Chemical Weapons:

Stockpile Destruction Delayed at the Army's Prototype Disposal Facility

NSIAD-90-222: Published: Jul 30, 1990. Publicly Released: Aug 29, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) Chemical Stockpile Program.

GAO found that: (1) the Army's effort to expand and test the Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System (JACADS) delayed its operations; (2) full-scale operations at JACADS slipped another 9.5 months because of technical and contractor staffing problems during the program's operations and maintenance phase; (3) continuing technical problems could result in further slippage in the JACADS schedule; (4) the Army's estimated total costs for JACADS have increased $190 million and will likely continue to grow; (5) the Army has developed a program for implementing design changes to the follow-on stateside chemical disposal facilities based on the technical problems encountered at JACADS; (6) the Army has taken actions to improve the contractor's performance and its own oversight of the operations and maintenance contract; (7) Army officials said that the operations and maintenance contract did not include adequate provisions for the Army to ensure that contractor overtime was necessary; (8) the Army plans to incorporate lessons learned from operations verification testing at JACADS into the design of future U.S. disposal plants; (9) JACADS schedule delays caused construction start-up delays at three other planned facilities; and (10) because of delays in JACADS operational verification testing schedules, additional munition storage time is needed and will increase storage costs to an estimated $33 million.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD concurred with the recommendation. Specifically, the contracting officer was directed to negotiate a wartime agreement with the contractor. Agreement will require approval for overtime and establishes a ceiling for fiscal year 1991.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should direct the Army Western Command to negotiate a formal agreement with the operations and maintenance contractor regarding the approval and the use of overtime and incorporate it into the existing contract. Such an agreement could help the Army in its oversight responsibility of the contractor's use of overtime.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD concurred with the recommendation and directed the Program Manager to take the necessary action.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should take steps to ensure that the operations and maintenance contracts for all future chemical weapons disposal facilities in the continental United States include overtime agreements.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD concurred with the recommendation and directed the U.S. Pacific Command to arrange for an audit of the 32 invoices of the operations and maintenance contract.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should direct the Army Western Command to arrange for a timely audit of JACADS invoices on the operations and maintenance contract.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

 

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