Report | Jan. 5, 2012

DoD Needs to Improve Accountability and Identify Costs and Requirements for Non-Standard Rotary Wing Aircraft (Redacted)


What We Did

We reviewed the management of the DoD acquisition and support of non-standard rotary wing aircraft (NSRWA). We estimated that DoD obligated more than $1.6 billion over the last 5 years and planned for more than $1 billion in estimated future NSRWA efforts.

What We Found

DoD officials did not adequately manage the acquisition and support of NSRWA. Specifically, DoD officials were unable to identify a comprehensive list of all DoD-owned and supported Mi-17s, their total ownership costs, and all planned requirements in support of these aircraft. This occurred because the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics (USD[AT&L]) established the NSRWA Project Management Office as a temporary solution without fully authorizing the project manager and his staff to make DoD-wide decisions and did not follow the Defense acquisition process, even though it met the requirements of a major defense acquisition program. As a result, DoD may not have achieved the best value for the more than $1.6 billion NSRWA effort and is at risk for inadequate management of the more than $1 billion in estimated future costs.

What We Recommend

We recommend that the USD(AT&L) establish the NSRWA program as a long term effort and designate it with a Defense acquisition program category; identify and develop the acquisition documents required for the program; require that all DoD procurement and support of NSRWA efforts are sent to a single contracting command, and implement the initiatives established in the November 3, 2010, better buying power memorandum; and request the Deputy Secretary of Defense to designate the Army as the Executive Agent for NSRWA. In addition, the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology should issue a formal charter for the NSRWA Project Manager.

Management Comments and Our Response

The Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategic and Tactical Systems and the Deputy Commanding General, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Training Mission-Afghanistan/Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, provided comments that were partially responsive. We request that the USD(AT&L) and the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology provide comments in response to this report by February 6, 2012.