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 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Technology

Indonesia Expects Total to Decide on Mahakam within days

French oil firm Total  will decide how much interest it will retain from 2018 in Indonesia's offshore Mahakam oil and gas block over the next two days, the

Research Vessel Heincke: Serving Science for 25 years

7 July 2015. A quarter of a century old, with over 900,000 kilometres (488,842 nautical miles) logged and still on the cutting edge of science and technology:

Water Conservation Measures at Panama Canal

The water levels at Gatun and Madden Lakes are currently well below the expected levels for this time of year. Based on a comprehensive analysis of historic data,

Contracts

Indonesia Expects Total to Decide on Mahakam within days

French oil firm Total  will decide how much interest it will retain from 2018 in Indonesia's offshore Mahakam oil and gas block over the next two days, the

G6 Alliance Extends Asia – North America Service

In response to market demand, members of the G6 Alliance today announced the below enhancement to improve the Asia – North America (East Coast) trade. NYK will

Stena RoRo Charters Three Vessels

Stena RoRo has reached an agreement with the Finnish shipping company Godby Shipping to long-term charter their three RoRo vessels Misida, Misana and Miranda.

Shipbuilding

Drydocks World Completes World’s Largest Turret

Drydocks World the leading provider of maritime and offshore services to the shipping, oil, gas and energy sectors marked a major milestone in successfully completing

AVEVA, DNV GL's Sesam Integration Cuts Cost

Integration of Aveva and DNV GL's Sesam Reduces Costs in Maritime and Offshore Engineering. Engineers designing ship hulls and offshore floaters can now save

FORAN for Pertamina's Future Ships

FORAN has been chosen by state-owned company PERTAMINA to review the design of their future oil product carrier ships, under construction in a shipyard with the FORAN System.

Navy

Fincantieri to Supply Four OPVs to the Bangladesh Coast Guard

Fincantieri has been awarded the contract with the Bangladesh Coast Guard (BCG) for the supply of four Italian Navy “Minerva” class corvettes to be upgraded and

Saab Bags $1 bln Order for Swedish Submarines

The Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) has awarded contracts worth Skr8.6bn ($1.03bn) to Saab AB for the construction of two new Type A26 submarines

Austal Delivers 7th Cape Class Patrol Boat

Shipbuilder Austal Limited announced it has delivered Cape Wessel, the seventh of eight Cape Class patrol boats being supplied to Australian Border Force under a $330 million design,

Government Update

Caltex Replaces Australian Crew

The 36 Australian crew members of an Caltex tanker refusing to set sail after they were told their jobs would be gone after the next run. MR tanker Alexander Spirit (40,

Antwerp, Duisburg Ports to Upgrade Rly Link

The Port of Antwerp and duisport are intensifying their cooperation as the Port of Antwerp will participate in the existing rail shuttle service connecting the two ports.

Greek Shipping Mulls Cyprus Move

Greek shipping companies are looking into moving to Cyprus due to the instability and uncertainty in Greece, it emerged, reports Cyprus News Agency.   The director

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | 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: 0.2566 sec (4 req/sec)