Improved Processes Can Reduce Requirements for Air Force War Reserve Spare Parts

PLRD-83-81: Published: Jul 8, 1983. Publicly Released: Jul 8, 1983.

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GAO reviewed the Air Force processes for determining requirements for war reserve spare parts.

At the only air logistics center reviewed, GAO found that war reserve requirements on 20 of the 32 sample items used on the F-15 radar system were overstated by $12.6 million. Requirements were inaccurate and unrealistic because computations were not adjusted to reflect changes in item failure rates or configuration changes in aircraft components. GAO found that the air logistics center had initiated purchase action on 10 items having planned procurements valued at $10.1 million, but $6.7 million was for unneeded parts. GAO requested the center to review these and certain other radar items to determine if additional stock was needed. The Air Force terminated the planned purchase of 13 items, totaling about $2.6 million, of which $942,000 related to two items in the GAO sample.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In January 1984, the Defense IG requested a status of specific actions taken in response to this recommendation. In March 1984, the Air Force replied, but neither addressed the specific questions raised no anticipated completion dates. The IG seems to be on top of this case. GAO plans to discuss further developments with them during the next followup cycle.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Air Force should direct the Commander, Air Force Logistics Command, to: (1) devise a technique which identifies significant variations in failure-rate data recorded in the DO-29 and DO-41 systems; (2) require item managers to review the propriety of war reserve requirements from the latest failure-rate data available, coordinate the data with system managers and using commands, and make adjustments in requirements computations; and (3) strengthen existing quality controls to ensure that requirements are properly adjusted and that purchases for items in excess of requirements are terminated.

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

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Despite full agreement with the problem identified and the savings potential, it remains unclear what corrective action is being taken on aircraft configuration visibility. The Defense Inspector General (IG) also raised this concern in its January 1984 memo to the Air Force. GAO plans to discuss further developments with them on this matter during the next followup cycle.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Air Force should direct the Commander, Air Force Logistics Command, to determine the extent to which the configuration change problem exists on other F-15 avionics items and other aircraft weapons systems, such as the E-3 and F-16, and develop the means to compute realistic war reserve parts requirements.

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

 

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