GAO: Coast Guard lacks staff to manage Deepwater

Despite recent changes, the Coast Guard's $24 billion Deepwater program remains vulnerable to failures due to uncertainty about whether there are adequate numbers of trained staff performing oversight, according to a new 82-page report from the Government Accountability Office.

"While the Coast Guard plans to assume more direct responsibility for Deepwater management, until it has sufficient staff with the requisite skills and abilities to execute new and expanding responsibilities, the Deepwater program will remain at risk in terms of getting what is needed, on time and at a fair price," the report said.

The GAO said it has raised numerous concerns since Deepwater was initiated in 2002, mainly about the Coast Guard's ability to manage and oversee the program. The concerns focus on implementation of program management, lack of contractor accountability and weak cost controls.

The Coast Guard has addressed some of the problems since 2004 but has been hindered by a lack of adequate procurement staff and by undefined roles between the Coast Guard and the contractor regarding maintenance and logistics support, GAO said.

The Coast Guard recently announced its plan to assume the role of lead systems integrator, while continuing to use the contractor, Integrated Coast Guard Systems, to perform some functions, the report states. The contractor is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Corp. and Northrop Grumman Corp.

The Coast Guard also realigned integrated product teams, increased use of third-party reviews and reaffirmed the role of its chief engineer as technical authority for acquisitions.

While there has been progress with some Deepwater assets, there are still questions about whether the Coast Guard can manage acquisition of all Deepwater assets, the report said.

Deepwater assets facing management challenges include the 123-foot patrol boats, vertical unmanned aerial vehicles, fast response and national security cutters, GAO said. For example, the vertical UAV was due to be completed in 2006, but has been delayed.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

Reader Comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

What is your e-mail address?

My e-mail address is:

Do you have a password?

Forgot your password? Click here
close

Trending

  • POWER TRAINING: How to engage your customers

    Don't miss our Aug. 2 Washington Technology Power Training session on Mastering Stakeholder Engagement, where you'll learned the critical skills you need to more fully connect with your customers and win more business. Read More

  • PROJECT 38 PODCAST

    In our latest Project 38 Podcast, editor Nick Wakeman interviews Tom Romeo, the leader of Maximus Federal about how it has zoomed up the 2019 Top 100. Read More

contracts DB

Washington Technology Daily

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.