Coast Guard Cutters: Depot Maintenance Is Affecting Operational Availability and Cost Estimates Should Reflect Actual Expenditures, Report to the Chairman, Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, House of Representatives   [open pdf - 3MB]

"The Coast Guard is procuring the FRC [Fast Response Cutter] and NSC [National Security Cutter] to replace its aging cutters. Both cutters have had operational problems-such as propulsion system issues-that are being addressed through maintenance. Prior GAO [Government Accountability Office] work identified issues related to performance and maintenance of these vessels, particularly related to the main diesel engines on both cutters. The House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure asked that GAO examine maintenance of the FRC and NSC. This report addresses the extent to which (1) maintenance issues are affecting FRC's and NSC's operational status, (2) design changes affect the maintenance of the cutters, and (3) the Coast Guard's cost estimates reflect actual expenditures for maintenance for the FRC and NSC. To conduct this work, GAO analyzed data on cutter maintenance and operations; analyzed the costs and timing of design changes; reviewed Coast Guard budgets and compared GAO best practices in cost estimating to the Coast Guard's process for estimating depot maintenance costs; and interviewed Coast Guard officials. To ensure that it effectively uses its resources, the Coast Guard should document cost analyses on the cost and timing of engineering design changes and periodically evaluate and update its depot maintenance cost estimates. The Department of Homeland Security agreed with both recommendations and provided timeframes for actions to address them."

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Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
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