Information on the Accuracy of Defense Manpower Requirements

NSIAD-86-87BR: Published: Mar 26, 1986. Publicly Released: Mar 26, 1986.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO analyzed the defense manpower-requirements programs to assess the degree to which the services' policies and procedures for determining manpower needs accurately identify the quality and quantity of manpower required for national defense.

GAO found that: (1) the Navy's application of staffing standards exists for only a third to a half of its shore-based positions; (2) the Navy's ship manpower program appears to be an overstatement of its needs; (3) the Navy's squadron manpower requirements are not covered by any staffing standards and may be overstated; (4) the Marine Corps' manpower-requirements program needs significant improvement, since the process used to establish the manpower structure is unsystematic and highly reactive to fiscal and manpower constraints and lacks documentation; (5) although the Army programs are undergoing a major overhaul, its worker-availability factors are lower than the Air Force's and could result in higher manpower requirements because more workers are needed to accomplish a given amount of work; and (6) the Air Force's manpower requirements are misstated as a result of its use of inaccurate workload data in the annual application of staffing standards. While Department of Defense officials recognize that some problems exist and some refinements could be made, they believe that the services' processes for determining manpower requirements are basically very good.

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