Financial Management:

Navy's Implementation of the Defense Property Accountability System

GAO-01-88R: Published: Dec 13, 2000. Publicly Released: Dec 13, 2000.

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As part of its involvement with the Navy Personal Property Working Group, GAO reviewed the Department of the Navy's implementation of the Defense Property Accountability System (DPAS). As requested by the working group, GAO visited six Navy activities to evaluate DPAS implementation at those selected locations. GAO found that (1) physical wall-to-wall inventories of personal property were not being done properly; (2) personal property items were not being included in DPAS at a component level to ensure accountability; and (3) policies, procedures, and training were not in place to ensure the sustainability of the property database.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Navy documented its policies and procedures for personal property management in a SECNAV Instruction (7320.10) that was finalized on August 1, 2001. Furthermore, the Navy intends to use the DPAS Program Office's redesigned user's guide to meet its needs in lieu of finalizing its own DPAS user's guide. GAO verified that both user's guides are available on the Internet for use. As a result, the Navy now has the clear and formal guidance required by DPAS users.

    Recommendation: Under the leadership of the Director, Supply, Ordnance, and Logistics Operations Division, the Navy Personal Property Working Group should increase the level of oversight provided to activities preparing for and undergoing DPAS implementation to improve adherence to Navy policies. Such oversight should include directing and determining that the Navy's guidance and operating procedures for the inventory of, accounting for, and reporting of its personal property are finalized and distributed. This includes the Secretary of Navy Instruction related to personal property and the Navy's DPAS Users Guide.

    Agency Affected: Navy Personal Property Workgroup

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In April 2003, DOD completed the initial version of its enterprise architecture, a blueprint, for modernizing its business processes and systems to address known deficiencies and improve the reliability and availability of data available to decision makers and for financial reporting purposes. As part of its on-going effort to implement its architecture, DOD Domain Owners (individuals responsible for particular business process areas such as logistics, human capital, etc.) will assume responsibility for developing strategic plans pertaining to their area of responsibility which ensures that their business processes and system modernization efforts (including efforts to update DOD property management systems) are consistent with the enterprise architecture. Specifically, the Domain Owners must review and approve new system requirements for cross-domain and integration impact across DOD, develop system acquisition strategies and priorities consistent with the enterprise architecture, and review, validate, and approve system change requests and business process changes for consistency with the enterprise architecture. GAO is in the process of reviewing DOD's implementation of its enterprise architecture.

    Recommendation: Under the leadership of the Director, Supply, Ordnance, and Logistics Operations Division, the Navy Personal Property Working Group should increase the level of oversight provided to activities preparing for and undergoing DPAS implementation to improve adherence to Navy policies. Such oversight should include directing and determining that, in cases where the Navy plans to use systems other than DPAS, such as COSAL/COSBAL, a strategy is developed to evaluate the systems' functionality, sustainability, and ability to fit into an overall Department of Defense and Navy financial system architecture, including integrating these logistical systems with acquisition and financial reporting systems to meet long-term property management goals.

    Agency Affected: Navy Personal Property Workgroup

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Navy and DPAS officials have worked together to implement an improved pre-conversion program to automatically match assets with Navy stock numbers to shorten the time required to identify stock numbers. Additionally, the Navy instituted weekly conference calls with DPAS officials to make certain that sites did not convert unless their data was ready for conversion. Also, the Navy contractor was made available to provide one-on-one assistance to sites that needed additional assistance to correct stock number problems. GAO met with the Navy and its contractor to review the results of their post-implementation reviews and confirmed that these changes had been implemented.

    Recommendation: Under the leadership of the Director, Supply, Ordnance, and Logistics Operations Division, the Navy Personal Property Working Group should increase the level of oversight provided to activities preparing for and undergoing DPAS implementation to improve adherence to Navy policies. Such oversight should include directing and determining that accurate and complete data are entered into DPAS during implementation. To the extent that any data of questionable accuracy are converted, such data should be clearly identified as problematic for subsequent research and correction.

    Agency Affected: Navy Personal Property Workgroup

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Navy re-emphasized the importance of using independent personnel to perform inventories and also required each site to submit a letter certifying that an inventory had been performed prior to the DPAS conversion. GAO met with the Navy and its contractor to review the results of their post-implementation reviews and confirmed that these changes had been implemented.

    Recommendation: Under the leadership of the Director, Supply, Ordnance and Logistics Operations Division, the Navy Personal Property Working Group should increase the level of oversight provided to activities preparing for and undergoing DPAS implementation to improve adherence to Navy policies. Such oversight should include directing and determining that the required physical wall-to-wall inventories are performed in accordance with prescribed Navy procedures, including that the inventories (1) are conducted by individuals independent of the asset accountability function and (2) take place prior to the DPAS conversion, as required by the Navy implementation plan.

    Agency Affected: Navy Personal Property Workgroup

  5. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Navy has taken action to mandate bar coding of assets within 3 years of converting to DPAS in its Policies and Procedures. Furthermore, the Navy supplemented the existing generic DPAS training with its support contractor to emphasize Navy specific policy and procedures and the DPAS program office has agreed to offer Navy specific classes at Columbus for sustainment training. The Navy also established a Navy-specific DPAS website. GAO met with the Navy and its contractor to review the results of their post-implementation reviews and confirmed that these changes had been implemented.

    Recommendation: Under the leadership of the Director, Supply, Ordnance, and Logistics Operations Division, the Navy Personal Property Working Group should increase the level of oversight provided to activities preparing for and undergoing DPAS implementation to improve adherence to Navy policies. Such oversight should include directing that (1) a plan be established with specific tasks and milestones for implementing barcoding and scanning capabilities to help maintain the Navy's accountability over its personal property, and (2) they determine the feasibility of developing and implementing Navy-specific DPAS implementation training. This should be done in conjunction with the DPAS program office.

    Agency Affected: Navy Personal Property Workgroup

 

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