| Connect Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
About | Subscribe | Advertise


Download our free Marine Industry Coating Systems eResource Book

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

GAO Questions DOD Corrosion Budget Plan

Monday, September 24, 2012

More items for Program/Project Management

Comment | More

The Government Accountability Office wants a better accounting from the Defense Department about its $9.1 million plan to tackle a $20.9 billion-a-year corrosion maintenance problem.

A new GAO report accuses DOD of submitting insufficient information about funding requirements, ROI analysis, and other details in its 2013 corrosion budget request to Congress. The report also provides a rare glimpse into some of the military’s current corrosion goals and problems.

 During 2012, a DOD corrosion evaluation team is visiting sites similar to this corrosion rehabilitation facility at Camp Kinser, Okinawa.

 Marine Corps Corrosion Prevention and Control Program

During 2012, a DOD corrosion evaluation team is visiting sites similar to this corrosion rehabilitation facility at Camp Kinser, Okinawa.

DOD has disputed all of GAO’s conclusions, even citing GAO’s own audits in recent years about the value, performance, and management of DOD’s Office of Corrosion Policy and Oversight.

Lack of Information Cited

GAO’s 45-page report, released Sept. 11, analyzes the 2013 DOD corrosion budget submission and report that went to Congress on May 21. DOD submitted a budget request of $9.1 million, the same as the current year.

The GAO report, U.S. DoD’s Annual Corrosion Budget Report Does Not Include Some Required Information, says that the budget request falls short in three of six mandated areas. Specifically, GAO asked DOD to:

• Provide a more detailed explanation of the development of DOD’s funding requirements;

• Include “the funds requested in DOD’s budget compared to the funding requirements for the fiscal year covered by the report and the preceding fiscal year”; and

• Provide an explanation of DOD’s Return on Investment methodology and analysis, “including both projected and, to the extent available, validated ROIs.”

DOD contends that its corrosion initiatives have an average ROI of more than 14 to 1, but GAO said DOD’s budget report “does not support the 14 to 1 average ROI for projects cited....”

Calculating Cost Savings

GAO also says that it was unable to calculate DOD’s “cost avoidance” figure—the potential cost savings the government could realize by fully funding the agency’s needs—because DOD says it did not have any unfunded requirements in the current year.

Indeed, for fiscal 2012, the office actually received funding above its budget request

However, GAO reported: “Without all of the required information on DOD’s corrosion prevention and control activities and projects, DOD senior leaders and Congress may face challenges in assessing the levels of funding needed to effectively prevent and control corrosion.”

Conclusions Challenged

DOD disputed all of GAO’s recommendations—in part, using GAO’s own record.

To GAO’s request for more information about how DOD developed its funding requirements, DOD said it had provided sufficient information and referred GAO to its own 2010 report, DOD Has a Rigorous Process to Select Corrosion Prevention Projects, but Would Benefit from Clearer Guidance and Validation of Returns on Investment

To GAO’s second request, DOD noted that it was not asking for any additional funds over last year. GAO responded, however, that DOD had not submitted sufficient information about the funding requirements last year, either. Instead, DOD reported its actual funding compared to the funding request.

Finally, regarding its ROI methodology, DOD referred GAO to the methodology included in the DOD Corrosion Prevention and Mitigation Strategic Plan, which military departments use to estimate the projected ROI of each project. While endorsing that methodology, GAO said it also wanted DOD’s additional analysis for corrosion projects.

What’s at Stake

The GAO report also indicated the scope of DOD’s corrosion challenges, which affect not only taxpayer dollars but military readiness and safety. Corrosion takes critical military systems out of action, and degradation of equipment has caused fatal accidents, GAO has reported.

 Aboveground storage tanks at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickham, near Honolulu.

 US Air Force

A new DOD design standard is helping to prevent corrosion in aboveground storage tanks like these at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickham, near Honolulu.

Corrosion-related maintenance currently costs DOD about $20.9 billion a year.

That is part of a $52 billion annual tab for sustaining about 300 ships; 15,000 aircraft; 900 strategic missiles; and 350,000 ground combat and tactical vehicles.

In 2002, Congress authorized creation of the Office of Corrosion Policy and Oversight (CPO) to tackle the prevention and mitigation of corrosion of military equipment and infrastructure. Since 2008, DOD has been required to submit an annual report on the CPO budget, and GAO has been required to review the report.

Other Challenges

The new GAO report also offers some interesting insights into specific current military corrosion issues and goals. For example, it notes:

• The Army is seeking Army-wide alternatives to anti-corrosion coatings that use hexavalent chromium, cadmium and other carcinogens.

• The Army is tackling a unique corrosion issue on UH-60 Black hawk helicopters by rebalancing the tail rotors.

• The Army, Navy and Air Force all have expressed concern about the duties of the corrosion control and prevention executive assigned to each branch.

• The Air Force 2011 report includes no recommendations on corrosion prevention and control, “because of internal reorganization that resulted in the loss of Air Force corrosion expertise.”

An Air Force official told GAO “that at the time of the report, the Air Force did not have a good grasp on its overall corrosion issues, and therefore it was not in a position to make recommendations.”

In June, after that report was issued, the Air Force did develop a long-term corrosion plan, the GAO said.


Tagged categories: Corrosion; Corrosion control coatings; Hexavalent chromium; Protective coatings

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

SAFE Systems, Inc.
Portable Blast &
Recovery Equipment

Trailer or skid mounted blast and recovery equipment. Systems designed for maximum versatility, environmental compliance
and overall cost savings.
Call 1-800-634-7278

SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings

Join SSPC and Enhance
Your Career !

Termarust Technologies
Termarust (HR CSA) Chemically Stops
Active Corrosion

Arch truss treated with Termarust's (HR CSA) in 2003. This steel arch bridge is rust free on all surfaces including the crevice corroded joints and connections.

U.S. Zinc
Historic Reliability. Innovative Performance.

We offer custom grades and packaging of zinc dust, oxide, metal and fines, U.S. Zinc provides direct shipping to locations worldwide. U.S. Zinc – Helping the world work™

Wasser High-Tech Coatings Inc.
Wasser Coatings Protect

Wasser Coatings offer a complete range of Moisture Cure Urethane (NEPCOAT approved) systems in addition to Polyurea membranes and linings(NSF).

Thermion Inc
Buy Back Program

We are offering $5,000
credit for your old Model
This drive system is
being discontinued by
the manufacturer.
More information at

International Paint LLC

International Paint Engineered Coatings

Learn about our solutions for:
  • Structural Steel
  • Piping & Equipment
  • Storage Tanks
  • Pressure Vessels
  • Secondary Containment

    Hempel (USA) Inc.

    Efficient systems and high quality products to reduce your maintenance costs. Visit Hempel Protective for more information.

    Corrosion Probe, Inc.
    From Detection to Correction

    Corrosion Probe, Inc. has the Most Concrete Coatings Experience and Expertise. Contact us today at

    Technology Publishing

    The Technology Publishing Network

    The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
    Durability + Design Paint BidTracker

    EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
    REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
    MORE:      About   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us

    © Copyright 2000-2015, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
    2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail