Dec. 12, 2016 —
We determined whether U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) was properly accounting for its sensitive equipment.1 We selected a statistical sample of 11,791 of the 135,053 sensitive equipment items from the Special Operations Logistics Management System (SOLMAN)2 and compared the data to inventory levels at seven USSOCOM locations.3
USSOCOM officials did not properly account for USSOCOM sensitive equipment. Based on the results of our sample, we statistically projected SOLMAN data differed from inventory levels at the seven USSOCOM locations by 30,014 items, valued at $615.49 million (see Appendix B). Sensitive equipment items listed in SOLMAN but not accounted for included communication tracking systems, radio frequency jammers, and night vision goggles. The differences between SOLMAN data and inventory levels at the USSOCOM locations occurred because USSOCOM officials did not establish comprehensive materiel management guidance for sensitive equipment. Specifically, USSOCOM guidance did not contain specific procedures to:
- address when or how initial sensitive equipment accountability records should be established;
- record sensitive equipment transfers from the USSOCOM warehouse to the Service Component commands;
- transmit sensitive equipment inventory data from the USSOCOM Service Component commands and warehouse logistics management systems to SOLMAN; and
- conduct periodic physical inventories to reconcile SOLMAN data to the inventory levels and resolve any inventory discrepancies.
As a result, USSOCOM did not have accurate inventory data needed to make timely and informed sensitive equipment management decisions. Furthermore, USSOCOM did not have the appropriate data available to determine whether to initiate a property loss investigation for inventory discrepancies.
We recommend that the Director, Special Operations Forces Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics:
- update guidance for establishing sensitive equipment accountability;
- conduct a 100-percent inventory of sensitive equipment to develop a sensitive equipment baseline and reconcile inventory discrepancies; and
- assess the temporary loan process, mandate equipment level reporting requirements, and mandate periodic inventory reconciliations of SOLMAN data to equipment at component commands so inventory discrepancies can be identified and resolved.
Management Comments and Our Response:
Comments from the Director, Special Operations Forces Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics partially addressed the recommendations. The Director did not state how guidance would be updated to ensure that sensitive equipment accountability is established. In addition, the Director did not agree to conduct a 100-percent sensitive equipment inventory or establish a sensitive equipment baseline. The Director also did not address the management of temporary loans that are not covered by USSOCOM criteria. Furthermore, the Director did not state whether the Global Combat Support System-Joint is intended to replace SOLMAN, nor did he address how the ongoing actions would standardize data elements and establish reporting frequencies. Finally, the Director did not address how USSOCOM would reconcile SOLMAN data to equipment at the Service Component commands.
We request the Director, Special Operations Forces Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, provide comments in response to this report.
1 USSOCOM considers equipment as sensitive if it has a controlled item inventory code of 1-9, C, Q, R, or $. Controlled item inventory codes identify the extent and type of special handling required due to the classified nature or special characteristics of the item.
2 SOLMAN is a data repository populated by the USSOCOM Service Component commands and warehouse logistics management systems. The Service Component commands and warehouses maintain inventory records of USSOCOM sensitive equipment items in their own logistics systems. On a periodic basis, the inventory data is transferred to SOLMAN.
3 The locations were: San Diego, California; Eglin Air Force Base, Florida; Lexington, Kentucky; Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Sneads Ferry, North Carolina; and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.
This report is a result of Project No. D2015-D000RE-0229.000.