Bench Stock and Other Useful Supplies Left Over From Repair Jobs

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-08-05.

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


                                     PTROLLER       GENERAL      OF      THE       U
                                                  WASHINGTON,     D.C.         20!348

    ..'. i Dear Mr. Henderson:

                     Your letter
              tion be made at
                                    of May 6, 1971, requested
                                   Air Force installations
                                                                     that an investiga-
                                                                  to determine   whether
     /       ibench stock and      other useful    supplies  left    over from repair
              jobs:were    being   destroyed   so ihat--they   would not show up dur-
              ing inspections      as items not properly     accounted      for.
                                                                                                                             - i i..L
                     Our work was performed     at four Air Force bases--Seymour-                                              ,*!,
             Johnson at Goldsboro,      North Carolina;    Langley at Hampton,
             Virginia;    Carswell at Fort Worth, Texas; and Dyess at Abi-
             lene, Texas-- and included      the following   steps.

                    --Examining   Air      Force procedures                             for      disoosal
                                                                                                      -v. -...Ir of excess
                       bench stock.

                    --Querying   civilian   employees on their    knowledge of im-
                       proper disposals    and their  views regarding     the ade-
                       quacy of procedures    for disposal  of bench stock.

                    --Conducting  physical  inspections of shops and dis-
                       posal yards for evidence of improper disposal   of bench

                    --Determining    the extent                 of internal                      reviews    of bench
                       stock procedures.

                    Summarized     below        are the results                         of our review.


                   According  to Air Force guidelines,        bench stock items
             left  over from completed     jobs can be placed in a residue           sec-
             tion of the work area.       These items can be held for a period
             of 180 days before a determination       is made to either       retain
             the items, if some usage has been experienced,            or dispose of
             them.   This in effect     makes the items available       in the work
             area for future    needs and also eliminates       any accounting       pro-
             cedures associated     with returning   material     to the supply sys-

                                        50TH     ANNIVERSARY                     1921-        1971



               None of the employees interviewed      at Seymour-Johnson and
        Langley were aware of instances      of bench stock or other sup-
        plies accumulating    to such an extent   that the items would be
        disposed of to prevent    an unfavorable    inspection   report.
        These employees further    advised us that excess items generally
        are retained   for future  use.

                Most of the employees interviewed      at Carswell      and Dyess
        stated that they did not think        improper disposals       of bench
        stock happened at either       of these bases.       It was the general
        feeling     of the employees we interviewed       at Carswell    that
        there was no reason for disposal         of bench stock since Air
        Force procedures     provide   that material    left    over from com-
        pleted    jobs can be retained     in the work area.


                At-Langley    we found one instance    of excessive     accumula-
        tion of residual        bench stock.   This was brought     to the at-
        tention     of the Auditor    General,  and the involved     bench stock
        was inventoried       and found to contain    $5,000 worth of supplies.
        We were advised that the stock would be returned              to the sup-
        ply system.        We found no other instances     of excessive     accumu-
        lations      of bench stock at the other bases.

                At Carswell   it is a practice     to inspect   the trash con-
        tainers    for any usable items.        In the past 11 months, items
        valued at about $100 to $150 were found in trash containers.
        We made our own inspections         of trash containers      at both
        Carswell     and Dyess and found no evidence       that improper dis-
        posals of bench stock were being made. At Seymour-Johnson
        we made a physical       inspection   of the disposal     yard and found
        only items which were excess to base supply requirements.


              To varying    degrees   the Inspector  General     and Auditor
        General staffs     consider   bench stock procedures      during   their


    reviews at Air Force bases.           At the four bases we visited,             the
    Inspector    General had identified         no deficiencies       relating    to
    bench stock.     At Langley and Seymour-Johnson,              the Inspector
    General investigation        included    (1) a search for hidden bench
    stock and supplies,       including    an examination       of contents      of
    tool boxes, and (2) an examination             of items accumulated        in
    residue   areas consisting        of materials    left    over from work or-
    ders, items left      over from kits,       and items deleted         from bench
    stock but left     in the work area for a period             of time to be
    used if needed.

           The Auditor     General has made recent reviews at Langley
    and Seymour-Johnson       but not at Dyes9 and Carswell.         No defi-
    ciencies   in bench stock were noted at Langley.            At Seymour-
    Johnson the Auditor       General noted several    deficiencies      in
    the handling      of bench stock and some excess accumulations            of
    materials    left   over from work orders.     The deficiencies       were
    corrected    and the excess materials      were returned      to the base
    supply system.


           We believe   the procedures      in effect      are reasonable     and
    do not foster     needless disposals.         Actual practices       can vary,
    however, between installations,           and it is possible       that some
    needless disposals       have occurred.        Nevertheless    based on our
    observations,     more stringent     controls,      which would necessarily
    increase     costs of operations,     would not seem warranted          in
    view of the value of the supplies           involved.

           We would be pleased to discuss           this    matter   with   you fur-
    ther   if you should so desire.

                                            Sincerely      yours,

                                            of the United       States

,   The Honorable  David N. Henderson
    House of Representatives