Improvements Needed in Defense's Efforts To Use Work Measurement

LCD-76-401: Published: Aug 31, 1976. Publicly Released: Aug 31, 1976.

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The Department of Defense (DOD) is one of the largest single users of work measurement standards in either the public or the private sector. Because of the importance of work measurement efforts in improving productivity, GAO conducted a review to highlight deficiencies found in the application of such standards under the Defense Integrated Management Engineering System.

In 1975, DOD eliminated the requirement for the services to submit yearly work measurement progress reports. Consequently, neither GAO nor DOD could effectively evaluate the progress the services made in their work measurement efforts. It was clear, however, that the full potential of DOD work measurement efforts was not being realized. It was the opinion of GAO that savings realized as a result of the work measurement efforts could have been substantially greater if the potential had been fully developed under a strong leadership within the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should insure strong leadership, direction, and control over work measurement activities within DOD so that the scarce work measurement skills can be applied to service areas having the greatest potential benefit. The Secretary should also: (1) establish a reporting system for periodically measuring and evaluating the contributions of work measurement to the DOD objective of obtaining best resource allocation; (2) monitor and review each service's actions with respect to the number of personnel assigned to work measurement efforts to insure that adequate attention is given to the program; (3) encourage the service secretaries to realign the functions of work measurement to insure its maximum independence; and (4) survey the services' activities to identify those areas where it is cost beneficial to develop labor standards.

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