f PTROLLER GENERAL OF THE U WASHINGTON, D.C. 20!348 B-173012 ..'. i Dear Mr. Henderson: I Your letter tion be made at of May 6, 1971, requested Air Force installations that an investiga- to determine whether 7 ?r / 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 stock. --Determining the extent of internal reviews of bench stock procedures. Summarized below are the results of our review. AIR FORCE PROCEDURESFOR DISPOSAL OF EXCESS BENCH STOCK 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- tem. 50TH ANNIVERSARY 1921- 1971 , * B-173012 VIEWS OF WORKERSAND SUPERVISORS 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. PHYSICAL INSPECTION OF SHOPS AND DISPOSAL YARDS 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. INTERNAL REVIEW To varying degrees the Inspector General and Auditor General staffs consider bench stock procedures during their 2 B-173012 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. CONCLUSION 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, al of the United States , The Honorable David N. Henderson House of Representatives 3
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)