The Army Can Do More To Assure War Reserve Funds Are Spent Effectively

NSIAD-84-50: Published: Feb 17, 1984. Publicly Released: Feb 17, 1984.

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GAO reviewed the Army's current program to revise its system for computing war reserve materiel requirements, including its procedures for management reporting, funding, item identification, and selection of war reserve items.

GAO found that: (1) the Army needs to improve its war reserve item identification and selection procedures; (2) war reserve stocks are imbalanced; and (3) low priority assets are not redistributed overseas. GAO also determined that: (1) excess assets should be deleted and peacetime long-supply assets should be transferred to improve Army war reserves; and (2) the Army needs to establish criteria for preparing and using war reserve studies.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD and the Army agreed that a periodic check will be made to verify that this recommendation is being achieved by the automated supply system.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should direct DARCOM to require that the major subordinate commands use long-supply general issue assets to meet war reserve requirements.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  2. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: Current action to correct essential item coding will ultimately lead to achieving this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should direct DARCOM to transfer excess war reserve assets to general issue and use the proceeds to acquire war reserve items that have unfilled requirements.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD found that the Army has been screening assets and transferring material as suggested by GAO since fiscal year 1983.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should direct DARCOM to periodically meet with representatives from the major commands to ensure that existing low priority war reserves are screened for possible physical transfer to higher priority locations. The type of screening process used--providing major-command-computed shortages for DARCOM screening or having DARCOM provide lists of currently owned low priority war reserve assets for major command screening--should be jointly determined by all affected parties.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  4. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: DOD stated that it is already in compliance with the 1979 guidance. The report shows that more needs to be done to balance war reserve inventories.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should direct DARCOM to comply with the 1979 Department of Defense guidance on balancing the war reserve inventories. Specifically, DARCOM should discontinue buying low priority war reserve items and actively pursue the sale of items for peacetime use. The resulting conserved funds could then be used to acquire high priority war reserve items.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  5. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: DOD found that the Army was operating in compliance with the war reserve selection criteria. Problems did exist with the essential item coding process and improvements underway should correct the situation. The normal supply process will then resolve the issue.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should direct DARCOM to screen existing war reserve items to eliminate requirements and inventories which do not meet selection criteria and sell the unnecessary assets to buy needed war reserves.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  6. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: DOD found that the Army is correctly and adequately applying war reserve item selection criteria.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should direct the Army Materiel Development and Readiness Command (DARCOM) to comply with existing regulations when identifying and selecting war reserve items in order to exclude unnecessary items and reduce requirements.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  7. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: DOD does not agree that the lack of minimum criteria represents an unacceptable condition because of the diverse nature of the studies. GAO believes that publishing minimum criteria would enhance the use of these studies.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should develop and publish minimum criteria for use in reporting on the results of complex analyses. The standards prepared by the Operations Research Society of America and other organizations should also be considered in developing these criteria.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

 

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