Inventory Management:

Strengthened Controls Needed to Detect and Deter Small Arms Parts Thefts

NSIAD-91-186: Published: Jul 17, 1991. Publicly Released: Aug 20, 1991.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Donna M. Heivilin
(202) 512-8430
contact@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Army's management of small arms parts for all the services, focusing on whether inventory controls, oversight by higher commands, and physical security were adequate to deter or detect thefts at four depots.

GAO found that: (1) an analysis of one depot's inventory records disclosed significant inventory control problems, including large and consistent losses of small arms parts, failure to complete required annual inventories of small arms parts, and inventories based on estimates rather than actual counts; (2) such inventory control problems were primarily due to the low priority management attached to physical inventories, poor resource management, inadequate warehouse maintenance, and strained storage capacity; (3) the three oversight commands lacked adequate information, objectivity, and followup to effectively monitor inventory management at Army depots; (4) the Army's lack of minimum security standards addressing methods for minimizing the risk of employee thefts allowed depot commanders broad discretion over physical security measures; (5) three depots lacked the necessary infrastructure to easily restrict access to the warehouse area; (6) the depots failed to use available resources to improve security; (7) a May 1991 Department of Defense (DOD) physical security regulation provided broad guidance on the minimum standards needed to protect material in its supply system and should provide a framework for ensuring that all the services have reasonable, consistent security standards; and (8) as a result of GAO studies, one depot began making improvements to its inventory controls and physical security.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: AMC has taken action to divert shipments of all types to Red River Depot until such time as storage space becomes available at Red River.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should direct AMC to slow down the flow of material to Red River and reduce the volume of material currently stored at the depot.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD stated that AMC will require inventory control points to review their records to identify those controlled items for which inventories have not been met. Further, depot commanders will be required to certify that all required inventories of controlled items have been completed for the fiscal year. The new requirements were transmitted to the depots/inventory control points on June 28, 1991.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should direct AMC to require inventory control points to ensure that depots are performing their annual inventories of controlled material.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD stated that the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) will be assuming responsibility for all depots and that the DLA system does not update the date of inventory until counts and adjustments have been accepted.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should direct the Army Materiel Command to modify the Depot Inventory Program Status Report to reflect that an inventory has actually been completed.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The DOD Space Utilization and Occupancy Report has been revised to include cubic capacity and cubic requirements.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should direct AMC to develop an indicator to assist in judging the degree of saturation of storage space.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  5. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Army submission to the DOD Storage Space Utilization and Occupancy Report was revised to provide visibility of materiel in outside storage, which should occupy covered storage space.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should direct AMC to modify the depot storage capacity reports to permit a depot to report over 100-percent capacity by capturing both covered and unauthorized outdoor storage in one statistic.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  6. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: AMC monitored the corrective action plan through the completion of all the action milestones.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should direct the Army Materiel Command (AMC) to monitor the implementation of Red River's corrective actions to ensure that depot inventory control is consistent with Army priorities and with the level of resources made available to carry out the overall depot mission.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  7. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Army Materiel Command has issued clarifying security guidance. The guidance addressed inspection and search policies and directed the designation of selected warehouse areas as restricted areas.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy to review the minimum acceptable standards for physical security at depot warehouse areas to ensure that both DLA and the services have consistent and appropriate standards for similar assets. These standards should: (1) address methods for restricting access, with or without fencing; (2) stipulate the circumstances under which employees may park privately owned vehicles within the warehouse area; (3) limit the circumstances under which material should be left outside overnight; (4) spell out the necessary elements for an effective depot vehicle inspection program; and (5) identify other internal surveillance measures to control material.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Oct 16, 2014

Oct 10, 2014

Oct 8, 2014

Sep 30, 2014

Sep 25, 2014

Sep 23, 2014

Sep 19, 2014

Sep 18, 2014

Sep 10, 2014

Sep 9, 2014

Looking for more? Browse all our products here