Centralized Ammunition Management--A Goal Not Yet Achieved

LCD-80-1: Published: Nov 26, 1979. Publicly Released: Nov 26, 1979.

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To streamline conventional ammunition management, the Department of Defense (DOD) designated the Secretary of the Army as single manager. GAO examined records and interviewed officials involved in ammunition management at various military locations to determine the managerial and organizational changes needed to enhance further implementation of the single manager concept.

If the Secretary of the Army had more control and a stronger position, millions of dollars could be saved and a system capable of providing the intensive management essential during a war would result. Currently, control over ammunition management is fragmented between the single manager and the services. Attempts to eliminate this fragmentation have encountered stiff resistance from the services. In addition to more control, the single manager's position needs to be strengthened. Joint service participation needs to be increased, communication channels need improvement, and the organization needs to be elevated with its responsibility limited to ammunition. The matter of funding single manager programs must also be resolved.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: To provide the single manager more control over management, the Secretary of Defense should: assign all conventional ammunition items to the single manager; make the single manager responsible for procuring and/or producing all conventional ammunition items which have passed from research and development into production, regardless of the production quantity; make the single manager responsible for establishing, modifying, maintaining, modernizing, and disposing of all conventional ammunition production capacity, including initial production facilities; require the services to transfer all funds appropriated for ammunition procurement to the single manager upon receipt from the Office of the Secretary of Defense; authorize the single manager to review and approve the services' 5-year defense programs to acheive procurement economies and optimum use of the ammunition production base; require the single manager to review and approve all funding requests for enhancing ammunition production facilities retained by the services; assign responsibility to the single manager for operating a single national inventory control point and a national maintenance point to provide D0D-wide integrated inventory and maintenance management; designate the single manager as owner of the ammunition in the wholesale inventory; require the single manager to apply the principles of vertical stock management for inventory management; and direct the Secretary of the Army to assign the project manager for production base modernization and expansion to the single manager, after the single manager's organization is strengthened. To strengthen the single manager organization, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to establish a Department of the Army level activity to manage ammunition. The Secretary of Defense should also provide the Army with sufficient funds to cover the additional costs in carrying out the single manager functions.

    Agency Affected:


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