Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Poor Management

If you have been around the Navy long enough you know that the supply system is broken and that there is never the part you need in it. The funny thing is that the Navy currently has $7.5 billion in parts that it doesn't need. The GAO has called us on the carpet for our wasteful practices, poor management and unnecessary purchases.

The Navy had $6.8 billion in surplus supplies that were not needed in fiscal year 2007. Here's when those supplies would be needed, according to a government report: During the next 2 years: 28%; Up to 10 years: 37%; After 10 years or more: 7%; and Never: 28%.

It is nice that we have $1.9 billion in worthless parts that will never be used. I can think of much better uses for that kind of cash, like more subs. Also, there was about $3.7 billion worth of unusable spare parts that needed to be repaired before being put into service, the report says. Why are we buying and keeping defective or unusable parts?

These are your tax dollars at work and Big Navy showing how not to do it.

1 comment:

  1. I can understand how this would happen. It comes down to the industrial pipeline for making the stuff. When you make specially designed pieces and parts, it's cheaper to make the repair / replacement parts while you have the assembly line in operation than it is years later to try and rebuild the assembly line and recreate the replacement part from scratch.

    This has been a hot topic in many industries like battleship guns, submarine hulls, and satellites. Once you close the assembly line on THOSE things, you ain't gonna be able to go back and make more.

    On a smaller scale, just look at those stupid little Rig-for-Dive light bulbs in the 688-class Ship's Control Panel. Specially designed and made for the 688 SCP. When they burn out, where do you turn for replacements? The assembly line is long gone. We keep cannibalizing them off decom boats.

    I'm no supply expert, but in my mind, that's exactly why we end up with so many gajillions of dollars of repair parts - because they were specially designed for one type of airplane or submarine or ship, and they took advantage of the economy of making the spare parts while the assembly line was still churning to make a few extra.

    It's a good plug for COTS. If we could just use some pre-existing light bulb that anyone can buy at any hardware store instead of a specially designed one, then it wouldn't be any big deal.

    The way it was explained to me when I was a JO, there was probably some senator's brother who owned a factory that offered to create and build these special super-whamodyne light bulbs for the 688-class. Cha-ching, cha-ching.