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Senators: DoD must cut excess inventory

Mar. 13, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
By ANDY MEDICI   |   Comments
The Defense Department is under pressure to reduce unneeded inventory.
The Defense Department is under pressure to reduce unneeded inventory. (Pfc. Franklin E. Mercado/USMC)

The Defense Department needs to stop purchasing hundreds of millions of dollars in unneeded inventory, two senators said in a March 11 letter.

Senators Tom Carper, D-Del., the chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., the ranking member, said the department’s unneeded inventory is too high, despite a recently launched inventory management system.

From 2010 to 2012 DoD disposed of $14.9 billion in excess or unused inventory, and the amount of ‘on-order’ excess parts grew to $754 million in 2013 after falling to $609 million in 2011. If the department better managed its inventory, it would help offset current budget cuts, according to the letter.

“Some of budgetary choices would be less difficult if DoD could reduce the wasteful purchases of unneeded spare parts and other inventory,” they wrote.

The Defense Department said budget cuts are actually making the services more conservative about canceling current orders and contracts instead of being more aggressive, according to the letter.

“These facts are troubling reminders that the DoD still has a lot of work ahead in its efforts to avoid wasteful spending by better aligning inventory with demand,” the senators wrote.

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