Allegations of Improper Procurements by Army Metrology and Calibration Center

PLRD-81-16: Published: Apr 3, 1981. Publicly Released: Apr 3, 1981.

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GAO reviewed allegations by Julie Research Laboratories that operations at the U.S. Army Metrology and Calibration Center were inefficient and wasteful and that the Center's procurement practices were restrictive.

GAO found that: (1) the Army, contrary to what it told Julie Laboratory, has both laboratory and field requirements for automated calibration equipment; and (2) the Army's technical evaluations of Julie Laboratory's equipment appear to be based on some questionable conclusions and assumptions and largely ignore favorable impressions by Army representatives who saw the equipment in operation. The Army's assertion that Julie Laboratory's system is not unique or new to the industry nor state of the art is inconsistent with reports from system owners. Neither Julie Laboratory nor the Army performed operational testing of the system in a mobile van. GAO could not verify the Army's or Julie Laboratory's cost analyses because both used estimated workload data and other unsupported assumptions. The Departments of Defense and the Army need to reexamine the field Army requirements for calibration equipment and need to test various equipment in the operating environment.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status:

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should require that an independent hardware demonstration be conducted to establish the cost effectiveness and productivity increases that may be attributed to automating the field Army calibration functions.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status:

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to: (1) develop accurate workload data on field Army calibrations because reliable data is needed to validate equipment requirements; and (2) reexamine equipment capabilities to determine the extent to which automated equipment can replace manual equipment in field Army calibration units.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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