Requirements and Production Capabilities Are Uncertain for Some Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps Aircraft Spares and Repair Parts

PLRD-82-77: Published: Jul 22, 1982. Publicly Released: Aug 4, 1982.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the processes used by the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps to develop their fiscal year (FY) 1982 budgets for aircraft spares and repair parts, the subsequent procurement plans for these items, and the adequacy of management information systems to address the problems associated with these items.

Many of the problems previously reported by GAO still exist. The Air Force and Navy procurement plans for aircraft spares and repair parts included in the FY 1982 budget have changed because the requirements on which they were based have fluctuated. To more realistically determine war reserve requirements for aircraft spares and repair parts, the Air Force is developing a computer model, the wartime and assessment requirements simulation (WARS). The Air Force has revised its procurement plans on the basis of the interim model, and original cost requirements for eight C-5A items GAO reviewed were reduced. A number of deficiencies recently identified in Air Force and Navy programs for managing problem items occurred because the programs were using inaccurate data which did not always include all problem items. The remedial actions taken were frequently ineffective in addressing production-related causes. Delinquent deliveries of aircraft spares and repair parts have increased and have become a significant problem affecting the operational readiness of Air Force aircraft. Delinquent deliveries may also be a significant problem for the Navy; however, the Navy does not track and analyze delinquent contracts, and data required to do so have not been obtained or updated. Both the Air Force and the Navy have some remedial actions planned to deal with the delinquency problem. GAO believes that, until the underlying systemic shortcomings in the requirements determination processes are corrected, the total annual budgets for aircraft will remain questionable.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The Air Force has adopted the Weapon System Management Information System to D029, War Reserve Requirements Determination System. This combination provides the necessary assessments and requirements capability that WARS was designed to provide.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Air Force should speed up the testing and validation of the WARS model, as well as mission essentiality coding, and use these tools in procuring spares and repair parts to fill war reserve material requirements.

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

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department of Defense (DOD) approved the weapon system management concept on June 26, 1985. Implementation of the capabilities, required in the concept, will be done incrementally and will extend beyond the year 2000.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should closely monitor the military services' actions to overcome systemic shortcomings with their requirements determination process to ensure proper resolution of the reported problems.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The study to determine the feasibility of generically coding items by material composition and manufacturing techniques concluded that the concept was not feasible, since over 500 Air Force computer systems would have to be restructured.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should require the Secretary of the Air Force to make limited tests of the feasibility of generically coding aircraft items, based on the material trends identified in the Joint Aeronautical Material Activity Reports, to identify the causes of lengthening lead times. Based on the test results, if it is determined that shortages of certain critical materials, components, or manufacturing processes are the causes of lengthening lead times, the Secretary of Defense should pursue alternatives for resolving problems.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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