Army Acquisition Controls:

Materiel Release Process Needs to Be Strengthened

NSIAD-91-184: Published: May 23, 1991. Publicly Released: Jun 27, 1991.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO evaluated the Army's internal controls for ensuring that newly procured equipment is ready for delivery to and use by field units.

GAO found that: (1) review boards were neither sufficiently independent of the procuring offices nor sufficiently representative of the end users to meet sound internal control standards; (2) the current process allowed for the conditional release of deficient systems to field units, provided there was a corrective action plan to meet field users' requirements and a justified urgency for receiving the equipment, but officials have failed to comply with those conditions; (3) in 49 of 81 actions reviewed, systems users did not justify their urgent need for the system; (4) the Army's materiel release process was not separate from such key duties as system development; and (5) the Army never corrected some systems' deficiencies.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Army Regulation 700-142 is being updated to include the Army Materiel Systems Analysis Activity as a voting member of the Materiel Release Review Board. The end user has to provide the Board a statement of acceptance before the Board can release materiel, therefore, the user does not need to be a voting member of the Board.

    Recommendation: To strengthen the Army's materiel release process, the Secretary of the Army should require that end users be voting members of the review boards.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: AMC messages to major commands advising them of Review Board meetings now stress the requirement for valid urgency of need statements and emphasize that justifications for conditional or training releases need to be sufficient.

    Recommendation: To strengthen the Army's materiel release process, the Secretary of the Army should ensure that end users submit urgency of need justifications as required for equipment for which review boards plan a conditional or training release and ensure that such justifications are based on well grounded, sound reasoning.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Army Materiel Systems Analysis Activity will monitor the status of get well actions and report any slippages and supportability problems to AMC and the Office of the Army Deputy Chief of Staff, Logistics.

    Recommendation: To strengthen the Army's materiel release process, the Secretary of the Army should require the review boards to certify that efforts have been made toward correcting systems' deficiencies or that the identified deficiencies are not seriously degrading user needs.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

 

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