Defense Transportation:

Progress of MTMC Pilot

NSIAD-99-130R: Published: Apr 15, 1999. Publicly Released: Apr 15, 1999.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Military Traffic Management Command's (MTMC) first interim progress report on the Department of Defense's demonstration program (MTMC pilot) to improve personal property shipments of the armed forces, focusing on MTMC's plan for evaluating the: (1) pilot results; and (2) proposed industry alternative called the Commercial-Like Activities for Superior Quality (CLASS) proposal.

GAO noted that: (1) the first interim progress report provides limited information on the status of the pilot program because it only recently began; (2) the report generally describes the methodology for evaluating the program based on 10 goals that were mutually agreed upon by industry and MTMC in 1996 and the definition and measurement of each goal; (3) overall, this approach appears to have merit, however, GAO noted some weaknesses in the methodology that could diminish the quality and credibility of MTMC's evaluation; (4) absent from the methodology is a delineation of roles and responsibilities of participating organizations and information on how the data will be collected, analyzed, and validated; (5) MTMC also does not specify what will constitute success for the pilot, particularly, how much weight each goal will have in determining overall success; (6) the interim progress report also does not provide any detail on how the CLASS proposal, that MTMC was directed by Congress to report on, will be evaluated; (7) such advance determinations would enhance the credibility of the results and avoid any perception of bias; and (8) in recent meetings, MTMC officials have indicated they are making changes to address these weaknesses.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: MTMC prepared an evaluation plan to address methodological weaknesses GAO identified in its first interim progress report to the Congress. The evaluation plan describes how the pilot program and the CLASS proposal will be evaluated based on the 10 goals that were mutually agreed upon by industry and MTMC in 1996. Specifically, it discusses how data will be collected and analyzed, and the relative weight each goal has in determining overall success. The evaluation plan also references information sources and lists the roles and responsibilities of several organizations involved in the pilot and CLASS evaluations, including the DOD Inspector General's role of assessing the data collection process and the cost methodology.

    Recommendation: To address the methodology weaknesses, the Commander, MTMC, should take steps to ensure that, as the methodology is finalized, it include information on how the data will be collected, validated, and analyzed and how success will be determined for the pilot and likely success for the CLASS proposal. Because the pilot is entering its fourth month of operation, it is important that the evaluation methodology be completed in a timely manner.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army: Military Traffic Management Command

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The MTMC support contractor has been providing methodological advice for the duration of the pilot program.

    Recommendation: To ensure a robust, defensible methodology, the MTMC Commander should seek expert methodological advice if a MTMC support contractor is not already providing such assistance.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army: Military Traffic Management Command


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