Navy Contracting:

Improvements Needed in Contracting for Simulator Maintenance Services

NSIAD-87-6: Published: Oct 29, 1986. Publicly Released: Oct 29, 1986.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO examined the Navy's Contractor Operation and Maintenance of Simulators (COMS) program to: (1) determine whether the Navy complied with statutory and regulatory requirements for contracting out the operation and maintenance of its simulators; (2) determine the support for the Navy's claims that the program is saving money and that simulators are more available for training than they were prior to COMS; and (3) assess the Navy's administration of the program.

GAO found that: (1) the Navy did not fulfill a Department of Defense (DOD) commitment to Congress to perform full cost-comparison studies on all activities, without regard to their size, before contracting out the operation and maintenance of simulators since, in the absence of these cost studies, there was no definitive evidence that contractors could perform the maintenance at a lesser cost than an efficiently organized in-house work force; and (2) there was no evidence to conclusively determine that simulators were more available for training with contractors than with in-house maintenance. GAO believes that: (1) the Navy could reduce contract costs by adopting more realistic simulator availability requirements and by reducing excess simulator capacity; and (2) there may be opportunities to reduce the number of in-house personnel devoted to monitoring and supporting the contractors.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: NTSC is requiring an annual review and certification of availability requirements by the users.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Navy should take steps to ensure that the Naval Training Systems Center (NTSC), in conjunction with the simulator device users, develops more realistic availability requirements for simulators.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Although DOD did not concur with this recommendation, the Navy has reviewed the job description of the field engineering representatives.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Navy should instruct the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Air Warfare to evaluate the need for personnel used to monitor COMS contractor performance, with a particular view toward determining the continuing need for training systems center field engineering representatives at each site.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: NAVSUPINST 4330.6B was implemented to ensure that contracting officers' technical representatives possess a sufficient level of technical skills to perform their functions. NTSC is responsible for carrying out the provisions of this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Navy should instruct NTSC to develop and implement procedures to ensure that contracting officers' technical representatives possess sufficient technical qualifications to adequately perform their duties.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In fiscal year 1986, NTSC reduced requirements for 11 devices. Continued review of excess training device capacity will occur and reductions will be made, as appropriate.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Navy should take steps to ensure that NTSC, in conjunction with simulator device users, identifies those simulators with excess capacity and reduce the capacity in line with actual training needs.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

 

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