The Navy's Shore Requirements, Standards, and Manpower Planning System (Shorstamps)--Does the Navy Really Want It?

FPCD-80-29: Published: Feb 7, 1980. Publicly Released: Feb 7, 1980.

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Congressional committees have criticized the Navy for its lack of an acceptable manpower planning program for shore establishments which use over half the Navy's personnel. The Navy recognized the need for such a program in 1972, and began work on a new system called SHORSTAMPS (Shore Requirements, Standards, and Manpower Planning System). SHORSTAMPS is a comprehensive functional approach for determining manpower needs. The purpose of SHORSTAMPS is to determine the minimum quantity and quality of positions each shore activity needs to accomplish its assigned mission. SHORSTAMPS has four specific objectives: (1) determine, document, and maintain quantitative and qualitative manpower requirements necessary to perform Navy support missions ashore; (2) relate manpower requirements with a high degree of credibility; (3) redistribute manpower resources according to variations in the kind and amount of work to be done; and (4) provide management capability to assist major users of manpower in their planning and programming. Congress has continually expressed its interest in SHORSTAMPS. In June 1976, the House and Senate Armed Services Committees directed the Navy to accelerate the program and to periodically report on its progress. As a result, the Navy established a new time schedule, and estimated that 70 percent of the shore population would be under SHORSTAMPS standards by the end of the fiscal year 1987.

If additional resources are not provided, it is unlikely that SHORSTAMPS standards development and implementation will be completed within the Navy's time frame. SHORSTAMPS' slow progress is the result of a lack of top Navy management's commitment. This lack of commitment is apparent by the Navy's failure to develop and approve a comprehensive plan for administering and integrating SHORSTAMPS into Navy practice. Moreover, continuity of effort and program accountability are burdened by obstructions to manpower and personnel manager professionalism caused by Navy's personnel rotation practices and deficiencies in its civilian career management program. Consequently, SHORSTAMPS has been beset by critical problems that have hindered its development and implementation, including: (1) inadequate program accountability and decisionmaking stability; (2) insufficient funds and people; (3) high turnover of trained and experienced personnel; (4) major problems in the shore-required operational capability subsystem; (5) inadequate training and assistance for users; and (6) lack of tested and approved implementation procedures. The key to SHORSTAMPS' implementation is the development and approval of a comprehensive plan which should aid Navy headquarters and the Congress in: defining short-term and long-term goals and the necessary resources; identifying the magnitude and priorities of program activities; measuring the program's progress; identifying problem areas early and resolving them; establishing accountability at all management levels; and evaluating the program's effectiveness.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: In view of the Navy's past performance on the SHORSTAMPS program, the Secretary of Defense, with the Secretary of the Navy's assistance, should complete the development, approval, and execution of a comprehensive plan that includes: (1) clearly defined short-term and long-term objectives and responsibilities and realistic estimates of necessary resources; (2) identification of the magnitude and priorities of program activities, including the standards reports to be developed and implemented and approved procedures; and (3) provisions for realistically measuring program progress and assessing program effectiveness. In addition, to retain SHORSTAMPS institutional expertise and to establish and facilitate accountability for implementing staffing standards, the Secretary of Defense should require the Navy to: (1) establish both manpower and personnel management career fields for military personnel and establish viable and complete career management systems for civilians in both manpower and personnel functions; (2) consolidate all manpower management functions and responsibilities for military and civilian personnel Navy-wide and assign one office the authority to redistribute resources; and (3) develop and use a control system which defines the responsibilities of headquarters officials and commanders at local shore establishments and provides for a common database that can be used to meet the manpower and budgeting needs of managers at all levels.

    Agency Affected:


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