Civilian Agencies' Management and Use of Aircraft

T-GGD-88-15: Published: Feb 29, 1988. Publicly Released: Feb 29, 1988.

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GAO discussed federal civilian agencies' management and use of government-owned aircraft. GAO noted that civilian agencies: (1) operated about 1,100 aircraft with an estimated book value of about $2 billion and annual operation and maintenance costs of $650 million; and (2) used aircraft equipped for unique missions for passenger transportation, although commercial airlines and charter air services provided such services at a lower cost. GAO also noted that, although agencies have reportedly acted to correct problems GAO identified in prior reports, some problems persist in effective aircraft management and use due to: (1) noncompliance with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) circulars requiring cost studies and needs assessments; (2) the lack of a uniform cost accounting system to standardize aircraft program cost elements; and (3) the lack of established standards for aircraft use. In addition, GAO noted that an Army Corps of Engineers contractor study of aircraft management and use, which concluded that continued operation of government-owned aircraft was less expensive than use of charter and commercial flights, failed to use a credible methodology that included calculation of appropriate productivity costs, commercial ticket costs, and ground transportation costs.

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