DOD Procurement:

Changes to Military Specifications for Testing Industrial Fasteners

NSIAD-91-84: Published: Dec 21, 1990. Publicly Released: Jan 24, 1991.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed proposed changes to the military specifications for testing the quality of class-3 threaded fasteners, focusing on whether the: (1) Air Force followed proper procedures for changing the specifications; and (2) military services followed appropriate competitive procedures for purchasing the gages required to implement the proposed changes.

GAO found that the Air Force: (1) followed applicable Department of Defense regulations for changing testing specifications and making them more stringent; (2) justified the specification changes based on its belief that poor quality fasteners had caused some military aircraft accidents; (3) did not evaluate the cost impact of the changed specifications, although fastener industry representatives believed that the proposed changes would result in cost increases; and (4) and the Navy followed appropriate competitive procurement procedures when purchasing the required gages, although some gage manufacturers alleged that unnecessarily restrictive specifications favored a single manufacturer.

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