Defense Supply:

Acquisition Leadtime Requirements Can Be Significantly Reduced

NSIAD-95-2: Published: Dec 20, 1994. Publicly Released: Dec 20, 1994.

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GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) efforts to reduce acquisition leadtimes.

GAO found that: (1) DOD has made only limited progress in reducing its acquisition leadtimes because the military services and the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) have unevenly implemented the leadtime reduction initiatives; (2) no DOD agency has fully implemented the 1990 initiatives or the 1993 policy guidance for reducing leadtimes; (3) the Navy has been the most successful and the Air Force the least successful in reducing acquisition leadtimes; (4) additional leadtime reductions can be achieved by prompt implementation of DOD initiatives, periodic validation and updating of leadtime data, and purchasing spare parts directly from the original manufacturer; and (5) DOD could reduce costs by $1 billion over a 4-year period by reducing acquisition leadtimes.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: On November 23, 1994, DOD issued a memorandum to its components emphasizing the importance of fully implementing the specific guidance on reducing acquisition leadtimes included in DOD material management regulation 4140.1-R. The memorandum also directed that inventory control points give consideration to the usefulness of leadtime reduction goals. On March 8, 1995, DOD told GAO that its components have been challenged to reduce business process cycle times by at least 50 percent by 2000. DOD stated that guidance and oversight is being applied to acquisition leadtimes through the budget process.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the Army and the Air Force and the Director, DLA, to place renewed emphasis on implementing the DOD leadtime reduction initiatives and to improve oversight information reported to DOD so that the progress being achieved can be measured. In doing so, the other military services and DLA should follow the Navy's lead in setting a leadtime reduction goal and achieving this goal through contract solicitations and negotiations.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: On November 23,1994, DOD sent a memorandum to its components that included a reminder of the importance of periodically validating recorded leadtime data.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force and the Director, DLA, to have their inventory management activities periodically validate recorded leadtime data to detect and correct errors.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: On November 23, 1994, DOD sent a memorandum to its components stating that contractor-furnished data can be a useful source of information in validating leadtimes.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force and the Director, DLA, to have their inventory management activities work closely with major contractors in updating old leadtime data for items withheld.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: On November 23, 1994, DOD sent a memorandum to its components emphasizing that full implementation of the Spare Parts Breakout Program can help reduce leadtimes.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force and the Director, DLA, to have their inventory management activities consider potential leadtime reductions as a factor in evaluating the feasibility of buying directly from manufacturers instead of from prime contractors.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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