Air Force Civil Engineer Cost Accounting System Reports Should Be Used More Effectively

FGMSD-80-12: Published: Jan 16, 1980. Publicly Released: Jan 16, 1980.

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GAO reviewed the Air Force Civil Engineer Cost Accounting System at three installations and found that personnel management could be enhanced if several cost reports produced by the system were effectively used.

GAO found that base civil engineer officials were not analyzing the civil engineer cost reports in depth. Air Force regulations did not require analyses of staff-hour variances, and base civil engineers did not feel that formal post analyses of projects were necessary. They believed their continuous monitoring of projects enabled them to identify problems as they occurred and to correct them. Yet, the reports of planned and actual labor-hours on base projects continually showed significant differences between planned and actual hours. The engineers felt they had little or no control over the reasons they believed were causing the labor-hour overruns. They stated that the airmen assigned to them often did not have the necessary skills to do the work efficiently and that the grade level of planners was too low to attract qualified persons. The officials could not document these reasons but felt that an objective analysis would disclose them as the primary causes of the variance. GAO felt that better use of the reports could lead to more realistic work schedules and increased work force efficiency. This, in turn, could aid in reducing the large and growing backlog of civil engineer projects.

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