Motor Vehicles:

Better Management of the Military Services' Vehicles Could Save Millions

NSIAD-91-132: Published: May 24, 1991. Publicly Released: Jun 4, 1991.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the military services' management of their nontactical transportation, focusing on the: (1) potential for reducing the cost of motor vehicles used by the military services; (2) completion of statutorily required cost analyses comparing the services' costs with General Services Administration (GSA) and private contractors' costs; (3) vehicle utilization; and (4) special purchase requirements for military vehicles.

GAO found that: (1) the Army estimated that the annual reduction of motor vehicle costs, due to consolidating its U.S. motor fleet with GSA vehicles, would range from about $25 million to $52 million; (2) military service conversion from service-owned motor vehicle fleets to GSA fleets would ensure more effective and efficient motor vehicle management; (3) the Air Force was considering converting approximately 40,000 vehicles to GSA, which represented almost all of its candidate vehicles; (4) the Navy and Marine Corps had not performed cost analyses comparing their motor vehicle costs with the cost of relying on GSA for motor vehicle needs; (5) using the Army's cost reduction estimates, potential savings for the services' U.S. fleets could range from $60 million to $123 million annually; (6) mileage statistics and audit reports indicated that some Department of Defense (DOD) installations had more vehicles than needed and were not using vehicles effectively, causing the services to incur excess costs for vehicle procurement, operations, and maintenance; (7) due to special vehicle purchase requirements, the services often paid more than other federal agencies for similar motor vehicles; and (8) due to financing concerns and Office of Management and Budget prohibitions on the transfer of personnel positions to support fleet management of added vehicles, GSA suspended consolidation of the Army fleet and could not consolidate other fleets.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: This is a matter for congressional consideration, no action will be taken by Congress.

    Matter: Since the military services believe they can save millions of dollars by converting from more costly service vehicle fleet management to the GSA fleet, Congress may wish to consider reviewing the use of one or more of the financial alternatives for handling any significant expansion of the GSA motor vehicle fleet.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: OSD issued guidance to the services reemphasizing the established DOD motor vehicle utilization goals to ensure that vehicles are used efficiently and emphasizing the need to continue to examine methods to reduce costs through increased standardization and elimination of special requirements. The services are analyzing the potential benefits of converting to GSA or commercial sector vehicles.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the service secretaries to evaluate their vehicle use according to established DOD standards to ensure that vehicles are used effectively and excess vehicles are made available to activities needing additional vehicles.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: OSD issued guidance to the services reemphasizing the established DOD motor vehicle utilization goals to ensure that vehicles are used effectively and emphasizing the need to continue to examine methods to reduce costs through increased standardization and elimination of special requirements. The services are analyzing the potential benefits of converting to GSA or commercial sector vehicles.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the service secretaries to continue to review vehicle requirements and eliminate, where possible, unnecessary specifications so as to enable their vehicles to be bought at lower cost.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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