Department of the Interior:

Bureau of Reclamation Aircraft Should Be Centrally Managed Like Other Interior Aircraft

GGD-90-20: Published: Jan 18, 1990. Publicly Released: Mar 9, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the Bureau of Reclamation's management and administrative use of government aircraft, focusing on whether: (1) the Bureau complied with the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) aircraft ownership, management, and administrative use policies; and (2) there were any reasons why the Department of the Interior's Office of Aircraft Services should not own and centrally manage the Bureau's aircraft, as it did most other Interior aircraft.

GAO found that: (1) the Bureau's regions owned, operated, and used their aircraft for administrative travel without adequately doing annual cost analyses to justify the need and cost-effectiveness of their aircraft; (2) neither Interior nor the Bureau notified the regions of the requirements, issued guidelines for aircraft management, or determined the regions' compliance with governmentwide policies; (3) Interior achieved important benefits from centralized aircraft management in the areas of contracting effectiveness, safety, management information, flight coordination, and cost savings, which the individual offices and bureaus could not provide as cost-effectively; and (4) although the Bureau believed that it should own and manage its own aircraft because its funding fell under different jurisdiction than other Interior offices and its aircraft operating costs would be higher under centralized ownership, Office of Aircraft Services' aircraft management expertise would better ensure that the Bureau would operate and use its aircraft more cost-effectively and comply with recently revised OMB aircraft management policies.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: These actions were taken, effective as of July 1, 1990.

    Recommendation: To better ensure that the Bureau of Reclamation aircraft and aircraft operations are cost-effective, the Secretary of the Interior should require: (1) the Bureau to place its aircraft into the Office of Aircraft Services' (OAS) fleet and seek the Office's assistance in managing them; and (2) Interior's Assistant Secretary for Policy, Budget, and Administration to oversee the Bureau's compliance with OMB aircraft management policies.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Interior


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