April 29, 2016 —
We initiated the evaluation of ammunition data cards (ADCs) in response to a House Armed Services Committee staff request. The objective of this evaluation was to determine whether ADCs were processed in accordance with Military Standard (MIL-STD)-1168, “Ammunition Lot Numbering and Ammunition Data Card,” and applicable contractual requirements to ensure material traceability and verification of ammunition component information. An ADC is a permanent record that contains ammunition information, including lot number, manufacturer, quantity, date manufactured, drawing specification number, and drawing revision.
We determined that ADC data accuracy and completeness were systemically deficient. Of 189 ADCs reviewed, 181 ADCs had errors, with a total of 1,307 errors identified within ADCs. This is due to the lack of standardized processes for the ADC Program and inadequate review of ADCs by the onsite Government representatives and Joint Munitions Command (JMC). ADC errors affect munition traceability and result in a degraded ability to isolate defective components and materials, recall fielded and stored ammunition, and perform effective failure investigations.
We recommend that JMC:
1. Document ADC creation and verification procedures to ensure that standardization of ADC process is in accordance with MILâ€‘STDâ€‘1168, the Ammunitionâ€‘Data Repository Program User Manual, and contracts.
a. Ensure onsite Government representatives develop methods to verify that ADCs are accurate, complete, and contractually compliant.
b. Create instructions for ADC review that include the specific information fields to verify on ADCs and what material pedigree data that ADC information is verified against.
2. Document periodic reviews of ADCs for evidence of review as required by JMC QA-OP-PQM-12, “Operating Procedure.”
3. Ensure that MILâ€‘STDâ€‘1168 B and C requirements are incorporated into current open and future contracts, the Quality Assurance Letter of Instruction, and Letters of Delegation.
4. Train JMC onsite Government representatives to improve oversight of ADC approval process. Train JMC onsite Government representatives on the MILâ€‘STDâ€‘1168C requirements.
We recommend that Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA):
5. Ensure that MILâ€‘STDâ€‘1168 B and C requirements are incorporated in the Quality Assurance Surveillance Plan for the ammunition data card process.
6. For manufacturing facilities with DCMA onsite Government representatives, develop methods to verify that the data for all components on ADCs comply with MILâ€‘STDâ€‘1168, the Ammunition-Data Repository Program User Manual, and contractual requirements.
7. Train DCMA onsite Government representatives to improve oversight of the ADC approval process. Train DCMA onsite Government representatives on MILâ€‘STDâ€‘1168C requirements.
Management Comments and Our Response
JMC agreed with three recommendations and partially agreed w ith one recommendation. JMC disagreed with our recommendation concerning the use of Certificates of Conformance (CoCs) i n A DC process. Comments from JMC indicated that requiring CoCs is not economically feasible and does not sufficiently support the intent to improve product traceability in ADCs.
We agreed and revised Recommendation 1.b to allow for an alternative solution. Additionally, JMC has implemented several improvement initiatives in accordance with the revised MILâ€‘STDâ€‘1168C. However, comments from JMC did not explain how it would implement the recommendations. Therefore, we request that JMC provide additional comments in response to this report by May 30, 2016.
DCMA a greed w ith t hree r ecommendations. H owever, comments from DCMA did not explain how it would implement the recommendations. Therefore, we request that DCMA provide additional comments in response to this report by May 30, 2016. Please see the Recommendations Table on the following page.
This report is a result of Project No. D2015-D000PT-0190.000.