Army Logistics:

Better Approach Needed to Identify Systemic Causes of Problem Parts

NSIAD-93-86: Published: Mar 16, 1993. Publicly Released: Mar 16, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Army Aviation Systems Command's efforts to identify systemic problems with the quality and availability of certain helicopter parts.

GAO found that: (1) the Command's approach has been to resolve individual problems as they arise, instead of identifying the systemic causes of problems; (2) the Command collects information necessary to identify parts with quality problems, but the information is not useful in its current state; (3) the completeness and accuracy of the information in the Deficiency Reporting System (DRS) depends on input from functional directorates that are responsible for investigating identified problems; (4) the Command is developing a proactive approach to improving the quality of its parts and reducing operating and support costs; and (5) one activity within the Command has been developing and testing a proactive system to promptly identify parts that are likely to develop problems with supply availability.

Status Legend:

More Info
  • Review Pending-GAO has not yet assessed implementation status.
  • Open-Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-implemented-Actions that satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-not implemented-While the intent of the recommendation has not been satisfied, time or circumstances have rendered the recommendation invalid.
    • Review Pending
    • Open
    • Closed - implemented
    • Closed - not implemented

    Recommendations for Executive Action

    Recommendation: Because DOD now has functional responsibility for DRS, the Secretary of Defense should develop a strategy for identifying the systemic causes of problem parts that is built on the information and systems, such as DRS and S4, that are already in place. As a minimum, the strategy should use the information in the centralized database to develop trend data to identify functional areas requiring corrective actions.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD took action to improve the accuracy and currency of DRS; reduced processing time for all customer submitted deficiency reports; and standardized the coding system used to identify reported problems.

    Recommendation: Because DOD now has functional responsibility for DRS, the Secretary of Defense should develop a strategy for identifying the systemic causes of problem parts that is built on the information and systems, such as DRS and S4, that are already in place. As a minimum, the strategy should ensure that supply managers are provided appropriate and timely data on problems with quality or on issues pertaining to the parts they manage so that they will be aware of the identified problems and the corrective actions.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Information is now available to all users as part of the Equipment Improvement Report Digest.

    Recommendation: Because DOD now has functional responsibility for DRS, the Secretary of Defense should develop a strategy for identifying the systemic causes of problem parts that is built on the information and systems, such as DRS and S4, that are already in place. As a minimum, the strategy should require the directorates that investigate problems with quality to promptly forward the results of their investigations to the centralized database in sufficient detail to keep the system accurate and up-to-date.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD took action to improve the accuracy and currency of DRS; reduced processing time for all customer submitted deficiency reports; and standardized the coding system used to identify reported problems.

    Recommendation: Because the Department of Defense (DOD) now has functional responsibility for DRS, the Secretary of Defense should develop a strategy for identifying the systemic causes of problem parts that is built on the information and systems, such as DRS and the System Supply Support Status (S4), that are already in place. As a minimum, the strategy should ensure that the terms used to identify the causes of problems with quality are defined and that the terms are applied consistently by those responsible for capturing the data.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD took action to improve the accuracy and currency of DRS; reduced processing time for all customer submitted deficiency reports; and standardized the coding system used to identify reported problems.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should direct the Commander of the Army Materiel Command to test the proactive supply availability reporting system on an Aviation Systems Command-wide basis. If the test results prove beneficial, the Commander of the Army Materiel Command should determine whether the system should be established at the other Army buying commands.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Commander, Army Materiel Command, is testing the use of the proactive supply availability reporting system to determine whether it should be used at other Army buying commands.

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