oversight

Opportunity For Improving Results Of Tire-Rebuilding Programs In Europe

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-01-08.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

    REPORT TO THE CONGRESS

                              IIIIlllllllll I11111lllli Ill
                                         087470
                                                    1111




    Opportunity For Improving
    Results Of Tire-Rebuilding
                     -*--.
                              ~   --+




    Programs In Europe       8- 159200




    Department of Defense
~




    BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL
    OF THE UNITED STATES
            COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES
                       WASHINGTON, D.C. 20548




B- 159200




T o the President of the Senate and the
Speaker of the House of Representatives

      This is our report on the opportunity for improving
results of tire-rebuilding programs in Europe by the Depart-
me nt of Defense.

      Our review was made pursuant to the Budget and Account-
ing Act, 1921 (31 U.S.C. 53), and the Accounting and Auditing
Act of 1950 (31 U.S.C. 67).

       Copies of this report a r e being sent to the Director, Of-
fice of Management and Budget, the Secretary of Defense, and
the Secretaries of the Army and the Air Force.




                                    Compt r olle r Gene r a1
                                    of the United States
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                    COMPTROLLER GENEBL ' S                  OPPORTUNITY FOR IMPROVING RESULTS OF TIRE-
                    REPORT TO THE CONGRESS                  REBUILDING PROGRAMS IN EUROPE
                                                            Department of Defense B-159200


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                    D-
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                             S T-

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                    WHY THE REVIEW WAS MADE
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                          More than 100,000 replacement t i r e s are used each year by the U.S. Army
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                          and Air Force i n Europe. The Department of Defense (DOD) has directed
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                          t h a t t i r e s be rebuilt and used again whenever feasible, rather than buy
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                          new ones. Prior General Accounting Office (GAO) reports t o the Congress
    I                     have pointed o u t t h a t substantial savings could be attained by more ex-
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    I                     tensive programs f o r rebuilding used t i r e s . This review was made t o
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    I                     determine whether the military services i n Europe were t a k i n g advan-
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    I                     tage of tire-rebuilding programs. The review dealt w i t h motor vehicle
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    I                     tires, i n sizes f o r which a rebuilding capability i s available t o mili-
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    I                     tary units i n Europe.
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    I               FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS
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    I                     Neither the Army nor the Air Force has used rebuilt t i r e s t o the extent
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    I                     possible.
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        I                 About $1 million could have been saved i n Europe d u r i n g fiscal year 1969
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        I                 i f a more effective tire-rebuilding program had been available. (See
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                          P. 6 . )
        I                 The Army and the Air Force were selling used t i r e s t o scrap dealers a t
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        I                 nominal prices when significant quantities o f t i r e s could have been re-
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        I                 b u i l t . (See pp. 8 through 10.)
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                          Neither the Army nor the Air Force had surveillance systems to monitor
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                          the performance of the rebuilding programs. (See p. 5 . )
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                          Tire-rebuilding programs provide an effective and economical way t o meet
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                          requirements. Both the Army and the Air Force lacked adequate supply
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                          discipline f o r ensuring t h a t reparable t i r e s are identified and rebuilt
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                          instead of scrapped.
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                    RECONMEDATIONS OR SUGGESTIONS

                          The Secretary o f Defense should ensure that the Air Force and the Army
                          improve t h e i r rebuilding programs and use more r e b u i l t t i r e s in Europe.
                          Such improved programs should, i n GAO's opinion, include b u t should not
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                          be limited to:
            4
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            I       Tear Sheet
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                                                               I                    JAN.      8,1971
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       --Inspection of t i r e s on vehicles during vehicle maintenance t o ensure
         removal a t the required time for rebuilding.
       --Inspection periodically of condemned tires i n disposal yards t o
         make sure that t i r e s which can be rebuilt and used are not scrapped.
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       - - I n i t i a t i o n o f operational standards and a reporting system that            I
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          would adequately measure the performance of the ti re-rebui 1ding pro-                I
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          gram a t each base. GAO suggested that the General Services Adminis-                  I
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          t r a t i o n be consulted for standards dealing w i t h the use o f rebuilt          I
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         tires.                                                                                 I




     The Secretary o f Defense should determine whether the military services                   I

     are u s i n g rebuilt t i r e s t o the extent possible i n other geographical
     areas and should provide for continuing follow-up reviews t o ensure that
     appropriate corrective actions are taken when necessary.
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AGENCY ACTIONS AND UNRESOLVED ISSUES

     DOD concurred i n GAO’s recommendations and stated that additional DOD
     policy on vehicle-tire standards and on the use of rebuilt t i r e s was i n
     order.         DOD a l s o stated that a program similar t o one i n s t i t u t e d for
     aircraft tires would be initiated. The program will make use of experi-
     ence i n DOD and the General Services Administration, as we1 1 as the GAO
     f i n d i n g s and recommendations. (See p. 23.)                                              I
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MATTEES FOR CONSIDEMTION BY TflE COlvGRESS                                                          I



     This report is being submitted t o the Congress because of its continuing                      I
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     interest i n effective supply management operations and the opportunities                      I
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     available t o the military services for reduci’ng expenditures wfiile main-                    I
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     t a i n i n g or increasing their effectiveness for performing assigned roles                  I
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     and missions.                                                                                  I
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                               C o n t e n t s
                                                                                   Page

DIGEST                                                                               .1




CHAPTER

   1      INTRODUCTION                                                               -
                                                                                     .?


      2   INCREASED EMPHASIS NEEDED ON REBUILDING
          VEHICLE TIRES INSTEAD OF BUYING NEW TIRES                                  3
              Supply d i s c i p l i n e and s u r v e i l l a n c e
                programs not adequate f o r ensuring
                economical use of t i r e s                                          5
              Savings a t t a i n a b l e i n t h e Army                             7
              Savings a t t a i n a b l e i n t h e A i r Force                      8

      3   PRIOR GAO REVIEWS AND AGENCY ACTIONS                                      14
              Agency a u d i t a c t i o n s                                        15
      4   CONCLUSIONS, RECOMMENDATIONS, AND AGENCY
          COMMENTS                                                                  17
              Recomendat ions                                                       17
              Agency comments                                                       18

      5   SCOPE OF REVIEW                                                           19
APPENDIX

      I   L e t t e r d a t e d August 14, 1970, from t h e
             A s s i s t a n t Secretary of Defense                                 23

  I1      P r i n c i p a l o f f i c i a l s of t h e Department of
             Defense, t h e Department of t h e Army, and
              t h e Department of t h e A i r Force responsible
              f o r a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of a c t i v i t i e s discussed
              i n t h i s report                                                    24
                               ABBREVIATIONS
DOD       Department of Defense

GAO       General Accounting O f f i c e
COMPTROLLER GENERAL ' S             OPPORTUNITY FOR IMPROVING RESULTS OF TIRE-
REPORT TO THE CONGRESS              REBUILDING PROGRAMS IN EUROPE
                                    Department of Defense B-159200

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       S T
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WHY THE REVIEW WAS MADE.

     More t h a n 100,000 replacement t i r e s are used each year b the U.S. Army
                                                                 .;I
     and Air Force in Europe. The Department o f Defense (DOD has directed
     that t i r e s be rebuilt and used again whenever feasible, rather t h a n buy
     new ones. Prior General Accounting Office (GAO) reports t o the Congress
     have pointed o u t t h a t substantial savings could be attained by more ex-
     tensive programs for rebuilding used t i r e s . This review was made t o
     determine whether the military services i n Europe were t a k i n g advan-
     tage o f tire-rebuilding programs. The review dealt with motor vehicle
     t i r e s , in sizes for which a rebuilding capability i s available t o mili-
     tary units i n Europe.

FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS

     Neither the Army nor the Air Force has used rebuilt t i r e s t o the extent
     possible.
     About $1 million could have been saved i n Europe d u r i n g fiscal year 1969
     i f a more effective tire-rebuilding program had been available. (See
     P * 6.)
     The Army and the Air Force were selling used t i r e s t o scrap dealers a t
     nominal prices when significant quantities o f t i r e s could have been re-
     built. (See pp. 8 through 10.1
                                                                                 .\
     Neither the Amy nor the Air Force had surveillance systems t o monitor
     the performance of the rebuilding programs. (See p. 5.)
     Tire-rebuilding programs provide an effective and economical way t o meet
     requirements. Both the Army and the Air Force lacked adequate supply
     discipline for ensuring t h a t reparable t i r e s are identified and rebuilt
     instead o f scrapped.

RECOMMENDATIONS OR SUGGESTIONS

     The Secretary o f Defense should ensure that the Air Force and the Army
     improve their rebuilding programs and use more rebuilt t i r e s i n Europe.
     Such improved programs should, i n GAO's opinion, include b u t should not
     be limited to:


                                      1
       --Inspection of t i r e s on vehicles d u r i n g vehicle maintenance t o ensure
         removal a t the required time for rebuilding.
       --Inspection periodically of condemned t i r e s in disposal yards t o
         make sure t h a t t i r e s which can be rebuilt and used are not scrapped.
       - - Initiation of operational standards and a reporting system t h a t
          would adequately measure the performance o f the t i re-rebui l d i n g pro-
          gram a t each base. GAO suggested t h a t the General Services Adminis-
          tration be consulted f o r standards dealing with the use o f rebuilt
          tires.
     The Secretary of Defense should determine whether the military services
     are using r e b u i l t t i r e s to the extent possible i n other geographical
     areas and should provide f o r continuing follow-up reviews t o ensure t h a t
     appropriate corrective actions are taken when necessary.

AGENCY ACTIONS AND UNRESOLVED ISSUES

     DOD concurred i n GAO's recommendations and stated t h a t additional DOD
     policy on vehicle- tire standards and on the use of r e b u i l t t i r e s was i n
     order. DOD also stated that a program similar t o one instituted f o r
     a i r c r a f t tires would be i n i t i a t e d . The program will make use of experi-
     ence i n DOD and the General Services Administration, as well as the GAO
     findings and recommendations. (See p . 23.)

MATTES FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE CONGRESS

     This report i s being submitted t o the Congress because of i t s continuing
     i n t e r e s t in effective supply management operations and the opportunities
     available to the military services f o r reduci-ng expenditures while main-
     taining or increasing their effectiveness for performing assigned roles
     and missions.




                                         2
                                    CHAPTER 1

                                 INTRODUCTION

         The General Accounting Office h a s examined i n t o t h e
p o l i c i e s and p r a c t i c e s of t h e U . S . A i r Force i n Europe and
t h e U . S . Army, Europe, f o r r e b u i l d i n g used motor v e h i c l e
tires.

         W e examined i n t o t h e c o n t r o l s over t i r e recapping f o r
v e h i c l e s maintained by t h e Army and t h e A i r Force i n t h e
European T h e a t e r , t o e v a l u a t e ;heir e f f e c t i v e n e s s . We also
t r i e d t o determine t h e savings p o s s i b l e through more exten-
s i v e r e b u i l d i n g of used motor v e h i c l e t i r e s instead of pur-
chasing new replacement t i r e s . Our review d i d not include
t h e Navy a c t i v i t i e s because i t o p e r a t e s very few v e h i c l e s
i n Europe, Our review included t i r e s f o r both commercial-
design, general-purpose v e h i c l e s and combat- and t a c t i c a l -
type v e h i c l e s but w a s l i m i t e d t o only those t i r e s i z e s f o r
which a r e b u i l d i n g c a p a b i l i t y e x i s t e d i n Europe. The scope
of our review i s shown on page 19.

         The p r a c t i c e of r e b u i l d i n g used t i r e s i s based on t h e
premise t h a t t h e u s e f u l l i f e of a t i r e can be extended by
reusing t h e t i r e carcass which normally o u t l a s t s the t r e a d
surface. Most v e h i c l e t i r e s can be r e b u i l t , provided t h a t
they are not abused during operation and t h a t they are r e -
moved from t h e v e h i c l e s before excessive tread wear occurs.
With about 70 percent of t h e c o s t of a new t i r e i n t h e car-
c a s s , replacing t h e t r e a d of a worn t i r e i s s u b s t a n t i a l l y
less c o s t l y than purchasing a new t i r e .

         The U.S. Army Maintenance P l a n t , Ober-Ramstadt, Germany,
i s owned and operated by t h e U.S. Government. The p l a n t re-
p a i r s and r e b u i l d s pneumatic t i r e s i n support of European
operations. I n r e c e n t y e a r s t h e q u a n t i t y of t i r e s r e b u i l t
i n Europe h a s s t e a d i l y decreased because reparable t i r e s
have not been a v a i l a b l e f o r recapping. During f i s c a l year
1969 t h e p l a n t r e b u i l t 72,932 t i r e s , b u t , during t h e f i r s t
6 months of f i s c a l year 1970, it r e b u i l t only 25,995 t i r e s .
W e have been advised by p l a n t o f f i c i a l s t h a t t h r e e times as
many t i r e s a s are p r e s e n t l y handled could be r e b u i l t with
t h e present p l a n t c a p a b i l i t y .


                                          3
        A l i s t of the p r i n c i p a l o f f i c i a l s O E the Department of
Defense and the Department of the Army and the Department
of the A i r Force r e s p o n s i b l e f o r a d m i n i s t r a t i o n of a c t i v i -
t i e s d i s c u s s e d i n t h i s r e p o r t i s included as a p p e n d i x 11.




                                             4
                                       CHAPTER 2
        1   .


            ..
                       INCREASED EMPHASIS NEEDED ON

    REBUILDING W H I C L E TIRES INSTEAD OF BUYING NEX TIRES

         The Army and t h e Air- Force i n Europe need t o i n c r e a s e
t h e use of r e b u i l t v e h i c l e t i r e s r a t h e r than buy ne17 t i r e s
t o m e e t o p e r a t i n g needs. WE? estimate t h a t about a m i l l i o n
d o l l a r s ~ 0 ~ have1 6 been saved d u r i n g f i s c a l y e a r 1959 i f
75 p e r c e n t of t h e t i r e replacement needs of t h e Army and the
A i r Force i n Europe had been m e t by u s i n g r e b u i l t t i r e s .

     .    Although the s t a t e d p o l i c y of t h e Army and t h e A i r
Force i s t o use r e b u i l t t i r e s r a t h e r t h a n buy new ones when-
ever p o s s i b l e , n e i t h e r o f t h e n has i n s t i t u t e d adequate sur-
veillance procedures o r r e q u i r e d t h e necessary supply d i s -
c i p l i n e t o e n s u r e i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , salvage, and recapping of
reparab1.e t i r e s .

SUPPLY DISCIPLINE AND
SURVEILLANCE PROGRAMS NOT ADEQUATE
FOR ENSURING ECONOMICAL USE OF TIRES

         Tne U.S. Army and the U . S . A i r Force p o l i c y , as s t a t e d
i n Army Regulation Ap, 750-2600-2 and i n A i r Force Technical
Manual TO 36 Y 32- 1- 11, i s t o r e b u i l d t i r e s whenever pos-
s i b l e rather than buy new t i r e s .

          To f u r t h e r emphasize t h a t p o l i c y , t h e A i r Force, i n
Septen3er 1969, i n s t i t u t e d a system r e q u i r i n g t h a t a used
t i r e be turned i n when a new replacement t i r e i s i s s u e d .
A l s o the Army o r g a n i z a t i o n s are r e q u i r e d t o t u r n i n a n un-
s e r v i c e a b l e t i r e f o r each new one r e c e i v e d . The supply o r -
g a n i z a t i o n s which receive the used t i r e s are supposed t o
i n s p e c t the t i r e s and salvage t h o s e s u i t a b l e f o r r e b u i l d i n g ,
b u t t h e y were n o t performing a n adequate and e f f e c t i v e i n -
spection.

        The c o n t r o l s i n the Air Force system had n o t been prop-
e r l y implemented a t any of the a i r b a s e s v i s i t e d . W e noted
a t one b a s e t h a t , d u r i n g f i s c a l y e a r 1969, t h e v e h i c l e main-
tenance s e c t i o n s e n t 264 t i r e s of 20 d i f f e r e n t s i z e s
directly to the disposal activity. Furthermore this prac-
tice has continued during fiscal year 1 9 7 0 . Under the
proper procedures, such tires should be turned into base
supply on a one-for-one exchange basis.

     When we concluded our fieldwork, the Army in Europe
was developing new instructions to reemphasize the Depart-
ment of the Army policy and to restate the criteria for se-
lecting tires to be rebuilt. Those instructions do not in-
clude a requirement €or a surveillance system which would
effectively monitor the rebuild program and ensure adequate
sup2ly discipline.

     We found that -the Army and the Air Force management
echelons d i d not analyze nor did they have any reporting
system to monitor the number or dollar value of tires being
rebuilt or the effectiveness of the tire-rebuilding program
at each base. The degree of tire-rebuilding effectiveness
varies between bases, and, without standards and reports
which can be analyzed, Army and Air Force management cannot
evaluate nor control the dzgree of tire-rebuilding effec-
tiveness of each installation.

      During fiscal year I969 the Army and the Air Force re-
placed 107,836 tires in Europe principally with new tires.
If thz Army and the Air Force were obtaining at least
7 5 percent of their replacement requirements by rebuilding
used tires rather than scrapping reparable tires and buying
new ones, about a million dollars could have been saved, as
shown in the following schedule,

                            Air Force    -
                                         Arrnrn        Total
Total tire requirements      14,594       93,242      107,836
Replaced tires received
  for rebuild                 1,604       50,755       52 ,359
Percentage of requirements
  rebuilt                     11           54          48
Estimate of unrealized
  savinp by not rebuilding
  75% of tLre require-
  ments                    $261,000     $779,000   $1 ,040,000



                              6
         The e x t e n t t o which t i r e s a r e being r e b u i l t v a r i e d
s u b s t a n t i a l l y among i n s t a l l a t i o n s . A t some Air Force b?.ses,
m o r e thzn 75 percent of c e r t a i n s i z e t i r e s TTere k i c g r e -
b u i l t and i n some i n s t a n c e s as much as 85 percent of o t t e r
s i z e t i r e s were being r e b u i l t . Moreover i n s p e c t i o n s of
tires which were i n Air Force d i s p o s a l yards a t t h e time of
our review showed t h a t 75 percent of those condemned tires
were recappable.

         Also t h e Army w a s r e b u i l d i n g more than 75 percent of
c e r t a i n s i z e s of t i r e s removed from v e h i c l e s . For example
t h e Amy w a s r e b u i l d i n g 87 percent of t i r e s s i z e d 7 . 0 ~ 6
and 84 percent of t i r e s s i z e d 9 . 0 ~ 0which are very popular
sizes.

         I n previous r e p o r t s on t i r e management concerning both
c i v i l agencies and t h e m i l i t a r y services, WE? concluded an3
agency o f f i c i a l s agreed t h a t about 75 percent of t h e i r t i r e
requiremmts could be m e t from r e b u i l t t i r e s through i n -
creased emphasis on t i r e - r e b u i l d i n g programs, On t h e b a s i s
of our c u r r e n t review, w2 b e l i e v e t h a t the 75-percent c r i t e -
r i o n i s s t i l l v a l i d , reasonable, and a t t a i n a b l e .

SAVINGS ATTAINABLE I N THE ARMY

         During f i s c a l year 1969 t h e Army i n Europe issued over
93,000 t i r e s f o r replacement. The Army a c t u a l l y r e b u i l t
more than 75 percent of c e r t a i n s i z e t i r e s issued as re-
placements, but i t r e b u i l t a much lower percentage of many
o t h e r s i z e tires. On t h e b a s i s of our review, w e estimate
t h a t a n a d d i t i o n a l 18,900 t i r e s could have been r e b u i l t by
t h e Army if a t l e a s t 75 percent of a l l s i z e s of t i r e s had
been r e b u i l t .

     The c o s t t o r e b u i l d those 18,900 t i r e s I-rould have been
about $266,000, whereas t h e c o s t t o r e p l a c e the 't i r e s vas
about $1,045,000. A s a r e s u l t a p o s s i b l e saving of about
$779,000 w a s l o s t .

          Our a n a l y s i s revealed a \ t i c k v a r i a t i o n i n t h e pereent-
age of motor v e h i c l e t i r e requirements t h a t w,=re m e t
khroxgh r e b u i l d i n g t i r e s among t h e various v e h i c l e t i r e -
r e b u i l d i n g pragrams. I n fiscal year 1959 t h e Amy needed


                                           7
27 d i f f e r e n t s i z e s o f t i r e s f o r v e h i c l e s . There w a s no re-
b u i l d i n g program a t a l l f o r 11 of t h e 27 t i r e s i z e s , a l -
though the Army t i r e p l a n t had t h e r e b u i l d i n g c a p a b i l i t y
i n these s i z e s . Less than 50 p e r c e n t of the f i s c a l y e a r
1969 motor v e h i c l e t i r e requirements were m e t through re-
b u i l d i n g used t i r e s f o r a n o t h e r 11 of t h e 27 t i r e s i z e s .

          The Army h a s 28 d i s p o s a l a c t i v i t i e s i n Europe which
receive condemned t i r e s from u s i n g u n i t s and from c a n n i b a l -
i z a t i o n p o i n t s f o r d i s p o s a l , I n s p e c t o r s from t h e t i r e -
r e b u i l d i n g p l a n t make p e r i o d i c v i s i t s t o p r o p e r t y d i s p o s a l
a c t i v i t i e s t o a s c e r t a i n whether t i r e s of r e p a r a b l e n a t u r e
are e f f e c t i v e l y salvaged. These i n s p e c t i o n s are n o t re-
q u i r e d by Army r e g u l a t i o n s b u t are c a r r i e d o u t by t h e re-
b u i l d i n g p l a n t r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s t o o b t a i n work f o r t h e p l a n t .

          As a result of a series of i n s p e c t i o n s made d u r i n g t h e
p e r i o d A p r i l 22 t o September 9 , 1969, the Army recovered
1,419, o r 41 p e r c e n t , of 3,436 condemned t i r e s a t a saving
of about $58,000. The t i r e s recovered had no d e f e c t t h a t
would preclude t h e i r being r e b u i l t .

          During our review w e accompanied t h e p l a n t i n s p e c t o r s
on one of t h e i r v i s i t s t o the p r o p e r t y d i s p o s a l yard a t
K a i s e r s l a u t e r n , Germany, t o observe t h e i r s p o t i n s p e c t i o n .
A t o t a l of 1 2 5 t i r e s were i n s p e c t e d , and the i n s p e c t o r s
noted t h a t 86 t i r e s , o r 69 p e r c e n t , of those condemned had
no d e f e c t s t h a t would preclude t h e i r being r e b u i l t . These
t i r e s w e r e subsequently reclaimed f o r t h e use of t h e Army.
The photograph on page 11 i l l u s t r a t e s t h e c o n d i t i o n of
t i r e s which were i n t h e p r o p e r t y d i s p o s a l yard as s c r a p b u t
which were reclaimed as a r e s u l t of our i n s p e c t i o n . Other
recappable t i r e s could n o t bereclairnedbecause they had
a l r e a d y been s o l d as s c r a p (see p i c t u r e on p. 1 2 ) .

         W e b e l i e v e that the Army u n i t s i n Europe have n o t been
performing adequate o r e f f e c t i v e i n s p e c t i o n s of used t i r e s
p r i o r t o condemnation.

SAVINGS ATTAINABIX I N THE A I R FORCE

        During f i s c a l year 1969 t h e Air Force i n Europe i s s u e d
o v e r 14,500 t i r e s f o r replacement a t 24 A i r Force


                                                 8
installations in Germany, the United Kingdom, and Turkey.
Although requirements for replacement tires were being met
to a limited extent through the rebuilding of used tires,
we estimate that, if the 75-percent criterion was met, over
9,300 additional tires could have been rebuilt.

     The cost of rebuilding these 9,300 tires would have
been about $105,000, whereas the cost of replacing the tires
was about $366,000. Therefore about $261,000 of possible
savings were lost.

     We found that 12 of the 24 installations did not use
any rebuilt tires while another nine installations met
25 percent or less of their fiscal year 1969 requirements
through rebuilt tires. We visited all three disposal activ-
ities to which condemned tires had been sent by the indi-
vidual Air Force installations.

     At our request two qualified tire inspectors from the
Army tire-rebuilding plant accompanied us to the Ramstein,
Germany, disposal activity. Their inspections of 101 tires
selected at random from condemned tires segregated for sale
as scrap disclosed that 91 tires, or 90 percent of the con-
demned tires, had no defects which would preclude their
being rebuilt. Moreover many of the tires were sizes iaihich
the Army could have used to meet requirements. Because we
found so many of the tires in the sample that could be re-
built, the inspectors continued checking the condemned tires
and inspected 1,100 tires. During this second inspection
the inspectors recovered 67 percent, or 734, of the tires
which could be recapped and which the Army needed.

     If new tires were bought to replace the 825 tires,
they would cost about $40,500. The estimated net savings
to the Government after subtracting rebuilding and recovery
costs amounted to about $26,000. The inspectors estimated
that about 65 percent of ths remaining 3,800 tires at the
disposal yard could be rebuiit; however, the Army did not
have a stated need for such sizes.
     At the Bitburg, Germany, disposal activity, we found
that the Air Force had accumulated and segregated 230 tires
for sale as scrap. Commercial contractors had already


                             9
removed about 1 9 . 5 t o n s of condemned t i r e s - - f o r which t h e y
paid $6.52 a ton- - from September t o November 1969. Of the
230 tires segregated f o r sale as s c r a p , 97 were i n s i z e s
which could be recapped a t t h e r e b u i l d i n g f a c i l i t y . The i n -
s p e c t o r s examined the 97 t i r e s and found that 7 7 , o r 79 per-
c e n t , had no d e f e c t s which would preclude t h e i r being re-
b u i l t , These t i r e s w e r e reclaimed f o r t h e Army's use i n
Europe. The photograph on page 13 i l l u s t r a t e s t h e condi-
t i o n of the t i r e s which were i n d i s p o s a l y a r d s as s c r a p b u t
which w e r e reclaimed because of our i n s p e c t i o n .

         A t the o t h e r d i s p o s a l a c t i v i t y , we w e r e unable t o i n -
s p e c t condemned t i r e s because a commercial c o n t r a c t o r had
bought the t i r e s a t about 42 c e n t s a t o n s c r a p value and
had a l r e a d y removed most of them.




                                            10
                      EXAMPLES OF TIRES RECLAIMED
                FROM DISPOSAL ACTIVITIES FOR REBUILDING




     Tires found a t the Army Property Disposal Office, Kaiserslautern,
Germany.
                 General Accounting Office Photograph
                                 EXPSIIPLE OF TIRES
                         FOUND IN DISPOSAL ACTIVITIES




     The t i r e s shown above were found a t the Army's Property Dis-
posal Off ice , Kai s e r s l au t e r n , Germany. These t i res had a1 ready been
sold as scrap and could not be reclaimed.
                    General Accounting Office Photograph

                                          12
          EXAMPLES OF TIRES RECLAIMED
   FROM DISPOSAL ACTIVITIES FOR REBUILDING




Tires found a t the B i t b u r g Disposal Activity
    General Accounting Office Photograph


                         13
                                        CHAPTER 3

                 PRIOR GAO REVIEW AN13 AGENCY ACTIONS

         W e reported t o t h e Congress i n June 1966 (B-159200)
t h a t s u b s t a n t i a l savings could be a t t a i n e d by r e b u i l d i n g
used motor v e h i c l e t i r e s within t h e Department of t h e A i r
Force, W        e found t h a t t h e A i r Force had e s t a b l i s h e d general
p o l i c i e s which provided f o r t i r e r e b u i l d i n g whenever pos-
s i b l e . The e x t e n t t o which t h i s general policy giidance
had been implemented v a r i e d s u b s t a n t i a l l y among m i l i t a r y
bases. W        e concluded t h a t more extensive use of r e b u i l t
t i r e s could be accomplished i f t h e A i r Force e s t a b l i s h e d
s p e c i f i c tire- removal c r i t e r i a which could be a p p l i e d by
v e h i c l e maintenance personnel t o ensure the removal of
t i r e s before excessive wear prevents r e b u i l d i n g .

          I n a d d i t i o n , i t seemed evident t o u s t h a t c l o s e r super-
v i s i o n of t i r e i n s p e c t i o n , removal, and r e b u i l d i n g a c t i v i -
t i e s by base o f f i c i a l s and increased command s u r v e i l l a n c e
were required t o ensure e f f e c t i v e performance and t o r e a l -
i z e t h e m a x i m u m savings p o s s i b l e . The Department of t h e
A i r Force w a s i n general agreement with our f i n d i n g s and
(1) i n s t r u c t e d o f f i c i a l s t o p e r i o d i c a l l y i n s p e c t t i r e s t o
ensure removal before excessive wear t h a t would preclude
r e b u i l d , (2) r e f e r r e d t h e matter t o t h e Inspector General
of t h e Air Force as an i t e m of s p e c i a l i n t e r e s t € o r f u t u r e
i n s p e c t i o n programs, and ( 3 ) requested a l l major A i r Force
commands t o take a c t i o n t o preclude t h e recurrence of t h e
c c n d i t i o n s w e found.

          I n J u l y 1967 we reported t o t h e Congress (B-161415)
t h a t t h e p o l i c i e s and p r a c t i c e s f o r r e b u i l d i n g used motor
v e h i c l e t i r e s v a r i e d among t h e S o i l Conservation S e r v i c e ,
Department of Agriculture; t h e National Park S e r v i c e , De-
partment of t h e I n t e r i o r ; t h e P o s t O f f i c e Department; and
t h e General S e r v i c e s Administration. These v a r i a t i o n s ex-
i s t e d because t h e r e were no s p e c i f i c t i r e removal and re-
b u i l d i n g c r i t e r i a o r confidence i n t h e r e l i a b i l i t y of re-
b u i l t t i r e s . I t w a s our opinion t h a t t h e General S e r v i c e s
Administration should have determined whether r e b u i l t t i r e s
were r e l i a b l e and should have furnished appropriate guid-
ance concerning t h e i r use on Government v e h i c l e s .


                                              14
         The General S e r v i c e s Administration agreed w i t h our
proposal t h a t i t keep i n c l o s e touch w i t h the program 0:
the N a t i o n a l T r a f f i c S a f e t y Agency f o r t i r e r e s e a r c h , t e s t -
i n g , and development so t h a t i t could be i n a p o s i t i o n t o
promulgate s t a n d a r d s f o r t h e use of r e b u i l t t i r e s on Govern-
ment v e h i c l e s on t h e b a s i s of the s t a n d a r d s e s t a b l i s h e d f o r
t h e d r i v i n g p u b l i c . I t also planned t o independently t e s t
r e b u i l t t i r e s and t o i s s u e r e v i s e d s p e c i f i c a t i o n s f o r new
t i r e s which would preclude carcass damage from excess tread
wear.

         We a l s o r e p o r t e d t o t h e Congress on p o l i c i e s and prac-
t i c e s w i t h i n the Department of Defense f o r t h e recapping of
a i r c r a f t t i r e s (€3-146753, February 1, 1968). A t t h e t i m e
of o u r review, the Department of Defense had not i s s u e d
p o l i c i e s and procedures r e g a r d i n g t h e r e b u i l d i n g of a i r -
c r a f t t i r e s , and w e found a d i s p a r i t y i n t h e a i r c r a f t t i r e -
r e b u i l d h g p r a c t i c e s of t h e t h r e e m i l i t a r y departments. We
recommenied t h a t t h e S e c r e t a r y of Defense issue p o l i c y guid-
ance f o r r e b u i l d i n g a i r c r a f t t i r e s and t h a t t h e Department
of Defense p e r i o d i c a l l y review the r e b u i l d i n g p o l i c i e s and
procedures of t h e m i l i t a r y departments.

AGENCY AUDIT ACTIONS

         We contacted t h e i n t e r n a l a u d i t o r g a n i z a t i o n s of t h e
Army, Navy, and A i r Force t o a s c e r t a i n t h e e x t e n t of t h e i r
a u d i t e f f o r t s i n the t i r e - r e b u i l d i n g area. Only one r e c e n t
r e p o r t , t h a t by t h e A i r Force Auditor General, dated Octo-
ber 1969, included t h e r e s u l t s of any a u d i t e f f o r t s expended
i n t h i s a r e a . The Army and the Navy a u d i t a c t i v i t i e s pro-
vided no r e p o r t s t o r e f l e c t a u d i t e f f o r t s i n t h i s area.

         The A i r Force Auditor G e n e r a l ' s r e p o r t , while d e a l i n g
p r i m a r i l y w i t h A i r Force b a s e s i n t h e c o n t i n e n t a l United
S t a t e s , found c o n d i t i o n s similar t o t h o s e w e found i n Eu-
rope. The Auditor General found t h a t 18 t o 30 p e r c e n t of
Air Force t i r e requirements a t i n d i v i d u a l b a s e s were being
m e t through t h e r e b u i l d of used t i r e s and concluded t h a t
the A i r Force a c t i v i t i e s w e r e e i t h e r scrapping used t i r e s
t h a t could be r e b u i l t o r keeping t i r e s on t h e i r v e h i c l e s
beyond the l i m i t s f o r removal f o r recapping e s t a b l i s h e d by
Air Force d i r e c t i v e s . The r e p o r t recommended, among o t h e r
t h i n g s , t h a t the A i r Force p r e s c r i b e standard procedures

                                              15
that encourage the use of recapped t i r e s . The A i r Force,
as a r e s u l t of t h i s recommendation, made changes t o e x i s t -
ing r e g u l a t i o n s and stated that these changes would encour-
age maximum use of recapped t i r e s and would reduce expendi-
t u r e s.




                                   16
                        CHAPTER4

    CONCLUSIONS, RECOMMENDATIONS, AND AGENCY COMMENTS

     Rebuilding reparable used tires, instead of purchasing
new tires, is a recognized economical alternative for meet-
ing tire requirements throughout the Government. We be-
lieve that the Air Force has not improved its program for
rebuilding used motor vehicle tires. The same deficiencies
of inadequate supervision of tire inspection and rebuild ac-
tivities by base officials and insufficient command surveil-
lance that we reported in June 1966 are still prevalent in
the tire-rebuiding programs in Europe.

     We believe that the Department of the Army has not in-
stituted adequate surveillance procedures nor required the
necessary supply discipline to ensure maximum utilization of
rebuilt tires in Europe. Such supply discipline is required
in procedures for identifying reparable tires and salvaging
those tires for recapping instead of permitting them to be
scrapped.

     We believe that the conditions we noted in the European
area and those revealed by the Air Force Auditor General's
review may also exist at other locations.

RECOMMENDATIONS

     We recommend that the Secretary of Defense take the
necessary action to ensure that the Air Force and the Army
will improve their programs and use more rebuilt tires in
Europe to satisfy the needs of operating organizations.
Such improved programs should include but should not be lim-
ited to:

     --Inspection of tires on vehicles during vehicle main-
       tenance to ensure removal at the required time f o r
       rebuilding.

     --Inspections periodically of condemned tires in dis-
       posal yards to make sure that tires which can be re-
       built and used are not scrapped.


                             17
     --Initiation of operational standards aiid a reporting
       system which would adequately measure the perfor-
       mance of the tire-rebuilding program at each base.
       We suggest that the General Services Administration
       be consulted for any standards dealing with t h e use
       of rebuilt tires.

     We further recommend that the Secretary of Defense de-
termine whether the military services are using rebuilt
tires to the extent possible in other geographical areas and
provide for continuing follow-up reviews to ensure that ap-
propriate corrective actions are taken when necessary.

AGENCY COMMENTS

     In a,letterdated August 1 4 , 1970, the Assistant Secre-
tary of Defense (Installations and Logistics) stated that,
after reviewing our report, comments from the Army and the
Air Force, and General Services Administration program rel-
ative to the use of rebuilt tires, it was evident that ad-
ditional Office of the Secretary of Defense policy on
vehicle-tire standards and on the use of rebuilt tires was
in order. .

     Therefore the Assistant Secretary stated that a program
similar to one instituted for aircraft tires would be ini-
tiated which will consider experience within the Department
of Defense, the General Services Administration, and our
findings and recommendations. He stated also that upon com-
pletion of this task, we would be furnished the Department
of Defense Instruction.




                              18
                          CHAPTER 5

                        SCOPE OF REVIEW
     In performing our review, we examined pertinent 2ozu-
ments and interviewed responsible officials at Army and A i r
Force command headquarters and various Army and Air Force
installations in Europe. We limited our examination to
motor vehicle tire sizes which are actually reparable at
the tire-rebuilding plant and by contractors in Turkey and
the United Kingdom.
     Information on tire requirements of the U.S. Army units
in Europe was extracted from pertinent records at the Army
Materiel Command and the Army Equipment Support Center in
Europe. Information for Air Force tire requirements during
fiscal year 1969 was furnished to us by the Air Force.
     Statistics on   the quantity of tires rebuilt during €is-
cal year 1969 were   obtained from the Amy tire-rebuilding
plant for both the   Army and the Air Force installations in
continental Europe   and from the Air Force for those instal-
lations located in   Turkey and the United Kingdom.
     The Army and Air Force installations visited during
our review are listed below.

    U.S. Army, Europe, Headquarters; Heidelberg, Germany
    U.S. Army Maintenance Plant, Ober-Ramstadt, Germany
    U.S. Army Materiel Command, Europe; Zweibrucken, Germany
    U.S. Army Equipment Support Center, Roedelheim, Germany
    U.S. Army Property Disposal Office, Kaiserslautern,
      Gemany
Air Force :
    U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Headquarters; Xesbaden,
      Germany
    Wiesbaden Air Base, Gemany
    Sembach Air Base, Germany
    Hahn Air Base, Germany
Disposal activities:
         Ramstein, Germany
        Bitburg , Germany
        Mainz/Kastell, Germany
                               19
APPENDIXES




  21
                                                                   APPENDIX I



                              ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
                                   WASHINGTON, D.C. 10301




                                                                      14 AUG 1970
INSTALLATIONS AND LOGISTICS




     M r . Charles M. Bailey
     Bir ector, Defense Division
     U.S. General Accounting Office
     Washington, D. C. 20548

      Dear Mr. Bailey:

     This is in response to your letter of June 19, 1970 to the Secretary of
     Defense which forwarded a GAO Draft Report concerning thp "Opportunity
     for Improving Results of Tire Rebuilding P r o g r a m s in Europe, I T (OSD
     Case #3132).

     After reviewing your report, the comments of the Department of the Army
     and Department of the A i r F o r c e , a s well a s the General Services
     Administration program relative to the use of rebuilt t i r e s , it i s evident
     that additional OSD policy on vehicle (nonaircraft) t i r e standards and on
     the use of rebuilt tires is in order.

     Therefore, an OSD program similar t o that instituted for aircraft t i r e s
     will be initiated. This program will take into consideration experience
     within the DoD, the GSA and your findings and recommendations. It is
     anticipated that this effort will be completed by November 1970. On
     completion, a copy of the DoD Instruction will be provided to your office.

                                              Sincerely,




                                                    BARRY J a SHILLITO
                                              Assistant Secretary of Defense
                                               (Installations and Logistics)



                                            23
APPENDIX I1
     Page 1
                      PRINCIPAL OFFICIALS
                              OF
                  THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
                 THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY

              AND THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE

        RESPONSIBLE FOR ADMINISTRATION OF ACTIVITIES
                     DISCUSSED IN THIS REPORT

                                         Tenure
                                             _ _ of office
                                                        To
                                                        _I




                      DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
SECRETARY OF DEFENSE:
    Melvin R. Laird                   Jan, 1969      Present
    Clark M. Clifford                 Mar.    1968   Jan. 1969

ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE
  (INSTALLATIONS AND LOGISTICS):
    Barry J. Shillito                 Feb. 1969      Present
    Thomas D. Morris                  Sept. 1967     Jan. 1969

UNITED s-rAixs EUROPEAN COMMAND:
                 .
    Geii. Andrew J Goodpus t r ~      July 1969      Present
    Gen. Lyman L. Lemnitzer           Nov. 1962      June 1969

                     DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
SECRETARY OF THE ARMY:
    Stanley R. Resor                  July 1965      Present
ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE ARMY
  (INSTALLATIONS AND LOGISTICS):
    J. Ronald Fox                     June 1969      Present
    Vincent P. Huggard (acting)       Mar.    1969   .June   1969



                               24
                                                         APPENDIX I1
                                                              Page 2
                       PRINCIPAL OFFICIALS

                                OF

                    THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

                   TKE DEPARTMENT OF THE   ARMY
               AND THE DEPARTPENT OF TKE A I R FORCE

        RESPONSIBLE FOR ADMINISTRATION OF ACTIVITIES

                     DISCUSSED I N THIS REPORT (continued)

                                            Tenure of o f f i c e
                                            From           To -
                      DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY (continued)

U . S . ARMY MATERIAL C O W D
    C O W D I N G GENERAL:
       L t . Gen. Henry A . Miley       Nov.      1970     Present
       Gen. Ferdinand J. Chesarek       Mar.      1969     Oct.  1970
    Gen. Frank S. Besson, Jr.           July      1962     Mar. 1969
COMMANDER I N CHIEF, U.S.   ARMY,
  EUROPE :
    Gen. J. H. Folk                     June      1967     Present

                   DEPARTMENT OF THE A I R FORCE
SECRETARY OF THE A I R FORCE:
    D r . Robert C. Seamans, Jr.        Jan.      1969     P r e s e nt
    Br. Harold Brown                    Oct.      1965     J a n . 1969

ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF T H I A I R
  FORCE .(INSTALIATIONS AND
  LOGISTICS) :
     P h i l i p N. Whittaker           May       1969     Present
     Robert H. Charles                  Nov.      1963     May   1969
COMMANDER, A I R FORCE LOGISTICS
  COMMAND:
    Gen. Jack G. Flerrell               Mar.      1968     Present


                                 25
APPENDIX I1
     Page 3
                       PRINCIPAL OFFICIALS

                                 OF
                    THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

                  THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY

               AND TKE DEPARTMENT OF THE A I R FORCE

        RESPONSIBLE FOR ADMINISTRATION OF A C T I V I T I E S

                     DISCUSSED I N THIS REPORT (continued)

                                              T e n u r e of o f f i c e
                                              -
                                              From                 To
                                                                   _.




                  DEPARTMENT OF THE A I R FORCE (continued)

COMMANDER I N CHIEF, U.S. AIR
  FORCES I N EUROPE:
    Gen. J. R. Holzapple                   Feb.    1969       Present
    Gen. Horace M. Wade                    Aug.    1968       Jan. 1969
    Gen. Maurice A. Preston                Aug.    1966       July 1968




                                                             U.S. GAO Wsah., D.C.
                                  26