Navy Shipbuilding: U.S. GAO on Getting Things Right

MarineLink.com
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
LCS Sea Trial: Image courtesy of USN

A recent report US Government Audit Office (GAO) report, mandated by the House, discussed amongst other issues:  (1) quality problems in constructing recently delivered ships and Navy actions to improve quality and (2) key practices employed by leading commercial ship buyers and shipbuilders to ensure quality and how these compared with Navy practices. Excerpts from the report follow:

What GAO Found

The Navy has experienced significant quality problems with several ship classes over the past several years. It has focused on reducing the number of serious deficiencies at the time of delivery, and GAO's analysis shows that the number of deficiencies--particularly "starred" deficiencies designated as the most serious for operational or safety reasons--has generally dropped.

Nonetheless, the Navy continues to accept ships with large numbers of open deficiencies. Accepting ships with large numbers of uncorrected deficiencies is a standard practice and GAO found that there are varying interpretations of Navy policy with regard to when the defects should be resolved.

In 2009, the Navy organization that oversees ship construction launched the Back to Basics initiative to improve Navy oversight of ship construction. However, a key output of the initiative promoting consistent and adequate quality requirements in Navy contracts has yet to be implemented.

Although the environment in which leading commercial ship buyers and builders operate differs in many ways from the Navy's, some commercial practices aimed at helping to ensure that ships are delivered with a minimum number of deficiencies may be informative for the Navy.

Throughout the course of commercial shipbuilding projects, significant numbers of quality defects and instances of non-conforming work are identified. However, leading commercial ship buyers and shipbuilders make great efforts to ensure that these issues are resolved prior to delivery. Further, commercial ship buyers establish clear lines of accountability and hold their personnel responsible for ensuring the shipbuilder delivers a quality vessel.

While commercial ship buyers focus on regularly witnessing in-process work through roaming patrols and impromptu inspections, Navy processes at the shipyards place less emphasis on in-process work. Moreover, leading commercial shipbuilders have strong quality management processes that track quality problems to the worker or supervisor level. Navy shipbuilding contractors have historically experienced difficulties in holding production workers and supervisors accountable for their work, but some of the shipyards reported they are making progress on increasing worker accountability.

What GAO Recommends
To improve the construction quality of ships delivered to the Navy, GAO is recommending, among other things, that the Navy clarify policy on when deficiencies should be addressed, provide guidance on contract quality requirements, and assess applicability of certain commercial practices to Navy shipbuilding.

DOD agreed with two recommendations and partially agreed with three, stating for example that current policy is adequate but that the Navy would monitor deficiency trends. GAO believes that the recommendations remain valid as discussed in the report.

For more information, contact Michele Mackin at (202) 512-4841 or mackinm@gao.gov

Maritime Reporter June 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Technology

Joint Project Studies Condition-based Engine Monitoring

Classification society ClassNK announced that it will participate in a joint project together with Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. and MES Technoservice Co.

Resolve Maritime Academy's New Wet Trainer Facility

Resolve Maritime Academy informed it has started building a new, two-story wet trainer, larger and more expansive than its original, the L/V Gray Manatee. “We

Globecomm to Provide VSAT for PBJV Barge

Purpose-built accommodation and pipe-lay barge on charter to Petronas equipped with VSAT and L-Band services. Globecomm Maritime has been awarded a contract

Contracts

New AVEVA ISM Bridges the Gap

AVEVA launches a new application for governing asset information using a standards-based methodology. AVEVA announced the launch of AVEVA Information Standards Manager (AVEVA ISM),

General Dynamics gets $25 mi GPS Contract from Lockheed Martin

General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics, was awarded a $25.4 million full-production contract from Lockheed Martin to support the U.

Globecomm to Provide VSAT for PBJV Barge

Purpose-built accommodation and pipe-lay barge on charter to Petronas equipped with VSAT and L-Band services. Globecomm Maritime has been awarded a contract

Shipbuilding

Metal Shark’s New Yard Now Operational

Louisiana-based boat manufacturer Metal Shark announced it has commenced operations at its new shipyard, where the first of its recently announced Endurance-class catamarans is now in production.

DNV Type Approved Anchor Winch for the Arctic Prowler

JK Fabrication has landed DNV certification for its 40-30-3000-DNV series Anchor Winch. Culminating a two-year process, JK’s C-series winch was at last awarded

Bollinger Fourchon: 13 Years Without a Lost Time Accident

Bollinger Shipyards, Inc. announced that their Bollinger Fourchon, L.L.C. facility has worked 13 years without a lost time accident. Building on a philosophy that starts at the top,

Navy

Today in U.S. Naval History: July 30

Today in U.S. Naval History - July 30 1918 - Units of First Marine Aviation Force arrive at Brest, France 1941 - Japanese aircraft bomb USS Tutuila (PR-4) at Chungking,

The Martitime Security Focus Is Shifting

Former Vice-Admiral and Commander-in-chief of the German Navy Hans-Joachim Stricker, President of the German Maritime Institute (DMI), believes that in terms of

VSTEP Wins Mexican Navy Simulator Contract

The Mexican Navy selected VSTEP to supply a Class A NAUTIS Full Mission Bridge (FMB) Simulator and 24 NAUTIS desktop trainer stations for the Naval Academy in Veracruz.

Government Update

Mass Flow Metering System for MFO delivery in Singapore

As the world's leading bunkering port Singapore is to provide quality bunkering services to vessels lifting bunkers in the port. The use of the Mass Flow Metering

Iraq's Kurds Have Right to Sell Oil While Squeezed by Baghdad

Iraq's Kurdish region has the right to keep selling oil as long as the Baghdad government keeps cutting its budget, the head of the Kurdish parliament's energy committee said on Tuesday,

Russia, China May Develop Floating Nuclear Power Plants

Russia and the world's top energy user China may jointly develop six floating nuclear power plants (NPPs), Russia's nuclear export body said on Tuesday, a further

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2538 sec (4 req/sec)