Overview of the Status of the Defense Industrial Base and DOD's Industrial Preparedness Planning

NSIAD-85-69: Published: May 23, 1985. Publicly Released: Jun 24, 1985.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed selected aspects of the Department of Defense's (DOD) requirements for peacetime and war reserve stocks of spare parts and provided an overview of the status of the defense industrial base and DOD industrial preparedness planning.

GAO found that, although a number of studies have expressed concerns about the adequacy of the defense industrial base and its capacity to surge production rates to meet short-term situations, DOD has recently taken actions to revitalize the responsiveness of the defense industrial base and improve industrial preparedness planning. Part of this action requires the military services to annually submit production base analyses (PBA) that show the status of the industrial base and the proposed measures and costs to enhance the industrial base. DOD has encouraged the services to use the contract production surge concept that can substantially reduce: (1) production lead time for critical items in emergency situations; (2) the risk of obsolete parts; and (3) the storage space requirements. Finally, GAO found that the services were losing opportunities to use wartime production capabilities to offset war reserve requirements.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD reemphasized the need to comply with the policy by issuing DOD Instruction 4140.47 and 4503.3. The services and the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) completed PBA, which contain information needed to implement this recommendation. Surveillance to ensure continuing implementation will take place through the OSD annual review of updated PBA prepared by the services and DLA.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should reemphasize and monitor compliance with the DOD policy of requiring the military services to reduce war reserve requirements to reflect contractors' wartime production capabilities.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense


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