Defense Inventory:

Implementation Plans to Enhance Control Over Shipped Items Can Be Improved

GAO-01-30: Published: Nov 15, 2000. Publicly Released: Nov 15, 2000.

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Each year, the Department of Defense (DOD) ships inventory worth billions of dollars to locations around the world. DOD has had longstanding difficulty tracking this inventory from origin to destination. GAO reviewed six draft plans developed by the four military services, the Defense Logistics Agency, and the U.S. Transportation Command to overcome this problem. The six draft plans have significantly improved on DOD's original plan for tracking inventory. They are, however, inconsistent in content and do not reflect a coordinated, DOD-wide approach to correcting the lack of visibility over inventory being shipped. These draft plans also lack detailed performance measures for monitoring progress and determining the effectiveness of the actions after they are implemented. They do not address how DOD will ensure appropriate coordination among the military services and DOD commands in the implementation of the corrective actions or how DOD will monitor future progress. Lastly, the Office of the Secretary of Defense has not established a deadline for when the plans should be finalized.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: In commenting on the draft of this report, the department partially concurred with this recommendation. Please call 202/512-6100 for details.

    Recommendation: To achieve DOD-wide improvements in the Department's control over inventory shipments, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology to complete the review of the six draft implementation plans prepared by the services, the Defense Logistics Agency, and the U.S. Transportation Command so that these plans can be finalized.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: In commenting on the draft of this report, the department partially concurred with this recommendation. Please call 202/512-6100 for details.

    Recommendation: To achieve DOD-wide improvements in the Department's control over inventory shipments, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology to require that these plans :(1) contain detailed performance measures to allow the services and commands to assess the effectiveness of the corrective actions; and (2) represent a coordinated and uniform DOD-wide approach to correcting the long-standing lack of visibility over inventory being shipped.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: In commenting on the draft of this report, the department concurred with this recommendation. Please call 202/512-6100 for details.

    Recommendation: To achieve DOD-wide improvements in the Department's control over inventory shipments, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology to require that, for those corrective actions that involve more than one service or command, the implementation plans include appropriate coordination procedures, specifically addressing the role of each service or command as it relates to implementing each corrective action.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  4. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: In commenting on the draft of this report, the department partially concurred with this recommendation. Please call 202/512-6100 for details.

    Recommendation: To achieve DOD-wide improvements in the Department's control over inventory shipments, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology to prepare a DOD-wide implementation plan to identify how the Office of the Secretary of Defense will :(1) verify consistent implementation of the corrective actions throughout the Department; and (2) oversee the implementation of the individual actions proposed by the services, the Defense Logistics Agency, and the U.S. Transportation Command.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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