Examination Into the Return of Materiel From the Pacific Area to the United States--Principally to the Anniston, Sharpe and Tooele Army Depots

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-07-29.

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

                                        Webelievesigniffeantpedactioas         in sbippiag mdhmdk&(     cask?
                                   can be made by Amp.ro~&~ identLfic&.fs        ami'scre~      pmcedmws ovw-
                                   seas in order to redmethe        amount of retumedm&erlel.th&fs       subject
                            --.    to disposal.
                                         We are bring-       these mtters  to pmr attention  at this time
                                   because of the continuing and increasfng mte at which US, mil3my
                                   forcesarebeingtithdrawnfkcmtheBcific              area. It is logicaJ.to
                                   expectincreasingammtsofretrogmdem&zriel.tobegenerated,                   so
                                   we believe pmp': action is required to correct deficiemles         M&h
                                   exist in the cment progm.

                                          The voluneofmatexlelbeing         relxrnedtithe        Bcificto      the
                                   west coast has increased steadily frozn a low of 35,000 measurement
              . .                  tonsinfisc~year1~5~125,ooO~~~~~ttonspernonth~
                                   thefirsthalfof           fisc&tye&rZL~O.     Upn~~~ivsl~nuchofthi~~~~.t+
                                   rielwas      classifiedssunse.rviceable      mdmecomnicalto          repair and
                                   was salt to dispcsal.

             -_                                          50 TH Aff MVERSARY     1921- 1971
- --.-.. .              .   ’ :


     .            -


                                                                  as well. as WI azlheaffion for olrfiszheaa.
                                  . Hmm,    the costs for p-oc@SW at the poYt, t1psrra~Ytatfont to t&t
                                    pod of ezltzy, and iitlamd fax&mportatiOR to f3llaYp are Rot inelM.
                                       At !lhele Amsy Depot, 4,247 tons of IZ&ZYM. with a recordecl
                                  cost of $5e7 d.l.Zon were relxumd 33xa the R3&f%c area during fUa0.
                                  year 1970 and erubmly       sell! to dispoti. lI3fx& th@ first qe
                                   of f3ercalyear lg?l, Tooele received l&59 major items--primuSy
         --.                       tracks, tzsdlers and lxactors--mch     were late3 cliassified a6 umer-
                                   ticeable and uneco&cal      to repate aala therefore t2onaue
         - -                              We were told by an official      at Tooele that, because of differ-
                                   em98 in 3?qar m,                 many itcsms cl&ssuled as            le in the
                                   RacxLfic are de42zabed to be unecon~cal.          to zqxxLr by Taoele.
                                   ItifYerencesbetweenthe        est%m&drep&rcosts         shownonthe Ewific
                                   reco~& and those shown on the Tooele records se&m to us 3~ be
                                   t3igdfhant.       Based OR our coqarison of these records and discus-
                                   &ms t&h Tooele officials,          it apars    that the inqectors      in the
                                   Faciflc base their estimates on the cost of rem                the item to a
                                   seticeab3.e condition, while inspectors at Tkmele base their est3mates
                                   on rem          the ita to a Eke-new condit5on as required by the
         -.                        re@ations      and instructions    f&m inmtim       control polats.

                                        --Aflel.dinspe&or           esGnateditwotidcost$2,~,
                                           including return       tranqortation,     to repair     a
                                          2-l/2   ton refuse truck,       and it   -was returned       to
                                          Tooele. At Tooele it was esidmated that it would
                                          cost $5,785 to repa3x. !Kbis exceeded the e&ho-
                                          rizedrepa%r   costandt&etruckwas    sentto

                                        --A field inspector estimated it would cost $I.,775
                                           to rep?& a 242 ton cargo truck, incbMi.ng txumm
                                           portation cost. At Tooele it was de&mined that
                                           the repair cost would be $5,550 and the truck was
                                           sent to disposal.

.   L

              We retiewed 698 major items, involv3ng 48 different        Federal Stock
        l3umberstithaP1acqtisitioncost      ofappr7x&ately      $4million,    that had
        been classified   as uneconomical to repair when received at Tooele. We
        were unable to determine the trsnsportation      cost fkcm the Pacific area
        to the west coast, but the transpo~tion       cost fmm the west cow& to
        Tooele amounted to about $ll4,000 for these items. We traced 2% of
         the 693 items to the property disposal office and found that 149 of
        the items with an acquisition    cost to-        $86,lSS had been sold for
         $6,210. The freight cost to transport these 149 items fron the west
         roast toTooele~Depotwas$l3,321.
              During our visit toAnnistonAzmyDepot,we       dif3coveredthatahout
        go0 tons of materiel were received from the RBccific area during f5scal
        yew 19‘70, classified  ens "unserviceable - uneconum%c&lly reparable"
        8ndwere sentto disposal.      Tothe extentthb    volmeofunecontic~
        reparable materiel shipped back to the United States"can be reduced,
        substantIa1 costs c&n be maided.
              The Army Materiel CommandRetrograde DistributJlon Hle, together
        with instructions    from commodiw commands, mthorizes   the autom&ic
        disposal overseas of certain' lot? value items. +%st items tith a value
        of $20 or less, regardless of semiceabiiity,    are authorized to be
        sent directly    to dispos81.
             We found that substantial quantities  of materiel authorized for
        automatic disposal are being needlessly returned to mainland Army
               During fiscal year 1970, 7 percent of all retrograde tonnage
        processed at Sharpe Army Depot w&s sent directly    to disposal because
        the items were determined to be either obsolete, of insufficient
        value to warrant identification   effort,  or did not meet minimum line
        item value Units established by inventory controlpofnts.        The same
        was true for 676 tons (valued at $63 tillion)    of mkeriel   received
        at Tooele during the sane period.     These items could have been
        processed directly to disposel overseas, thereby avoiding the trans-
        portation and handling costs involved in stipping them back to the
        United States.

                                                 \                        .   “3)

      DurZng fiscal year 1970, 12,000 tons of serviceable mterfel
valued at about $34.7 million were rece%ved at Tooele Army &pot
from the Pacific area, and materiel valued at $45.3 million was
shipped to the Pacific area.
      We asked the data systems personnel at TooeLs to provfde us
with a listing   showing the details on stock numbers having both
receipts and issues for the FWific area. The list showed that
46,943 of 66,812 stock numbers had both receipts and issues dur%ng
fiscal year 1970. Approximtely      847,000 serviceshle units mlued
at $5 mK!Xon were received, and over 2 million like items. valued
St  $13 million  were issued.
       We believe this volume of cross-shipezents indicates that the
screening of requirements against returns overseas was not fully
effective.     We understand that the screening required since
October 1, 190, under new Drocedures of the Pacffic Utilization
and Redistribution    Agency will minimize such cross-shiments.

      We h8Ve discussed these matters with officitis     in the office of
the .Qz's Depl;ty Cl;ief of St& ef for Logistics,    and they have con-
curred with our observations.    In order to realize the significant
savings we believe are possible, we recommend that:
     --The criteria   for determining the economic repairability
        of equipment be clarified    so that inspectors in the         0. Pig3
    > Pacific Ccmnnanddo not base their decisions on the cost
        of returning  items to serviceable ccndition while inspec-
        tors at depots in the United States base their decisions
        on the cost of returning the items to like-new condition.
     --The necessity for closer screening of low-value materiel
        be emphasized to overseas commands in order to avoid
        the uneconomic return of items which are authorized to
       'be sent directly  to property disposal.

    .   l