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The cost of a ship's crew is the single largest incurred over the ship's life cycle. One way to lower personnel costs, and thus the cost of ownership, is to use people only when it is cost-effective--a determination made with a systems engineering approach called human systems integration. GAO was asked to evaluate the Navy's progress in optimizing the crew size in four ships being developed and acquired: the DD(X) destroyer, T-AKE cargo ship, JCC(X) command ship, and LHA(R) amphibious assault ship. GAO assessed (1) the Navy's use of human systems integration principles and goals for reducing crew size, and (2) the factors that may impede the Navy's use of those principles.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of the Navy To ensure that the nation's multibillion-dollar investment in Navy ships maximizes military capability and sailor performance at the lowest feasible total ownership cost, the Secretary of the Navy should develop and implement mandatory policies on human systems integration requirements, standards, and milestones. Specifically, for each new system the Navy plans to acquire, the Secretary of the Navy should require that a human systems integration assessment be performed as concepts for the system are developed and alternative concepts are evaluated.
Closed - Implemented
DOD concurred with our recommendation and the Navy developed a new program called SEAPRINT (Systems Engineering, Acquisition and PeRsonnel INTegration). SEAPRINT provides the mechanism whereby programs perform human systems integration (HSI) as concepts for the programs are developed and alternatives are evaluated. The Navy developed formal policy documentation in its instruction for system requirements and acquisitions that mandates human systems integration be addressed in a specific plan before the acquisition's earliest milestone, in the initial capabilities document and the capabilities development document, that assessments performed as part of concept exploration and development and be updated prior to all subsequent milestones.
Department of the Navy To ensure that the nation's multibillion-dollar investment in Navy ships maximizes military capability and sailor performance at the lowest feasible total ownership cost, the Secretary of the Navy should develop and implement mandatory policies on human systems integration requirements, standards, and milestones. Specifically, for each new system the Navy plans to acquire, the Secretary of the Navy should require that human systems integration analyses, including trade-off studies of design alternatives, be used to establish an optimized crew size goal that will become a key performance parameter in the program's requirements document.
Closed - Implemented
DOD concurred with our recommendation and the Navy modified the instruction governing system requirements and acquisitions to state that program sponsors should assume a default consideration for supportability and manpower Key Performance Parameters (KPPs) and that initial capabilities documents shall address all eight human systems integration domains. The Navy has been establishing manpower KPPs for new ships such as Maritime Prepositioning Force (Future) and the littoral combat ship.
Department of the Navy To ensure that the nation's multibillion-dollar investment in Navy ships maximizes military capability and sailor performance at the lowest feasible total ownership cost, the Secretary of the Navy should develop and implement mandatory policies on human systems integration requirements, standards, and milestones. Specifically, for each new system the Navy plans to acquire, the Secretary of the Navy should require that human systems integration assessments be updated prior to all subsequent milestones.
Closed - Implemented
We recommended that the Secretary of the Navy develop and implement mandatory policies on human systems integration requirements, standards, and milestones. Specifically, for each new system the Navy plans to acquire, the Secretary of the Navy should require that human systems integration assessments be updated prior to all subsequent milestones. DOD concurred with our recommendation. Navy policies now call for human systems integration assessments updates prior to all acquisition milestones. Navy policy notes that program managers and sponsors throughout all phases of the acquisition process will address human systems integration requirements and assessments and to enhance system design and warfighting capabilities, reduce life cycle ownership costs, and optimize total system performance.
Department of the Navy To strengthen the Naval Sea Systems Command's role in promoting the use of human systems integration for new ship systems, the Secretary of the Navy should require the command to clarify the Human Systems Integration Directorate's role in and process for certifying that ships and systems delivered to the fleet optimize ship crewing.
Closed - Implemented
We recommended that the Secretary of the Navy require the Naval Sea Systems Command to clarify the Human Systems Integration Directorate's role in and process for certifying that ships and systems delivered to the fleet optimize ship crewing. DOD concurred with our recommendation. The Navy has assigned HSI Warranted Technical and Certification Authority for ships to Directorate. The Directorate has developed HSI criteria and top-level human performance metrics in order to exercise its technical authority and perform certification functions. Additional responsibilities include certifying in writing that new acquisition programs have carried out effective HSI activities; providing technical assistance to program managers and ship designers; providing HSI tools, processes, methods and data; monitoring implementation efforts across the command; and coordinating command HSI policy.
Department of the Navy To facilitate the review of possibly outdated policies and procedures as new labor-saving innovations are identified through human systems integration efforts, the Secretary of the Navy should require that the Naval Sea Systems Command's Human Systems Integration Directorate establish a process to evaluate or revise existing policies and procedures that may impede innovation in all new ship acquisitions.
Closed - Implemented
To facilitate the review of possibly outdated policies and procedures as new labor-saving innovations are identified through human systems integration efforts, we recommended that the Secretary of the Navy should require that the Naval Sea Systems Command's Human Systems Integration Directorate establish a process to evaluate or revise existing policies and procedures that may impede innovation in all new ship acquisitions. DOD concurred with our recommendation. The Navy has formally established a process to examine and facilitate the adoption of labor-saving technologies and best practices across Navy systems. It developed a new human systems integration clearinghouse (the HSI Clearinghouse for Issues and Policy), implemented a pilot study using the clearinghouse, and involved stakeholders from across the Navy.

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