Fragmented Management Delays Centralized Federal Cataloging and Standardization of 5 Million Supply Items

LCD-79-403: Published: Mar 15, 1979. Publicly Released: Mar 15, 1979.

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The federal cataloging, engineering standardization, item entry control, and item deletion programs used by government agencies to manage required parts were reviewed.

It has been nearly 30 years since the Federal Catalog System was created, yet congressional intent has not been fully achieved. Notable progress has been made, but duplication of supply items continues to hamper effective government logistics.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should make the Joint Logistics Commanders of the military services members of the Defense Materials Specifications and Standards Board. The Secretary of Defense and Administrator of General Services administration should take the following actions: (1) work with industry to explore ways that designers can best learn about preferred items that may already be in the government's supply system; (2) make clear to contractors that engineering standardization is a priority concern in government procurements; (3) explore various incentive programs that could lead to greater parts standardization in government weapon systems and related equipment; (4) assume a more definite role in parts control monitoring by involving Military Parts Control Advisory Groups in the earliest phase of equipment design; (5) modify the definition of a standard item so that it describes only those items governed by an existing government specification; (6) monitor procurement activity performance to be sure that technical data, including true vendor and alternate manufacturers' part numbers, are obtained so that proper cataloging and item entry control can work; and (7) supplement current, automated item entry controls with manual reviews by experienced equipment or item technicians.

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