Controversy Regarding the Ready Reserve Force

Gao ID: T-NSIAD-88-7 November 17, 1987

GAO discussed: (1) a disagreement between the Navy and the Maritime Administration (MARAD) concerning which agency was responsible for the Ready Reserve Force (RRF); (2) whether RRF was part of the National Defense Reserve Fleet (NDRF); and (3) the potential adverse effect the disagreement would have on RRF rapid sealift response capability and readiness. GAO found that: (1) the interagency agreement recognized RRF as part of NDRF; (2) although the Navy submitted a revised agreement to MARAD to make RRF its responsibility, the agencies have not yet agreed on the proposed revision; (3) although MARAD changed its procurement practices to allow greater competition, the Navy believed that MARAD proposal requests did not place enough responsibility on contractors; (4) the Navy stated that MARAD could not use Navy funds to award RRF operation and maintenance contracts until the RRF issues were resolved; and (5) the Navy's withholding of funds for current interagency agreements and contract awards would severely affect the RRF program.

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