Defense Supply Agency Could Reduce War Reserve Requirements for Medical Items

LCD-76-405: Published: Mar 5, 1976. Publicly Released: Mar 5, 1976.

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The Defense Supply Agency is responsible for insuring that medical supplies and equipment will be available to the military services in the event of war. This preparedness entails determining wartime needs and making arrangements for their supply by establishing stock reserves and making emergency production agreements with private firms.

The Agency had not given adequate emphasis to managing wartime needs for medical supplies and equipment. A management plan, sufficient resources to adequately canvass industry, and adequate technical assistance had not been provided to carry out the program. As a result: medical items readily available from commercial sources were not identified; planning agreements for most medical items classified as requiring emergency production by private firms had either not been implemented or provided insufficient quantities to meet wartime needs; and reserve stocks for medical items requiring emergency production agreements were overstated. The Agency's method of determining needs resulted in an extraordinary allowance for possible problems with the supply system.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Agency should develop and implement a management plan which provides guidance and goals and a means of evaluating the industrial preparedness planning program. The plan should provide for: (1) periodically canvassing the medical supply industry, (2) encouraging program participation by potential suppliers, (3) establishing realistic post M-day production schedules, (4) determining war reserve stock requirements, and (5) making use of available staff resources and expertise to review and classify the medical items as to their commercial availability and interchangeability. The method of determining an allowance for possible problems with the supply system in an emergency should be changed.

    Agency Affected:


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