We initiated this audit to determine whether the Army justified its competition to acquire a new Individual Carbine (IC) weapon and whether the Army was implementing an effective acquisition strategy.
The Army Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3/5/7, did not justify the requirement for a new carbine. This occurred because the Army Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3/5/7, did not follow the Small Arms Capabilities Based Assessment findings and recommendations, and inappropriately approved and validated the requirements document used to support the establishment of the individual carbine program. As a result, the Army wasted about $14 million on a competition to identify a source to supply new carbines it does not need. In addition, the Army plans to spend $2.52 billion over a 20-year life cycle to procure and maintain 501,289 carbines that its own analysis suggests can be delayed for another 10 years with no impact on readiness.
We identified potential monetary benefits of $2.52 billion, $382 million of funds to put to better use ($375 million in procurement funding and $7 million in research, development, test, and evaluation funding) and $2.14 billion in cost avoidance after FY 2018 if the program is terminated.
On December 28, 2012, we issued a quick reaction memorandum to the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology) that detailed our concerns with IC product office officials obligating $420,000 to award contracts to initiate the Phase III of the IC source selection process.
On March 29, 2013, the Assistant Secretary responded to our memorandum. The Assistant Secretary stated that the Army appreciated the opportunity to respond; however, while the Army was assessing the DoD IG findings, the integrity and sensitive nature of the IC source selection process did not allow the Army to address our findings in its response. The Assistant Secretary further stated the Army would not award Phase III contracts until it adequately addressed our findings.
The Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology) should terminate the Individual Carbine competition and eliminate funding the Individual Carbine program. Also, the Army Deputy Chief of Staff, G-3/5/7, should validate the quantity of M4 carbines needed. If the Army concludes that additional M4 carbines are needed, then the Army should hold a competition to acquire them. Furthermore, the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Financial Management and Comptroller) should reprogram the $382 million in procurement and research, development, test, and evaluation funding currently allocated to acquire carbines across the FY 2013 to FY 2018 Future Years Defense Program, adjusted by validated M4 carbines needed.
Although the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Financial Management and Comptroller), the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics and Technology), and the Army Deputy Chief of Staff, G 3/5/7, did not state whether they agreed or disagreed with our recommendations, their responses met the intent of our recommendations.