Coast Guard:

Improved Process Exists to Evaluate Changes to Small Boat Stations

RCED-94-147: Published: Apr 1, 1994. Publicly Released: Apr 12, 1994.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Coast Guard's small boat stations to determine if closures or consolidations are feasible, focusing on the: (1) reasonableness of the Coast Guard's new process for evaluating possible station changes; and (2) potential for closing or consolidating those stations.

GAO found that: (1) the Coast Guard's new process for determining station changes is reasonable and corrects prior deficiencies; (2) the new process provides a formal, consistent method of evaluating small boat stations which documents decisions based on relevant criteria and the best available data; (3) the new process includes detailed criteria for considering certain factors in determining station changes and requires that the Coast Guard apply the criteria to all small boat stations under consideration; (4) to improve data accuracy, the Coast Guard has revised its information system software, informed personnel of the importance of data accuracy, and revised the information system's manual to provide better guidance on its use; (5) the Coast Guard expects to complete its comprehensive analysis of small boat stations by April 15, 1994 and recommend closure, consolidation, or substantial downsizing of some stations; (6) the Coast Guard expects to eliminate about 100 positions at small boat stations to meet fiscal year (FY) 1995 budget cuts; (7) the proposed changes will reduce the stations' operating and facilities costs by about $4.4 million annually by FY 1997; and (8) additional station consolidations could occur in the future as a result of technological advancements.

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