Centralized Direction Needed for Calibration Program

LCD-77-426: Published: Jun 13, 1977. Publicly Released: Jun 13, 1977.

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Federal agencies use precision measuring and test equipment worth over $2.7 billion, with the military services operating more than 700 calibration facilities, and four major nonmilitary agency users maintaining their own systems at an annual operating cost of about $42 million.

Agencies are reluctant to use other agencies' resources as required by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has directed that each of its 10 centers establish their own calibration system, but no provision is made for central management control. Neither the Federal Aviation Administration nor the Energy Research and Development Administration has a centralized calibration system. The Coast Guard has provided its district offices with instructions describing the essential features of a calibration system, but each district is responsible for devising its own system. The military services, although they continue to operate separate systems, have demonstrated that effective operation can be achieved with central direction. The overall Federal calibration program, which would prove easy to standardize, is poorly coordinated and sometimes duplicates activities.

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