Reorganization of the Military Departments' Acquisition Management Structures

T-NSIAD-88-48: Published: Sep 22, 1988. Publicly Released: Sep 22, 1988.

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GAO discussed the military services' reorganization of their acquisition functions to determine whether their efforts achieved certain legislative objectives, particularly the goal of strengthening civilian control over the acquisition process. GAO found that: (1) all of the services reorganized their acquisition staffs and appointed service acquisition executives; (2) although the Marine Corps established two new field commands and transferred most headquarters acquisition activities to them, headquarters staff continued to perform certain acquisition activities; (3) the Navy was planning to transfer certain Marine Corps personnel to comply with the act; (4) the Army and the Air Force dramatically increased their civilian assistant secretaries' oversight and policy, procedures, and decision development; (5) although the Army's system created the potential for program expertise to reside in the military staff, rather than in the civilian acquisition secretariat, it intended to monitor civilian acquisition involvement; (6) Navy military program coordinators had a more active role which would not allow the necessary independent oversight of the acquisition process; and (7) the Air Force had a higher percentage of military officers in technical and managerial positions than the Army and the Navy. GAO believes that, although the military departments generally complied with act requirements, the Navy and Air Force needed to consolidate certain acquisition activities to achieve full compliance.

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