Backlog of Navy Enlisted Personnel Awaiting Training Results in Inefficiency and Unnecessary Cost

FPCD-82-42: Published: Jun 18, 1982. Publicly Released: Jun 18, 1982.

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GAO examined the trainee backlog problem in the Navy's initial skill training program to determine what action could minimize the backlog.

In recent years, an excessive number of Navy enlisted personnel have been waiting to receive initial skill training. During fiscal year 1981, about 5,000 enlisted personnel were awaiting training at 20 training activities on any given day. This number is nearly twice as high as the Navy's goal for the year. The Navy not only delayed skill development for the recruits involved but also: (1) deprived the fleet of about 2,250 staff-years of service, and (2) incurred approximately $17 million in unnecessary personnel costs. GAO found that, although the Navy's efforts have begun to reduce the backlog, it could still take other actions to further reduce the backlog in fiscal year 1982. In addition, GAO believes that a long-term commitment is needed to permanently eliminate the excess, minimize the unavoidable number of personnel awaiting instruction, meet future training demands, and avoid unnecessary costs.

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 establish standards for the minimum size, time delays, and categories for the population awaiting instruction.

    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 translate these standards into specific firm targets for each school.

    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 adjust recruit training schedules to allow a smoother flow of trainees directly from recruit training into individual skill training.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  4. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The Navy conducted discussions with DOD regarding budget submission format in support of Navy training, but the Navy does not plan nor budget for student backlogs. DOD believes that because student backlogs are caused by unprogramed changes to training plans, it is inappropriate to request budget justifications.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Navy should request Department of Defense approval to expand the justification for the annual training budget to include the costs of student backlogs.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

 

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