The Navy's Inspection System Could Be Improved

FGMSD-80-23: Published: Dec 26, 1979. Publicly Released: Jan 28, 1980.

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The Naval Inspector General inspection system is much smaller than the Air Force or Army systems and covers only about 20 percent of the Navy's activities; the other activities are inspected by individual commanders. Both groups rely extensively on temporary inspectors who normally are taken from the headquarters staff offices of the activity conducting the inspection.

The Naval inspection system differs from the Air Force and Army systems whose headquarters and command-level inspection staffs inspect the lower levels of their organizations. The Navy relies on each level within the chain of command to inspect its immediate subordinates. Generally the Inspector General does not receive copies of lower level inspection reports, and significant problems these inspections disclose are not referred to him. While this highly decentralized system provides some formal oversight of Naval activities and prevents duplication of inspections by different levels, it could be more effective. If the headquarters Inspector General expanded his inspections to include lower level Navy activities, the Secretary of the Navy and the Chief of Naval Operations would get an independent assessment of the units' condition and a better overall picture of the state of the command. Additional full-time staff would probably be required, but the benefits of their work should justify the investment. Additional professional positions could be filled by civilians.

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 ensure compliance with existing directives requiring that command inspection reports: (1) identify causes of problems; (2) do not address minor deficiencies; and (3) refer significant problems disclosed by lower level inspections to the Naval headquarters Inspector General.

    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 expand inspections of lower level activities to allow more indepth observations.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  3. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The report identified five military positions for conversion to civilian positions. The Inspector General stated that military experience is required in four of these positions; manpower restrictions prevent conversion of the last position. The recommendation was based on position descriptions which the Inspector General advised were inaccurate and will be modified. Further work is not necessary.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Navy should require that more civilians be used in professional positions wherever possible.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

 

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