GAO says Navy report to Congress on maintenance delays is incomplete

By Justin Katz / October 29, 2020 at 1:00 PM

A July report from the Navy to Congress outlining the causes for delays in ship and submarine maintenance failed to highlight issues "originating in the acquisition process or as a result of operational decisions," according to a new Government Accountability Office report.

Congressional appropriators in their fiscal year 2020 defense legislation directed the Navy to outline what factors have caused the service's chronic problems with completing ship and submarine availabilities maintenance.

The new GAO report says the service's analysis largely lines up with its own but criticizes the Navy for not providing a fuller picture.

"The report identified stakeholders needed to implement action plans, but did not fully incorporate other elements of results-oriented management, including achievable goals, metrics to measure progress, and resources and risks," the GAO report states.

Navy acquisition executive Hondo Geurts, responding for the Pentagon to GAO's report, contested the watchdog's claim, saying it falsely implied the service had not considered certain issues.

The "Navy's March 2019 report discusses some of these acquisition/operation ideas. The July 2020 report states it does not repeat acquisition/operations, as they were covered in the March 2019 report," he wrote. "[I]t is not accurate to imply the Navy has never considered them."