Spare Parts Initiatives Air Force Implementation

NSIAD-87-28: Published: Feb 13, 1987. Publicly Released: Mar 17, 1987.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Department of Defense's (DOD) progress in implementing its spare parts initiatives, specifically spare parts acquisition at the San Antonio Air Logistics Center, including: (1) information on price growth; (2) an evaluation of the adequacy of the price analysis procurement officials perform; (3) an assessment of the personnel changes made in response to the initiatives; and (4) ways to improve implementing selected initiatives.

GAO found that, since its previous review: (1) there was an 18.9-percent increase in procurements with decreased or unchanged prices, a decrease in procurements with higher prices, and a decrease of 48 percent in procurements with price increases of 25 percent or more; (2) the changes in spare parts prices were probably the result of lower inflation, economic improvement, and adverse media publicity; (3) procurement officials have improved their price analyses, but there is room for further improvement since price growths of 25 percent or more should prompt close scrutiny; and (4) in response to the spare parts initiatives, Air Force procurement officials shifted the emphasis from productivity to quality price analyses, hired and trained additional personnel, and revised performance appraisals to emphasize quality of pricing and competitive procurement. GAO also found that the Voluntary Refund Program and purchase request consolidation for items purchased repetitively are areas that need improvement to better achieve the intent of the spare parts initiatives.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: An accomplishement report will be prepared as time permits. The Air Force issued guidance reaffirming the role of the competition advocates.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Air Force should reestablish the requirement for competition advocates to make referrals for voluntary refunds when appropriate.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Air Force

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Secretary of the Air Force is in the process of issuing guidance on resolving voluntary refund referrals in a timely fashion. The Air Force issued guidance to major commands emphasizing timely pursuit of voluntary refunds.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Air Force should direct the Directorates of Contracting and Manufacturing to resolve referrals in a timely manner.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Air Force


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