Defense Procurement:

DOD Concerns Regarding Acceptance of FAA's Spare Parts Approvals

NSIAD-92-209: Published: Jun 18, 1992. Publicly Released: Jul 6, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed proposals that would require the Department of Defense (DOD) to: (1) accept Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approvals on spare parts; and (2) adopt the FAA practice of designating individuals who are not employees to perform certain spare parts approval functions on the agency's behalf.

GAO found that: (1) neither DOD nor FAA maintain data on the universe of parts used by both civil and military aviation; (2) both DOD and FAA believe that the differences in their parts approval processes and missions would make it difficult for DOD to implement the two proposals; (3) FAA sets minimum safety standards but permits the manufacturers and purchasers to exceed those standards; (4) DOD determines both safety and performance requirements for military aircraft and spare parts; and (5) FAA designates non-FAA employees as representatives empowered to approve spare parts, but DOD is not willing to have non-DOD employees determine conformance to DOD standards.

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