The Services Should Improve Their Processes for Determining Requirements for Supplies and Spare Parts

PLRD-82-12: Published: Nov 30, 1981. Publicly Released: Nov 30, 1981.

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GAO evaluated the validity of the services' requirements determination processes to ascertain whether beneficial techniques used by one service could be applied by other services to best use resources.

GAO found little consistency and coordination among the services on the best way to determine requirements. Thus, techniques developed by one service which seem to have merit and offer potential for doing something a better way are not made available to the other services. Consequently, opportunities to refine and improve the requirements determination process are lost. With better supervision and training, the services could make better use of limited resources and thereby enhance equipment availability and avoid investments in stock levels beyond real needs. GAO selected a statistical sample of items in a buy position during a requirements determination at three locations in the three services and tested the validity of the data elements used in the requirements determination processes. GAO found that the computed requirements were often not based on accurate data. As a result, the requirements were overstated or understated by millions of dollars. GAO noted that the problems could be widespread and significant. The misstated requirements were due to inaccurate data in the automated requirements determination systems, incorrect adjustments to the data, and the failure to follow prescribed leadtime forecasting policies and procedures. GAO found a lack of consistency among the services as to leadtime, first article testing requirements, and forecasting techniques. The data in the services' automated requirements determination systems required extensive manual adjustments to update and correct before a buy decision could be made.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The adequacy of agency actions are being covered under a separate congressional request assignment. Therefore, future followup will be done as a result of that assignment.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should issue guidance to the services which specifically states what constitutes the termination of production leadtime.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The adequacy of agency actions are being covered under a separate congressional request assignment. Therefore, future followup will be done as a result of that assignment.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should issue guidance to the services which specifically states how leadtime requirements for items with a first article testing requirement should be determined.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The adequacy of agency actions are being covered under a separate congressional request assignment. Therefore, future followup will be done as a result of that assignment.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force to develop demand and leadtime forecasting techniques which identify and exclude atypical demand and leadtime data and recognize item trends.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  4. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The adequacy of agency actions are being covered under a separate congressional request assignment. Therefore, future followup will be done as a result of that assignment.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force to develop demand and leadtime forecasting techniques which identify and exclude atypical demand and leadtime data and recognize item trends.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Air Force

  5. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The adequacy of agency actions are being covered under a separate congressional request assignment. Therefore, future followup will be done as a result of that assignment.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretaries of the Army and Air Force to develop demand and leadtime forecasting techniques which identify and exclude atypical demand and leadtime data and recognize item trends.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  6. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The adequacy of agency actions are being covered under a separate congressional request assignment. Therefore, future followup will be done as a result of that assignment.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the service Secretaries to emphasize the need for and provide training to personnel responsible for operating and maintaining the requirements system.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  7. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The adequacy of agency actions are being covered under a separate congressional request assignment. Therefore, future followup will be done as a result of that assignment.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the service Secretaries to strengthen the supervision and review process to ensure that the data already in the requirements system and any subsequent adjustments are valid.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  8. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The adequacy of agency actions are being covered under a separate congressional request assignment. Therefore, future followup will be done as a result of that assignment.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the service Secretaries to perform periodic reviews to test the validity of the system data and ensure that the supervision and review processes are strengthened and the responsible personnel obtain a thorough knowledge of the system's operation.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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