Coast Guard Acquisitions: Better Information on Performance and Funding Needed to Address Shortfalls

The Coast Guard is managing a multi-billion dollar effort to modernize aging assets, including ships, aircraft, and information technology to provide new capabilities to conduct missions ranging from marine safety to defense readiness. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has reviewed the Coast Guard’s acquisitions since 2001 and has found it faces challenges managing its portfolio. In 2007, the Coast Guard established a cost baseline of $24.2 billion for 13 assets. GAO was asked to examine the Coast Guard’s current and planned acquisition portfolio. This report assesses: (1) operational performance and testing of selected assets; (2) the current cost of the Coast Guard’s portfolio and funding plans; and (3) the extent to which the Coast Guard is experiencing capability gaps, if any, given known affordability issues. To conduct this work, GAO analyzed the operational performance and test reports for all 4 newly fielded assets that the Coast Guard planned to test and the costs and capabilities of its major system acquisition portfolio. GAO also interviewed Coast Guard, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Navy officials. Congress should consider requiring the Coast Guard to include additional information in its Capital Investment Plan. In addition, the Secretary of DHS should clarify when minimum performance standards should be achieved, conduct Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) testing, and develop a long-term modernization plan. DHS concurred with the recommendations, but its position on developing a long-term plan does not fully address GAO’s concerns as discussed in the report.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: 52p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01529353
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: GAO-14-450
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 18 2014 2:59PM