Logistics Planning:

Opportunities for Enhancing DOD's Logistics Strategic Plan

NSIAD-97-28: Published: Dec 18, 1996. Publicly Released: Dec 18, 1996.

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GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) logistics strategic plan to identify opportunities for increasing the likelihood of implementing the plan's goals and objectives successfully.

GAO found that: (1) DOD's plan gives direction to improvements that are needed to reduce the costs of its logistics system (i.e., reducing logistics cycle times, developing a seamless logistics system, and streamlining the logistics infrastructure) and lays out specific objectives and strategies to produce these improvements; (2) DOD could build on its plan and increase the likelihood of implementing its goals and objectives successfully, as well as be better prepared for implementing the requirements of the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993, if the plan: (a) linked its action plans to resources so that both DOD managers and Congress can make more informed decisions on the value and priority of logistics system improvements; (b) better linked the services' and the Defense Logistics Agency's (DLA) plans to DOD's plan; and (c) identified interim approaches that can be developed and implemented when milestones of a priority strategy, aimed at achieving the plan's overall goals and objectives, have been extended; and (3) DOD's success in bringing these elements together hinges on its top-level managers' continued and visible support of efforts to remove institutional cultural barriers.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The January 1998 edition of DOD's Logistics Strategic Plan requires an Executive Steering Group to recommend priority objectives to the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Logistics for input into the Defense Planning Guidance, Program Objective Memorandum, and budget guidance and to include these resources priorities in recommended input into the PPBS documents. Also, OMB guidance for Results Act performance plans requires agencies to include performance goals for correcting major management problems. Agencies are further required by the Results Act to describe the resources required to accomplish performance goals. This creates a framework in which DOD will be required to recognize the magnitude of the investment required to accomplish its major logistics, particularly inventory management, goals. GAO will monitor DOD's actions as part of its ongoing efforts to review and evaluate Results Act performance plans.

    Recommendation: To build on DOD's existing strategic planning efforts and to have a better chance of achieving the major logistics system improvements that its plan envisions, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Logistics to ensure that future logistics plans include a recognition of the magnitude of the investment that is required to accomplish the plan's goals, objectives, and strategies.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: GAO is closing this recommendation because DOD's actions meet the intent of the recommendation. In its January 1998 edition of the DOD Logistics Strategic Plan, DOD required the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marine Corps, the Defense Logistics Agency, the U.S. Transportation Command, executive agents, and other components with logistics responsibilities to develop and submit strategic and performance plans for logistics that follow Results Act principles by May 31 annually. The guidance in the Logistics Strategic Plan specifically requires that the required component plans include the specific actions to be taken to accomplish the goals and objectives of the Logistics Strategic Plan, completion dates for the actions, and the resources required to accomplish them.

    Recommendation: To build on DOD's existing strategic planning efforts and to have a better chance of achieving the major logistics system improvements that its plan envisions, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Logistics to issue specific guidance to the Secretaries of the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force and the Director, DLA, instructing the services and DLA on how to link their goals and budgets to the DOD logistics strategic plan's overall goals and strategies.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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