DOD's Revised Carrier Evaluation and Reporting System May Not Be Needed

PLRD-82-70: Published: May 27, 1982. Publicly Released: May 27, 1982.

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In a prior report, GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) Carrier Evaluation and Reporting System (CERS). GAO pointed out problems in the CERS design and operation and recommended several corrective actions. DOD responded promptly and positively and suggested ways to simplify the CERS and to improve its effectiveness. However, because these proposed changes did not satisfy the concerns of certain officials of the moving industry, GAO was requested to evaluate complaints about the revised system.

Although the revised system is an improvement over the initial one, GAO questioned whether either system is needed. The high cost of processing claims was one of the reasons for initially establishing the CERS, but neither form of the CERS uses actual claims information to evaluate carriers' loss and damage performance, thus keeping DOD from effectively dealing with its major shipment problem. Because neither CERS uses actual claims information, the DOD Military Traffic Management Command (MTMC) cannot determine the total cost of moves and does not know which carriers are providing quality service at the lowest possible cost. In addition, the conditions at local installations do not indicate a need for the CERS. The knowledge and experience of installation transportation officers concerning operations at their particular bases and the effect of competitive rates negate the need for an elaborate evaluation system at the local level. Both reporting systems require that local quality control resources be diverted to manage the CERS paperwork, while limiting the authority and flexibility of installation transportation officers. Because conditions at each installation are unique, the transportation officers are best able to evaluate and monitor carriers' performance at their particular installation. GAO also found that DOD could monitor nationwide carrier performance, using actual claims information, through its existing Worldwide Household Goods Information System for Traffic Management.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The House Committee on Armed Services has deleted funding for the program in H.R. 98-107. Further followup by GAO is considered unnecessary.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct MTMC to refine and use the Worldwide Household Goods Information System for Traffic Management or consider a system based on exception reporting to evaluate carrier performance.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The House Committee on Armed Services has deleted funding for the program in H.R. 98-107. Further followup by GAO is considered unnecessary.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct MTMC to return operational control for local carrier evaluations to the installation transportation officers.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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