Defense Transportation:

Plan Needed for Evaluating the Navy Personal Property Pilot

NSIAD-99-138: Published: Jun 23, 1999. Publicly Released: Jun 23, 1999.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO provided information on the Navy Personal Property Pilot.

GAO noted that: (1) between January 1998 and March 1999, 223 servicemembers have used the pilot program to arrange their own move rather than use the current program; (2) participation has been relatively low compared to the other three pilots under way or planned, which involve substantially more shipments--approximately 1,400 to 45,000 shipments annually; (3) survey data indicate that participants are satisfied with the pilot and would use the option again; (4) because the pilot offers servicemembers a choice between the current program and arranging their own move, implementing the option increases the workload for local personal property officials; (5) the member arranged move option is not featured in any of the other pilots, which are broader in scope and are intended to replace the current program; (6) while the U.S. Transportation Command is responsible for evaluating all of the pilots to determine which one could provide better long-term results, its plan for doing so has not been finalized; and (7) in addition, the U.S. Transportation Command's draft evaluation plan proposes to collect information on the extent the Navy pilot works as an option within the current program at a few Navy sites, which may not provide adequate data to assess the Navy pilot's feasibility or its compatibility with the other pilots' results.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In its response to this report, DOD stated that it concurred with the report and its recommendations. Specifically, DOD stated that, as part of its plan to develop a comprehensive strategy for evaluating each of the pilots, it would determine--in concert with the services--how best to incorporate the features of the Navy pilot into the other pilots. The Department has decided that the best approach is not to include the features of the Navy pilot into other pilots. Instead, the U.S. Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM), which is responsible for overseeing the evaluation process and developing recommendations for a new Department-wide personal property program, will review the results of the Navy's June 1999 report on the SAM pilot (a test period including data from January 1998 and March 1999) as part of the USTRANSCOM review of the pilot programs and the current program. This approach is included in the May 5, 2000 evaluation plan.

    Recommendation: Consistent with the recommendation in GAO's report on the Army's Hunter pilot that the Secretary of Defense develop a comprehensive strategy for testing each of the approaches, the Secretary of Defense, in developing this strategy, should consider testing the Navy pilot and its unique features in conjunction with one or more of the other pilots. Doing so would test the Navy pilot in an environment that is more consistent with the changes being considered and likely to be implemented.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense


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