Naval Ship Donation:

Selection Decision for U.S.S. New Jersey Was Objective, but Selection Process Can Be Strengthened

GAO-01-31: Published: Oct 12, 2000. Publicly Released: Oct 12, 2000.

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In January 2000, the Navy chose the Home Port Alliance, a nonprofit group, to receive the U.S.S. New Jersey under the Navy's ship donation program. This report summarizes GAO's findings on the credibility of the selection process and opportunities for improvement. GAO found that the Navy applied its donation evaluation criteria in an impartial, multiple-stage process that led to a credible and objective decision. Although not significant to the outcome of the U.S.S. New Jersey decision, opportunities exist to strengthen the timeliness, clarity of guidance, and communications of the selection process.

Status Legend:

More Info
  • Review Pending-GAO has not yet assessed implementation status.
  • Open-Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-implemented-Actions that satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-not implemented-While the intent of the recommendation has not been satisfied, time or circumstances have rendered the recommendation invalid.
    • Review Pending
    • Open
    • Closed - implemented
    • Closed - not implemented

    Recommendations for Executive Action

    Recommendation: To strengthen the Navy's ship donation process and the public's confidence and understanding of the results involving competing applications, the Secretary of the Navy should provide all evaluation criteria, their relative importance, and other applicable guidance to applicants when applications are solicited.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Inactive Ships Program Office, Naval Sea Systems Command, which operates the Navy Ship Donation Program, has listed all the criteria it will evaluate in its latest Federal Register Announcement for donation applications for the ex-FORREST SHERMAN (DD 931). The Navy office also lists all the criteria on its web site. These actions comply with this recommendation.

    Recommendation: To strengthen the Navy's ship donation process and the public's confidence and understanding of the results involving competing applications, the Secretary of the Navy should reassess the process of informing applicants about evaluation board results before evaluations involving all criteria have been completed.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Inactive Ship Donation Office, Naval Sea Systems Command, which operates the Navy Ship Donation Program, has put in writing new procedures that will operate during each future competitive ship donation process. These procedures will meet this recommendation by evaluating all criteria before informing applicants of the results of the evaluation board analysis of the applications.

    Recommendation: To strengthen the Navy's ship donation process and the public's confidence and understanding of the results involving competing applications, the Secretary of the Navy should require that documentation of key information exchanges between donation office staff and applicants be established and retained.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Inactive Ships Program Office, Naval Sea Systems Command, which operates the Navy Ship Donation Program, has started to keep copies of all correspondence and e-mails received from and sent to donation applicants and to maintain a log of all telephone calls it receives from applicants or others associated with applicants. This meets the intent of GAO's recommendation that documentation of key information exchanges between donation office staff and applicants be established and retained.

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