Defense Inventory

Improved Management Framework Needed to Guide Navy Best Practice Initiatives Gao ID: NSIAD-00-1 October 21, 1999

Each of the military services is required to send Congress a schedule for implementing best commercial inventory practices for the acquisition and the distribution of secondary inventory items. This report evaluates the Navy's best practices implementation schedule for the acquisition and the distribution of secondary inventory items, which the Navy sent to Congress in June 1999. GAO (1) determines the extent to which the schedule responds to the provisions of the law and (2) identifies specific elements of a management framework needed to effective implementation and oversight of the Navy's best practice initiatives.

GAO noted that: (1) the Navy's schedule is generally responsive to the act; (2) specifically, the schedule describes 25 initiatives that address the acquisition and distribution of secondary items managed by the Navy and the Marine Corps; (3) these initiatives are primarily aimed at improving the Navy and Marine Corps planning, sourcing, delivery, and maintenance processes; (4) while some of the initiatives did not include specific timeframes to complete implementation, the Secretary of the Navy advised Congress that with few exceptions, implementation of the initiatives is expected to be completed by 2003; (5) though generally responsive to the act's requirements, the management framework that is outlined in the schedule lacks specific elements that are needed to assess implementation progress, measure success, and identify needed changes; (6) as a result, while the schedule describes an overall implementation strategy, it does not provide sufficient information for Congress and Department of Defense (DOD) managers to measure the progress and results of the initiatives; (7) also, the management framework contained in the schedule does not provide a clear link to top-level DOD improvement goals or provide details for periodic evaluation of an initiative's progress; (8) in GAO's prior work, GAO noted that the lack of such information contributed to DOD's difficulty in implementing new initiatives; and (9) the Government Performance and Results Act offers a model for developing an effective management framework to improve the likelihood of successfully implementing initiatives and assessing results.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

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