Army Procurement:

Procurement of a Newly Designed Steam Cleaner Is Premature

NSIAD-89-1: Published: Oct 19, 1988. Publicly Released: Oct 19, 1988.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Army's plan to purchase new, military-designed, standard steam cleaners for military vehicles and heavy equipment to determine whether the: (1) Army needed the equipment; (2) cleaners' capabilities exceeded the Army's needs; and (3) Army sufficiently tested the equipment.

GAO found that the: (1) Army failed to adequately justify its purchase of the new steam cleaners instead of less expensive commercial cleaners; (2) Army based its decision on a 1976 test report and a 1978 justification document; (3) Army did not specify how it would use the equipment; (4) Army awarded a contract in September 1987 for 325 cleaners, and planned to buy 170 more during fiscal year 1989; (5) estimated cost of the standard cleaner was $15,767 per unit; and (6) Army plans to purchase 1,334 more generators than it currently needs for the steam cleaners.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Army advised that its Training and Doctrine Command has developed doctrine for the use of a trailer mounted steam cleaner with a dedicated power source. This doctrine also provides guidance on how, and in what circumstances, the cleaner will be used. After validation of its requirements, the Army procured 645 additional cleaners at a value of $9.1 million. No plans have been made.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should defer buying the standard steam cleaners until the need for a cleaner with a dedicated power source and trailer is validated.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Army advised that the required doctrine has been prepared.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should defer buying the standard steam cleaners until a doctrine is prepared describing how the cleaner will be used.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Army advises that test results support continued procurement of the standard steam cleaner.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should defer buying the standard steam cleaners until the required reliability tests are evaluated and the technical data package is modified as needed.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

 

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