Marine Corps Manpower:

Improvements Needed in Processes for Determining Manpower Requirements

NSIAD-87-102: Published: May 26, 1987. Publicly Released: Jul 1, 1987.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO evaluated the adequacy of the processes the Marine Corps used to determine its manpower requirements for non-Fleet Marine Forces (FMF) and administrative and support components of FMF units.

GAO found that the Marine Corps: (1) often based its staffing standards on an official judgment rather than on a measured work load or on methods improvement studies; (2) did not make on-site surveys to establish personnel and supply administration requirements; (3) did not apply staffing standards for positions during one on-site survey, but based its determination mainly on interviews with work center personnel; (4) had inadequate documentation for the development and maintenance of staffing standards; (5) had inadequate oversight of the manpower determination processes; and (6) did not sufficiently coordinate or monitor the units' determination of their needs.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The new manpower program provides full documentation and audit trail on the development and use of standards.

    Recommendation: The Commandant of the Marine Corps should ensure that adequate documentation is maintained on the development and application of staffing standards, the conduct of on-site surveys, and the use of manpower requirements information from structure studies.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: United States Marine Corps

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: New manpower requirement procedures are being developed and will be used at selected FMF units in garrison. A manpower determination course has been developed and is expected to begin shortly.

    Recommendation: The Commandant of the Marine Corps should require that the on-site survey program use: (1) applicable standards and explain deviations from the standards; (2) a combination of techniques where the operational audit approach is applied; and (3) on-site surveys to help establish requirements for appropriate elements of FMF units.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: United States Marine Corps

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Initial efforts were directed at non-FMF units and selected FMF functions are being examined for methodology applicability. Staffing standards are currently being developed for a large portion of non-FMF and service support FMF.

    Recommendation: The Commandant of the Marine Corps should require that the staffing standards program: (1) use accepted work-measurement techniques in standards development and validation; (2) use efficiency review results in the development of staffing standards; and (3) expand coverage of staffing standards to include all FMF and non-FMF functions where work-load measurement is feasible and practical.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: United States Marine Corps

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Manpower department representatives will conduct periodic visits to all commands to ensure coordination and management oversight.

    Recommendation: The Commandant of the Marine Corps should require systematic management oversight that will provide adequate coordination and monitoring of the procedures the various organizations use to determine their manpower needs.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: United States Marine Corps

  5. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: A formal handbook has been developed providing guidance and instructions governing the development and application of the manpower program. The new Manpower Requirements Determination Program is expected to be implemented and fully operational by December 31, 1989.

    Recommendation: The Commandant of the Marine Corps should issue guidance governing the development and application of manpower determination processes, including: (1) when engineered manpower standards, rather than less precise criteria such as staffing guides, should be used; (2) when and how staffing standards should be developed, validated or updated, and documented; (3) how structure studies should be used in determining manpower needs; and (4) when and how judgement should be used in the manpower determination process and how it should be documented.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: United States Marine Corps

  6. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: This is being done incrementally as the new manpower requirements determination program progresses.

    Recommendation: The Commandant of the Marine Corps should identify manpower requirements independent of fiscal and personnel management constraints.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: United States Marine Corps

 

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