Defense Inventory:

Trends in Services' Spare Parts Purchased from the Defense Logistics Agency

GAO-02-452: Published: Apr 30, 2002. Publicly Released: Apr 30, 2002.

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The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) reported that a shortage of spare parts has caused a decline in the military services' readiness, particularly in aviation readiness. In response, Congress provided $1.1 billion in additional funding to purchase spare parts. According to DLA, shortages are a result of aging systems and high operational tempo, which increase the total number of spare parts required. The number of spare parts the military services ordered declined between 1996 and 2000, but the dollar value increased by 18 percent. Further, spare parts purchased were drawn from 70 of 78 stock groups. Defense officials told GAO that military downsizing was the primary reason for the decline and that credit card usage and contractor maintenance support also contributed. The reasons cited for the increase were (1) DLA shifts to a mix of more expensive spare parts and (2) price increases due to inaccurate initial price estimates, long periods between procurements, and substantial changes in the quantity of spare parts purchased.

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