Defense Inventory: Information on the Use of Spare Parts Funding Is Lacking

GAO-01-472 Published: Jun 11, 2001. Publicly Released: Jun 11, 2001.
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In recent years, Congress has provided the military with additional funding to address the shortage of spare parts. This report provides information on how the funding was used and how the Department of Defense (DOD) plans to improve its financial information on spare parts funding. GAO found that the $1.1 billion earmarked for spare parts in the 1999 appropriations act was placed in military services' operation and maintenance accounts. However, DOD did not separately track the use of these funds, which could have been used for other purposes. As a result, DOD plans to annually develop detailed financial management information on spare parts funding uses. Implementation of DOD's plan should increase visibility and accountability for the use of spare parts funds. The plan should also help to determine the extent to which progress is being made in addressing spare parts shortages. Such information, when developed through a reliable and consistent methodology, would also be useful for congressional decision making and oversight. However, DOD does not plan to provide this information to Congress.

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Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Defense Continuing concerns about the impact of spare parts shortages on readiness make reliable and timely information about the use of funds for spare parts essential for effective congressional oversight. Therefore, the Secretary of Defense should routinely provide to the Congress, as an integral part of the operation and maintenance budget submission, the spare parts information required by the Department's revised regulation associated with the justification for operation and maintenance appropriations.
Closed – Implemented
The Department has included the additional spare parts information in the most recent budget justification documents.

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