DOD's Materiel Readiness Report to the Congress--Improvements Needed To Better Show the Link Between Funding and Readiness

LCD-80-5: Published: Oct 12, 1979. Publicly Released: Oct 12, 1979.

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In April 1979 a discussion paper provided Congress with comments on the Department of Defense's (DOD) annual materiel readiness report. A report amplified and expanded on the information given to Congress in the discussion paper. DOD had made little progress in linking funding and materiel readiness and had not achieved an adequate materiel readiness report for Congress. DOD attributed this to the size and complexity of the task. In 1977, DOD established a Readiness Management Steering Group (RMSG) to guide, coordinate, and plan funding and readiness link studies in the armed services. Because RMSG did not adequately perform its function, the studies completed in the following 2 years were done independently, employed varying standards of measurement, were not related to one another, and were therefore unproductive.

There were several problems in the second DOD materiel readiness report which had to be resolved before DOD could provide Congress with reliable projections. These arose from failure by DOD to determine the link between readiness and funding, to show the tradeoff between funding for maintenance and supply, and to establish reporting criteria. It was therefore determined that the DOD materiel readiness report did not adequately meet the objectives of providing Congress with reliable projected readiness data based on funds requested to enable better funding decisions for readiness.

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