DOD Management of Aircraft Depot Maintenance

Gao ID: 120776 March 8, 1983

Testimony was given concerning the Department of Defense's (DOD) opportunities to achieve savings by improving the management of aircraft depot maintenance. GAO has found that, while DOD has taken some actions to improve the management of aircraft depot maintenance, separate aircraft depot maintenance systems of the three military services have extensive redundancies and excess capacity which are costly. The facilities and equipment at these depots are valued at $6.6 billion, and DOD plans to spend another $1 billion to modernize the depots over a 5-year period. Since 1958, DOD and the military services have studied aircraft depot maintenance, and GAO has conducted numerous reviews of the area. However, little has been accomplished in realining organizations or consolidating workloads. The DOD depots continue to have excess workload capacity. GAO has estimated that eliminating excess capacity would save a minimum of $96 million a year, and additional benefits would accrue through better investment decisions, increased productivity, and improved work flow. GAO feels that DOD has not moved more quickly to eliminate the redundancies and excess capacity because of: (1) the parochial interests of the individual services; (2) a lack of centralized responsibility and authority; and (3) the absence of meaningful goals and milestones and DOD-wide planning. GAO continues to believe that the Secretary of Defense should either designate or establish a single manager to oversee aircraft depot maintenance to be responsible for determining their depot maintenance needs, but the single manager would be responsible for effectively, efficiently, and economically accomplishing the service identified needs. With a viable master plan, excess capacity could be reduced through attrition over time.

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