Improving Productivity Through Better Management Of Maintenance Operations In Europe

LCD-75-401: Published: Mar 7, 1975. Publicly Released: Mar 7, 1975.

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GAO reviewed the Army's management of direct- and general-support activities of the V and VII Corps and the 1st Support Brigade in Germany.

GAO noted that: (1) the Army needs to better coordinate its maintenance activities in Europe; (2) as of January 1974, the Army had estimated it would cost $34 million to repair vehicle components scheduled for contractor-operated depot maintenance plants in Europe during fiscal years 1974-1975; (3) most of these components could be repaired at a lower cost by general-support maintenance activities staffed by military personnel; (4) during 1973 general-support activities in Europe had 1.2 million unused staff-hours available, estimated to cost over $3.5 million; (5) during fiscal year 1975 the Army in Europe had an estimated $6.8 million backlog of depot overhaul programs for which funds were not available; (6) shifting some programs done at depots to general-support activities would make better use of military mechanics and would free funds and depot skills for unfunded programs; (7) after GAO advised Army officials of this situation, they transferred several programs to general-support activities, effective July 1, 1974; (8) also, repairs which should have been done at the direct-support level were done at the general-support level; (9) both direct- and general-support activities took too long to repair and return urgently needed equipment to combat forces in Europe; (10) some reasons for these delays were: (a) maintenance managers did not effectively control their shops; (b) repair parts were not available because of inadequate stock management; (c) mechanics did not use even half of their available time to repair equipment; and (d) mechanics were not assigned to work they were trained to do; and (11) managers had no system for evaluating performance, so they could not identify and correct problems or plan workloads.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should encourage the Army to improve maintenance management in Europe by: (1) determining and using existing military capability before assigning maintenance programs to contractor-operated depot-level facilities; (2) doing maintenance work at the lowest authorized level unless the work is beyond the capability of that level; (3) insuring a good supply of repair parts by improving stock management at all levels in Europe; and (4) improving information available to maintenance managers at all levels, to enable effective workload planning and performance evaluations.

    Agency Affected:


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