Congresswoman Elaine Luria Passes Amendment to FY21 NDAA to Improve Navy’s Performance of Ship Maintenance
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House Armed Services Committee unanimously passed Congresswoman Elaine Luria’s amendment to the Fiscal Year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act that will improve the Navy’s performance of ship maintenance and modernization. Specifically, the amendment will require Secretary of the Navy to report on how well the Navy meets its planning milestones and on-time completion for each repair project and on the Department’s progress on implementing the recommendations of GAO report 20-370.
“As a twenty-year Navy veteran, I know firsthand that ship maintenance is the backbone of naval readiness,” said Congresswoman Luria. “This amendment will offer more transparency regarding the performance of the Navy’s Regional Maintenance Centers while ensuring that the Navy is implementing improvements recommended by an independent review body and including not only availability cost, but also schedule and performance in their analysis.”
Hampton Roads leads the nation in naval ship repair efforts. It is a critical source of jobs for our district and for the ships homeported in Norfolk. Congress receives regular reports about the costs of these repair efforts; however, the Navy only infrequently reports about repair project (called ship “availabilities”) schedules.
A leading concern within the local ship repair industry is that contracts for the availabilities are awarded late, which prevents shipyards from buying long-lead-time materials and hiring and training the right work force. Additionally, most ship availabilities in Hampton Roads take longer than forecast, which places a stress on the shipyards as they work multiple projects simultaneously, and on the ships’ crews which then lose scarce training and at-sea time.
This amendment will require the Navy to report on their execution to plan for availability planning up to contract award and on-time project completion. This expands the oversight from only analyzing availability cost to including analysis of cost, schedule, and performance.
In May 2020, GAO released a report on Navy Ship Maintenance: Evaluating Pilot Program Outcomes Could Inform Decisions to Address Persistent Schedule Challenges (GAO 20-370). In the report, GAO acknowledged that the Navy spends billions of dollars annually on maintaining its fleet. In 2015, the Navy adopted MAC-MO, an approach that uses firm-fixed-price contract delivery orders for individual ship availabilities completed at Navy regional maintenance centers. The report examines outcomes under this new strategy, evaluates actions the Navy has taken, and describes contractors’ considerations when planning for hiring and facilities.
Congresswoman Elaine Luria represents Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. She serves on the House Armed Services Committee, where she is the Vice Chair of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, where she serves as Chair of the Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee.