Internal Controls:

Air Force Correcting Weaknesses in Its Property Disposal Practices

NSIAD-88-106: Published: Apr 20, 1988. Publicly Released: May 5, 1988.

Additional Materials:


Louis J. Rodrigues
(202) 512-4841


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

In response to a congressional request, GAO assessed Air Force controls over property disposal practices to determine whether the Air Force: (1) implemented actions to address the major problem areas that the Inspector General identified; (2) revised its controls and procedures to ensure that it no longer sent needed items to disposal prematurely; and (3) should reimpose the disposal moratorium.

GAO found that the Air Force took specific actions to address the problem areas, including: (1) changing policies at wholesale levels to require retention of usable items for the life of the weapon system or other end items they support; (2) increasing retention requirements at the retail level from 12 to 30 months; (3) changing computer programs to reflect the revised retention policies; (4) requiring item managers to initial their disposal authorizations and supervisors to review the authorizations before disposal; (5) developing improved and automated procedures to identify and recall usable items from disposal yards; and (6) developing procedures to prevent premature disposal of noncataloged items. GAO also found that, since the Air Force lifted the moratorium it: (1) has experienced sporadic improper disposal actions; (2) disposed of some documentation of noncataloged items during the required 30-month retention period; (3) has no oversight of retail disposal decisions; and (4) has not conducted supervisory reviews of wholesale item managers' and base supply officials' decisions.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Final changes were incorporated in Air Force Manual AFM 67-1, dated May 8, 1989.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Air Force should: (1) develop policies and procedures for retaining prior user identities of noncataloged items for 30 months after the date of last demand; (2) consider extending, on a sample basis, supervisory review of the wholesale item managers' disposal decisions on excess items reported by base-level activities; and (3) consider requiring supervisory reviews of base supply personnel disposal decisions when computer retention edits are overridden.

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


Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Sep 10, 2020

Sep 9, 2020

Aug 25, 2020

Aug 6, 2020

Jun 17, 2020

Jun 10, 2020

Jun 8, 2020

May 21, 2020

Mar 31, 2020

Looking for more? Browse all our products here