Coast Guard Deepwater Acquisition Programs: Background, Oversight Issues, and Options for Congress [Updated July 14, 2008] [open pdf - 266KB]
From the Summary: "The term Deepwater refers to a collection of more than a dozen Coast Guard acquisition programs for replacing and modernizing the service's aging fleet of deepwater-capable ships and aircraft. Until April 2007, the Coast Guard had pursued these programs as a single, integrated acquisition program that was known as the Integrated Deepwater System (IDS) program or Deepwater program for short. The now-separated Deepwater acquisition programs include plans for, among other things, 91 new cutters, 124 new small boats, and 247 new or modernized airplanes, helicopters, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). […] Coast Guard and industry officials acknowledged certain problems in the program's management and execution and defended the program's management and execution in other respects. The Coast Guard announced a number of reform actions that significantly altered the service's approach to Deepwater acquisition (and to Coast Guard acquisition in general). A June 2008 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on Deepwater acquisition found that 'Coast Guard leadership is making positive changes to its management and acquisition approach to the Deepwater Program that should put it in a position to realize better outcomes, although challenges to its efforts remain.' Potential oversight issues for Congress in 2008 include but are not necessarily limited to the Coast Guard's overall management of Deepwater acquisition, the status of certain Deepwater acquisition programs, and the so-called revolving door issue. This report will be updated as events warrant."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33753