Determination of Optimum Mix of Civil Service and Contract Longshoremen and Shortshoremen

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-04-13.

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

                             C0W=TROUER     r,ENEBP.L      OF   Y-HE   UNlTED   !3TATES

*-   9                                    WASHtNS.TON.      D.C.   ZOW3

         Dear Sk, XMtehurst:

                J%xrther reference is-made to your letter dated October 6, 1970, and
         subazzquent communications with our representa,tives,    requesting that we
         detezz&ne &ether the Government is getting the most for its money under
         the 2reseat mix%fW&.&l       service and contract longshoremen'and certain
                                _..,.         the Naval +pply Center, Norfolk,
                We &ave concluded that the present civil service longshoreman force
         of X22 employees, working in six gangs of 17 men each, and the shortshore-
         msn $?orce recently increased from 50 to 80 employees has proven to be the
         most &ficient      number of in-house employees, when au@ented.by contract
         empl@;,vees as necessary.     In making this determination,    we reviewed work
         load s.~5 xork force statistical      data, records, reports, and studies.     We
         used the criteria     provided in Bureau of the Budget Circular IJo. A-76 in
         evalrzzting    the Navy's cost study.     We also interviewed Supply Center and
         NavaX Area Budit Office personnel and union officials         representing the
         civ2     service workers.

                Z?~L;Sizpply Center supplements its civil service work force during
         per&&     of peak work loads by using contract longshoremen between ships
         and p2ers and contract shortshoremen between piers and warehouses. The
         contr-ct    for these services was competitively  awarded in 1969 and was
         eKteded to cover 1970. The 1970 contract amount was about $3 million.
               %!ecently the Supply Center's             work load and work force has declined
         as sti;hn in the following  table:

                                    January 1?6? through December 1970

                                      Work load in                              Work force in m3n4ays
Period                                measurement tons (note a)         Civil    servzce Contract \:or
Ju_ly through          Sept. 1969             393,000                           5,792             9,126
Oct. through Dec.              1969           400,000                           5,624             5,076
Jan. through Mar.              1970           2l4,ooo                           5,968             3,240
Apr. through           June    1970           237,000                           5,848             2,&4

July through           Sept.   1970           212,000                           5832              3,186

act.     through       Dec.    1970           163,000                           4,688             1,836

       aA unit         of volume for cargo freight--usually           &C cubic feet.
       The following           changes      in the number of gangs have been made since
November 1967.
                                                                                N&ber of gangs
         Date                                Tvoe of action                       remaining
November 196'7                            Eliminated    one gang                          10
October         1968                      Eliminated    three gangs                           7
November 1969                             One gang added                                      8
&Y              1970                      Eliminated    two gangs                             6
       The Supply Center has made cost studies at different  times to determine
the most economical mix of civil service and contract longshoremen and short-
shoremen. The most recent study, completed in August 1970, showed t&at six
civil   service longshoremen gangs could be fuJ.ly employed and wotid be the
most economical work force when supplemented by contract labor to meet peak
work load requirements.     The study showed that, although the daily cost for
a civil   service longshoreman was only aSout 58 percent of the cost for a
contract longshoreman, an all civil service or an all contract force would
be more costly than a mixed work force because of work load fluctuations.
The Navy study showed that the daily cost of civil service shortshoremen
was about 83 percent of that of contract shortshoremen, and the force was
increased from 50 to the optimum number-&XI.



                       The Navy study understated the daily cost for a contract longshoreman
                because Supply Center overhead and the contractor's     indirect labor and profit
                were omitted.    As a result the optimum number of civil service longshoremen
                was understated by one or two gangs. Nevertheless, the present civil service
                force of six gangs proved to be the optimum number because the work load had
                declined since the Supply Center study.     The Navy made the same omissions
                in developing the shortshoremen cost.     Our evaluation showed that the 30
                workers added to that force brought it tc the optimum level.
                      The commanding officer said that the Supply Center would include the
                omitted cost elements in its future evaluations of requirements for long-
                shoremen and shortshoremen, which will be-de    monthly because of constantly
                changing work loads.                                    e
                      Department of the Navy and Department of Defense officials   have not
                been &ven an opportunity    to comment on the matters discussed In this repcrt.
                In accordance with discussions with your office,    we are sending requested
*.   *e*.   _   copies of this report to Senators Harry F. Byrd, Jr., and William B. Sponq, Jr
                      We trust   that the results   of our inquiries    are responsive   to your
                request.                                                          .. I
                                                                  Sincerely   yours,

                                                     ASSista~~t Comptroller General
                                                                of the United States
                The Honorable G. William     Whitehurst
                House of Representatives