Service should consist primarily of qualified civilians, thereby bringing the Marine Corps more in line with the Department of Defense policy of filling each position with a civilian unless it can be proven that a military person is required. This could also save money since civilian personnel cost less than military personnel. Overinspection and duplication are additional problems.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Navy should direct the Commandant of the Marine Corps to: (1) reduce the authorized staffing level of the Field Audit Service by 42 positions; (2) analyze the structure of the Field Audit Service with the intent of further reducing authorized staff; and (3) revise the Field Audit Service staffing criteria so that individual positions, not teams of auditors, are authorized commensurate with the workload.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Navy should direct the Commandant of the Marine Corps to coordinate the work of the Inspector General and other review groups to eliminate duplication and require that the various review groups use each other's work to reduce the scope of their efforts.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Navy should direct the Commandant of the Marine Corps to: (1) modify his inspection approach so that causes of significant problems are determined by tracing them throughout the system, including headquarters levels, and consider an approach similar to that of the Army Inspector General; and (2) reduce the frequency of noncombat unit inspections.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Navy should direct the Commandant of the Marine Corps to: (1) require that temporary inspectors' work be monitored to promote objectivity and that temporaries come from units that do not have a routine working relationship with the unit to be inspected; and (2) require that some of the inspections and most of the Field Audit Service poistions be staffed with qualified civilians to the greatest extent possible.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

 

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