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House T&I Committee leaders seek GAO probe of USCG program delays

Written by Nick Blenkey
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House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chair Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-Mo.) have asked the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to review what they call “significant delivery delays” in two key Coast Guard programs—the Offshore Patrol Cutter and the Polar Security Cutter—as well as related budgetary issues. The Offshore Patrol Cutter fleet is the largest vessel procurement the Coast Guard has undertaken, and the Polar Security Cutter acquisition is the most complex.

In a pair of letters to the GAO Comptroller General, DeFazio and Graves highlighted the amount of time and billions of dollars that the U.S. Coast Guard has spent so far on both programs and urged GAO to review the management of the acquisitions.

In their letter regarding the Offshore Patrol Cutters, they wrote: “Given the significant budgetary commitment that the Congress, DHS, and Coast Guard have made for the OPC program to date, continued oversight is necessary to ensure the OPC program does not continue to experience cost growth or additional schedule delays. As such, the Committee requests that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) review the management of the OPC and Medium Endurance Cutters acquisition programs. …”

Similarly, in their letter about the Polar Security Cutters, they wrote: “Given the schedule delays and potential for cost growth, continued oversight of the PSC program is critical. As such, the Committee requests that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) review the management of the PSC acquisition program and the Coast Guard’s efforts to address icebreaking capability gaps until the PSCs are fully operational. …”

You can read the committee leaders’ full letters on the Offshore Patrol and Polar Security Cutters here and here.

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