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Highlights

GAO reviewed the Air Force's Critical Item Program to determine whether it was: (1) identifying parts shortages that seriously impaired mission capability; (2) quickly restoring supplies of mission-essential parts; and (3) identifying underlying causes of shortages to prevent recurrences.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of the Air Force 1. The Secretary of the Air Force should direct that steps be taken to increase the Critical Item Program's priority and visibility.
Closed - Implemented
The Air Force has taken actions to increase the program's priority and visability, including automation of certain functions to improve adherence to policies.
Department of the Air Force 2. The Secretary of the Air Force should ensure that ALC uniformly adhere to program entry criteria.
Closed - Implemented
The Air Force Manual (AFM) was completely revised in June 1986 to better define ALC duties and responsibilities. The Air Force Logistics Command (AFLC) Inspector General is to follow up.
Department of the Air Force 3. The Secretary of the Air Force should enforce the ALC management review standards that provide direction and support to operating personnel responsible for timely remedial actions, and require complete documentation of directions given, actions taken, and results achieved.
Closed - Implemented
AFM changes strengthen the responsibilities and junctions of the ALC Critical Item Review Committee to assign responsibility, establish target dates, and report on progress. Automation of processes, as well as other monitoring techniques, should ensure appropriate management review.
Department of the Air Force 4. The Secretary of the Air Force should clearly state in AFM 67-1 that identification and elimination of underlying causes of critical item shortages is a program objective and prescribe procedures and responsibilities for achieving this objective.
Closed - Implemented
AFM 67-1 has been revised.
Department of the Air Force 5. The Secretary of the Air Force should develop the means of measuring program effectiveness and require AFLC and Air Force Headquarters to continuously assess program management's effectiveness.
Closed - Implemented
Effectiveness information is being provided by the following systems: (1) the Automated Critical Item Network; (2) the Get Well Assessment Module; and (3) Reliability and Maintainability Information System.

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