Depot Maintenance, Operational Availability and Cost Estimates
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) earlier this week issued a new report entitled “GAO-17-218 Coast Guard Cutters: Depot Maintenance Is Affecting Operational Availability and Cost Estimates Should Reflect Actual Expenditures”. Although the focus of the report was not specifically on DoD, the topic of ships, depot maintenance, operational availability and cost estimates for sustainment should be of interest to DoD life cycle logisticians and product support managers.:
In the report, the GAO indicated that “the Fast Response Cutter (FRC) and the National Security Cutter are two of the newest and most vital cutters in the Coast Guard's fleet—but both have had engine trouble. We found that both cutters have required a lot of maintenance, making them less available to conduct critical missions than the Coast Guard had planned. However, due to the FRC warranty, as well as how the Coast Guard calculates its average maintenance needs for both cutters, the agency's maintenance cost estimates are much higher than recent actual costs.”
The GAO went on to recommend “…to ensure that it effectively uses its resources, the Coast Guard should document cost analyses on the cost and timing of engineering design changes and periodically evaluate and update its depot maintenance cost estimates. The Department of Homeland Security agreed with both recommendations and provided timeframes for actions to address them.”
For additional information about O&S costs, see the DoD Operating & Support (O&S) Cost Management Guidebook. For additional information on Operational Availability, see the DoD Product Support Manager (PSM) Guidebook.