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GAO discussed the Department of Defense's (DOD) depot maintenance program, focusing on: (1) the share of DOD depot maintenance funds spent in the public and private sectors; (2) the use of public-private competition as a tool for allocating depot maintenance workloads; (3) observations on the Defense Science Board Depot Maintenance Task Force's findings and recommendations; and (4) DOD transfer of employees, workload, equipment, and facilities at closing maintenance depots. GAO noted that: (1) the share of depot maintenance funds spent in the private sector is understated and is likely to be over 50 percent of the DOD depot maintenance budget, rather than 35 percent; (2) although the amount of savings is difficult to quantify, the depot maintenance program can reduce DOD depot maintenance costs; (3) DOD needs to identify a rational maintenance core policy on a DOD-wide basis rather than a service-specific basis; (4) public-private competition should not be burdened with artificial goals, but should remain as an option for DOD to use when selecting a source for depot repairs; (5) DOD should allocate non-core workloads on a cost-effectiveness basis, unless there are overriding circumstances; (6) none of the maintenance depots identified for closure have closed; and (7) DOD appears to have an effective program in place to assist employees in finding alternative employment, although some workers may not be able to get a job with comparable pay.

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