GAO report: Corrosion prevention and mitigation efforts

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Diana Maurer, director of defense capabilities & management at the Government Accountability Office, discusses the Pentagon efforts to prevent corrosion to their infrastructure and weapon systems, and ways they can improve.


According to a Government Accountability Office report, equipment corrosion cost the Department of Defense more than $20 billion in FY16. However, the issues were more prevalent in the past. After corrosion issues with the Air Force’s F-22 program, the Pentagon’s has doubled down on their mitigation efforts. While the report found that the anti-corrosion efforts were working, they were not well documented. Diana Maurer, director of defense capabilities and management at GAO, recommends in the report that more information should be provided to Congress.

“We recommend that DoD continue to build on its strengths. DoD has a good system in place. They have strategic plans, they have guidance to direct the different program offices in what they are supposed to do,” Maurer told Government Matters. “We have recommendations around ensuring that the oversight responsibilities are appropriately documented, that the funding request that DoD is submitting to Congress is appropriately supported, and we think that by implementing our recommendations, the Pentagon will be better positioned to address the problems with corrosion down the road.”

 

Maurer says that while issues were found, there is some good news in the report.

“Within DoD, there’s a lot of expertise and experts that are focused on addressing the problems with corrosion. One of the things we saw was a network of these experts sharing information across the services as well as with other agencies in the federal government,” Maurer said. “For example, DoD officials are participating in conferences. They are authoring technical papers that different agencies such as NASA and the Department of Interior are using to help reduce and address corrosion problems within their own infrastructure.”