Productivity Measurement in the Defense Logistics Agency Must Be Supported, Improved, and Used

FGMSD-80-41: Published: Apr 18, 1980. Publicly Released: Apr 18, 1980.

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Tight budgets and high inflation make it essential that Government agencies obtain the greatest output possible from their resources. In order to achieve productivity improvement, agencies need an effective productivity measurement system. The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) has one of the best-designed measurement systems in the Government. Thus, a study was undertaken concerning the adequacy of efforts by DLA to use productivity and work measurement data in budgeting and staff management.

In reviewing the productivity measurement system of DLA, GAO found that DLA does not derive full benefits from the system because it fails to use data based on productivity and work measures in budgeting. Moreover, DLA barely uses such data for other management purposes. Additionally, limited management attention to the system has caused deficiencies which affect its credibility and use. Further, GAO found that budget review authorities are not requesting or using productivity data where such measurements were possible. Although some of the problems that DLA has which affect the productivity measurement system's usage could be corrected by the new work standards program of DLA, the program currently has serious management weaknesses which affect data credibility.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Matter: To assure improvement in the productivity measurement system of DLA the Subcommittee on Defense, House Appropriations Committee, should require DLA to: (1) provide the Subcommittee with definitive plans for timely implementation of the new work performance standards program; and (2) submit, as part of its budget package, information on the progress in implementing the program and on the extent to which budgeted resource requirements are based on valid work measurement data.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Director of DLA should ensure that the productivity measurement system is effectively used by managers at all levels by: (1) improving the measurement system methodology for providing summary and program standards and establishing controls over the accuracy and validity of reported data to ensure that correct data is available for performance evaluation and resource determinations; (2) assessing the status of the new work performance standards program with a view toward more timely implementation and assuring better planning and controls for its proper development and maintenance; (3) requiring that data from the system be integrated into the programming and budgeting systems and routinely used for those purposes as well as for making other staff management decisions; (4) assuring that supervisors and managers are trained for their roles in work measurement data usage; (5) supporting the use of work measurement data by incorporating the Civil Service Reform Act's provisions on appraisals and rewards into the measurement system and requiring that other actions be taken to encourage supervisors and managers to use measurement data; (6) providing sufficient guidance and encouragement to the field activities' measurement system staffs and clarifying those staffs' roles and functions, and (7) requiring that measurement system managers establish adequate monitoring and control mechanisms to assure that measurement system personnel are appropriately utilized and that the measurement system is used continuously. Additionally, the Secretary of Defense and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget should require their budget examiners to formally request and utilize such work-measurement-based productivity data, as can be developed in their budget reviews.

    Agency Affected:


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