Management Improvements Needed in Coast Guard Supply System

PLRD-81-37: Published: Jul 2, 1981. Publicly Released: Jul 2, 1981.

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GAO reviewed Coast Guard efforts to establish a more viable supply system by eliminating wholesale inventories of items which are also stocked and managed by other federal agencies and reducing the number of inventory control points (ICP).

GAO found that some progress had been made in resolving these problems. However, GAO determined that: (1) the Coast Guard could save millions of dollars annually by obtaining supplies and spare parts from other government agencies when needed, instead of maintaining inventories; (2) the Coast Guard stocks thousands of inactive line items at levels above Coast Guard needs, although many of these items are needed and are being procured by other federal agencies; (3) ship inventory records were inaccurate, and item managers do not know what repair parts and components are available to them; (4) duplicate filings of aeronautical requisitions result in air stations receiving supplies in excess of the amount authorized; (5) inventory discrepancies are not adequately corrected, and records do not accurately reflect available stock levels; and (6) improvements are needed in controls over project material by the inventory control point and headquarters' offices. The Coast Guard needs to purge its system of other government agency-managed items. Stockage of parts managed by these agencies contributes to unnecessary storage, handling, and transportation costs. The Coast Guard has a large amount of inactive inventory that could be redistributed to other government agencies. Periodic physical inventories at Coast Guard control points have not been taken as required and, when taken, discrepancies between onhand stocks and stock records have not been properly reconciled nor adequately researched to prevent similar occurrences.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Coast Guard can make little progress because it cannot depend on other government agencies to supply parts and materials when needed.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Transportation should require the Commandant of the Coast Guard to direct the ICP's to adopt requisitioning procedures that would permit shipments directly to the users.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Coast Guard can make little progress because it cannot depend on other government agencies to supply parts and materials when needed.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Transportation should require the Commandant of the Coast Guard to direct the ICP's to: (1) eliminate wholesale levels of stock available from other government supply sources; and (2) report to the Commandant on the progress made.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Coast Guard can make little progress because it cannot depend on other government agencies to supply parts and materials when needed.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Transportation should direct the Commandant of the Coast Guard to implement a Coast Guard-wide inactive item program similar to the Aviation ICP program. This program would ensure that unneeded items are purged regularly from the supply system and made available to other government agencies.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Coast Guard can make little progress because it cannot depend on other government agencies to supply parts and materials when needed.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Transportation should direct the Commandant of the Coast Guard to monitor the ICP supply management practices to ensure that: (1) periodic physical inventories are systematically taken to identify items in excess of needs and those not needed for other projects; (2) stock discrepancies are reconciled properly and stock records are adjusted properly to reflect onhand stocks; (3) discrepancies are researched adequately to determine and correct the causes; and (4) units assign the appropriate designators to their requisitions.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation

 

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