Army Supply Management:

System for Issuing Replacement Clothing to Army Reservists Should Be Changed

NSIAD-91-136: Published: Jun 11, 1991. Publicly Released: Jun 11, 1991.

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GAO reviewed the Issue-in-Kind (IIK) system used by the Army Reserve and the National Guard to provide replacement clothing to their personnel, focusing on whether: (1) the Army implemented adequate controls over its IIK system; and (2) a monetary allowance system would be more efficient and economical.

GAO found that the Army Reserve and National Guard: (1) did not have adequate internal controls over the IIK system; (2) lacked criteria limiting the frequency of clothing replacements; (3) did not maintain centralized records of clothing issues; (4) did not ensure that personnel turned in old items when issued new ones; and (5) did not have adequate accounting procedures that properly identified replacement clothing costs. In addition, GAO found that: (1) a monetary clothing allowance would be more economical and efficient than the IIK system, since the Army could save $6.6 million annually in clothing costs due to the expected life of clothing items and the relatively few days a year during which reservists train; (2) an allowance would reduce the administrative work load for unit supply personnel; and (3) the Army could save at least $1.4 million annually if it discontinued operation of its 53 National Guard clothing issue points and used the active Army's supply system instead.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: Based on a study done by the Army, DOD has decided not to implement the recommendation. After reviewing the internal controls recently implemented by the Army and the relative amount of savings involved, GAO has decided that the issue does not warrant further audit effort.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to replace the current IIK system with a monetary clothing allowance for reserve components.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: Based on a study done by the Army, DOD has decided not to implement the recommendation. After reviewing the internal controls recently implemented by the Army and the relative amount of savings involved, GAO has decided that the issue does not warrant further audit effort.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the National Guard to use the Army's existing supply system and discontinue operation of state-level clothing issue points.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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