Test Transfer of Consumable Supply Items to DLA from the Military Services

NSIAD-84-82: Published: Mar 28, 1984. Publicly Released: Mar 28, 1984.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) test transfer of about 200,000 consumable items, some of which are considered essential for the operations of weapon systems, to the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) from the military services. GAO also evaluated the cost and military readiness impact of returning items to the services and evaluated the methodology of the transfer to determine if the test should be terminated and if weapon system management sensitive items should be returned to the services.

GAO found that the items transferred to DLA were not selected in a statistically valid manner; therefore, the transferred items were not representative of the 1 million consumable items that were not transferred. Accordingly, the test results cannot be projected to the remaining consumable items. In addition, GAO found that the cost and readiness impact of returning weapon system management sensitive items to the services cannot be determined until specific criteria to identify the items are implemented. DOD and the services are working together to implement criteria for identifying weapon system managment sensitive items. The Air Force and the Army want their weapon system sensitive items to be returned to preserve the readiness of their weapon systems. The Navy and Marine Corps do not want any of their items returned.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In its March 12, 1984, reply to the GAO draft report, DOD concurred with this recommendation. No items will be returned until items have been screened against the new criteria.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should not return any of the test items to the services until the standard criteria have been used to identify weapon system management sensitive items.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The August 1984 implementation plan provides for audit/surveillance capacity in paragraph IV-3 and an audit schedule in App. O.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should ensure consistent application of the criteria within DOD and the services as part of the implementation plan.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The plan gives the services the option to review the test items against the new criteria.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should screen the test items against the criteria and return those items that meet the criteria to the services for their management.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Items will be screened based upon the implementation plan, that is, against all item management criteria, not just that for weapon systems management sensitive items.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should screen all other consumable items against the criteria and transfer all items that are not weapon system management sensitive to DLA for its management.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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