Army Maintenance:

Continuing Problems in Performing Maintenance at the User Level

NSIAD-87-104: Published: Apr 24, 1987. Publicly Released: Apr 24, 1987.

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GAO reported on the Army's problems in maintaining equipment at the user level and evaluated the effectiveness of its organizational maintenance program.

GAO found that the Army is not effectively maintaining its equipment at maximum mission capability at the lowest cost because personnel: (1) are not detecting and reporting most equipment deficiencies; (2) are not performing routine maintenance; (3) have inadequate training and supervision; (4) do not have access to necessary repair parts; (5) are not maintaining organizational maintenance records properly; (6) are not using diagnostic equipment to isolate and identify vehicle failures; and (7) do not compile and summarize inspection results for submission to upper management. GAO concluded that higher level managers need to receive periodic summaries of inspection reports to identify the existence and impact of organizational maintenance problems so that management is assured of materiel availability and has a basis for instituting corrective actions.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The following actions have been completed, or are in process: (1) development of training courses; (2) establishment of automatic data processing (ADP) systems to enhance reporting; and (3) establishment of proposed PMCS teams.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should reemphasize to commanders at all levels the importance of maintenance in supporting an effective combat force, and direct the commanders to ensure that: (1) equipment operators and maintenance personnel are properly supervised and trained in the correct procedures and practices; (2) maintenance personnel are properly trained on and required to use test, measurement, and diagnostic equipment; and (3) equipment operators and maintenance personnel are held accountable for and evaluated on how well they perform their assigned duties.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Army regulations were revised to incorporate this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should: (1) direct the Army Inspector General to evaluate the causes of inadequate equipment status reporting and determine why the Army has not corrected the long-standing maintenance problems; and (2) direct subordinate commands to summarize and provide maintenance data to major commands so as to identify organizational maintenance problems and trends.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army


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