Continuing Problems in the Department of Defense's Inventory Management

Gao ID: T-NSIAD-90-26 March 28, 1990

GAO discussed the Department of Defense's (DOD) inventory management, focusing on problems it identified in DOD inventory management. GAO noted that: (1) DOD inventories of spare and repair parts have grown massively over the last 10 years; (2) the military services purchase items too early and in quantities that exceed their actual needs, and have millions of dollars worth of excess materiel on order; (3) the services returned about 8.5 percent of the materiel they purchased from the Defense Logistics Agency from 1981 through 1988; (4) DOD inventory records were inaccurate; (5) DOD did not adequately control materiel and equipment it furnished to contractors; (6) physical security over DOD inventories and materiel in transit was lax; (7) supply catalogs' inclusion of duplicate items increased excess stocks and caused duplicative supply system maintenance efforts; (8) development delays and significant cost growth hampered the development of computerized systems to support logistics management; and (9) DOD has promised corrective actions in response to numerous GAO recommendations concerning its inventory management and supply practices.

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