Defense Depot Maintenance:

More Comprehensive and Consistent Workload Data Needed for Decisionmakers

NSIAD-96-166: Published: May 21, 1996. Publicly Released: May 21, 1996.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) "Depot Maintenance and Repair Workload" report, focusing on: (1) the effect of the legislative requirement concerning the allocation of depot maintenance workloads between the public and private sectors; (2) historical public and private sector depot maintenance workload allocations; and (3) projected public and private depot maintenance workload allocations for fiscal years 1997 through 2001.

GAO found that: (1) DOD generally complied with the section 311 requirements regarding workload data, except that it did not provide direct labor hour data as required by Congress; (2) DOD stated that it does not collect labor hour statistics from private contractors, but GAO's analysis of DOD's workload report shows that the use of more comprehensive and consistent data would provide Congress and DOD decisionmakers a more accurate picture of historical and future projections of depot maintenance workload allocations between the public and private sectors; (3) without such data, the reports are of limited use to Congress and defense decisionmakers when considering public and private sector workload allocation policy; (4) the 60/40 rule has not adversely affected military readiness; (5) the historical public-private depot workload data for fiscal years 1991 to 1995 presented in the workload distribution report includes in the public sector workload share, the value of repair parts and services they purchase from the private sector, but some of these parts are furnished to the private sector as government-furnished material; and (6) the report's projections of public-private depot workloads for fiscal years 1997 to 2001 are not consistent and comparable to historical data.

Matters for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The FY1998 Defense Authorization Act contained specific language regarding how depot maintenance workloads should be categorized and reported. For example, the act specified that depot maintenance includes the overhaul, upgrading or rebuilding of parts, assemblies and subassemblies, regardless of the source of funds. The act also specifies that depot maintenance includes all aspects of software maintenance, interim contractor support, contractor logistics support, and similar contracted support. Implementing guidance issued by DOD in December 1997 specified that depot maintenance funds should be reported regardless of the funding source or security classification of repaired items. The congressional guidance and supplemental DOD instructions should, in the future, lead to more comprehensive and consistent reports of public and private sector depot maintenance workload distribution.

    Matter: More comprehensive and consistent workload data would improve congressional oversight of the allocation of workload between the public and private sectors. Congress may wish to consider providing specific guidance to DOD regarding how depot maintenance data should be collected, analyzed, and reported to reflect the balance of workload between DOD depots and the private sectors. More specifically, Congress may wish to require that all contractor maintenance categories be included, regardless of the funding source or security classification of the systems.

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Congress did not act on this recommendation in its deliberations for fiscal years 1997 and 1998 and it is unlikely the fiscal year 1999 DOD Authorization Act will specifically address this issue. However, in December 1997, DOD issued implementing guidance that provides that the value of government-furnished repair parts provided to private-sector contractors should be counted and reported as a private-sector workload allocation, and funding for repair parts obtained from private-sector contractors in support of work orders assigned to DOD employees should be included as a public-sector workload allocation. It is not likely that Congress will formally address this recommendation in written form in the near future. However, DOD has clarified reporting instructions satisfying the intent of the recommendation.

    Matter: More comprehensive and consistent workload data would improve congressional oversight of the allocation of workload between the public and private sectors. Congress may wish to consider providing specific guidance to DOD regarding how depot maintenance data should be collected, analyzed, and reported to reflect the balance of workload between DOD depots and the private sector. More specifically, Congress may wish to require that repair parts be appropriately categorized or excluded.

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Congress did not act on this recommendation in its deliberations for fiscal years 1997 and 1998 and it is unlikely the fiscal year 1999 DOD Authorization Act will specifically address this issue. However, in December 1997, DOD issued implementing guidance which provides that the value of local purchases of maintenance and repair services are factors of production, the value of which is part of funding allocated for specific repair orders. Therefore, if a repair order is assigned to a public-sector depot, funding for supplemental local purchases of support services from private-sector contractors should be counted and reported as a public-sector workload allocation. It is not likely that Congress will formally address this recommendation in written form in the near future. However, DOD has clarified reporting instructions satisfying the intent of the recommendation.

    Matter: More comprehensive and consistent workload data would improve congressional oversight of the allocation of workload between the public and private sectors. Congress may wish to consider providing specific guidance to DOD regarding how depot maintenance data should be collected, analyzed, and reported to reflect the balance of workload between DOD depots and the private sector. More specifically, Congress may wish to require that local purchases of maintenance and repair services be allocated to the private sector's share.

 

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