Depot Maintenance:

Problems in Procuring Helicopter Parts Result in Shortages and Added Costs

GGD-88-20: Published: Dec 17, 1987. Publicly Released: Feb 9, 1988.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the impact of and circumstances surrounding repair parts shortages at the Corpus Christi Army Depot, focusing on: (1) helicopter maintenance; (2) reasons for the shortages; and (3) actions the Army is taking to overcome the problems.

GAO found that: (1) due to increasing shortages of repair parts, aircraft maintenance and labor costs have increased significantly, resulting in a decrease of available aircraft; (2) in 1985, depot officials estimated a $24 million increase in labor costs for overhauling helicopters because of repair parts shortages; (3) in January 1987, the depot was averaging about 393 parts shortages, affecting approximately 600 programs; (4) the Army Aviation System Command (AVSCOM) lacked effective management control to ensure that parts were timely ordered, manufactured, and delivered; (5) the Army Materiel Command (AMC) estimated that Army-wide parts shortages increased labor costs in 1985 by 10 to 15 percent; (6) AVSCOM inspected only 128 of 700 parts manufactured in 1986 because of shortages in staff and travel funds; and (7) the Army plans to improve its management control to track procurements and alert managers of any delays in the procurement process.

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