Army's Quality Deficiency Report System:

Generally Effective But Some Changes Needed

NSIAD-85-115: Published: Jul 10, 1985. Publicly Released: Jul 10, 1985.

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GAO reported on its review of the Army's Quality Deficiency Report (QDR) System, which is the Army's major initiative to identify and resolve deficiencies in fielded equipment. When a fielded item fails to perform as expected and the user suspects that the problem is quality-related, a report is submitted to the responsible commodity command for investigation and resolution.

GAO found that, when product assurance personnel investigated a reported deficiency, the investigation generally was of sufficient scope and depth to identify a satisfactory solution to the problem. However, in a substantial number of cases, investigations could not be conducted because the defective items were not available for examination. Since defective items are not required to be held in a controlled area, they can be lost, damaged, or disposed of after the required 45-day holding period. GAO also questioned whether all quality problems were being reported through the QDR system and the accuracy of the data reported. Army technical personnel stated that the reporting of quality problems might be a low priority at some installations and, in determining whether to report a suspected quality problem, quality technicians might be using criteria that were not consistent with Army guidance.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Army proposes to cure the problem of loss exhibits by requiring disposition instructions to be issued in 15 days rather than the prior 45 days. GAO found that, in many instances, even the 45-day limit was exceeded. If the 15-day limit is complied with, action may be effective in controlling lost exhibits. A review at some future date would be needed to determine this.

    Recommendation: To help ensure that defective items are available when needed to facilitate investigation of reported quality problems, the Secretary of the Army should direct Army personnel, at least on a test basis at selected Army installations, to retain the items in controlled storage space until authorized for release by the responsible commodity command.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Army proposes to cure the problem of loss exhibits by requiring disposition instructions to be issued in 15 days rather than the prior 45 days. GAO found that, in many instances, even the 45-day limit was exceeded. If the 15-day limit is complied with, action may be effective in controlling lost exhibits. A review at some future date will be needed to determine this.

    Recommendation: If the test proves cost-effective, the Secretary of the Army should have the recommended actions implemented Army-wide.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

 

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