oversight

Management Improvements Needed in the Military Affiliate Radio System

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1977-08-23.

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

                          DOCUMENT RESUME
 03082 - rA23735131

 Management Improvements Needed in the Military Affiliate Radio
Systeml. LCD-77-119; B-14423%. August 23, 1977  3 pp.
Report to Secretary, Department of Defense; by Fred J.. Shafer,
Director, Logistics and Communications Div.
Issue Area: Military Preparedness Plans: Military Communications
     and Information Processing Needs (803).
C.,ntac+: Logistics and Communications Divr
Budget Function: National Defense: Department of Defens -
     Military (xcept procurement 6 contracts) {C51).
Congressional elevance: House Committee on Armed Services;
     Senate Committee on Armed Services.
           Although the Department of Defense (DOD) rejected 1975
 recommendations regarding the maniagement of the Military
 Affiliate Radio System (MARS-, a limited follow-up effort
 indicates that the Secretary of Defense may wish to reconsider
 those recommendations. Findings/Cobrcusions: Althugh the DOD
 Director, Telecommunications and Command and Control Systems
 (DTACCS), stated that an ad hoc working group would be organized
 to study the single manager concept and the use of appropriated
funds for MARS, the committee was never formed. I'stead, the
Director considered written comments furnished by the military
departments, historical APS information, and information
obtained in telephone discussions with military personnel
concerning their respective MAPS programs before reaching any
ccnclusions. DTACCS concluded that MAPS should continue as a
du'Lv constituted entity within each military department and that
there was a continuing need for the 183 military owned and
operated MARS stations,. Recommendations: The Secretary of
Defe.ise should reconsider the recommendations, made originally
in September 1975, that the feasibility and economy of
establishing a single manager concept within DOD for MARS be
studied. If appropriate, the results of such a study should be
implemented and the MARS stations operated and funded by
military commands should be reviewed to determine the need for
these MARS stations in view of the other cor.munications and
related features available. The need for these MARS stations
should be evaluated in relation to the operating costs incurred
by the Government, and, where appropriate, appropriated funding
of such stations should be eliminated. (SC)
                           UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCO'JNTING OFFICE
  /d ~WASHINGTON,                               D.C.   20548


LWGIFIC1 AND   OMIIlNTIO


         B-144239
               Or~~~~~r'%~~~~~~                    B-AUG              23   77

         The Honorable
         The Secretary of Defense
         Dear Mr. Secretary:
              We wish to bring to your attention various issues concerning the
        Military Affiliate Radio System (MARS) for further consideration.
        Our letter report (LCD-76-103j, dated September 24, 1975, to your
         predecessor recommended that the Department of Defense (DOD) study
        the feasibility and enny of establishing a single manager concept
        withl.. DOD for MARS and review the MARS stations operated and funded
        under OD with a view toward eliminating appropriations for unneccs-
        sary stations. Although DOD rejected these reconmedations, ur
        limited follow-up effort under assignment code 941110 indicates that
        you may wish to further consider these recommendations.
                Specifically, our letter report recommended that the Secretary:
                --study the feasibility and economy of establishing a single
                  manager concept within DOD for MARS and, if appropriate,
                  Implement he results of the study and
               --review the MARS stations operated and funded by military
                 commands to (1)determine t;he need for these MARS stations
                 in view of the othr - communications and related features
                 available, (2)evaluate the need for these MARS stations
                 inrelation to the operating costs incurred by te
                 Government, and (3)where appropriate, eliminate appro-
                 priated funding of such stations.
             During October 1975 the military departments and the Defense
        Civil Preparedness Agency (DCPA) furnished comments on our report to
        the Director, Telecommunications and Comman and Control Systems
        (DTACCS)--subsequently this organization became part
        of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Communications,of Command
                                                                  the Office
                                                                         and
        Control and Intelligence). All three military departments basically
        agreed with our recommendations for a study and a review and DCPA
        stated that itcould not foresee ay problem if the single manager
        concept was implemented.


                                                                LCD-77-119
 B-144239

      DTACCS' December 1975 response to our report agreed with our
 recommendations and stated that an ad hoc working group would be
 organized to study the single manager concept and the use of
 appropriated funds for MARS.
      In a letter dated February 19, 1976, DTACCS requested the
 military departments' views on whether or not changes inthe manage-
 ment, mission, and/or functions of MARS would provide cost-effective
 improvements. The letter also advised the departments that their
 findirgs and recommendations would be reviewed by a DOD ad hoc working
 group for the purpose of establishing a OD policy and recommending
 appropriate action, ifnecessary.
      The Navy and Air Force responses to DTACCS agreed with our
recommendation to study the establishment of a single manager within
DOD for MARS. The Air Force even included a utline of an approach
to such single managership, including a listing of potential
mental management areas for consolidation, for consideration depart-
                                                              by DOD's
ad hoc working group. Hovever, without presenting any evidence   that
a study was performed, the Army expressed a position against establishing
a single manager at the DOD level because itwould cause an increase
in personnel--estimated to be five positions at the DOD level with the
retention of or increase in the existing Amy's staffing--and   management
costs.
      The Air Force and Navy responses agreed with our recommendation
for reviewing the need for MARS stations operated and funded by
mil 4tary commands. Also, the Air Force stated that itwas conducting
a review of MARS resources (persoinel and equipment). Conversely,
Army's response was directed toward the missions, functions or rolesthe
of such stations and did not expressly state whether such a review
should be performed.
     A DTACCS official stated that the DOD ad hoc working group was
never frmed because the MARS costs of approximately $4 million did
not justify such actions. Instead, he considered written comments
furnished by the military departments, historical MARS information
and information cbtained in telephone discussions with military
personnel concerning their respective MARS prcgrams before reaching
any conclusions. DTACCS concluded in its August 9, 176, letter to
GAO that MARS should continue as a duly constituted entity within
each military department. Also, DTACCS believed that there was a
continuing need for the 183 military owned and operated MARS stations.



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B-144239

     In our opinion, DODs review methods or techniques described above
do not ppear to represent an independent evaluation or to adequately
consider our letter report conclusions and rcommendations. We also
wish to point out that alth, ah DTACCS concluded that there was a
need for the existing MARS stations, the Air Force did, in fact,
realign its stations in 1977. The net result of this realignment was
a net reduction of 61 authorized personnel positions for MARS. Thus,
we believe that ourt recommendations shculd be reconsidered.
     Ifyou hdve any questions regarding these matters, we would
be happy to meet wish you or your staff.
     As you know, section 236 of the Legislative Reorganization Act
of 1970 requires the head of a Federal agency to submit a written
statement on actions taken on our recommendations to the House and
Senate Conmmittees on GovernmeaL.Operations not later than 60 days
after the date of the report nd to the House and Senate Committees
on Appropriations with the agency'.- first request for appropriations
made more than 60 days ,ter the date of the report. We would
appreciate receiving copies of these statements.
     We are sending copies of this report to the House Committee on
Appropriations; Senate Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on
Defense; House Committee on Government Operations; Senate Committee on
$overnmental Affairs; House Committee on Armed Services and its Sub-
committee on Investigations; and the Senate Committee on Armed Services.
We are sending copies also to the irector, Office of Management and
Budget; the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force; and the
Director, Defense Civil Preparedness Agency.
                                 Sincerely yours,



                                 F. Shafer
                                 Director




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