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Coast Guard Acquisitions: Lessons Learned to Inform Coast Guard and NOAA Shipbuilding Efforts
Both the Coast Guarda component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)and the Department of Commerces National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are investing significant resources to recapitalize their aging fleets of ships. Ensuring that the Coast Guard and NOAA maintain their ships and address potential capability gaps is vital for protecting national security and scientific interests. This statement summarizes lessons that GAO has identified from its prior reviews of Coast Guard and Navy acquisitions, which can be applied to the Coast Guards and NOAAs shipbuilding efforts. Specifically, this testimony provides information on, among other things, (1) long-term strategic planning for acquisitions, (2) the need for a sound business case, and (3) the leveraging of the Navys acquisition resources and shipbuilding expertise. In its prior work, GAO reviewed Coast Guard and Navy programs and interviewed officials. For this testimony, GAO obtained publicly available information on NOAAs ship acquisition efforts. GAO has previously recommended that the Coast Guard develop a 20-year fleet modernization plan, reflect acquisition trade-off decisions in its annual Capital Investment Plans, and address risks to establish a sound business case for its polar icebreakers acquisition. DHS concurred with these recommendations and is taking steps to implement them.
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