Internal Controls:

Air Force Correcting Weaknesses in Its Property Disposal Practices

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

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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


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