Depot Maintenance:

Some Funds Intended for Maintenance Are Used for Other Purposes

NSIAD-95-124: Published: Jul 6, 1995. Publicly Released: Jul 6, 1995.

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GAO reviewed the military services' depot maintenance operations, focusing on: (1) the services' processes for deciding which end items of equipment will be overhauled; (2) a comparison of the services' depot maintenance funding levels and their use of these funds; and (3) the services' management of maintenance backlogs and the impact of these backlogs on readiness.

GAO found that: (1) the services use the same general process to identify end items for depot maintenance and to determine their maintenance budget requests, which includes hours of usage/operations, mileage, engineered standards, historical data, inspection results, the depots' ability to handle the maintenance, and funding availability; (2) the Army and Navy use an inspection process to determine whether equipment overhauls are needed, which significantly reduces their maintenance costs; (3) from fiscal year (FY) 1993 through FY 1995, the Army and Navy received about $591 million more and the Air Force about $75 million less than they requested for depot maintenance; (4) from FY 1993 through FY 1994, the services completed about $485 million less of depot maintenance work than the amount requested and about $832 million less than the amount received; (5) the services diverted depot maintenance funds to military contingencies and other operation and maintenance expenditures to replace budget reductions in other accounts; (6) depot maintenance backlogs that exist at the time of budget requests tend to decrease during the year of budget execution mainly due to the services' reducing the requirements for items needing depot maintenance; and (7) the services believe that depot maintenance backlogs are manageable and have not adversely affected operational readiness due to depot funding and execution levels and the surplus of equipment generated through force reductions.

Matters for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The matters for consideration were directed to Congress.

    Matter: To enhance its oversight of the Department of Defense's (DOD) depot maintenance program, Congress may wish to require the services to include as part of their budget requests the amount of funds received for depot maintenance that was not used for that purpose. If funds were used for other than depot maintenance, the other uses should be identified and the reasons for and the amounts of the funds transferred should be explained.

  2. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The matters for consideration were addressed to Congress.

    Matter: To enhance its oversight of the DOD depot maintenance program, Congress may wish to require the services to include as part of their budget requests the maintenance backlogs at the: (1) beginning and end of the most recently completed FY; and (2) beginning of the current FY and at the time of the budget submission. Any changes to the beginning of the year backlog should be explained in terms of the reasons for the changes (i.e., increased or decreased maintenance efforts or changes to the depot maintenance requirements).

  3. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The matters for consideration were addressed to Congress.

    Matter: To enhance its oversight of the DOD depot maintenance program, Congress may wish to require the services to include as part of their budget requests an assessment of the effect maintenance backlogs are having on readiness. If readiness is being adversely affected, information concerning the extent of the adverse effects and plans to correct the situation should be provided.

 

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