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Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information about the Army's retention of inventory in excess of its current operating and war reserve needs.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of the Army 1. The Secretary of the Army should direct the Commander, Army Materiel Command (AMC), to develop specific implementation guidance for item managers to use in determining what and how much inventory to retain, in accordance with the revised retention-level inventory policy.
Closed - Implemented
The Army has developed guidance to assist the item managers in making these decisions. It has also provided training courses and developed advisory groups at each ICP to assist in determining how much and what should be retained. There is no reason to keep the recommendation open.
Department of the Army 2. The Secretary of the Army should direct the Commander, AMC, to ensure that, when computer programs used in making retention decisions are changed, the changes are better documented so that when systemic problems arise, fixes can be incorporated, and a historical trail is created for future reference.
Closed - Implemented
Actions are being taken to better document current system changes. Nothing can be done to correct past problems. Therefore, there is no reason to keep the recommendation open.
Department of the Army 3. The Secretary of the Army should direct the Commander, AMC, to modify the computer programs to classify inventory in excess of the economic retention level as potential excess stock unless the item manager can justify and document that the item is needed for some other purpose. As part of this process, item managers should: (1) ensure that the database is accurate and complete; and (2) determine whether the item should be retained or processed for disposal, in accordance with the implementation guidance issued as part of the revised retention policy.
Closed - Implemented
The Army eliminated the numeric retention category and has increased the number and amount of items sent to disposal. Item managers are now required to justify and document the reasons for retaining items over and above the economic retention level.

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