Army Actions To Resolve Issues Affecting Procurements of Automated Calibration Equipment

PLRD-83-35: Published: Feb 11, 1983. Publicly Released: Feb 11, 1983.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO provided a followup report on allegations of improper Army procurements for automated calibration equipment by Julie Research Laboratories, Incorporated (JRL).

Since the first report, the Army has performed a number of investigations, studies, and tests to evaluate its calibration and repair program. Two separate Army investigations confirmed the need for accurate workload data and disclosed management problems affecting calibration equipment procurements to such an extent that JRL was misled or adversely affected. Technical teams evaluated the JRL system in a laboratory-type environment, but these evaluations were inconclusive concerning whether the JRL system satisfied field Army needs. After a November 1981 congressional hearing, the Army acknowledged that JRL had not received fair treatment. The Army promised to correct this and conduct a fair and objective test to evaluate various automated calibration systems. To fulfill this promise, the Army asked interested contractors for proposals on a two-step procurement of automatic meter calibration equipment. In the first step, the Army was to buy and test off-the-shelf commercial equipment. In the second step, the Army was to purchase larger quantities of automatic meter calibrators. The Army limited the first solicitation to low accuracy meters only. JRL did not participate in this solicitation because it continues to believe the Army is doing everything possible to avoid purchasing its automated calibration system.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: DOD disagrees with the recommendation because cancellation would be breach of faith with contractors who participated in "buy one and test." The Army has delayed step two for over 2 years and will not finally determine its workload until July 1984.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should cancel the second step of the so-called "buy one and test" two-step procurement of automated meter calibration systems until the issue of whether or not automated calibration equipment to be used in the field Army is economical and effective has been resolved.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army


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