Defense 1 Pentagon

Defense: Prepositioning Programs (2011-07)

Improved joint oversight of the Department of Defense's prepositioning programs for equipment and supplies may reduce unnecessary duplication.

Year Identified: 2011
Area Number: 7
Area Type: Fragmentation, Overlap & Duplication

Actions

Action 1
Addressed

The Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, in coordination with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs ofStaff, to strengthen the Department of Defense's (DOD) joint oversight of its prepositioned stocks through such actions as clarifying lines of authority and reporting betweenthe joint preposition working group and other components within DOD.

Type
Executive Branch
Last Updated
March 31, 2020
Progress:

On February 25, 2020, DOD published its updated Pre-Positioned War Reserve Materiel Strategic Implementation Plan which details a Joint Oversight Framework. This frameworkdescribes the roles and responsibilities that multiple DOD stakeholders have over the prepositioned stocks programs, along with the related governance structure, which meetsthe intent of GAO's May 2011 recommendation and will help DOD strengthen its oversight of its prepositioning programs.

Implementing Entity:
Department of Defense
Action 2
Partially Addressed

The Secretary of Defense should direct the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Secretaries of the military services to synchronize at a department-wide level, asappropriate, the services' prepositioning programs so that they include updated requirements and maximize efficiency in managing prepositioned assets and activities across thedepartment to reduce unnecessary duplication.

Type
Executive Branch
Last Updated
March 31, 2020
Progress:

The Department of Defense (DOD) agreed with GAO's May 2011 recommendation and has taken some actions, but has not synchronized at a department-wide level the services'prepositioning programs. The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2014 required DOD's Strategic Policy for prepositioned materiel and equipment to includea framework for joint departmental oversight that reviews and synchronizes the services' prepositioning strategies to minimize potentially duplicative efforts and maximizeefficiencies in prepositioned material and equipment across the department. Subsequently, DOD issued in March 2017 its Pre-positioned War Reserve Materiel Strategic Policy. InJuly 2017, GAO reported that the Strategic Policy does not address five of the six required elements from section 321 of the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2014 including a coordinatedjoint-military service approach for DOD's prepositioned stocks. DOD also submitted a Strategic Implementation Plan for managing its prepositioned stocks to congressionaloversight committees in October 2017. However, GAO reported in January 2019 that DOD's plan did not fully address four of the seven elements required by the NDAA for FiscalYear 2014 nor did the plan provide details on how DOD plans to synchronize the services' prepositioning programs and maximize efficiency in managing prepositioned assets andactivities across the department.Also, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, enacted in December 2019, required the Assistant Secretary of Defense forSustainment, in coordination with the Joint Staff, to submit a report to congressional committees on this strategic implementation plan not later than March 1, 2020. OnFebruary 25, 2020, DOD published its updated Pre-Positioned War Reserve Materiel Strategic Implementation Plan which lays out a method for joint oversight. Also, on March 2,2020, DOD submitted this plan to congressional oversight committees. While GAO is encouraged and will monitor DOD's efforts, it is too soon to determine the extent to whichthese efforts—when completed—will address the identified synchronization concerns. To fully address this action, DOD needs to employ the joint oversight method outlined inthe plan. Without synchronization, DOD may not be able to fully recognize efficiencies and minimize potentially duplicative efforts in its prepositioned stocks programs.

Implementing Entity:
Department of Defense
Action 3
Addressed

The Secretary of Defense should direct the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy to develop strategic guidance that includes planning and resource priorities,linking the department's current and future needs for prepositioned stocks to evolving national defense objectives.

Type
Executive Branch
Last Updated
March 21, 2018
Progress:

The Department of Defense (DOD) implemented this action. In March 2017, DOD issued its Pre-positioned War Reserve Materiel (PWRM) Strategic Policy. The Strategic Policyrequires the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy to develop and coordinate planning and resource requirements, such as those found in DOD's Guidance for Employment of theForce and the Defense Planning Guidance, so that war materiel and prepositioned war reserve material are appropriately linked to desired capabilities in support of thenational defense strategy. In addition, the Strategic Policy requires the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics and the DOD component heads tomaintain guidance that includes component-specific requirements for planning and resourcing priorities to address current and future requirements for maintaining prepositionedstocks optimally. This guidance meets the intent of GAO's recommendations and may improve DOD's ability to recognize efficiencies and minimize potentially duplicativeefforts in its prepositioned stocks programs.

Implementing Entity:
Department of Defense
Action 4
Partially Addressed

The Secretary of Defense should ensure that the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Sustainment, in coordination with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, take steps tofully implement joint oversight of the Department of Defense's (DOD) prepositioned stocks programs, including providing detailed information on how to implement such anoversight approach in department guidance and reviewing other joint oversight efforts, in order to synchronize the military services' prepositioned strategies to avoidfragmentation.

Type
Executive Branch
Last Updated
March 31, 2020
Progress:

DOD agreed with GAO's January 2019 recommendation and as of February 2020 had ongoing actions intended to address it. Also, the National Defense Authorization Act for FiscalYear 2020, enacted in December 2019, requires the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Sustainment, in coordination with the Joint Staff, to submit a report to congressionalcommittees on this strategic implementation plan not later than March 1, 2020. On February 25, 2020, DOD published its updated Pre-Positioned War Reserve Materiel StrategicImplementation Plan which lays out a method for joint oversight. Also, on March 2, 2020, DOD submitted this plan to congressional oversight committees. While GAO is encouragedand will monitor DOD's implementation efforts, it is too soon to determine the extent to which these efforts—when completed—will address DOD's fragmented management ofits prepositioned stock programs. To fully address this action, DOD needs to fully implement the joint oversight method outlined in the plan

Implementing Entity:
Department of Defense
Action 5
Addressed

The Secretary of Defense should ensure that the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Sustainment, in coordination with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, update Congresson the department's progress in joint oversight management in its prepositioned stocks annual report or in a separate report.

Type
Executive Branch
Last Updated
March 31, 2020
Progress:

On February 25, 2020, the Department of Defense (DOD) published its updated Pre-Positioned War Reserve Materiel Strategic Implementation Plan which details a Joint OversightFramework. This framework describes the roles and responsibilities that multiple DOD stakeholders have over the prepositioned stocks programs, along with the relatedgovernance structure. In addition, on March 2, 2020, DOD submitted this plan to congressional oversight committees. This action meets the intent of GAO's January 2019recommendation and will inform Congress on the department's progress in joint oversight management.

Implementing Entity:
Department of Defense
GAO Contacts