More Direction Needed To Establish a Uniform Depot Maintenance Accounting System

FGMSD-78-35: Published: May 22, 1978. Publicly Released: May 22, 1978.

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Over the past 15 years, the Department of Defense (DOD) has made several unsuccessful attempts to establish a uniform depot maintenance cost accounting system.

The most recent attempt to establish such a system, begun in 1975, has met with substantial difficulties in its implementation stage. The scheduled startup date, October 1976 at Air Force depots, has been delayed, and an interim system does not provide for the allocation of actual direct labor. Implementation of this part of the system may take 3 more years. The new system as now used at Army and Navy maintenance depots is not producing uniform cost accounting data because these services are continuing to use diversified approaches in developing such data. A uniform system would enable DOD management officials to assess the effectiveness of depot maintenance operations which cost several billion dollars in fiscal year 1976. Problems identified in implementing a uniform cost accounting system were: (1) lack of sufficiently comprehensive guidelines to preclude the use of widely varying methods of computing and reporting costs; (2) lack of leadership to ensure that managers knew the objectives and uses of the system; and (3) failure of depots to follow the DOD handbook.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should have Assistant Secretaries: (1) establish a focal point to oversee system implementation and respond decisively to problems which might compromise the comparability of the cost system at different depots; and (2) provide more complete instructions to depots and limit interpretations of the instructions so that services will follow the same cost accounting procedures.

    Agency Affected:


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