Coast Guard Resources

T-RCED-88-28: Published: Mar 22, 1988. Publicly Released: Mar 22, 1988.

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GAO discussed the adequacy of the Coast Guard's resources. GAO found that: (1) although the Coast Guard's budget increased more than 50 percent since 1980, it actually declined when adjusted for inflation; (2) about two-thirds of the budget was devoted to operating expenses; (3) the 1988 appropriation of $267 million was the lowest since 1980, even though the Coast Guard requested $500 to $600 million to maintain its capital base; (4) although the Coast Guard stated in 1980 that it would need 35,000 more full-time personnel by 1991, its personnel levels remained static; (5) inadequate training jeopardized the Coast Guard's ability to carry out its peacetime and military roles; (6) a shortage of funds for maintenance, parts, and equipment reduced its vessel capability; and (7) the Coast Guard estimated that it has a $1-billion backlog of projects to restore or replace inadequate facilities. GAO believes that the Coast Guard should: (1) develop an overall determination of its staffing needs; and (2) assess its current missions to determine how it can best apply its limited resources.

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