Home » Budget Industry » Document: Government Accountability Office Report on the Ford Class Carrier

Document: Government Accountability Office Report on the Ford Class Carrier

From the Sept. 5, 2013 GAO report:

What GAO Found:

The Navy faces technical, design, and construction challenges to completing
Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) that have led to significant cost increases and reduced
the likelihood that a fully functional ship will be delivered on time. The Navy has achieved mixed progress to date developing CVN 78’s critical technologies, such as a system intended to more effectively launch aircraft from the ship. In an effort
to meet required installation dates aboard CVN 78, the Navy has elected to
produce some of these systems prior to demonstrating their maturity—a strategy
that GAO’s previous work has shown introduces risk of late and costly design
changes and rework, and leaves little margin to incorporate additional weight
growth in the ship. In addition, progress in constructing CVN 78 has been
overshadowed by inefficient out-of-sequence work, driven largely by material
shortfalls, engineering challenges, and delays developing and installing critical
technology systems. These events are occurring in a constrained budget
environment, even as lead ship costs have increased by over 22 percent since
construction authorization in fiscal year 2008—to $12.8 billion. Additional
increases could follow due to uncertainties facing critical technology systems and
shipbuilder underperformance.

  • 2IDSGT

    Is it just me, or is the GAO (an unelected bureaucracy) continually attempting to usurp congressional authority on budget matters these days?

    • Adrian J Gordon

      I’m not sure how tracking and analyzing the reasons for cost overruns is usurping congressional authority on budget matters. Can you explain that to me?

      • 2IDSGT

        Why don’t you explain to me why I’m expected to treat everything the GAO says as holy writ? Seriously, who are these people, where do they come from, who hires/pays them, and what specific qualifications do they actually have for analyzing weapons programs? Most importantly, why should I trust them any more than the DoD?

        • AJG45

          Nobody expects you to treat anything anybody said as holy writ, and I doubt that anyone gives a rat’s backside if you trust them or not. You can read the report and draw whatever conclusions you want from it. Now, to return to my original question, how does tracking and analyzing the reasons for cost overruns constitute usurping congressional authority on budget matters. Your attempt to divert the discussion from that simple question to whether they are qualified and why you should believe them is pretty pathetic. You raised the issue. Defend your position if you can.

          • 2IDSGT

            Confused between sockpuppet accounts are we? In any case, you’re the one who started answering questions with questions; so why don’t you bother answering my original?

            FWIW, you seem absolutely terrified at the prospect of justifying the GAO’s existence. No one elects these people, know’s who they are, or who hires them; yet they are given full-access to DoD programs with full-authority to make public judgments and public recommendations… all at public expense. In other words: a Congressional committee’s job.

            Making matters worse is the fact that this mysterious, unelected organization is often quite-obviously pushing its own political/philosophical agenda just like everyone else in Washington.

          • AJG45

            Actually, it doesn’t matter much which Discus login I happen to use because pretty near every “sockpuppet” I use, or have ever seen, is better educated than you apparently are.

            With that bit of your infantile commentary out of the way, let’s address your original question. No, the GAO is NOT continually attempting to usurp congressional authority on budget matters and nobody with even the most rudimentary knowledge of Congress’s constitutional powers or the operation of the GAO thinks it is, so yes, it’s just you.

            As to justifying the GAO’s existence, I don’t have any need to do that. Congress created it, Congress funds it, it is a arm of the Congress and it conducts investigations for Congress at the request of the members of Congress and its committees. In this case, the investigation was apparently conducted at the request of the senior majority and minority members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, which you would have known if you had bothered to look at the report.

            If you want to know who they (the GAO) are, or who hires them, get off you lazy butt and go do a little research. Who appoints the GAO leadership is easily found on the internet, which by the way is very useful for actually learning something and is not just a vehicle for voicing one’s paranoid fantasies.

            As to whether the people who did this (or any other) investigation and report for the GAO have any knowledge of, or qualifications for evaluating weapons systems, suffice to say that the people who prepared this report are: Diana Moldafsky, Assistant Director; John Oppenheim, AssistantDirector; Greg Campbell; Christopher R. Durbin; Laura Greifner; KristineHassinger; Karen Richey; W. Kendal Roberts; Charlie Shivers; RoxannaSun; and Holly Williams, all identified in the report. The internet is also a wonderful tool for learning about people, particularly those who work for the government or prepare reports. Have you bothered to even make an effort to find out anything about them and their backgrounds, or would you just prefer to demand that others here do that for you? Maybe a call or letter to the GAO or your congressman would get you that information if you can’t find it yourself.

            By the way, if you think the Navy or DOD is any better at developing and building weapon systems, you need to go take a long, hard look at the history of the LCS over the past decade and then come back and tell us how great you think they are.

            Finally, while I agree that everyone in Washington has a political and/or philosophical agenda, so does everybody else, and for someone with as blatant a bias as you have to make the accusation is simply laughable.

            That aside, this report has pointed out problems in the program that are very real. If you think the report is agenda driven, why don’t you point out exactly what the flaws in the report are, and where they are wrong, instead of simply posting a childish rant about the agendas of the organization and people who prepared it (whom you can’t even identify and know nothing about). If you don’t know enough about the program to comment intelligently on where and how the report is flawed, why do you insist on demonstrating that ignorance in a public forum?

          • 2IDSGT

            Thank you much for the wiki-level information. Unfortunately, long observation has taught me much better about how the GAO actually works (finding what they want to find) and who they actually work for (sponsors with the right politics)… without the minor inconvenience of being accountable to voters.

            My favorite was from a fellow who worked in MDA. First GAO says it can’t be done (they do it)… then the GAO says it can’t be done repeatedly (they do it 26 times)… then the GAO says it’s not threat-relevant (threat presents itself)… then the GAO says the threat might change (well yeah, it “might”; it always “might”).

            And yes, I get it; you are indeed very well educated because there is simply no way a person could be born so stupid. And speaking of maturity…No really CPT Hindsight, do tell me more about how the USN is having trouble with it’s first new class of carrier in ~40 years. I can’t possibly imagine how this might have gone anything less than perfectly. Oh, if only everyone had known 5 whole years ago what is known now!!!! *insert much weeping and gnashing of teeth here*

          • AJG45

            OK, now we get to the fun part where you get to tell me about all the people you know with all the super secret information that you have that the GAO is really a super sinister organization that doesn’t really do what it does. I get it. By the way, the “wiki-level information” I gave you was clearly more than you knew coming in.

            The problem is, you still haven’t been able to explain how what GAO does infringes upon Congress’s constitutional budgetary authority. When you get around to that, or are capable of actually addressing and supporting the issue you raised, let me know. Other than that, I’ve wasted too much time on this already.

          • AJG45

            No explanation on how what GAO does infringes upon Congress’s constitutional budgetary authority?