Ineffective Management of Ship Maintenance--A Coast Guard Problem

LCD-81-12: Published: Nov 25, 1980. Publicly Released: Nov 25, 1980.

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Because of problems experienced with its maintenance support program at district offices, the Coast Guard established the Ships Inventory Control Point at Curtis Bay, Maryland, as a central logistics manager.

GAO found that the Control Point is not yet an effective manager. In order to adequately support their own vessel maintenance needs, the district offices have reverted to individual, uneconomical support systems which adversely affect the total system. Some districts maintain intermediate inventories contrary to Coast Guard policy, and districts are not sharing parts. Because each district hoards its own inventory, the Coast Guard has more inventory of some parts than requirements warrant. Much of the Control Point's inventory is not in ready-for-issue condition because the districts lack incentives to properly repair parts before returning them to stock, there are no systemwide repair specifications, and quality assurance programs are lacking or inadequate. As a result, the Coast Guard incurs additional repair and inspection costs before parts can be used and experiences some delays in getting vessels back in service. The Control Point lacks the management information it needs to improve as the central logistics manager. Because it has been unable to fill districts' requests, the districts procure many items commercially without going through or informing the Control Point. The Coast Guard could reduce its maintenance costs by making greater use of other agencies' maintenance facilities. Government regulations require that, before agencies procure services commercially, they should first determine if interservice support potential exists.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Transportation should direct the Coast Guard to develop a catalog of services available by (1) disseminating and updating information to all districts on vessel maintenance interservice support currently being used by some districts and (2) developing an inventory of all Government maintenance activities within a given radius.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation

  2. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Transporation should direct the Coast Guard to (1) improve its vessel logistics support program by having the Ships Inventory Control Point act as a wholesaler of repair parts and set up procedures whereby districts pay for parts and receive credit for parts returned and repairs performed; (2) make a physical inventory and update its stock records and implement procedures to obtain the management information it needs as the central logistics manager; and (3) develop systemwide repair specifications and improve its quality assurance and packaging and preservation programs.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation

 

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