Management Attention Is Needed To Identify Reasons for High Volume of Serviceable Material Returns to Depots

PLRD-81-12: Published: Mar 26, 1981. Publicly Released: Mar 26, 1981.

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GAO reviewed the Army's management of field returns of serviceable material to Army depots.

GAO found that the Army does not identify the causes for field returns of serviceable excess material. When the logistics system is operating effectively, there should be few field returns of serviceable material. Every material return to the wholesale level represents an expenditure of resources in terms of work force to process and handle the item and transportation costs from the depot to the retail level and return. At the retail level, the transportation cost for returned items was paid with Army operation and maintenance funds. Because these funds were used to pay for all transportation, the cost for returned items could not readily be identified. In addition, GAO found that the Army has no procedures for accumulating data to accurately reflect the reasons for material returns. Two general reasons given for the returns were: (1) items become excess to installation supply when authorized stockage levels are revised, and (2) items become excess to installation supply authorized stockage levels due to returns by using units.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should establish a pilot program at one or more Army installations to identify and quantify the reasons for excess material and field returns.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  2. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should provide information to Army managers on the reasons for excess material and field returns so that corrective action can be taken.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

 

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