United States General Accounting Office GAO Report to the Subcommittee on Readiness, Committee on Armed Services, House of Representatives April 2003 DOD CIVILIAN PERSONNEL Improved Strategic Planning Needed to Help Ensure Viability of DOD’s Civilian Industrial Workforce GAO-03-472 April 2003 DOD CIVILIAN PERSONNEL Improved Strategic Planning Needed to Highlights of GAO-03-472, a report to the Subcommittee on Readiness, Help Ensure Viability of DOD’s Civilian Committee on Armed Services, House of Representatives Industrial Workforce Between 1987 and 2002, the DOD has not implemented our October 2001 recommendation to develop Department of Defense (DOD) and implement a DOD depot strategic plan that would delineate workloads downsized the civilian workforce in to be accomplished in each of the services’ depots. The DOD depot system 27 key industrial facilities by about has been a key part of the department’s plan to support military systems in 56 percent. Many of the remaining the past, but the increased use of the private sector to perform this work has 72,000 workers are nearing retirement. In recent years GAO decreased the role of these activities. While title 10 of the U.S. code requires has identified shortcomings in DOD to retain core capability and also requires that at least 50 percent of DOD’s strategic planning and was depot maintenance funds be spent for public-sector performance, questions asked to determine (1) whether remain about the future role of DOD depots. Absent a DOD depot strategic DOD has implemented our prior plan, the services have in varying degrees, laid out a framework for strategic recommendation to develop and depot planning, but this planning is not comprehensive. Questions also implement a depot maintenance remain about the future of arsenals and ammunition plants. GAO reviewed strategic plan, (2) the extent to workforce planning efforts for 22 maintenance depots, 3 arsenals, and which the services have developed 2 ammunition plants, which employed about 72,000 civilian workers in fiscal and implemented comprehensive year 2002. strategic workforce plans, and (3) what challenges adversely affect DOD’s workforce planning. The services have not developed and implemented strategic workforce plans to position the civilian workforce in DOD industrial activities to meet future requirements. While workforce planning is done for each of the industrial activities, generally it is short-term rather than strategic. Further, workforce GAO recommends that the DOD planning is lacking in other areas that OPM guidance and high-performing complete revisions to core policy, organizations identify as key to successful workforce planning. Service promulgate a schedule for workforce planning efforts (1) usually do not assess the competencies; completing core computations, and (2) do not develop comprehensive retention plans; and (3) sometimes do not complete depot strategic planning; develop performance measures and evaluate workforce plans. develop a plan for arsenals and ammunition plants; develop strategic workforce plans; and Several challenges adversely affect DOD’s workforce planning for the coordinate the implementation viability of its civilian depot workforce. First, given the aging depot of initiatives to address various workforce and the retirement eligibility of over 40 percent of the workforce workforce challenges. DOD over the next 5 to 7 years, the services may have difficulty maintaining the concurred with 7 of our 9 depots’ viability. Second, the services are having difficulty implementing recommendations; nonconcurring multiskilling—an industry and government best practice for improving the with two because it believes the flexibility and productivity of the workforce—even though this technique proposed National Security could help depot planners do more with fewer employees. Finally, increased Personnel System, which was training funding and innovation in the training program will be essential for submitted to Congress as a part of revitalizing the aging depot workforce. the DOD transformation legislation, will take care of these problems. We believe it is premature to Staffing Levels, Age, and Retirement Eligibility of Civilian Personnel in Industrial Facilities assume this system will (1) be FY 2002 civilian Percent eligible Percent eligible approved by Congress as proposed Service staffing levels Average age to retire by 2007 to retire by 2009 and (2) resolve these issues. Navy 35,563 46 28 39 Army 14,234 49 41 52 www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-03-472. Marine Corps 1,323 48 45 60 To view the full report, including the scope Air Force 21,152 47 35 44 and methodology, click on the link above. Total 72,272 47 33 43 For more information, contact Derek Stewart Source: DOD (data), GAO (presentation). at (202) 512-5559 or email@example.com. Contents Letter 1 Results in Brief 3 Background 5 DOD Lacks Strategic Planning to Guide Future Planning for Industrial Activities 11 Services’ Efforts to Develop Industrial Workforce Plans Vary and Generally Lack Some Key Planning Elements 21 A Number of Challenges Inhibit Effective Strategic Workforce Planning 31 Conclusions 42 Recommendations for Executive Action 44 Agency Comments and Our Evaluation 45 Appendix I Scope and Methodology 49 Appendix II Fiscal Year 2002 Services’ Depots 52 Appendix III Synopsis of Service Depots’ Short-Term Workforce Plans 55 Appendix IV GAO Staff Acknowledgments 64 Related GAO Products 65 Tables Table 1: Status of Service Depots’ Short-Term Workforce Planning Efforts 26 Table 2: Civilian Personnel in Industrial Facilities Eligible to Retire 32 Page i GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning Figures Figure 1: Location of 27 Key DOD Industrial Activities 6 Figure 2: Collection of Various Maintenance and Manufacturing Activities Performed in Selected Industrial Activities 8 Figure 3: Office of Personnel Management’s Workforce Planning Model 11 Abbreviations ALC Air Logistics Center DOD Department of Defense OPM Office of Personnel Managment This is a work of the U.S. Government and is not subject to copyright protection in the United States. It may be reproduced and distributed in its entirety without further permission from GAO. It may contain copyrighted graphics, images or other materials. Permission from the copyright holder may be necessary should you wish to reproduce copyrighted materials separately from GAO’s product. Page ii GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning United States General Accounting Office Washington, DC 20548 April 30, 2003 The Honorable Joel Hefley Chairman The Honorable Solomon P. Ortiz Ranking Minority Member Subcommittee on Readiness Committee on Armed Services House of Representatives The manufacture and support of military weapons involves a vast array of industrial capability some of which is in the private sector and some of which is in the public sector. The part in the public sector centers around 27 key Department of Defense (DOD) industrial facilities, including 22 maintenance depots, 3 arsenals, and 2 government-owned and-operated ammunition manufacturing plants.1 The civilian workforce in these activities was reduced by about 56 percent between 1987 and 2002—from about 163,000 to about 72,000 employees. The workforce reduction occurred as a result of downsizing initiatives, the increased use of the private sector for logistics support activities, and other factors. Because seniority was a major factor in determining which workers would be retained and little new hiring has occurred in most of these activities, the result of downsizing is that more than 7,000 civilian employees, or about 12 percent of the remaining workforce, are currently eligible to retire and about 43 percent will be eligible to retire by 2009. This has created a human capital management challenge for DOD. In addition, DOD’s challenge is exacerbated by the war on terrorism and other critical military operations while it also is undertaking significant transformation initiatives and addressing initiatives to further streamline its operations, including responding to further downsizing mandates. 1 DOD has nine other active ammunition manufacturing plants that are government-owned and contractor-operated. These nine plants have a total of 145 government civilians, 6 military personnel, and 5,314 contractor personnel. They are not included in this report’s discussion. Page 1 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning In recent years, we have emphasized the importance of strategic planning in DOD for establishing and achieving key mission objectives.2 We have also identified specific deficiencies in DOD’s planning for depot maintenance operations. For example, in October 2001, we reported that DOD had no overall plan that tied investments in depot maintenance facilities and equipment with future workloads3 and, in turn, with human capital needs. At that time we recommended that DOD, among other actions, develop a strategic—or long-term—plan for depot maintenance that addressed human capital needs and the specific actions necessary to meet them. This report looks specifically at the strategic workforce planning for the 27 previously mentioned DOD industrial facilities. Concerned about DOD’s apparent lack of a plan for its depot workforce and the potential implications of these deficiencies, you asked that we determine • whether DOD has implemented our prior recommendation to develop and implement strategic plans for depot maintenance; • the extent to which the services have developed and implemented strategic workforce plans to position the civilian depot workforce to meet future requirements; and • what challenges adversely affect DOD’s workforce planning for the long-term viability of its civilian depot workforce. As part of our work, we reviewed DOD’s and the services’ existing strategic and other workforce plans for these activities. We visited 18 maintenance depots, three arsenals, and two ammunition manufacturing plants and obtained data from 4 additional maintenance depots we did not visit. 2 Since 1997, we have issued several reports dealing with DOD’s implementation of strategic planning initiatives generated as a result of the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993, P. L. No. 03-62. Aug. 3, 1993. 3 U.S. General Accounting Office, Defense Logistics: Actions Needed to Overcome Capability Gaps in the Public Depot System, GAO-02-105 (Washington, D.C.: Oct. 12, 2001). Page 2 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning DOD has not implemented our prior recommendation to develop and Results in Brief implement a departmentwide depot strategic plan that would delineate future workloads to be accomplished in each of the services’ maintenance depots, and the services efforts to develop comprehensive depot strategic plans vary. Although recognition and maintenance of depots’ core capabilities and their workforces are key to the continued viability of the depot system, DOD’s increased use of the private sector in recent years has decreased the role of DOD’s maintenance depots and raised questions about their long-term future role that have not been addressed by a comprehensive strategic plan. Uncertainties also exist about the future role of DOD arsenals and ammunition plants. Depot officials said that it is difficult to develop a depot strategic plan with so many uncertainties about how the military depots will be used in the future. However, title 10 of the U.S. Code provides direction regarding the role of the depots and the allocation of depot maintenance work between the public and private sectors, and it dictates a continuing role for a level of DOD depot maintenance capability. The lack of a strategic plan may have serious implications because without forethought to shape the future of the depots and their workforces, the future capability of the two for performing work is questionable. Absent a departmentwide plan, the services’ efforts to develop comprehensive depot strategic plans vary. For example, the Army, Air Force and Marine Corps have developed depot plans, but the Army plan has been suspended, the Air Force plan does not address one depot nor identify specific new work, and the Marine Corps plan has not been approved and has no approval schedule. While the Navy has not developed a strategic depot plan, two of the Navy components—the shipyard and aviation communities—have begun strategic planning efforts. The services have also not developed and implemented strategic workforce plans that will position the civilian industrial workforce to meet future requirements. Except for the Air Force, the services industrial activities’ workforce plans are mostly short-term rather than strategic. The plans are also lacking in other areas that Office of Personnel Management (OPM) guidance and high-performing organizations identify as key to successful workforce planning. Specifically, they (1) usually do not assess the competencies needed for current and future workforces; (2) do not develop comprehensive retention plans that identify employees critical to accomplishment of organizational goals, develop an infrastructure to assist workers in becoming long-term assets of the organization, or provide meaningful incentives to retain valued employees; and (3) sometimes do not develop performance measures for evaluating Page 3 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning workforce plans to identify corrective actions needed to improve planning efforts. Several challenges adversely affect DOD’s workforce planning for the long-term viability of the workforce industrial workforce. First, given the aging of the workforce and the eligibility for retirement of about 43 percent of the workforce over the next 7 years, the services could have difficulty maintaining the viability of these activities. Yet, the implementation of short-term workforce planning rather than strategic planning does not address this challenge. Second, the services are having difficulty implementing multiskilling—an industry and government best practice for improving the flexibility and productivity of the workforce— even though this technique could help depot planners do more with fewer workers. Multiskilling is the process of training maintenance employees in specific skills that cross the traditional trade or craft lines and then ensuring that the work is performed. A major advantage of multiskilling is that particular jobs that require more than one craftnot necessarily more than one individualcan be performed by fewer personnel. Being able to provide additional compensation to workers for obtaining the desired new complementary skills could enhance the depots’ ability to implement this program successfully. Finally, the need for both increased funds and innovation in the training program will challenge efforts to revitalize the depot workforce. We are making recommendations to the Secretary of Defense to strengthen strategic workforce planning for DOD industrial activities. DOD provided oral comments after reviewing a draft of this report, concurring with seven of our nine recommendations. DOD’s response highlighted the importance the department places in human capital management. In non-concurring with two of our recommendations, DOD officials said that DOD’s new National Security Personnel System will provide all the flexibilities and authorities needed to maintain and enhance human resources competencies, capabilities, and performance across the department. Since the proposed new system has not yet been considered by the Congress, we believe it is premature to assume that all its provisions will be approved and that the new system will address our concerns. Page 4 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning Background DOD Industrial Activities DOD owns and operates industrial activities that support the military mission by repairing; rebuilding; overhauling; and upgrading components, ammunitions, or end items to return them to a like-new condition or by manufacturing new systems components or ammunitions. As of January 2003, and as shown in figure 1, DOD industrial activities included • twenty-two maintenance depots11 in the Navy (three aviation depots, four shipyards, and four warfare centers—two associated with ship systems and two associated with engineering analyses and command and control), 5 in the Army, 4 in the Air Force, and 2 in the Marine Corps; • three Army arsenals4 that have a manufacturing mission; and • two Army ammunition manufacturing plants that are government-owned and -operated. 4 The Arsenal Act (10 U.S.C. 4532) provides that the Army is to have its supplies made in U.S. factories or arsenals provided they can do so economically. The act further provides that the Secretary of the Army may abolish any arsenal considered unnecessary. Page 5 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning Figure 1: Location of 27 Key DOD Industrial Activities These activities, which are a part of the combined public and private sector industrial base and are largely staffed by DOD civilians, are described in appendix II. This appendix also describes the type of work performed at the activities and the number of DOD civilians employed in each. The activities generally require extensive shop facilities and specialized equipment and employ a range of personnel from highly skilled technicians and engineers to laborers. Figure 2 shows a collection of maintenance or manufacturing activities performed in some of the 27 industrial activities. In fiscal year 2002, these activities employed about 72,000 civilian employees—about 10 percent of DOD’s civilian workforce. About 1,200 military personnel are also employed in these activities, with Page 6 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning over half the military assigned to the Pearl Harbor Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Activity, which in 1998 consolidated its depot and intermediate maintenance work into one activity, bringing together the largely military workforce employed in the intermediate activity with the largely civilian population employed in the shipyard. In the other DOD industrial activities, military personnel are largely in managerial or supervisory positions. Of the approximately 72,000 civilian employees, the Army employs about 14,200; the Navy, about 35,500; the Marine Corps, about 1,300; and the Air Force, about 21,100. Various factors (such as the downsizing of the U.S. military force structure; increased use of the private sector for performing support activities; and changes in repair processes, increasing equipment’s time in the field) have resulted in significant reductions in the number of personnel working in these facilities. For example, the number of personnel assigned to DOD maintenance depots was reduced by about 60 percent between 1987 and 2001—from about 156,000 to about 64,500 workers, while the total amount of maintenance work was cut in half during that period. Page 7 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning Figure 2: Collection of Various Maintenance and Manufacturing Activities Performed in Selected Industrial Activities Page 8 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning The Government Improved strategic planning has been a key goal of the federal government Performance and in recent years, with the Government Performance and Results Act of Results Act of 1993 1993 providing guidance on strategic planning for government activities.5 Strategic plans are intended to be the starting point for each agency’s performance measurement efforts. Each plan is to cover a period of 5 years and must include a comprehensive mission statement, which discusses, among other things, the agency’s major functions and operations, a set of outcome-related goals and objectives, and a description of how the agency intends to achieve these goals and objectives. We previously reported that high-performing organizations begin their strategic planning by defining what they want to accomplish and what kind of organization they want to be.6 Similarly, agencies establish their missions, visions for the future, core values, goals and objectives, and strategies. Strategic Workforce High-performing public organizations have found that strategic planning Planning and management can address human capital, or workforce, shortfalls. Strategic workforce planning—planning that focuses on developing long-term strategies for acquiring, developing, and retaining an organization’s people and for aligning human capital approaches that are clearly linked to achieving programmatic goals—is a key part of human capital management. In short, according to a National Academy of Public Administration guide on building successful organizations, strategic workforce planning is a systematic process for identifying the human capital required to meet organizational goals and developing the strategies to meet these requirements. To help meet organizational goals, organizations use workforce planninggetting the right people with the right skills in the right jobs at the right time—that is explicitly linked to the agency’s overall mission and goals. 5 P.L. No. 103-62, Aug. 3, 1993. 6 U.S. General Accounting Office, Human Capital: A Self-Assessment Checklist for Agency Leaders, GAO/OCG-00-14G (Washington, D.C.: September 2000). Page 9 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning While many organizations have developed models for workforce planning,7 putting aside variations in terminology, the models generally include the following steps. • Set strategic direction, including the identification of organizational vision and objectives at that point in the future on which planning will be based. This direction should also include human capital goals. • Identify workforce skills and competencies needed to achieve the objectives. Analyze the present workforce to determine what skills and competencies are present. Compare the present workforce skills and competencies to those needed in the future. This step is sometimes referred to as “gap analysis.” • Develop an action plan to transition from the present workforce to the future workforce. The action plan should address recruiting, hiring, training, succession, and retention. • Implement the action plan by developing well-defined objectives, specific measurable workforce goals, and timetables and milestones; conducting recruiting and training; and putting retention strategies into practice. • Establish performance measures; periodically evaluate the workforce action plans, review the mission and objectives to ensure they remain valid; and make adjustments as required by changes in mission, objectives, and workforce skills and competencies. Strategic workforce planning is an iterative process, as demonstrated by the OPM’s workforce planning model in figure 3. 7 For example, OPM’s Workforce Planning Model (http://www.opm.gov/workforce planning/wfpmodel.htm) and U.S. General Accounting Office, Exposure Draft: A Model of Strategic Human Capital Management, GAO-02-373SP (Washington, D.C.: March 2002). Page 10 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning Figure 3: Office of Personnel Management’s Workforce Planning Model As a guide to help agencies in their human capital management efforts, the OPM issued the Human Capital Assessment and Accountability Framework in November 2002. This document provides standards for success that include, among other things: (1) strategic alignment, (2) workforce planning and deployment, and (3) suggested performance indicators. Criteria provided in other workforce planning models we reviewed are compatible with the more recent OPM framework. Although we have previously recommended the development and DOD Lacks Strategic implementation of a strategic plan for depot maintenance, DOD does Planning to Guide not yet have a strategic plan to guide the future development of depot maintenance activities, and questions continue about core capabilities Future Planning for and future work. While the DOD depot system has been a key part of the Industrial Activities department’s plan to support military systems, the increased use of the private sector to perform work previously performed by DOD employees has decreased the role of the services’ depots and raised questions regarding their future. Title 10 of the U.S. Code provides direction regarding the role that DOD depots should play in supporting the fighting Page 11 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning forces and in how depot work should be allocated between the public and private sectors. However, while some action has been taken to begin formulating a depot strategic plan, DOD does not yet have a strategic plan for its depot maintenance activities, and it is uncertain when it will be completed. Absent a comprehensive DOD plan, the services have in varying degrees initiated a strategic depot planning effort. Generally, however, the service versions do not identify what work will be performed in the service depots in the future, and it is uncertain whether these activities will continue to be viable as the systems they support age and are phased out of the inventory. Legislation Provides Although legislation requires the continued performance of some key Direction Regarding the industrial activities—core capabilities—in government-owned facilities Continued Performance of and by government personnel and specifies that not more than 50 percent of funds spent for depot maintenance may be spent for work performed Depot Maintenance in by the private sector, DOD has in recent years increasingly relied on the DOD Activities private sector for the performance of various logistics activities, including depot maintenance. In the past, the department requested repeal of legislative provisions that influenced the continued use of DOD facilities and personnel performing depot maintenance activities and recently again considered proposing the repeal in order to gain flexibility for its business decisions. However, the identification and acquisition of future core capabilities are key to strategic depot planning. Section 2464 of title 10 requires the Secretary of Defense to identify and maintain a core logistics capability. Under that provision, the core logistics capability is to be owned and operated by the government to ensure the existence of a ready and controlled source of technical competence and resources so that the military can effectively and timely respond to mobilization, national defense emergencies, and contingencies. The core capabilities are to include those necessary to maintain and repair the weapon systems and military equipment that the Secretary, in consultation with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, identifies as necessary to meet the nation’s military needs. Furthermore, the Secretary is to identify the workloads required to maintain those core capabilities and to require their performance in government facilities. Finally, the Secretary is to assign these facilities sufficient workloads to ensure peacetime cost efficiency, technical competencies, surge capacity, and reconstitution capabilities to support military strategic and contingency plans. Nonetheless, the concept of core capabilities is not precise and has been controversial. We have previously reported that the department’s implementation of the core statute is not comprehensive and that the Page 12 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning policy and implementing procedures and practices provide little assurance that core maintenance capabilities are being developed as needed to support future national defense emergencies and contingencies.8 In response to our report, DOD has revised its core policy to improve the department’s guidance to the military services regarding how core capability requirements should be developed. Although this guidance has been issued, questions remain about the guidance and the services are not accomplishing key analyses to identify essential core capabilities. In addition, 10 U.S.C. 2466 specifies that no more than 50 percent of the funds made available for depot maintenance may be spent for private sector performance, unless the requirement is waived for a particular fiscal year. This sets aside 50 percent of the funding for public-sector performance of these workloads. In recent years, our mandated reviews of the allocation of depot maintenance work between the public and private sector with regard to the 50 percent funding rule have found that increasing amounts of the service’s depot work was going to the private sector. For example, during fiscal 2001 and 2002, the Air Force exceeded the 50 percent limit and waived the requirement; we could not determine with precision whether the Army was in compliance with the 50 percent provision.9 Because DOD implemented an acquisition policy that called on the private sector for life-cycle logistics support of its weapons systems, during the 1990s most new weapon system programs called for using private-sector maintenance providers, with depot repair of few new programs going to military depots.10 With some increased visibility and awareness of the 50-50 and core provisions, DOD has recognized the need to revitalize the depots. DOD guidance supports the use of public-private partnerships. In some of these partnerships, private-sector logistics providers subcontract with military depots for some depot maintenance work. We recently reported that public-private partnerships comprise only about 2 percent of DOD’s 8 U.S. General Accounting Office, Defense Logistics: Actions Needed to Overcome Capability Gaps in the Public Depot System, GAO-02-105 (Washington, D.C.: Oct. 12, 2001). 9 U.S. General Accounting Office, Depot Maintenance: Change in Reporting Practices and Requirements Could Enhance Congressional Oversight, GAO-03-16 (Washington, D.C.: Oct. 18, 2002). 10 U.S. General Accounting Office, Defense Depot Maintenance: DOD Shifting More Workload for New Weapon Systems to the Private Sector, GAO/NSIAD-98-8 (Washington, D.C.: Mar. 31, 1998). Page 13 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning depot maintenance work, and while the department plans to significantly increase the use of such partnerships, there are some challenges that must be overcome if the department’s planned expansion of partnerships is to be realized.11 It is uncertain the extent to which public-private depot maintenance partnerships will result in contractor personnel replacing DOD civilian personnel in depots. However, because the 50-50 guidance provides that the funds for some depot partnerships are not counted when applying the 50 percent limitation, partnership work could be a vehicle for transferring significant amounts of maintenance to the private sector without exceeding the 50 percent limitation. DOD recently considered proposing changes to title 10 depot maintenance provisions. A legislative proposal that was associated with the department’s transformation agenda suggested repealing six sections that impose limitations on the management of depot-level maintenance and repair by requiring certain amounts of work to be performed in public depots.12 According to the proposed repeal, these limitations reduce the flexibility necessary for the department to make proper and efficient business decisions in determining the source for depot-level maintenance and repair. Although DOD decided not to submit this proposed repeal at this time, similar language could be proposed in the future. DOD Still Has No Strategic We previously recognized the importance of the depot maintenance Depot Maintenance Plan mission, noted that it is unclear what future role is planned for the military and the Future of the depots in supporting DOD’s military mission, and recommended that the department develop a strategic plan for the military depots.13 However, Depots Is Uncertain while DOD has initiated some action toward developing a depot strategic plan, the department still has no depot strategic plan and the future of these activities is uncertain. 11 U.S. General Accounting Office, Depot Maintenance: Public-Private Partnerships Have Increased, but Long-Term Growth and Results Are Uncertain, GAO-03-423 (Washington, D.C.: Apr. 10, 2003). 12 The sections that DOD considered proposing for repeal were 2460, 2464, 2466, 2469, 2470, and 2472. 13 U.S. General Accounting Office, Defense Logistics: Actions Needed to Overcome Capability Gaps in the Public Depot System, GAO-02-105 (Washington, D.C.: Oct. 12, 2001). Page 14 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning Thus, DOD continues to manage its depots on an ad hoc basis without clearly defining their role for the future and the capabilities that are required to assure the continued performance of that role. The implications for the future are uncertain. In short, as we have reported, the future capability for performing work in the military depot maintenance facilities is questionable because no overall plan exists that ties investments in depot maintenance facilities and plant equipment with future workloads and, in turn, with human capital needs. Furthermore, no other department plan provides required direction to shape the future of these facilities and their workforce. Without strategic planning that identifies which capabilities these activities will need to provide in the future, there is no assurance they will be able to support future readiness requirements as they have in the past. For example, DOD’s latest logistics strategic plan, which was developed in August 1999, neither mentioned maintenance nor the large infrastructure and cadre of personnel required to operate and support the DOD maintenance depots.14 This occurred even though maintenance is an important logistics activity that is essential for keeping complex weapon systems ready to perform even though about half the department’s depot maintenance work is currently performed in military depots. Under the Government Performance and Results Act, federal agencies are required to develop strategic plans that include mission statements, strategic goals and objectives, and describe how the agencies intend to achieve their goals and objectives through their activities, human capital, information, and other resources. Depot officials said it is difficult to develop a depot strategic plan with so many uncertainties about how the military depots will be used in the future. This is particularly true in light of the support initiatives implemented in recent years to contract out to the private sector most logistics support activities, including depot maintenance, for new and upgraded systems and also in light of the base realignment and closure process that is planned for 2005. These initiatives indicate that the role of military depots could be further reduced in the future. But how much it will be reduced is not clear. However, as long as title 10 requirements remain, DOD will be limited in the extent to which it can reduce the amount of work performed in DOD depot repair activities. 14 DOD has not updated its logistics strategic plan since the 1999 plan. The document highlighting current logistics initiatives is the Future Logistics Enterprise, which consists of six elements, one of which is depot maintenance partnerships. Page 15 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning Absent DOD Direction, Without benefit of a departmentwide strategic depot plan that clarifies the the Military Services’ future role of military depots, the military services to varying degrees have Efforts to Develop provided a prospective for future depot management, with that of the Air Force and the Navy shipyards being the most mature. However, by and Strategic Plans Vary, but large, the vision provided is based on short-term workload projections— Generally Are Weak in 1 to 2 years beyond the current year—and does not provide the strategic Defining Future Work long-term look that is needed to guide future workforce decision making. Army The Army does not have a current strategic depot plan, and its outdated plan was not comprehensive. According to Army planners, although the Army had a Depot Maintenance Enterprise Strategic Plan, the plan was suspended pending reassessment of depot capabilities and requirements as part of an ongoing study of depot proliferation. Further, while the suspended plan was intended to provide mission and vision statements, it was generally oriented toward improving depot business operations and it was not a comprehensive plan that provided a basis for guiding future depot planning. Although not specifically addressed in the plan, in recent years, work assigned to the Army depots has greatly declined as have the workforces assigned to the depots. We reported in November of 1998, however, that the Army did not have a sound basis for identifying the number of positions to be eliminated from its depots.15 This was particularly the case in determining the number of direct labor personnel needed to support depot workload requirements. To address this problem, the Army implemented the Army Workload and Performance System to correlate workload and funding requirements with the depot workforce. Nonetheless, this system does not provide the visibility of new systems, modernization programs, and upgrades that will have depot work that could be assigned to the depots. Depot planners said they have little assurance that new systems will be brought in, as the older systems they currently work on are phased out of the inventory. Recently, ownership of Army depots has shifted to subordinate commands of the Army Materiel Command that are responsible for the sustainment of Army systems. It was hoped that this change would increase the commands’ use of the depots and better 15 U.S. General Accounting Office, Army Industrial Facilities: Workforce Requirements and Related Issues Affecting Depots and Arsenals, GAO/NSIAD-99-31 (Washington, D.C.: Nov. 30, 1998). Page 16 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning integrate depot work into the overall command mission performance, but it is too soon to know if this will be successful. The subordinate commands such as the Tank-automotive and Armaments Command and Aviation and Missile Command, which are responsible for making decisions about how support work will be allocated between the public and private sectors, were also responsible for decisions that moved responsibility for much of the work that used to be performed by the depots to the private sector. These actions were based on new acquisition guidance encouraging the use of contractor support. The Army’s suspended depot strategic plan identified five issues, one of which relates to depot workforce planning by keying in on the capability of the depot workforce to meet future requirements. The plan’s goal for this strategic issue was “to ensure a sustainable, multi-skilled workforce that is capable of meeting future depot maintenance requirements;” and the plan identified implementation objectives and measurable criteria. Nonetheless, as previously noted, it is unclear what the depots’ future work will be. Therefore, as older systems are phased out of the inventory, it is unclear what, if any, new work will be phased in. This was not addressed in the suspended plan. The arsenals and manufacturing ammunition plants have strategic plans or draft plans providing a mission, vision statements, and goals for the organizations. However, it is unclear whether the extent that the vision these activities have for themselves is the same as the one that Army headquarters and the parent commands have for these organizations. Neither the Army nor most of the parent commands have officially published strategic plans that identify the vision and objectives for these activities. Most arsenals’ workload and corresponding workforce have been declining for years. The arsenals generally project workload and corresponding workforce requirements primarily by consulting customers and prospective customers regarding their future workload for the arsenals. Arsenal officials said that this methodology provides a reasonable workload projection for only 2 years. Further, some of the work that is done in the arsenals is not the type of manufacturing work the arsenals used to perform. For example, instead of manufacturing large artillery systems, more than 40 percent of workload performed in the Rock Island arsenal is manufacturing and assembling tool kits—ranging from carrying-case sized sets to fully equipped maintenance shelters. A recent Rand study proposed privatizing the arsenals, but it is unclear to what extent the Army will pursue this strategy in the future. Page 17 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning The ammunition plants have a fluctuating workload, sometimes increasing and sometimes declining. The work at two government-owned and government-operated ammunition plants has declined in the past years, but it is now increasing. The McAlester, Oklahoma, ammunition plant, for example, will hire more than 200 new employees in fiscal year 2003, primarily because the bomb production workload has increased. According to ammunition plant managers, they are generally aware of their workload from less than 1 year to 2 years in advance. Navy The Navy does not have an overall strategic plan that covers all Navy depot maintenance activities, but the naval shipyard and aviation communities each have strategic planning efforts. The Navy’s plan for shipyards, called the Naval Shipyard Business Plan for Fiscal Years 2001 to 2005, has the essential elements of a strategic plan. It is aligned to the Naval Sea Systems Command’s corporate strategy. The plan communicates the purpose and direction for naval shipyards and focuses on ship maintenance, workload performance, and associated improvement initiatives, including making investments in training, skills, and facilities necessary through 2005. It includes workload information from fiscal year 2001 to 2010. The plan has a strategic workforce goal for the naval shipyard workforce to have the skills and flexibility required to meet the demands of the future workload and business environment. The naval shipyard plan describes the relationship of the naval shipyards, which comprise the public sector’s share of the ship industrial base, to the overall industrial basethe total force. According to the plan, the shipyards must have a workforce that is capable of doing all the work. However, Navy officials said that, in reality, with regard to the ship repair business, the public sector and private sector personnel are complementary and personnel from both sectors are now used to support work that is primarily the responsibility of a shipyard from the other sector. This strategic planning approach would appear to drive workforce planning that is also complementary, but the shipyard business plan does not discuss private sector shipyard personnel. The naval aviation community published its Depot Maintenance Strategic Plan in December 2002. This document is not a complete plan, but it provides the framework for general doctrinal policies and principles that will provide the future direction of naval aviation maintenance. It defines four strategic goals for the depot system: (1) maximize the ability to favorably impact war fighter readiness and safety, (2) reduce the war fighters’ total cost of ownership, (3) fully integrate depot maintenance into Page 18 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning total life-cycle logistics management, and (4) become the knowledge base for naval aviation depot maintenance. The plan does not identify the workload and a workforce capability expected to be required at individual depots but does reveal that airframe work and modification work will be reduced and component rework and in-service engineering and logistics support work increased. The plan indicates that public-private partnerships will be pursued and are expected to be a significant share of the Navy depot maintenance business. According to Naval Aviation Systems Command officials, the strategic plan is the first of several documents that will be produced, with a depot business plan and comprehensive depot human resources plan to follow. The plan also noted that changes in title 10 legislation could be needed to implement the plan. Strategic planning for the naval warfare centers is done for an entire center and includes the depot maintenance function. Depot maintenance is not the primary function of the centers but is integrated within several departments’ operations and is not centrally managed. For example, depot maintenance at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division supports engineering efforts within three departments and is not centrally managed; rather each department manages the depot operations. Strategic planning does not specifically address depot operations but includes workforce goals for the center, which includes depot workers. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command has depot operations located at two centers but depot maintenance is not the primary function of the centers. Each center has a strategic plan that includes depot operations. Depot operations are managed at the division levels in the centers, which provide engineering support for various systems. The divisions have strategic plans that include workforce goals, which include depot workers. The two centers’ depot operations are not structured like other Navy depots and shipyards, where certain types of repairs are directed. Instead, they compete with other depots and repair activities for work. Marine Corps The Marine Corps does not yet have an approved strategic plan to guide actions to hire, develop, and retain the depot workforce of the future. However, efforts are under way to improve strategic planning at the Headquarters and at the Materiel Command, which is responsible for identifying depot maintenance requirements and the amounts and types of workload for the depots. Headquarters Marine Corps has a draft plan, Depot Level Maintenance Strategic Plan, that contains mission and vision statements and Page 19 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning three related goals for improving the support of weapon systems and equipment at the depot level. This draft plan does not identify the Marine Corps organizations or offices responsible for implementing or monitoring the plan. According to a Headquarters Marine Corps official, no schedule has been established for the plan to be reviewed, approved, and issued. The Materiel Command’s draft strategic plan for fiscal years 2003 through 2008 contains mission and vision statements and six goals to improve materiel life cycle management of weapon systems and equipment at the depot level, but it is not depot specific. Command officials said that the plan, when finalized, would have metrics to evaluate implementation but is on hold pending decisions regarding the reorganization of the Materiel Command. As of February 2003, the command had no schedule for finalizing the plan. Logistics Bases, a subordinate command of Materiel Command, which owns the depots, published its first strategic plan about 2 years ago. Its current plan is not depot specific and is mostly business-process oriented, with only one of its six broad goals focused on workforce issues. Although the plan has mission and vision statements, Logistics Bases officials acknowledged that planning efforts do not yet address all the elements of workforce planning suggested by OPM and GAO because the command did not yet have the data it needed (such as attrition rates, retirement trends, and skill gaps) for these analyses. Officials of Logistics Bases also said the command has recently contracted for data collection and analysis on depot workforce and equipment activities that would provide a baseline for future strategic planning. Further, officials said they plan to use metrics to implement the plan and evaluate the results. Air Force The Air Force is the most progressive in its depot maintenance strategic planning. In August 2002, the Air Force issued a Depot Maintenance Strategy and a Depot Maintenance Master Plan covering fiscal years 2004-2020. These plans provide a roadmap designed to ensure the continuing viability of Air Force’s three military depots to meet the war- fighter mission needs. However, the plans did not include the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center. The plans are intended to posture the Air Force’s three other depots to support both new weapons systems and new technologies entering the inventory, as well as its aging systems. They have a workforce component, which calls for new and younger workers to be acquired and trained prior to the loss of the highly skilled workers who are nearing retirement to leverage their knowledge and skills. In addition, the Air Force plans call for an increased capital investment of approximately $150 million per year over the next 6 fiscal years, starting in fiscal year 2004, to modernize the Air Force depots. Page 20 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning However, key financial elements of the strategy and plan have changed somewhat since the issuance of the strategic and master plans. Most significantly, future capital investment plans, operational improvements, and workforce enhancements are still evolving and uncertain. For example, according to our analysis, funds for replacing and modernizing equipment used to accomplish current workloads are less than projected; funding amounts and sources for acquiring new capabilities to be provided by weapon system acquisition programs and the private sector are lagging and uncertain; and funding is not sufficient to implement initiatives to improve depot operations and financial systems and for workforce enhancements. Strategic workforce planning is intended to focus on developing, by its Services’ Efforts to definition, long-term human capital strategies that are linked to achieving Develop Industrial key programmatic goals. Strategic workforce planning requires a strategic plan, and as previously discussed, DOD still has not developed a depot Workforce Plans strategic plan. Thus, the services generally do not perform strategic Vary and Generally workforce planning that is tied to meaningful long-term visions, objectives, and strategic goals for their services’ military roles and missions. However, Lack Some Key in varying degrees, each of the services performs short-term depot Planning Elements workforce planning that is tied to the budget preparation process. The services’ existing short-term workforce plans usually do not assess the workforce competencies needed to address future skill gaps, do not have comprehensive retention plans, and sometimes lack performance measures to evaluate the plansall areas identified as key to successful workforce planning. Service Depot Each of the services performs short-term workforce planning that is tied Workforce Planning Is to the budget process. While largely not strategic in nature, the services Largely Short-Term perform most aspects of workforce planning, which in varying degrees address some elements of workforce planning identified by the OPM and high-performance organizations. Appendix III provides a synopsis of the services’ short-term depot workforce planning efforts. Army The Army Materiel Command and its subordinate commands are responsible for determining the work for the Army’s five maintenance depots. Semiannually, they hold workload conferences to review, analyze, document, and assign work to the depots. Once workload is assigned, the depots determine the number of employees needed to support the workload, including (1) direct labor workers who charge time to finite job taskings; (2) indirect workers, such as shop supervisors and parts Page 21 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning expediters, whose time supports the overall depot maintenance process rather than finite jobs; and (3) general and administrative overhead personnel such as production managers, technical specialists, financial managers, personnel officers, logisticians, contracting officers, computer programmers, and computer operators. Determining personnel requirements is an iterative process that begins with the depots and subordinate commands. The commands use the Army Workload and Performance System to identify projected workload and the future staffing requirements based on year-to-year workload changes, known organizational adjustments, efficiencies such as the Quadrennial Defense Review, and most efficient organization studies. After agreement is reached, the proposed staffing levels, which are included in the consolidated depot budgets, are forwarded for review up the chain of command. These commands can revise the levels initially requested based on past performance and other evolving workload and staffing information. Once the staffing levels are approved, the depots establish plans and take actions to size and reshape the workforce to support workload. These actions, in keeping with workforce planning, include identifying what skills may be lacking to support the workload and developing hiring plans to recruit new workers; training plans for new and existing workers to develop and enhance critically needed skills; or, if staffing levels are low, measures to accomplish the assigned workload such as increased use of overtime. These plans could also include reducing the number of depot workers, if the projected work does not support the number of workers. Although each of the three arsenals determine their future workload and estimate future workforce requirements somewhat differently, the arsenals generally accomplish the task by (1) examining the currently funded work, (2) requesting customers and prospective customers to predict their workload for the arsenals for the next 2 to 3 years and estimating the labor hours and skills to provide the predicted products, (3) examining historical trends such as unexpected orders received, (4) discussing workload with their parent organizations, and (5) developing their workload and workforce requirements. The projected workload and workforce requirements are reviewed and approved at the parent organizations using a predictive staffing model to validate the arsenals’ computations. Most arsenals estimate the workload and workforce requirements for 2 to 3 years in advance, and officials said their estimates for this time period are generally fairly accurate. The Watervliet Arsenal in New York estimates its workload for 6 years in advance, but officials acknowledged that estimates beyond 3 years are subject to change. However, they believe estimates are generally reliable. Page 22 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning The Army’s two ammunition manufacturing plants’ workload generally comes from their parent organization—the Joint Munitions Command (formerly Operations Support Command)based on customer orders. The orders may come from other services or from commercial organizations, but the orders are placed through the parent organization. A predictive staffing model is used to determine the workforce requirements. Firm orders are usually placed no more than 1 year in advance, and the plants’ workloads are generally known from less than 1 year to 2 years in advance. Naval Aviation Depots The Naval Air Systems Command distributes the annual and future (2 years) industrial-based workload to the three naval aviation depots. Once the depots receive the workload, they use historical workload data and staffing models to determine the civilian manpower requirements needed to accomplish the assigned workload. The staffing models break the total workload into the number of workers needed in each shop and the related trade skills required. These models include historical factors such as direct labor personnel, leave, and overtime percentages. The depots then develop the workforce requirements for the aircraft, engines, and component programs. Once the requirements are developed, the depots also prepare plans that include the specific skills, numbers, and types of workers needed in each production shop. These plans are used to establish hiring, training, and recruitment efforts at the depots. After the depots establish the workforce requirements, they are forwarded for review and approval to the Naval Air Systems Command. Naval Shipyards The Naval Sea Systems Command distributes the workload to the four shipyards that determine the workforce requirements to accomplish the planned work. The Naval Sea Systems Command provides the shipyards with depot maintenance workload for at least 6 years. The shipyards’ workload is predetermined from legislation, the availability of ships, depot-level maintenance requirements, and the budget. The primary tool the Naval Sea Systems Command and shipyards use to forecast workloads and workforces for budgeting and planning purposes is the Workload and Resource Report, which includes data on the current year and 2 subsequent years. Each shipyard is provided its assigned workload schedules so they can develop their workload and resource reports for the workforces of each production shop. As part of the shipyards’ processes for determining the workforce and skills to efficiently execute the workload, each shipyard uses a resource allocation process. The resource allocation process determines the right number of workers with the right skills to efficiently execute the workload. Also, the shipyards’ production shops implement hiring and training plans and skills assessments to Page 23 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning support critical skills that are determined to be necessary for successful execution of ship maintenance. After the shipyards’ workforce requirements are determined, they are forwarded for approval to the Naval Sea Systems Command and included in the command’s budget. The Naval Sea Systems Command also has two warfare centers. Depot operations at both centers receive annual projected workload allocations from their prospective customers. The centers use the annual budget workload forecasts and knowledge of program’s future plans to determine the civilian workforce requirements. Also, civilian workforce requirements are based on workforce demographics such as attrition and retirements. The workload allocations combined with changes in the civilian workforce demographics provide hiring and training requirements for the centers. The civilian workforce requirements for the depot operations are forwarded through the centers for approval and review up the chain of command. Space and Naval Warfare The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command has two depot Systems Centers maintenance activities that are not structured like the other naval depots and shipyards, where certain types of repairs are directed. Rather, these centers compete with other depots and repair activities for their workload. The depot operations’ workforce allocations are directly dependent on the annual workloads they solicit and maintain from customers such as the Naval Inventory Control Point, other services, and naval commands. Depot operations at the centers receive annual workload information from their perspective customers, which are used to develop civilian workforce requirements. Hiring and training plans are developed according to the annual civilian depot workforce requirements. The centers’ depot workforce requirements are forwarded through the centers for approval and review up the chain of command. Marine Corps The Logistics Bases, a subordinate command of the Marine Corps Materiel Command, is responsible for identifying depot maintenance requirements and workloading at the Marine Corps’ two maintenance depots. Annually, once depot maintenance requirements and related funding are identified, the two centers begin the process for determining the total number of workers to support the workload—including direct labor and indirect labor workers. The centers send their staffing requests back up the chain of command for review and approval. Revisions to staffing requests can occur as a result of the centers past performance, other evolving workload information, and staffing information. Once the centers have an approved staffing level, they establish plans and take actions to size and reshape the workforce to support workload. Such actions include, among others, Page 24 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning identifying skills needed to support the workload; developing hiring plans to recruit new workers and training plans for new and existing workers to develop and enhance critically needed skills; or if staffing levels are reduced, identifying measures to accomplish the assigned workload such as increased use of overtime; or, if necessary, reducing the number of depot workers. Air Force In early 2000, the Air Force Materiel Command, which has management and oversight responsibility for the four Air Force maintenance depots, developed and institutionalized workforce shaping processes to assist depot managers in planning and achieving their overall workforce objective. That objective is to obtain by fiscal year 2005 a trained, flexible workforce of sufficient size with the appropriate mix of skills and expertise to accomplish the depot mission. A key aspect of the command’s workforce planning process is the development of accession or hiring/appointment data. The command requires the depots to provide annual accession data in order to determine the number of potential vacancies by job series that each center is likely to experience in the current and the next 5 fiscal years. The command, in turn, applies a probability loss model to produce out-year accession numbers using attrition and retirement rates and other loss data, such as separations and deaths, for each depot by occupational job series. The final accession numbers basically become the depots “hiring plan.” According to depot officials at each center we visited, change in the mission workloads is just one of many factors used in computing future accession requirements. They further stated that as a general rule, projected accessions are based primarily on current workloads and attrition rates rather than on future workload estimates. According to these officials, because the Air Force depot maintenance strategic plan does not identify new work to be performed in the depots, they cannot predict with a high level of confidence what their expected workload volumes will be more than 2 or 3 years out. Depot officials told us that their projected accession numbers beyond 2 or 3 years are their best guess. In addition, the depots annually conduct a bottoms-up workforce review to ensure that their civilian workforce is the right size and aligned to meet identified workload requirements. If properly done, the workforce planning process provides management with the needed data to make sound workforce decisions from implementing effective recruitment and retention programs, to developing valuable training programs, and to arranging for successful accession management. Page 25 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning Some Depot Workforce Depot workforce planning, as done by the services’ depots, generally Planning Efforts Lack does not address elements of three steps identified by OPM and Competency Assessments, high-performing organizations as key to effective workforce planning: (1) the assessment of competencies needed to address skill gaps; Comprehensive Retention (2) the development of comprehensive retention plans; and (3) the Plans, and Evaluative implementation of performance measures to evaluate the success of the Performance Measures workforce plans. Table 1 provides an assessment of the status of service depots’ short-term workforce planning efforts in nine key areas of the five steps in strategic workforce planning. (See also appendix III.) Table 1: Status of Service Depots’ Short-Term Workforce Planning Efforts Comprehen- Evaluate Human Assessed Recruiting sive plans Service/ capital Vision & Competen- Gap and/or Training Succession retention and a depot type goals objectives cies analysis hiring plans plans plans plans adjust Army Depots √ √ √ √ √ √ √ Arsenals √ √ √ √ √ √ Ammo √ √ √ √ √ √ Plants Navy Aviation √ √ √ √ √ √ √ Depots Shipyards √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ b Naval Surface and Undersea Warfare Centers Space and √ √ √ √ √ √ √c Naval Warfare Systems Centers Marine Corps √ √ d √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √ b Air Force Source: DOD (data), GAO (analysis). Note: √ Checkmark indicates efforts under way to address elements in these steps. a All the services and depots assessed their skills to address gaps relative to the future workforce requirements. b The Naval Surface Warfare Center and the Air Forces’ Directorates of Maintenance at Ogden Air Logistics Center, Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center, and Warner Robins Air Logistics Center did not assess competencies. c Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center San Diego did not have performance measures. Page 26 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning d The Marine Corps reported that it has an initiative underway to study establishing competencies and career paths for its logistics and facilities communities. However, the results of that initiative have not been published. Most Depots Did Not Although one Naval Undersea Warfare Center and the Air Force’s Separately Assess Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center assessed competencies, Competencies Needed for most depots have not assessed the competencies—a set of behaviors that the Depot Workforce encompass skill, knowledge, abilities, and personal attributes that are critical to successful work accomplishment;16 competencies can identify where gaps exist in the skills of the current depot workforce relative to those needed in the future. As shown in table 1, most depot officials did not usually separately assess competencies for depot workers, relying instead on job skills, series, or classifications. Workforce planning models, however, suggest that the assessment of competencies provides more than is discussed in position descriptions. A survey of several top-performing organizations suggests that a better approach is to conduct an actual assessment of employees’ competency levels. An actual assessment will provide much more useful information for determining the number of those available and capable of fulfilling future functional requirements. It can also give good information as to what recruitment, training, and other strategies will be needed to address workforce gaps and surpluses. Workforce planning models point out the need for identifying competencies. For example, the required competencies identified for GAO analysts include, among others, thinking critically, improving professional competence, achieving results, collaborating with others, and facilitating and implementing change. According to the state of Washington’s Workforce Planning Guide, competencies provide management and staff with a common understanding of the skills and behaviors that are important to the organization and the accomplishment of its mission. Although most depots did not assess competencies separately for their depot workers, a couple of depots did competency assessments, with one depot doing competency assessments for its entire workforce and one 16 As defined by several state and federal agencies such as the Washington State Department of Personnel, New York State Department of Civil Service, and the U.S. Departments of Interior and Health and Human Services. Page 27 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning doing an assessment for only a segment of its workforce. The Naval Undersea Warfare Center identified the following competencies in its assessment: innovative thinking, situational leadership, managing a diverse workforce, conflict management, interpersonal/team skills, technical competence, problem solving, and oral and written communications. According to warfare center personnel, these attributes are critical to the successful achievement of its mission and goals. Additionally, the Air Force’s Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center developed a supervisor’s needs assessment that identified supervisor competencies. They included integrity, communication, listening, empowering others, accepting responsibility, planning, being a team player, dependability, consistency, fairness, and effective prioritization. These competencies resulted in the development of a core-training curriculum for supervisors. Services Lack Comprehensive Although all of the services had some retention strategies to ensure Retention Plans continuity of leadership and for keeping high performing and highly skilled personnel, none have comprehensive retention plans to further enhance these strategies. According to OPM, an important principle behind maintaining a quality workforce is employee retention. A critical analysis of workforce trends is essential to determine what factors most affect retention. Current workforce research has identified the following factors as being critical to enhancing the retention necessary for the construction of a high performance organization: diversity, career development and advancement, work life balance, recognition, employee benefits, and performance. Furthermore, OPM’s 5-Step Workforce Planning Model states that a comprehensive retention plan should • determine those employees who are critical to accomplishment of organizational goals, • develop a means to provide constant feedback between these critical employees, and supervisors/managers to determine what they want and need to become long-term assets of the organization, and • develop a means of providing incentives and/or working conditions designed to retain valued employees. Most activities we evaluated had developed a means of providing incentives designed to retain valued employees. However, only the Air Force identified a separate list of occupations critical to accomplishment of organizational goals, with most depots reporting that every employee Page 28 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning was critical. Overall, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center and Navy shipyards were further along in developing their retention plans. The Naval Undersea Warfare Center at Keyport, Washington, developed a personnel retention program that includes its depot workforce, concentrating on (1) work and job design, (2) career progression, (3) awards and compensation, and (4) quality of life. The center developed the retention program to make the center a great place to work. For example, the center has reinstituted new hire briefings, developed an employee handbook, and initiated an improvement award program to provide incentives to employees to submit new ideas for process improvement. The Navy’s shipyard retention strategies focus on bonuses, helper-to- worker programs, recognition programs, employment development and career opportunities, and leadership training. For example, the shipyards’ helper-to-worker programs include, among other things, academics and trade theory training. Also, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard has used retention incentives to pay up to 25 percent of salary to retain approximately 30 employees who possessed engineering and technical knowledge that was critical to the shipyard’s success. Meanwhile, an Air Force depot lost 8 of 12 workers in a shop because the highly skilled software engineers were disgruntled over not being able to get higher pay, even though their skills were critical, required years to acquire, and were and are not widely available. Some Service Depots Lacked Although workforce planning models emphasize the need for establishing Performance Measures for performance measures to provide a basis for evaluating workforce Evaluating Workforce Plans planning effectiveness, the workforce plans of some service depots did not have this element. The Government Performance and Results Act stresses the need for establishing and using performance measures. Additionally, OPM’s 5-Step Workforce Planning Model as well as some state and federal agencies stress the importance of measuring the effectiveness of workforce action plans as an element of effective workforce planning. Measuring performance allows organizations to track the progress they are making toward their goals and gives managers crucial information on which to base their organizational and management decisions. Leading organizations recognize that performance measures can create powerful incentives to influence organizational and individual behavior. According to the workforce planning guide of one high performance organization, leaders should regularly review performance measurement information, Page 29 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning assess what is working and not working, and make needed adjustments to the plan and strategies. The Air Force depots and the naval shipyard communities did establish measures for evaluating the effectiveness of their workforce planning efforts. In April 2001, the Air Force Materiel Command issued a command wide Human Resources Strategic Plan that addressed critical workforce issues for depot maintenance workers as well as all other materiel command personnel. The plan contained, among other things, performance measures and milestones for each human-resource enabling task. For example, it identified various performance measures for the task “Develop and Implement Methods to Attract and Recruit High-quality Employees.” They included, among others, determining whether milestones had been completed on time and whether appropriate actions had been taken after analysis of data from new employees’ entrance surveys. The Naval Sea Systems Command also developed performance measures for evaluating the effectiveness of workforce plans for Navy shipyard personnel. Performance measures for the Navy’s shipyards include, among others, measuring the success of the hiring process by comparing actual to planned hires. Also, shipyards track the average age to determine whether the effect of workforce plans is lowering the average age of the overall shipyards’ workforce. Furthermore, evaluations of shipyards’ training plans include post training evaluations and review of the budgeted training funds expended. Some Army depots and arsenals and one naval depot have not established performance measures for evaluating the effectiveness of workforce plans. Army and Navy officials said they did not develop such performance measures because their focus was on various business metrics that assessed the cost, schedule, and performance of their depot operations. However, while those metrics provide details about depot operations and worker productivity, they provide little insight into the progress being made toward achieving workforce goals and objectives. Performance measures are an important element of workforce planning. Without establishing and using performance measures, managers will likely not be able either to evaluate the progress made toward the attainment of workforce planning goals relative to recruiting, hiring, training, retention, and succession or to measure the workforce’s contribution toward achieving programmatic goals. Page 30 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning The services’ depots face a number of challenges that adversely affect A Number of DOD’s strategic workforce planning for the viability of its civilian Challenges Inhibit workforce. First, the services may have difficulty maintaining the depots’ long-term viability by replacing up to 31,000 skilled depot workers, if these Effective Strategic workers retire when they are eligible by 2009. Second, the services are Workforce Planning having difficulty implementing multiskilling—having one worker capable of performing more than one skill, or trade, in the depot—which has been shown to improve worker efficiency and productivity and could help the depots do more with less. The Navy and the Air Force have attempted to implement multiskilling but are having difficulty because additional compensation or other financial incentives have not been approved or are not available. Lastly, the need for increased training funding and innovation for workers who replace the large number of potential retirees will also pose a challenge. The Air Force is already facing unfunded training costs for its depot workers. Difficulty Maintaining As a result of depot downsizing, the DOD civilian depot workforce has Depot Viability if Large about 31,000 personnel eligible to retire over the next 5 to 7 years.17 This Numbers of Eligible creates a challenge for the depots in retaining their viability, assisting service readiness, and revitalizing their workforces. Skilled Workers Retire Table 2 provides age and retirement eligibility information for the 27 DOD industrial facilities. The average age ranges from 44 in the McAlester, Oklahoma, ammunition plant and 45 in three naval shipyards (where officials have actively worked to lower the average age), to 52 in the San Diego Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center and the Air Force’s Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center. In Army maintenance depots, where the average age is 49, depot officials said it is difficult to bring down the average age because there are not many new hires and some of those hired tend to be older employees. 17 Retirement projections were based on date the employee becomes eligible for optional retirement under the Civil Service Retirement System or the Federal Employees Retirement System. Page 31 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning Table 2: Civilian Personnel in Industrial Facilities Eligible to Retire FY 2002 Number of civilian civilians Percent Percent eligible staffing Average eligible to retire eligible to retire to retire by Defense industrial facilities levels age in FY 2002 by FY 2007 FY 2009 Navy depots Cherry Point Aviation Depot 3,839 46 99 24 34 Jacksonville Aviation Depot 3,928 48 133 27 37 North Island Aviation Depot 3,138 49 109 31 43 Norfolk Naval Shipyard 7,525 45 527 27 38 Portsmouth Naval Shipyard 3,500 46 251 30 41 Puget Sound Naval Shipyard 8,608 45 676 28 38 Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard 3,987 45 122 27 38 a Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center 311 45 10 32 40 Keyport Naval Undersea Warfare Center 608 48 26 41 55 Charleston Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center 49 51 5 47 59 San Diego Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center 70 52 1 43 47 Total Navy 35,563 1,959 b Army facilities Anniston Army Depot 2,429 48 408 48 60 Corpus Christi Army Depot 2,869 49 223 22 27 Letterkenny Army Depot 1,082 49 147 46 59 Red River Army Depot 1,478 48 203 42 55 Tobyhanna Army Depot 2,237 49 502 58 72 Rock Island Arsenal 1,156 50 82 36 41 Watervliet Arsenal 484 50 28 42 61 Pine Bluff Arsenal 804 49 89 43 63 Crane Army Ammunition Activity 620 49 181 49 60 McAlester Army Ammunition Plant 1,075 44 226 30 48 Total Army 14,234 2,089 Marine Corps depots Maintenance Center Albany 659 48 128 47 64 Maintenance Center Barstow 664 47 118 43 56 Total Marine Corps 1,323 246 c Air Force depots Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center 439 52 139 65 77 Directorate of Maintenance, Ogden ALC 5,852 47 1,015 39 49 Directorate of Maintenance, Oklahoma City ALC 8,533 45 1,167 33 41 Directorate of Maintenance, Warner Robins ALC 6,328 45 988 33 41 Total Air Force 21,152 3,309 d Total Defense industrial facilities 72,272 48 7,603 33 43 Source: DOD (data), GAO (presentation). Page 32 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning a Staffing level as of November 2001. b Army industrial facilities include depots, arsenals and government-owned and–operated ammunition plants. c Air Force data as of September 30, 2001. d Total weighted average age based on the number of civilian staff at each industrial facility. As table 2 shows, about 7,600 employees in these activities—about 12 percent of the total workforce—were eligible to retire in fiscal year 2002. However, depot officials told us they cannot hire replacement workers until the vacancies occur. Given that years of experience are required to get the average worker to a journeyman level, these officials are concerned about the impact on depot operations of trying to replace large numbers of workers during a short time period. This situation will be aggravated during the next few years as the number of workers eligible to retire increases significantly. For example, the percent eligible to retire by fiscal year 2007 ranges from a low of 22 in one Army depot and 24 in one naval aviation depot to a high of 65 percent at one Air Force depot and 58 at one Army depot. In 2009, 77 percent of the workers will be eligible to retire at one Air Force depot, 72 percent at one Army depot, and 64 percent in one Marine Corps depot. Air Force officials said they expect to hire 13,000 depot workers by September 2009 to replace retiring workers. They expect to encounter difficulties during that process, similar to those they experienced when they hired approximately 4,500 workers during the last 2 years (primarily as a result of Base Realignment and Closures and transfers). Those difficulties included the following: • engineering positions were particularly difficult to fill, and the use of pay incentives to increase salary levels of engineers and other hard-to-fill positions was essential; • some qualified and desirable potential employees went elsewhere because the hiring process took too long; • new hires were not “shop ready” when they come in the door and needed additional training; and • more supervisors are needed to manage the new workers. According to officials at the Air Force’s Directorate of Maintenance, Ogden Air Logistics Center, workers in one software engineering shop became discouraged at not getting additional pay and 8 out of 12 quit and went to work for a local contractor. Unable to fill these highly skilled positions or otherwise get the work accomplished in the depot, the depot hired the contractor to do the work formerly done in the depot at a Page 33 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning considerably higher cost than was incurred when the work was done in the depot. Army officials noted that a higher average age does not necessarily equate to high retirement eligibility. For example, workers at the Corpus Christi depot have an average age of 49, but the number of workers eligible to retire by 2009 is 27 percent—the lowest of any depot. According to Corpus Christi depot officials, during the mid-1980s they hired about 1,700 workers in their mid-30s, many of which were ex-military. Additionally, Army officials noted that many depot workers continue to work after they are eligible to retire. Nonetheless, Army depot officials recognize that with about 52 percent of the depot workforce eligible to retire by 2009, it will be difficult to maintain a viable, trained workforce if the retirement eligible employees choose to retire over a short period of time. We analyzed Army retirement eligibility data for the Army depot workforce and observed that some work centers could lose a majority of their staff within the next 5 years. Depot officials acknowledged that some work centers are at risk if all or most of the workers leave during a short period of time and that realignments, or job transfers, are needed to make sure a large number of retirement eligible employees are not assigned to any one area. However, the depots have limited plans to deal with this situation. They said they cannot hire replacement workers until after an employee retires. Additionally, transfers to balance retirement eligible employees could be unwelcomed by personnel and could have an adverse impact on shop productivity, as workers require time to gain skills in new areas. It will be a major challenge to balance such concerns about current operational impacts and increased training now against longer term concerns about retirement eligibility over the next 5 to 7 years. However, the depots are generally not making such analyses and trade-offs. According to Marine Corps depot officials, attrition rates are low and the centers have hired few new permanent employees. However, the percent of employees eligible to retire will increase from 43 and 47 percent in 2007 to 56 and 64 percent in 2009. Officials said it would be difficult to bring on such large numbers of new workers if these retirement-eligible personnel do retire about the same time. However, the centers’ workload has declined significantly in the past. Systems that used to comprise the bulk of the centers’ work are phasing out of the inventory, and questions remain about whether replacement systems will be maintained in the Marine Corps depots or the private sector. Officials acknowledged that it Page 34 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning is difficult to plan for the revitalization of the center workforce without knowing what work will be available for them to do. An aging workforce has some advantagesparticularly when the workload is relatively stable over time. Officials pointed out that as DOD was downsizing its depot workforce and doing no new hiring, there were fewer demands for training programs. About half of the depots have apprenticeship programs, which are the most comprehensive and expensive type of training for industrial workers. Some of these programs have been re-established in the past few years. Nonetheless, according to depot officials, it would be unaffordable to hire enough apprentices to replace the large numbers of workers who will be eligible to retire over the next 5 to 7 years. Difficulty Implementing The services are having difficulty implementing or are not trying to Multiskilling Even implement multiskillinga private-sector initiative designed to improve Though It Could Improve the flexibility, efficiency, and productivity of workers. Multiskilling is the process of training maintenance employees in specific skills that cross the Worker Efficiency traditional trade or craft lines and then ensuring the work is performed. It and Productivity involves reviewing work processes to identify situations where efficiency and productivity can be enhanced by training workers in one skill area or occupational series to perform some tasks in another occupational series. A major advantage of multiskilling is that particular jobs that require more than one craftnot necessarily more than one individualcan be performed by fewer personnel. It can reduce the time it takes to perform jobs involving multiple skill requirements by eliminating the time a depot worker must wait for another worker to arrive and perform a task that the first worker is not trained to do. For example, an aviation mechanic trained in certain electrical tasks can reduce the times an electrician must be called when doing aircraft repair. In a 1998 review of Army industrial facilities we pointed out inefficiencies in the depots and arsenals and stated that improved systems and procedures for shifting maintenance workers between different organizational units and skill areas would offer better opportunities to effectively use limited numbers of maintenance personnel.18 Depot 18 U.S. General Accounting Office, Army Industrial Facilities: Workforce Requirements and Related Issues Affecting Depots and Arsenals, GAO/NSIAD-99-31 (Washington, D.C.: Nov. 30, 1998). Page 35 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning officials had noted that prior practices made it difficult to transfer workers between organizational units and skill areas to adjust for unanticipated work stoppages caused by changes in work priorities, parts shortages, technical problems, or temporary labor imbalances. We pointed out that multiskilled workers offered added flexibility and could allow depot managers to use a limited number of workers more cost effectively. We recommended that the Secretary of the Army encourage depot managers to pursue worker agreements to facilitate multiskilling in industrial facilities. Although the Army has not been successful in implementing multiskilling, this initiative remains a goal Army depot planners would like to pursue. In recent years, the naval aviation community has done the most to begin using multiskilling as a depot improvement initiative, but full project implementation has been delayed because they have not been given permission to allow an additional pay grade for workers having more than one skill. Although the Air Force first tried multiskilling in 1993 and its current depot improvement initiative calls for determining cost effective ways to implement multiskilling, the Air Force’s multiskilling initiative is also floundering. In addition, although service, depot, and other officials attribute improved workforce flexibility and cost-effectiveness to multiskilling, Army depots and Marine Corps centers and Navy shipyards are not implementing it. Naval Aviation Multiskill The naval aviation community has attempted to implement multiskilling Efforts Are Delayed since 1999. Although its current request to pilot a multiskilling demonstration project to use a certain compensation system had not been approved as of March 2003, the community is implementing the pilot with an alternative compensation approach. As a result of an extensive business process reengineering project completed in 2002, the Naval Air Systems Command identified multiskilling as a solution to achieve a more flexible workforce. The program is intended to provide a more flexible, multitraded, trained workforce that could react more quickly to fluctuating workloads because managers can reassign employees based on workload demands. According to naval aviation managers, a multiskilled worker could be particularly cost-effective when depot workers go to the weapon system in the field rather than bringing the weapon to the depot. For example, a worker trained as both a pneudraulic systems mechanic and an aircraft engine mechanic could be sent to an operational location to accomplish the work that previously required workers trained in each of these skills. As a result, Page 36 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning cost reductions should occur in field team assignments, which comprise an increasing share of Navy aviation depots’ work. The naval aviation community’s current multiskilling initiative used a business case analysis to justify a demonstration project that would provide training for workers who are at the journeyman level in one skill, such as a sheet metal mechanic, to attain journeyman status in a second trade, such as an aircraft mechanic. The project called for compensating the workers involved by increasing their pay by an additional wage grade.19 According to Naval Air Systems Command officials, the economic analysis indicated savings could be achieved even though the workers would receive increased compensation. Increased throughput is expected to result in efficiencies of up to 20 percent due to redirected travel savings and increases in volume efficiencies. This same business case analysis indicated that during a single year one depot could potentially accomplish 519 additional maintenance tasks for the same amount of budget. According to depot planners, private sector workers receive increased compensation under similar circumstances, and union officials believe government workers should also. However, OPM’s Job Grading Standards do not contemplate providing compensation for an additional grade for two equal trades. OPM’s job grading standards state that pay is based on the highest level of work performed, regardless of how many different trades an employee is required to perform. According to Naval Air Systems Command officials, OPM’s standard inhibits their ability to pursue multiskilling initiatives and achieve reengineering efficiencies. The Naval Air Systems Command sought permission to go to OPM to request a demonstration project with additional compensation in September 2000; but Headquarters, Department of the Navy disapproved the request. Based on the results of the 2002 business case analysis, which showed that the multiskill concept would increase readiness by providing a more flexible and well-trained workforce, in September 2002 the naval aviation community again sought approval for the proposed demonstration project, including increased compensation. 19 The additional grade would allow increased compensation (e.g., at wage grade 10) for work in two equal skills (e.g., both wage grade 09) when the worker performs the functions of the two skills for a minimum of 25 percent of the time at work. Page 37 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning Navy headquarters has not yet approved the request, but aviation depot officials are going forward with the project using an alternative compensation approach. They have established a compensation award at each site, not to exceed a $2,500 annual award. Five different skill combinations have been proposed for the Cherry Point Depot and two for the Jacksonville depot. One combination has begun at the North Island depot. According to naval aviation officials, workers are reluctant to participate because while in training they would not have the opportunity for overtime pay. Officials believe that getting an additional grade would be sufficient to increase the willingness of depot workers to participate—a goal that is likely critical to getting the program to sufficient numbers to make it cost-effective. Air Force Multiskilling Program Although the Air Force’s current depot maintenance improvement effort Is Older but Declining calls for determining cost effective ways to implement multiskilling, officials are generally supportive of it as a workload tool; however, the Air Force’s multiskilling program is declining in size. In 1993, the Air Force Materiel Command prototyped a multiskilling concept using aircraft mechanics at the Oklahoma City depot. The program involved training and certifying mechanics in multiple skills (aircraft, sheet metal, and electrical) that were capable of performing a series of tasks involving general airframe, structural, and electrical maintenance. By 1997, the program had over 100 participants. However, since then, depot officials told us the program has lost its popularity and currently consists of only 49 participants. Officials said that due to production requirements, many of the skilled workers participating in the original project are now working in their primary skill and new hires show little interest because there are no financial incentives. At the Warner Robins depot, officials designated a specific occupation job series, 8801, as multiskilling to provide workers with greater job flexibility and a better career path. As of September 2001, 148 workers were functioning in this job series. Multiskilled workers primarily performed tasks in two occupations, such as aircraft mechanic and electrical mechanic or aircraft mechanic and sheet metal mechanic. According to depot officials, they used this occupational job series as a hiring tool to attract younger, multiskilled workers at the entry level. However, workers did not receive any additional salary. As a part of its depot maintenance improvement efforts, the Air Force has refocused on multiskilling. Officials conducted a business case analysis to determine the feasibility of various opportunities for using multiskilling at the depots. After several months of data gathering and analysis, officials Page 38 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning said they were not able to provide a strong business case for developing a standardized approach or expanding the use of multiskilling at the depots. We found that, except in very limited cases, the depots are not doing true multiskilling today. Rather, the depots are doing something similar called multicrafting that does not involve the combination of two or more skills at the journeyman skill level. Despite the results of the business case analysis, officials from Headquarters, Air Force Materiel Command, and the depots were generally supportive of multiskilling as a tool to deal with fluctuating homogenous workloads and to facilitate movement of employees as workload demands fluctuate. Multiskilling Is Cited as Service, depot, and other organization officials cite the multiskilling Improving Flexibility and concept as a way to provide a more flexible, productive workforce that Cost-Effectiveness of Depot can react more quickly to fluctuating workloads, a key issue in trying to and Other Workforces improve the cost-effectiveness of maintenance operations as well as meet readiness needs. According to officials of the Naval Air Systems Command, the extensive business case analysis they conducted indicated that multiskilling will provide a trained workforce, more flexible for increased readiness, and more capable of being able to be reassigned on demand to better support fluctuating workloads. The officials also indicated that a multiskilling program could also better support readiness by serving as an incentive to skilled, near-retirement workers to stay and provide on-the-job training for younger workers. In addition, depot officials reported, on the basis of the economic analysis that savings would be achieved even though workers would receive increased compensation. Various organizations such as the Tennessee Valley Authority are exempt from OPM’s job grading standards and are allowed to establish a classification system that is more flexible and better fits their environment. Among the flexibilities the Tennessee Valley Authority has implemented is a multiskilled work force that receives additional compensation for additional skills and work. The Tennessee Valley Authority’s program will involve about 1,400 current employees as well as new hires. According to Authority officials, multiskilling is improving the flexibility and efficiency of the workforce. As North America’s largest public power company, the Tennessee Valley Authority developed its union agreements on multiskilling in fiscal year 2000 and fully implemented its pilot program by the end of fiscal year 2001, with the program expected to be fully implemented by 2005. The plan is to review all preventive maintenance activities and reassign them to utilize multiskill employees. Authority officials said that the multiskilling training program Page 39 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning is resulting in a more efficient way to accomplish their work and to obtain and maintain a versatile group of employees. They reported that increases in productivity and efficiency were expected to reduce restaffing after attrition by about 15 percent. Private sector industrial activities have also implemented multiskilling. According to Naval Air Systems Command and Air Force officials, they did benchmarking in the private sector before they began trying to put together their own multiskilling programs. Navy depot officials also noted that they see increased usage of this concept when they do private sector wage grade comparability studies. Need for Increased Based on the potential retirement of about 31,000 depot workers out of the Funding and Innovation approximately 72,000 workers in the workforce eligible to retire by 2009, Driven by Increased training requirements will increase significantly for new hires, and innovation will be required to develop more cost-effective training Training Requirements alternatives. For over 10 years, most depots had training costs much smaller than would normally be required for industrial activities since depot downsizing resulted in hiring few new employees. However, because the Air Force currently has a significant deficit in funding training for new hires and refresher training, depot officials raised concerns over their ability to fund future training requirements needed for workforce revitalization. Furthermore, as the depots face the challenge of developing and implementing plans to address skill imbalances occurring due to attrition and retirement over the next 5 to 7 years, the need for increased funding will likely drive the need to find new funding sources and to develop innovative training programs that cost less. The Air Force is already challenged by unfunded training costs. Air Force workers who had received little training for years were required to take “back-to-basics training.” This came about after accidents occurred at two depots and additional training requirements evolved from the personnel changes resulting from closing two Air Force depots and transferring their work to other locations. However, although training requirements increased, training budgets have not kept pace. For example, when Air Force Materiel Command depot managers requested $10 million in 2001 to train first-line supervisors, the Command did not approve any of that funding. And when managers requested $11.5 million for budget years 2002 to 2007 to provide added training for new workers, the Command only funded a portion of that request. Lacking sufficient training dollars to fund their requirements, Air Force depot managers have been seeking ways to partner with state government programs. Partnering with the states to Page 40 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning develop training programs and curriculum for co-op students at high schools, vocational technical colleges, and universities was a cost-effective strategy that enabled depots to hire certified and credentialed workers to replace retirees. For example, the Warner Robins and Oklahoma City depots are working primarily with the states of Georgia and Oklahoma to establish training programs with local community colleges and high schools so that new hires will be trained and certified as Federal Aviation Association Aircraft and Power Plant license holders. Each of the Air Force depots is developing courses to groom the next generation of leaders and managers. But according to depot planners, much more needs to be done and where the funding is to come from is unclear. This is particularly true as the Air Force plans for the potential retirement of 43 to 52 percent of its depot workforce over the next 5 to 7 years. The other service depots are also experiencing challenges in funding training as they begin to hire new employees after years of downsizing. About half of the depots provide new industrial workers with training through apprentice programs. The Air Force and one Marine Corps center are using cooperative education programs, because they believe apprenticeship programs, which take 3 to 4 years to qualify workers for becoming journeymen-level workers, are too expensive. The Army Materiel Command estimated that $7.9 million was needed to sustain 79 apprentices already in the program and to add 50 additional apprentices for fiscal year 2002, or about $55,000 for each apprentice. However, the Command did not receive this level of funding, which caused the Command to transfer the costs to the depots as a cost of their operations. Army Materiel Command reported that it has requested additional funding for the apprentice program to support an average of 184 apprentices each year for the 7-year period, fiscal years 2003 through 2009. Army depot officials said that the program was too small in number to significantly impact future worker needs. In addition, without the Army directly funding the program costs; customers pay for depot services will increase, which could lead to a loss of customer support. Two of the five Army maintenance depots decided that no additional apprentices will be accepted into the apprenticeship program unless the program can be directly funded. In confronting the human capital challenge of revitalizing the depot workforce, the services have the opportunity to develop innovative training programs that cost less and to identify new funding sources for training. According to Navy and Air Force officials, centralized training programs and centralized funding could be considered cost-effective ways to support depot revitalization. Officials also noted that centralized Page 41 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning training programs would help ensure consistency in the quality of training provided to depot workers. Also, centralized funding would be another source of funding and would provide centralized oversight and accountability over how the funds are disbursed. Continued shortfalls in DOD’s strategic planning process, including the Conclusions lack of a DOD depot strategic plan and a strategic plan for arsenals and ammunition facilities have created questions regarding the future of the 72,000 civilians in the depot maintenance, arsenal, and ammunition manufacturing plant workforce and their ability to support future military operations. Without a strategic perspective that complements the department’s overall mission and objectives, the services do not have the long-term visibility they need to ensure the continued performance of these important support missions. When this is coupled with DOD’s adoption of increased contracting of work to the private sector, the future role of these industrial facilities and their workforce is clearly in doubt. The situation is compounded by questions regarding DOD’s implementation of the core maintenance statute, which is an essential feature in defining the depot workforce of the future. While in some cases the services have made a start at defining future objectives for the industrial facilities that are centered around the development of public-private partnerships, it is unclear how these partnerships should be folded into future industrial facilities planning. Further, without a departmental approach that has been approved by the Congress, future depot planning will continue to be fragmented, inconclusive, and inefficient. Since we have previously recommended that DOD develop a depot strategic plan, we are not repeating that recommendation in this report. However, we continue to believe a depot strategic plan is needed and we will continue to follow DOD’s progress toward implementing one. The absence of strategic guidance regarding the future of the DOD industrial facilities has generally prevented the development of comprehensive strategic workforce plans that are required for effectively managing DOD’s 72,000 civilian industrial facilities workers to meet the challenges of the future. For example, without having long-term strategies for acquiring, developing, and retaining their workforce that are clearly linked to achieving programmatic goals, the services continued to downsize these activities without a vision for what capabilities would be required in the future. The result of downsizing is that the remaining depot maintenance workforce averages 47 years of age and has skill imbalances. With workload in some activities continuing to decline and with uncertainties about new work for the future, officials in depots, arsenals, Page 42 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning and ammunition plants are uncertain whether they should plan to replace retiring workers and about what skills will be needed in the future. Furthermore, the industrial planners, in their short-term planning, have followed some but not all of the steps identified by OPM and high performing organizations, with the naval shipyard community and Air Force more comprehensive in their workforce planning approaches. However, the planners, have not, in general, identified competencies, developed comprehensive retention plans, or evaluated the performance of workforce planning efforts and taken corrective actionsall best practices that could help depots more effectively meet current and future challenges. A number of challenges confront DOD’s workforce planning for the revitalization of this industrial workforce, about 12 percent of which are eligible to retire in fiscal year 2002 and about 43 percent of which will be eligible to retire by 2009. First, workforce planning efforts, which are generally focused on the short-term, do not address the potential loss of a third to over 40 percent of the depot workforce over a short period of time, a challenge that could threaten the depots’ viability. Only the Air Force has taken action to ensure the continued viability of its depots in 2007 and beyond. Secondly, the current occupational series may not be the best to most efficiently perform required maintenance operations. Multiskilling, which has been successfully implemented in the private sector and in some government activities, has flexibilities unavailable to most government activities. However, depot activities trying to implement the flexibilities have been confronted by rules that do not allow providing an additional grade for performing work in additional skill areas. While the naval aviation community is trying an approach that would use a bonus rather than additional pay, naval aviation officials believe the additional flexibilities are still needed. We also believe that if it proves to be cost-effective, the full option of providing an additional grade would help ensure the greatest potential for success. Finally, with the large number of workers eligible to retire by 2009, training requirements and funding for training will increase significantly for new hires. Further, the need for increased funding for training will likely drive the need to find new funding sources and to develop cost-effective training programs. A centralized DOD depot training program could be a very practicable way to introduce more innovative and cost-effective approaches to producing and funding the required training to support depot revitalization, if the department intends to continue using the depots as an important part of its industrial base. Page 43 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning Recommendations for To improve the management and direction of DOD’s strategic planning for maintenance depots, we recommend that the Secretary of Defense direct Executive Action the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Logistics and Materiel Readiness to • complete the revisions to DOD’s core policy and develop a schedule for the services to complete the computation of core requirements; • require the service secretaries and the Commandant of the Marine Corps to develop revised core capabilities to provide a baseline for defining workloads that should be performed in government facilities by government personnel; and • require the service secretaries and the Commandant of the Marine Corps to develop, or complete the development of, and implement strategic plans that are linked to the services’ mission and objectives and the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s depot strategic plan when it is developed and that delineate industrial workloads to be accomplished in each service’s depots, other service’s depots, by contractors at their own sites and at government sites and using partnerships and identify the workforce requirements to support the performance of this work. To improve the management and strategic direction of DOD’s strategic planning for arsenals and ammunition plants, we recommend that the Secretary of Defense require the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics to develop a strategic plan that provides guidance and a schedule for identifying long-term capabilities to be provided by the private sector, those to be provided in government- owned and -operated plants; and those to be provided in government- owned and contractor-operated plants. To improve the quality and comprehensiveness of the services’ workforce planning efforts, we recommend that the Secretaries of the services and the Commandant of the Marine Corps develop strategic workforce plans that include improvements in areas identified in this report as being deficient, such as assessing workforce competencies required for the current and future workforce; implementing action plans that include comprehensive retention plans; and establishing performance metrics to use in evaluating workforce planning efforts and a mechanism for performing assessments of prior workforce planning efforts. The strategic workforce plans should be linked to DOD’s strategic plan for depot maintenance and the strategic plan for arsenals and ammunition plants when they are developed. Page 44 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning To improve DOD’s strategic workforce planning to ensure the viability of its depot maintenance workforce, we recommend that the Secretary of Defense require the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, in coordination with the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Logistics and Materiel Readiness, to coordinate the implementation of an initiative to • provide guidance for developing workforce revitalization strategies and strategic plans to address expected depot attrition over the next 5 to 7 years; • provide options for incorporating multiskilling into depot workforce planning initiatives; and • implement a working group to explore options for innovative and cost- effective training and to explore appropriate funding alternatives, to include centralized funding, to revitalize the depot workforce. Given the difficulties the Department of Defense is having implementing multiskilling and its potential for improving the flexibility and productivity of the department’s maintenance workforce, we recommend that the Secretary of Defense require the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness to implement a demonstration project that would give the military depots the flexibility to provide additional compensation for multiskilled depot workers when the services have demonstrated by a cost-benefit analysis the benefits of such a program. The Department of Defense reviewed a draft of this report and provided Agency Comments oral comments from the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for and Our Evaluation Personnel and Readiness. The department concurred with seven of our nine recommendations dealing with the need for completion of the identification of core depot maintenance requirements and capabilities and for improved strategic planning and workforce planning for depots, arsenals, and ammunition plants. The department did not concur with our recommendation to implement a working group to explore (1) options for innovative and cost-effective training and (2) appropriate funding alternatives to help revitalize the depot workforce. Also, the department did not concur with our recommendation to implement a demonstration project for multiskilling. The department’s comments noted that the importance of human capital strategic planning was clearly recognized in the Quadrennial Defense Review, is the first item on the President’s Management Agenda, and is a Page 45 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning top priority for the department. Further, in early 2003, the department published its FY 2003 Year of Execution Plan as an Annex to the integrated DOD Civilian Human Resources Strategic Plan, and focuses on seven goals to direct and improve all aspects of human capital strategic planning. We recognize that the high-level strategic planning efforts undertaken by the department are a necessary first step, but we also believe that much more needs to be done to assure that successively lower levels of organizations and activities accomplish complementary human capital planning that addresses specific issues that may be of concern for a given subset of the department’s population, such as for the workers in the department’s industrial activities. DOD agreed with our recommendation that the department complete revisions to DOD’s core policy and our recommendation to develop revised core capabilities that provide a baseline for defining workloads that should be performed in government facilities by government personnel. Officials noted that the department is finalizing required changes to its revised methodology and, upon completion, will task the military services with computing their depot maintenance core requirements. Regarding our recommendation, to develop depot strategic plans that are linked to the services’ mission and objectives and to the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s depot strategic plan when it is completed, DOD officials concurred, noting that in some cases it may be more practical to include these plans as part of a logistics or systems command strategic plan. DOD agreed with our recommendation to develop a strategic plan that provides guidance and a schedule for identifying long-term capabilities for arsenals and ammunition plants. DOD also agreed with our recommendation to improve the quality and comprehensiveness of the services’ workforce planning efforts. DOD partially concurred with our recommendation to provide guidance for developing workforce revitalization strategies and strategic plans to address expected depot attrition over the next 5 to 7 years. Officials said that the department developed the DOD Civilian Human Resources Strategic Plan2002-2008 to ensure a DOD-wide civilian workforce capable of responding rapidly, efficiently, and effectively to mission requirements. However, they agreed that a near-term strategic plan is needed at the depot level. We do not believe that the human resources strategic plan cited in DOD’s response provides the required guidance for developing workforce revitalization strategies and strategic plans and supporting the other issues we noted in our recommendation because it is at a higher level and does not address issues that need to be dealt with for this work force group, such as how to provide affordable technical training for large numbers of blue-collar workers. Additionally, to be Page 46 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning useful in supporting revitalization of the depot workforce, a depot strategic plan should address long-term as well as near-term requirements. Regarding our recommendation that the department develop options for incorporating multiskilling into depot workforce planning initiatives, the department concurred, stating that its proposed National Security Personnel System will provide personnel flexibilities designed to address multiskilling requirements. However, the National Security Personnel System is a proposed change to the current personnel system that DOD has requested the Congress to consider as a part of a large and diverse DOD transformation legislative proposal. Because the Congress has not yet acted on the department’s transformation proposal, we believe that it is premature to assume that Congress will approve this new personnel system. We continue to believe that whether or not the new personnel system is approved, the depots need options for incorporating multiskilling into depot workforce planning initiatives. DOD nonconcurred with our recommendation to implement a working group to explore (1) options for innovative and cost-effective training and (2) appropriate funding alternatives to help revitalize the depot workforce. The department stated that a working group is not necessary to explore options already offered by new authorities and flexibilities in the proposed National Security Personnel System. Because the proposed new personnel system has not yet been considered by the Congress, we believe that is premature to assume that it will be implemented, and we continue to believe that a working group’s exploration of options would benefit depot workforce revitalization. DOD also nonconcurred with our recommendation regarding the implementation of a demonstration project that would give the military depots the flexibility to provide additional compensation for multiskilled depot workers when the services have demonstrated by a cost-benefit analysis the benefits of such a program. Again, the department’s response assumes the flexibilities and authorities expected from the proposed National Security Personnel System will cover the problems multiskilling is intended to address. As with our comments on the prior recommendations, we believe that this response is premature and that independent action should be taken to implement the recommendation. The department provided technical comments that have been incorporated when appropriate. Page 47 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning We are providing copies of this report to the Secretary of Defense; the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force; the Commandant of the Marine Corps; and the Director, Office of Management and Budget. We will make copies available to others upon request. In addition, the report will be available at no charge on the GAO Web site at http://www.gao.gov. If you or your staff have questions regarding this report, please contact me on (202) 512-5559 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Julia Denman at (202) 512-4290 or email@example.com. Major contributors to this report are listed in appendix V. Derek B. Stewart Director Defense Capabilities and Management Page 48 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning Appendix I: Scope and Methodology Appendix I: Scope and Methodology To determine the extent to which the Office of the Secretary of Defense has implemented our prior recommendation to develop and implement a strategic plan for depot maintenance, we interviewed officials and reviewed the Government Performance and Results Act to identify guidance on developing strategic plans and various laws providing guidance on the role of DOD depots. To determine the extent to which the services have developed and implemented strategic workforce plans to position the civilian depot workforce to meet future requirements, we interviewed officials and obtained and reviewed • DOD’s Civilian Human Resources Strategic Plan 2002-2008 and the services’ strategic plans for depot maintenance where available to identify human capital goals, visions, and objectives and • services’ and depots’ workforce plans (including recruiting/hiring plans, training plans, succession plans, and retention plans) to determine whether they had a strategic/long-term perspective or a short-term focus that was oriented toward the budget process. In analyzing the extent to which these workforce plans positioned the civilian depot workforce to meet future mission requirements, we compared the elements of the depots’ workforce plans to applicable workforce planning documents and guidance issued by the OPM, the GAO, the National Academy of Public Administration, and other federal and state government agencies. Based on our analyses, we identified efforts underway that addressed aspects of these elements. Additionally, we analyzed the services’ • civilian depot workforce skills and competency assessments to determine whether they had identified the skills and competencies needed to address current and future workforce requirements, • civilian depot workforce retention plans to determine whether they had the factors identified by current research as being critical to enhancing the retention necessary for the construction of a high-performance organization, and • assessments of workforce plans to determine whether they included performance measures that evaluated the effectiveness of their workforce plans. Page 49 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning Appendix I: Scope and Methodology Moreover, because OPM had identified the elements that should be included in a comprehensive retention plan, we compared those elements to those found in the services’ retention plans. We did not do this type of comparison for the services’ recruiting/hiring, training, and succession plans because OPM did not identify comprehensive plans for these elements of workforce plans. To determine what challenges adversely affect DOD’s strategic planning for the viability of its civilian depot workforce, we interviewed officials and obtained, reviewed, and analyzed documentation to identify the types of challenges that might impact planning for the viability of the civilian depot workforce. In doing so, we also determined • civilian depot workforce retirement eligibility and whether the services will have difficulties replacing an aging workforce if large numbers of eligible retirees retire over the next 5 to 7 years, • the total weighted average age based on the civilian staffing at each industrial facility, • whether the services are having difficulties implementing the multiskilling concept to improve worker efficiency and productivity, and • whether increased funding will be needed to address increased training requirements. During this review, we visited and obtained information from the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps headquarters, all in the Washington, D.C., area; Headquarters, Army Materiel Command in Alexandria, Virginia; and 5 subordinate Army commands—the Army Aviation and Missile Command, Huntsville, Alabama; Communications-Electronics Command, Fort Monmouth, New Jersey; the Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, Warren, Michigan; Operations Support Command (now the Joint Munitions Command), Rock Island, Illinois; and the Soldier and Biological Chemical Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. Additionally, we visited the following depots and activities: • Army: Anniston Army Depot, Anniston, Alabama; Corpus Christi Army Depot, Corpus Christi, Texas; Letterkenny Army Depot, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; Red River Army Depot, Texarkana, Texas; Tobyhanna Army Depot, Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania; Rock Island Arsenal, Rock Island, Illinois; Watervliet Arsenal, Watervliet, New York; Pine Bluff Arsenal, Pine Bluff, Arkansas; Crane Army Ammunition Activity, Crane, Indiana; and McAlester Army Ammunition Plant, McAlester, Oklahoma. Page 50 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning Appendix I: Scope and Methodology • Air Force: Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio; Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center, Tucson, Arizona; Directorate of Maintenance, Ogden, Utah; Directorate of Maintenance, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Directorate of Maintenance, Warner Robins, Georgia; and the Joint Depot Maintenance and Activities Group, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. • Navy: Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland; Naval Aviation Depot, Cherry Point, North Carolina; Naval Aviation Depot, Jacksonville, Florida; and Naval Aviation Depot North Island, San Diego, California; • Navy: Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C.; Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Virginia; Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, New Hampshire; and Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington. • Navy: Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, Charleston, South Carolina. • Marine Corps: Marine Corps Materiel Command, Albany, Georgia; Marine Corps Logistics Bases Albany, Georgia; Marine Corps Logistics Bases Barstow, California; Marine Corps Maintenance Center, Albany, Georgia; and the Marine Corps Maintenance Center, Barstow, California. Additionally, we received written responses to audit questions from the following activities: Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center San Diego, California; Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division, Crane, Indiana; and Naval Undersea Warfare Center Keyport Division, Keyport, Washington. We conducted our review from October 2001 to March 2003 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. Page 51 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning Appendix II: Fiscal Year 2002 Services’ Appendix II: Fiscal Year 2002 Services’ Depots Depots Number of civilian depot employees per Depots Principal work location Army Army depots Anniston Army Depot The depot performs maintenance on heavy and light-tracked combat vehicles 2,429 Anniston, Alabama and components and is the designated center of technical excellence for the M1 Abrams tank. Corpus Christi As the Army’s only aviation facility, the depot overhauls and repairs DOD 2,869 Army Depot rotary wing aircraft and components, such as the AH-64 Apache, CH-47 Corpus Christi, Texas Chinook, and the UH-60 Blackhawk. Letterkenny This depot provides repair and overhaul support for air defense and tactical 1,082 Army Depot missiles such as the Patriot, Hawk, Avenger, Multiple Launch Rocket System, Chambersburg, and Sidewinder. Pennsylvania Red River For combat and tactical systems, the depot supports systems such as the 1,478 Army Depot Bradley Fighting Vehicle, Multiple Launch Rocket System, and vehicles for the Texarkana, Texas Patriot and Hawk missiles. Tobyhanna From handheld radios to satellite communication, the depot provides repair 2,237 Army Depot and overhaul support for hundreds of communications and electronic systems. Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania Army arsenals Rock Island Arsenal The arsenal is primarily a metal manufacturing facility with foundry, forging, 1,156 Rock Island, Illinois machining, finishing, and fabricating capabilities. It produces tank and artillery components such as gun mounts and recoil mechanisms, spare parts, and other equipment. It also fabricates and/or assembles tool sets ranging from carrying case-sized sets to fully equipped shelters. Watervliet Arsenal This arsenal is a metal manufacturing facility whose capabilities include 484 Watervliet, New York forging, casting, machining, heat-treating, plating, and fabrication. Its primary products are cannons—such as the large gun tubes for tanks and howitzers— and mortars. Pine Bluff Arsenal The facility produces, renovates, and stores smoke, riot control, and 804 Pine Bluff, Arkansas incendiary ammunitions such as red and white phosphorus. Also, it manufactures and refurbishes chemical and biological defense equipment. Army ammunition plants Crane Army Ammunition The plant produces, renovates, stores, and demilitarizes conventional 620 Activity ammunition. Its products include the Navy’s 5-inch projectile, bombs, missile Crane, Indiana warheads, pyrotechnic munitions, and plastic explosives. McAlester The plant produces, renovates, stores, and demilitarizes conventional and 1,075 Army Ammunition Plant missile ammunition. Its products include bombs—ranging from 500 to 5,000 McAlester, Oklahoma pounds, missile warheads, rockets, and plastic explosives. Total Army 14,234 Page 52 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning Appendix II: Fiscal Year 2002 Services’ Depots Number of civilian depot employees per Depots Principal work location Navy Naval Aviation Depots Naval Aviation Depot, The depot performs standard depot-level maintenance and periodic 3,839 Cherry Point maintenance, modifications, and in-service repairs for crash and battle North Carolina damages for helicopters and engines. The depot performs maintenance on aircraft such as the AV-8, H-53, and H-46. It also repairs such components as jet fuel starters and auxiliary power units. Naval Aviation Depot The depot serves as a production center concentrating on repair and 3,928 Jacksonville, Florida modification of patrol aircraft, fighter aircraft, attack aircraft, electronic countermeasures, engines, and associated components. The depot performs maintenance on aircraft such as the P-3, F-14 and SH-60. Also, the depot repairs components such as electro-optics, electronic warfare, and antisubmarine warfare systems. Naval Aviation Depot The depot serves as the production center concentrating on repair and 3,138 North Island modification of miscellaneous aircraft and associated components. The depot San Diego, California performs maintenance on the following aircraft systems: E-2 Hawkeye, C-2 Greyhound, and F/A 18 Hornet. It also provides engineering, logistics, and calibration services. Naval shipyards Norfolk Naval Shipyard This shipyard is the East Coast’s largest facility for surface ship, aircraft 7,525 Portsmouth, Virginia carrier, and submarine overhauls, maintenance and modernization. It also repairs, overhauls, dry docks, converts, modernizes, and inactivates ships. Also, the shipyard can perform any technical, fabrication, manufacturing, and engineering work required by its customers on site or through rapid- deployment of special teams to ships and facilities anywhere in the world. Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard This shipyard is the largest ship repair facility between the West Coast and 3,987 and Intermediate Far East, and it is responsible for ship maintenance, modernization, and Maintenance Facility nuclear ship recycling. Also, the shipyard provides such services as reactor Pearl Harbor, Hawaii plant servicing, nuclear propulsion plant work, and ship maintenance training. Portsmouth Naval The shipyard performs nuclear submarine overhauls, refuelings, 3,500 Shipyard modernizations, and repairs. Also, it provides nuclear maintenance Portsmouth, New Hampshire engineering and planning for the Los Angeles class submarines. Puget Sound Naval The shipyard overhauls and repairs all types and sizes of Navy ships. Also, 8,608 Shipyard the shipyard provides other services such as nuclear propulsion work, reactor Bremerton, Washington compartment disposal, nuclear-powered ship recycling, and emergent fleet support. Naval Warfare Centers Naval Surface The overall center provides acquisition, engineering, logistics, and 311 Warfare Center maintenance for the fleet’s weapons and electronic systems, ordnance, and Crane Division associated equipment components. The majority of its depot maintenance is Crane, Indiana in electronic warfare systems, engineering and industrial base support, electronic module test and repair, microwave components, and radar systems. Naval Undersea Warfare The overall center provides test and evaluation, in-service engineering, 608 Center Keyport Division maintenance and repair, fleet support, and industrial base support for Keyport, Washington designated systems. The largest depot workload is the torpedo program. Also, the depot operates and maintains shops that accomplish mechanical, electrical and electronic production, and assembly of complex undersea warfare equipment. Page 53 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning Appendix II: Fiscal Year 2002 Services’ Depots Number of civilian depot employees per Depots Principal work location Space and Naval Warfare Systems Centers Space and Naval Warfare Depot operations, managed at the division level, provide engineering analysis 49 Systems Center Charleston and design, hardware/software development, and integration. Also the depot Charleston, South Carolina operations include repair, fabrication, installation, and logistics products and services to DOD and federal government sponsors. Space and Naval Warfare The depot operation at the center provides engineering, management, life 70 Systems Center San Diego cycle support, test, restoration, assessments, and prototype modeling. The San Diego, California depot operations also include facilities that enable it to serve as a designated overall point and repair facility for reparables (i.e., assemblies, modules, and printed circuit boards drawn from various types of equipment). Total Navy 35,563 Marine Corps Maintenance Center The depot has multicommodity capability to support overhauls, repairs, and 659 Albany, Georgia upgrades for weapons systems such as the Amphibious Assault Vehicle, M1A1 Tank, M198 Howitzer, AN TPS 63 Radar, small arms, and communications-electronics equipment. Maintenance Center The depot has multicommodity capability to support overhauls, repairs, and 664 Barstow, California upgrades for weapons systems such as the Amphibious Assault Vehicle, M1A1 Tank, M198 Howitzer, AN TPS 63 Radar, small arms, and communications-electronics equipment. Total Marine Corps 1,323 Air Force Aerospace Maintenance The center provides for the storage, regeneration, reclamation, and disposal 439 and Regeneration Center of aircraft and related aerospace items such as tooling, pylons, and engines. Tucson, Arizona Directorate of Maintenance, It provides worldwide engineering and logistics management for the F-16 and 5,852 Ogden Air Logistics Center, maintains the C-130 aircraft. The center produces more than 250 aircraft and Utah 16,800 avionics and structural components annually. In addition, the center is responsible for logistical support of the nation’s fleet of strategic intercontinental ballistic missiles, including the Minuteman and Peacekeeper missiles. It also overhauls and repairs landing gear, wheels and brakes, rocket motors, photonic equipment, avionics, hydraulics, and software. Directorate of Maintenance, The center is the worldwide manager for a wide range of aircraft, engines, 8,533 Oklahoma City Air Logistics missile, and commodity items, aided by some of the most sophisticated Center, Oklahoma technical repair and manufacturing processes in the world. The center manages an inventory of 2,267 aircraft, which include the B-1, B-2, B-52, KC-10, C/KC-135, E-3, and about 25 other contractor logistics support aircraft. Directorate of Maintenance, This activity is the cargo/transport technology repair center for the Air Force. It 6,328 Warner Robins, has worldwide management and engineering responsibilities for the repair, Air Logistics Center, modification, and overhaul of the C-130, C-141, C-5, as well as F-15, U-2, Georgia all Air Force helicopters, and all special operations aircraft and their avionics systems. Total Air Force 21,152 Total 72,272 Source: DOD (data) and GAO (presentation). Page 54 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning Appendix III: Synopsis of Service Depots’ Appendix III: Synopsis of Service Depots’ Short-Term Workforce Plans Short-Term Workforce Plans Page 55 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning Appendix III: Synopsis of Service Depots’ Short-Term Workforce Plans Page 56 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning Appendix III: Synopsis of Service Depots’ Short-Term Workforce Plans Page 57 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning Appendix III: Synopsis of Service Depots’ Short-Term Workforce Plans Page 58 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning Appendix III: Synopsis of Service Depots’ Short-Term Workforce Plans Page 59 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning Appendix III: Synopsis of Service Depots’ Short-Term Workforce Plans Page 60 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning Appendix III: Synopsis of Service Depots’ Short-Term Workforce Plans Page 61 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning Appendix III: Synopsis of Service Depots’ Short-Term Workforce Plans Page 62 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning Appendix III: Synopsis of Service Depots’ Short-Term Workforce Plans Page 63 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning Appendix IV: GAO Staff Acknowledgments Appendix IV: GAO Staff Acknowledgments Carleen Bennett, Johnetta Gatlin-Brown, Thomas W. Gilliam, Acknowledgments M. Jane Hunt, Steve Hunter, Jeanett Reid, Jose Watkins, and Bobby Worrell made significant contributions to this report. Page 64 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning Related GAO Products Related GAO Products Depot Maintenance: Public-Private Partnerships Have Increased but Long-Term Growth and Results Are Uncertain. GAO-03-423. Washington, D.C.: April 10, 2003. Human Capital: Building on the Current Momentum to Address High-Risk Issues. GAO-03-637T. Washington, D.C.: April 8, 2003. DOD Personnel: DOD Actions Needed to Strengthen Civilian Human Capital Strategic Planning and Integration with Military Personnel and Sourcing Decisions. GAO-03-475. Washington, D.C.: March 28, 2003. High-Risk Series: Strategic Human Capital Management. GAO-03-120. Washington, D.C.: January 2003. High-Risk Series: An Update. GAO-03-119. Washington, D.C.: January 2003. Major Management Challenges and Program Risks: Department of Defense. GAO-03-98. Washington, D.C.: January 2003. Human Capital: Effective Use of Flexibilities Can Assist Agencies in Managing Their Workforces. GAO-03-2. Washington, D.C.: December 6, 2002. Military Personnel: Oversight Process Needed to Help Maintain Momentum of DOD’s Strategic Human Capital Planning. GAO-03-237. Washington, D.C.: December 5, 2002. Depot Maintenance: Change in Reporting Practices and Requirements Could Enhance Congressional Oversight. GAO-03-16. Washington, D.C.: October 18, 2002. HUD Human Capital Management: Comprehensive Strategic Workforce Planning Needed. GAO-02-839. Washington, D.C.: July 24, 2002. Managing for Results: Using Strategic Human Capital Management to Drive Transformational Change. GAO-02-940T. Washington, D.C.: July 15, 2002. Exposure Draft: A Model of Strategic Human Capital Management. GAO-02-373SP. Washington, D.C.: March 15, 2002. Page 65 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning Related GAO Products Foreign Languages: Human Capital Approach Needed to Correct Staffing and Proficiency Shortfalls. GAO-02-375. Washington, D.C.: January 31, 2002. Defense Logistics: Actions Needed to Overcome Capability Gaps in the Public Depot System. GAO-02-105. Washington, D.C.: October 12, 2001. Human Capital: Implementing an Effective Workforce Strategy Would Help EPA to Achieve Its Strategic Goals. GAO-01-812. Washington, D.C.: July 31, 2001. Defense Logistics: Strategic Planning Weaknesses Leave Economy, Efficiency, and Effectiveness of Future Support Systems at Risk. GAO-02-106. Washington, D.C.: October 11, 2000. Human Capital: A Self-Assessment Checklist for Agency Leaders. GAO/OCG-00-14G. Washington, D.C.: September 2000 Version 1. st Human Capital: Managing Human Capital in the 21 Century. GAO/T-GGD-00-77. Washington, D.C.: March 9, 2000. Human Capital: Strategic Approach Should Guide DOD Civilian Workforce Management. GAO/T-GGD/NSIAD-00-120. Washington, D.C.: March 9, 2000. Army Industrial Facilities: Workforce Requirements and Related Issues Affecting Depots and Arsenals. GAO/NSIAD-99-31. Washington, D.C.: November 30, 1998. Defense Depot Maintenance: DOD Shifting More Workload for New Weapon Systems to the Private Sector. GAO/NSIAD-98-8. Washington, D.C.: March 31, 1998. (350246) Page 66 GAO-03-472 DOD Depot Workforce Planning The General Accounting Office, the audit, evaluation and investigative arm of GAO’s Mission Congress, exists to support Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities and to help improve the performance and accountability of the federal government for the American people. GAO examines the use of public funds; evaluates federal programs and policies; and provides analyses, recommendations, and other assistance to help Congress make informed oversight, policy, and funding decisions. 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DOD Civilian Personnel: Improved Strategic Planning Needed to Help Ensure Viability of DOD's Civilian Industrial Workforce
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 2003-04-30.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)