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GAO: DoD Ulitility Disruptions Cost More Than $29M From 2009 to 2015

transmission tower against the sun during sunsetThe Government Accountability Office has found that Defense Department-owned utility systems experienced 4,393 instances of disruptions due to equipment failure from fiscal years 2009 through 2015.

DoD installation officials claimed the utility disruptions led to more than $29 million in financial impacts as well as operational consequences such as a week-long shutdown of operations at a U.S. Army facility, GAO said Monday.

Factors that caused equipment failures include the use of equipment beyond its intended life; lack of proper maintenance and poor equipment condition, the report stated.

GAO added 151 out of 364 surveyed officials said they did not have information on utility disruptions in fiscal years 2009-2015.

Auditors found the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps lack guidance that require installations to monitor utility disruption information while the Army’s guidance to report utility disruptions is not consistently available for some installations.

The U.S. Navy released a new guidance in 2015 which could support the collection of utility disruption information if implemented as directed, GAO noted.

DoD’s use of the Sustainment Management System software to run standardized condition assessments could result in varying facility condition index data since services can customize settings or condition standards in the SMS process, GAO said.

GAO recommended the Army, Air Force and Marine Corps to take measures or provide guidance to help collect disruption information consistently.

DoD should oversee services’ efforts to apply uniform condition standards, GAO stated.

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