Logistics Management:

Issues for Planning

PLRD-81-32: Published: Jun 8, 1981. Publicly Released: Jun 8, 1981.

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The Federal Government owns many billions of dollars of material subject to logistics management functions ranging from determining and satisfying needs to disposal of material no longer needed. GAO examined the current and emerging issues relating to the government's management of these functions.

The logistics management issue area encompasses all of those functions that are required as a result of the government's ownership or use of property other than real property. Consequently, it includes such functions or processes as: (1) determining and satisfying needs; (2) managing inventories; (3) storage and preservation; (4) distribution and transportation; (5) utilization; (6) maintenance and repair; (7) disposal; and (8) cataloging and standardization. Effective and efficient management of logistics functions is, to a large degree, dependent upon establishing and implementing suitable policies, doing adequate front-end planning for logistics support of major equipment systems, maintaining accurate and useful management information systems, and independently reviewing operations and identifying needed improvements. The importance of this issue area is obvious when one considers the magnitude of the dollars involved and the fact that the way the government manages its material affects the cost and effectiveness of virtually all government programs. Many of the problems pertinent to this issue area are grounded in parochialism and resistance to change. Often new concepts of performing various functions are accepted on a theoretical basis, but little emphasis is given to getting them implemented. The magnitude of this issue area is not likely to change substantially during the next 3 to 5 year period.

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