Navy Must Improve Its Accountability for Conventional Ammunition

PLRD-81-54: Published: Jul 29, 1981. Publicly Released: Jul 29, 1981.

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Navy ammunition is stored at inland depots and at coastal outloading activities. All activities periodically report ammunition receipts, issues, expenditures, and losses to the conventional ammunition inventory management system (CAIMS). The database from this system constitutes the Navy's ammunition accountable records which are the basis for day-to-day management decisions, program planning, and budget justification. GAO completed a study of the Navy's accountability for conventional ammunition.

GAO found that CAIMS does not provide the required accountability to effectively manage sizable ammunition inventories. The Navy has been unable to reconcile its inventory records with those of the single manager for conventional ammunition. Moreover, the inventory controls necessary to maintain accountability and visibility over fleet ammunition returned to weapons stations are either weak or nonexistent. Therefore, managers rely upon data that inaccurately reflect the quantity, location, and condition of this ammunition. CAIMS still contains numerous discrepancies, in spite of a $46 million dollar unreconciled downward adjustment to align CAIMS with the single manager's inventory. On the basis of inventories made at two weapons stations, GAO could not find $7.4 million worth of ammunition shown on the accountability records. Another $1.4 million worth of ammunition was found in storage but was not on the accountable records. The backlog of ammunition awaiting inspection amounted to 776 tons at one weapons station and occupied 106 railroad cars at another; some of the ammunition stored were priority items; some items had been in storage for over 18 months. Accountability for fleet ammunition is inadequate. The Navy program to determine the condition of ammunition by inspecting it aboard ships has not been successful. Ammunition received at a weapons station for transfer to another destination is recorded in CAIMS only as intransit. Consequently, visibility is inadequate over this ammunition, and ammunition is dropped from the intransit file after 90 days.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Navy should determine whether the preinspection program should be continued since there is less than full acceptance and commitment to the program. If the program is continued, the reasons for the lack of acceptance and commitment should be addressed and alleviated, and other alternatives, such as inspecting some returned ammunition at the pier, should be explored.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  2. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Navy should process suspended ammunition promptly, giving consideration to priority items. Inventory records should accurately reflect the quantities and locations of suspended ammunition.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  3. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Navy should develop a capability within CAIMS to effectively monitor the status of ammunition transactions.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  4. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Navy should enforce and modify, as necessary, the procedures for reporting and investigating discrepancies to determine whether ammunition was lost or stolen.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  5. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Navy should develop a program to expedite the reconciliation of CAIMS, through physical inventories if necessary, with the inventories at storage activities, including single manager depots. Causes of significant inventory adjustments should be investigated.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

  6. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Navy should develop a procedure requiring interim accountability for ammunition designated for further transfer and enforce the reporting of this material to CAIMS. Cognizant personnel should be aware of priority items designated for further transfer to assist in determining the order and manner of shipping.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy

 

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