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Highlights

Despite reporting $10.5 billion in appropriations spent on spare parts since fiscal year 2000, the Air Force continues to report shortages of spare parts. The service has taken numerous actions to address these shortages. GAO examined whether the Air Force's strategic plan addresses the mitigation of spare parts shortages, whether key initiatives are likely to mitigate the shortages, and the impact on readiness identified from increased investments for spare parts.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Defense 1. The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Air Force to incorporate the Air Force Strategic Plan's performance measures and targets into the subordinate Logistics Support Plan and the Supply Strategic Plan.
Closed - Implemented
DOD responded that its Air Force Directorate of Innovation and Transformation is developing a balanced scorecard and supporting metrics to measure performance that meets the intent of GAO's recommendation.
Department of Defense 2. The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Air Force to commit to start those remaining initiatives needed to address the causes of spare parts shortages or clearly identify how the initiatives have been incorporated into those initiatives already underway.
Closed - Not Implemented
DOD did not agree to account for the 12 remaining initiatives by telling which were incorporated into its other initiatives and what events have overtaken the need to implement the others. DODIG closed the recommendation based on the Air Force's statement that it would be inefficient and unnecessary to track progress on individual actions for the original initiatives separately.
Department of Defense 3. The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Air Force to adopt performance measures and targets for its initiatives that will show how their implementation will affect critical spare parts availability and readiness.
Closed - Implemented
DOD responded that the Air Force's Directorate of Innovation and Transformation will measure all initiatives in terms of specified weapon system availability and cost goals. It also directed that all subordinate goals for individual initiatives be tied to these overall goals.
Department of Defense 4. The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Air Force to direct the new Innovation and Transformation Directorate to establish plans and priorities for improving management of logistics initiatives consistent with the Air Force Strategic Plan.
Closed - Implemented
DOD agreed to ensure that Air Force logistics initiatives plans and priorities are established and harmonized with the strategic plan. Its campaign plans being drafted were to spell out milestones that will be tracked for each initiative.
Department of Defense 5. The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Air Force to request spare parts funds in the Air Force's budget consistent with results of its spare parts requirements determination process.
Closed - Implemented
DOD said the Air Force had used its new requirements process to project its spare parts budget, but did not request funds consistent with the results because funding was constrained. This action confirmed GAO's statement that the Air Force had underfunded its spare parts requirements and thereby created the potential for a supplemental budget request or additional spare parts shortages that could negatively affect readiness.

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