Navy Manpower:

Improved Ship Manpower Document Program Could Reduce Requirements

NSIAD-86-49: Published: Mar 27, 1986. Publicly Released: Mar 27, 1986.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Navy's Ship Manpower Document (SMD) program, which the Navy uses to estimate work-force requirements for its fleet.

GAO found that: (1) the requirements that the Navy has established through the SMD program are questionable because the methodology it uses in the program is not rigorous enough; and (2) the net effect of the lack of rigor is that the Navy has overestimated many of its manpower requirements and underestimated others. GAO also found that the Navy: (1) does not maintain adequate documentation to support its watch station (WS) requirements estimates; (2) does not base WS requirements estimates on rigorous onboard analyses of ship operating procedures; (3) has not made adequate progress in developing new standards for own unit support (OUS) requirements; (4) has no reliable historical database of preventive maintenance (PM) and corrective maintenance (CM) accomplished on its ships; (5) uses invalid ratios based on PM to estimate CM requirements; (6) adds allowances for preparation and nonproductivity to its PM and CM estimates; and (7) does not use the same assumptions for its computer simulation and its conceptual model for facilities maintenance (FM). In addition, GAO found that: (1) the SMD computer model does not reflect basic assumptions regarding work performed in port and the average work week for Navy personnel; (2) the SMD computer model does not account for maintenance work that watch personnel perform; (3) the Navy does not adequately document the SMD system or changes to it; and (4) the Navy has neither adequately monitored nor controlled the program, nor ensured effective communication among program participants.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: A systematic review and update occurred during fiscal year (FY) 1986 through 1987, and a documented audit trail for each WS was generated. The WS data management handbook was implemented and OPNAVINST 5310.18A and 5310.19A was revised.

    Recommendation: In order to improve the soundness and rigor of work-load measurement and standards development and increase the confidence of administration and congressional decisionmakers in the Navy's manpower requirements, the Secretary of the Navy should reexamine, on a systematic basis, the adequacy and accuracy of all WS standards used in the SMD process.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Navy Manpower Engineering Center (NAVMEC) completed an assessment of the feasibility of on-site surveys, and concluded that improvements in accuracy and realism were marginal. NAVMEC established routine liaisons with operational test and evaluation personnel to determine when on-site visits to new acquisitions might be warranted.

    Recommendation: In order to improve the soundness and rigor of work-load measurement and standards development and increase the confidence of administration and congressional decisionmakers in the Navy's manpower requirements, the Secretary of the Navy should require a more rigorous and comprehensive onboard ship validation, including observation of the crew functioning in an operational environment or simulation and analysis of ship supporting records. This is especially important for new ship classes and for ships that have undergone extensive alteration in terms of new equipment and configuration changes.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In connection with OPNAVINST 5310.19A, NAVMEC started to keep full record documentation of WS and OUS standards. In July 1986, a formal review of SMD programs was conducted as part of an IG command inspection of NAVMEC. Action to ensure comprehensive documentation and audit trail procedures were implemented and appraised as satisfactory.

    Recommendation: In order to improve the soundness and rigor of work-load measurement and standards development and increase the confidence of administration and congressional decisionmakers in the Navy's manpower requirements, the Secretary of the Navy should ensure that the justification and basis for WS and OUS standards are adequately documented and a proper audit trail of changes to these standards is maintained.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Development was expedited to the degree feasible. Eighty-five percent of ship class OUS standards have been completed and approved. The process will continue through FY 1988.

    Recommendation: In order to improve the soundness and rigor of work-load measurement and standards development and increase the confidence of administration and congressional decisionmakers in the Navy's manpower requirements, the Secretary of the Navy should expedite the development of the new OUS standards.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  5. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The SMD program was approved by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) as an efficiency reviews/methods improvement process meeting the standards of DODINST 5010.37.

    Recommendation: In order to improve the soundness and rigor of work-load measurement and standards development and increase the confidence of administration and congressional decisionmakers in the Navy's manpower requirements, the Secretary of the Navy should identify areas of ship operations where methods-improvement studies are practical and feasible, and begin a program of conducting these studies.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  6. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: An improved MDSII provided this capability. The software required to capture CM and PM data was not available until 1987, and the ship hardware needed to communicate the data was not issued until 1989.

    Recommendation: In order to improve the soundness and rigor of work-load measurement and standards development and increase the confidence of administration and congressional decisionmakers in the Navy's manpower requirements, the Secretary of the Navy should expedite the development of both a PM and a CM database for establishing SMD maintenance work-load and work-force requirements by ensuring that the Maintenance Data System (MDSII) is: (1) developed properly to incorporate both PM and CM data collection components; (2) implemented in a timely manner; and (3) used by the fleet to accurately report actual PM and CM work-load data.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  7. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Productivity allowance application to PM work load was suspended in December 1985. An indepth study of MRPA and nonproductive allowances for CM and OUS work loads were found to be valid.

    Recommendation: In order to improve the soundness and rigor of work-load measurement and standards development and increase the confidence of administration and congressional decisionmakers in the Navy's manpower requirements, the Secretary of the Navy should consider suspending the addition of the make-ready and put-away (MRPA) allowance to estimated PM work load and the nonproductive allowance to PM, CM, and OUS work-load estimates until the Navy is able to measure these work loads using more precise methods and, if allowances are used in the future, develop documented support for their accuracy and justification for their use.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  8. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Navy Manpower Engineering Center (NAVMEC) initiated a review of SMD staffing tables. A validation procedure was established and additional staffing tables were submitted for review by NAVMEC.

    Recommendation: In order to improve the soundness and rigor of work-load measurement and standards development and increase the confidence of administration and congressional decisionmakers in the Navy's manpower requirements, the Secretary of the Navy should validate the pay-grade staffing tables to establish wartime grade requirements and develop documented support for their use.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  9. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Navy felt that wartime in-port work week and in-port work load standards should not be incorporated in the SMD model. OPNAVINST 1000.16F reduced Sunday free time to 3 hours for all personnel, and work on watch duty is now evaluated for each work center.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Navy should require that the SMD model be reviewed and adjusted so that it more accurately corresponds to how the Navy plans to operate during wartime, specifically that it: (1) reflects the amount of ship maintenance done in port; (2) allots no more Sunday free time than would be alloted in wartime; (3) introduces wartime in-port work-week and work-load standards; and (4) ensures that work accomplished during watch duty is not being double counted.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  10. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The SMD measurement plan is being used to identify common use areas where FM can float across department lines.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Navy should ensure that the computer simulation of the SMD model is corrected to allow FM work loads to float across occupation, division, and department lines.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  11. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: OPNAVINST 5310.18 and 5310.19 provided documented guidance, and was promulgated in October 1986. A continuous flow of information and feedback is being effected by the SMD training course and a new quarterly SMD newsletter.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Navy should require that management and users are provided with a properly documented description of the SMD modeling process.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  12. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: OPNAVINST C3501.2G, dated September 1985, directs that ROC/POE statements be maintained current by responsible officials and specifies the criteria for conducting manpower impact analysis. All ROC/POE statements are under review with formal reviews required every 2 years.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Navy should require that Required Operational Capability (ROC) and Projected Operational Environment (POE) statements be thoroughly and critically analyzed on a periodic basis, with the objective of eliminating unnecessary tasking requirements, and that criteria for making this analysis be provided.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  13. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Civilian technical directors were hired for each SMD database. A 2-week training course for all SMD personnel was developed, along with a personnel qualification standard, to ensure the required level of professionalism in the manpower field.

    Recommendation: In order to improve the soundness and rigor of work-load measurement and standards development and increase the confidence of administration and congressional decisionmakers in the Navy's manpower requirements, the Secretary of the Navy should commit the necessary analytical staff resources, both in number and experience, and provide adequate training to the analytical staff to ensure that improved methods will be used to determine SMD manpower requirements.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  14. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: A zero-base review of the SMD program was completed and appropriate action was taken. Command inspections of NAVMEC are required every 3 years.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Navy should improve the management of the SMD program to reduce the likelihood of future problems by: (1) establishing a monitoring system that will periodically review the SMD system, model assumptions, and documentation for currency, accuracy, and completeness, and will include reviews of SMD assumptions by operational officials; and (2) improving communications, especially between Navy operating officials and SMD program staff, by providing the operating officials with a channel for notifying SMD staff of changes in scenario assumptions and a basic understanding of the processes of the SMD system.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

 

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