The Strategic and Critical Materials Stockpile Will Be Deficient for Many Years

EMD-78-82: Published: Jul 27, 1978. Publicly Released: Jul 27, 1978.

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The United States stockpiles 93 strategic and critical materials (metals, ores, and drugs) currently valued at about $8.6 billion at 117 locations throughout the country. The General Services Administration's (GSA) Federal Preparedness Agency (FPA) is responsible for planning, programing, and reporting on the stockpile. The National Security Council gives FPA guidance for developing stockpile policy. The Federal Supply Service (FSS) is responsible for purchasing, storing, maintaining, transferring, rotating, distributing, and protecting the materials. The estimated material requirements goals were increased for 72 of the 98 stockpile materials as of October 1, 1976.

The present inventory of many materials is far short of the goals. Shortages totaling $7 billion exist for 51 materials, including 33 for which insufficient inventory is on hand to meet even the highest priority needs. As long as goals remain at the present level, the timeframe for attainment will be quite lengthy--15 or more years for many items. Attainment has been hampered by such factors as: an acquisition policy concerned primarily with avoiding market disruptions, limiting the dollar value of acquisitions to less than the value of disposals, continued disposals of needed materials under long-term sales contracts, loans of materials which reduce the available inventory needed to satisfy goals, and budgetary constraints. The practice of reporting goals as being satisfied by subspecification inventory significantly overstates stockpile readiness.

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  • budget icon, source: GAO

    State and Local Governments' Fiscal Outlook:

    2019 Update
    GAO-20-269SP: Published: Dec 19, 2019. Publicly Released: Dec 19, 2019.

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