$21 Billion Fleet Plan Runs into Budget Snags

December 11, 2012

A decade after awarding the first contract to modernize its aging fleet, the Coast Guard is making modest headway. But snags are surfacing as the agency struggles to mesh its plans with tightening budgets.

“How do you make all of this fit?” John Hutton, a director on the Government Accountability Office’s acquisition sourcing management team, asked in an interview.

Last year, GAO labeled the modernization plan — the most ambitious in the Coast Guard’s history —”unachievable” and urged the agency to retrench. Frustration also is mounting on Capitol Hill. Despite reforms, “significant delays, cost overruns and capabilities gaps remain,” House members said in an analysis attached to a reauthorization bill now moving through Congress.

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