Interim Observations on Effectiveness of DOD's Manufacturing Technology Program

AFMD-83-105: Published: Sep 28, 1983. Publicly Released: Sep 28, 1983.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the effectiveness of the Department of Defense's (DOD) Manufacturing Technology (MT) program.

GAO stated that the primary objective of the MT program is to improve productivity and reduce DOD acquisition costs. The program provides funds for demonstrations of new or improved manufacturing processes, techniques, or equipment in defense contractor and DOD-owned manufacturing facilities. DOD and the military services have acted since 1979 to increase the probability that MT project results will be used in production and to evaluate the results achieved under the MT program. However, the steps taken only increase the likelihood that defense systems will benefit; there is no guarantee that this will occur. Despite evaluation efforts by the military services and the Office of the Secretary of Defense, DOD still has no uniform system to readily ascertain how the results of all completed MT projects were used and what actual benefits were realized. While the primary goal of the MT program relates to defense production, DOD and the military services have various mechanisms which provide opportunities to diffuse MT-generated technology beyond the defense establishment, including end-of-project demonstrations and technical publications. In addition, DOD is attempting to establish an MT information analysis center to more effectively transmit MT project results to defense contractors and others in the public and private sectors. GAO found that the MT program appears to enjoy solid support from the defense contractor community.

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