Important New GAO Report on DoD Implementation of Product Support Manager (PSM) Requirement
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued an important new report earlier today entitled “GAO-14-326 Weapon Systems Management: DOD Has Taken Steps to Implement Product Support Managers but Needs to Evaluate Their Effects.” In the report, the GAO made five recommendations, of which two are Army-specific, three are DoD-wide. Specifically, “GAO recommends that DOD and the services develop a plan to institutionalize a career path for PSMs; issue clear, comprehensive, and centralized PSM implementation guidance; evaluate the effects PSMs have on sustainment decisions; and improve Army PSMs' visibility over sustainment funding. DOD generally agreed with the recommendations.”
The five recommendations in their entirety are:
“1. Recommendation: To ensure the development of a sufficient cadre of qualified, trained personnel to meet future requirements for PSM, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (USD[AT&L])--in coordination with the Defense Acquisition University and the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force--to develop and implement a plan with objectives, milestones, and resources to implement and institutionalize a comprehensive career path and associated guidance to develop, train, and support future PSMs.
2. Recommendation: To better enable the military services to implement and institutionalize the roles and responsibilities of the PSM, the Secretary of Defense should direct the (USD[AT&L])--in coordination with the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force--to issue clear, comprehensive, centralized guidance regarding the roles and responsibilities of PSMs and the officials that assign them.
3. Recommendation: To better enable Army PSMs to fulfill their product support responsibilities, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army--in coordination with the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology (ASA[ALT]) and the Commander of Army Materiel Command (AMC)--to clearly define Army-wide roles and responsibilities for the sustainment portion of the life cycle of major weapon systems, to include the reporting relationships of AMC support personnel assigned to Army weapon system program offices, by issuing new, or revising existing, Army guidance.
4. Recommendation: To help inform departmental and congressional oversight of the status of the PSM implementation and the influence, if any, that PSMs have in life-cycle sustainment decisions for major weapon systems, the Secretary of Defense should direct the (USD[AT&L])--in conjunction with the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force--to systematically collect and evaluate information on the effects, if any, that PSMs are having on life-cycle sustainment decisions for their assigned major weapon systems.
5. Recommendation: To better enable Army PSMs to fulfill their daily product support responsibilities, including planning and proactively managing sustainment efforts for their assigned weapon systems, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army--in coordination with the (ASA[ALT]) and the Commander of the AMC--to review the current process for requesting and distributing sustainment funding for major weapon systems and to take necessary actions to ensure that PSMs have greater visibility of the amount of sustainment funds their weapon systems will receive including prior to the year of execution of funds, to the extent possible.
Highly encourage all DoD PSMs, Program Managers, and Life Cycle Logisticians take the time to read this report. Additional information on the DoD Product Support Manager (PSM) is also available on the PSM Policy, Guidance, Tools & Training repository website on the DAU Logistics Community of Practice (LOG CoP) and in 10 USC §2337.