Index


Chemical and Biological Defense: DOD's Evaluation of Improved Garment
Materials (Letter Report, 08/18/98, GAO/NSIAD-98-214).

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the Department of
Defense's (DOD) research and development programs for improved chemical
defense garment materials for U.S. armed forces, focusing on whether
DOD: (1) provided sufficient notice to industry of the government's
interest in identifying improved chemical defense materials; (2)
provided industry sufficient opportunity to participate in the programs;
(3) changed requirements in the transition of the Marine Corps
Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology (MCLIST) program to the Joint
Service Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology (JSLIST) program; and (4)
responded to a congressional reporting requirement concerning sources of
supply for the military's chemical defense materials.

GAO noted that: (1) because the MCLIST program and the Army's
exploratory development efforts--which ultimately became the JSLIST
program--were research and development activities, they were not subject
to the same procedural requirements that apply to acquisition programs;
(2) in this research and development context, DOD provided sufficient
notice to industry of its interest in improved chemical defense
materials through market research, direct industry contacts, ongoing
exploratory development projects, and Broad Agency Announcement notices
published in the Commerce Business Daily; (3) DOD provided industry an
adequate opportunity to participate in the research and development
programs; (4) on the basis of the notice DOD provided to industry, a
total of 57 material combinations, submitted by 13 companies, were
evaluated in JSLIST after initial testing in MCLIST and the Army
demonstration; (5) however, reliance on informal communications resulted
in companies receiving different information about submission deadlines
to MCLIST and the Army programs; (6) due in part to the lack of formal
communications regarding deadlines of material submissions, the
complainant company did not get an improved material into JSLIST for
evaluation; (7) the complainant company, which already had one material
in the MCLIST demonstration, submitted an unsolicited proposal to the
Marine Corps for an improved chemical defense material after entry into
MCLIST was closed; (8) the Marine Corps rejected the proposal in
accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation because the material
duplicated an existing Marine Corps effort; (9) GAO could not determine
whether the outcome of JSLIST would have differed if this material had
been assessed; (10) the basic requirements for a lightweight,
launderable, chemical protective garment did not change in the
transition from MCLIST to JSLIST; (11) however, the individual military
services added certain mission-specific requirements under JSLIST; (12)
DOD overlooked the congressional reporting requirement in the National
Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1998 conference report; and
(13) a May 1998 addendum to DOD's February 1998 Nuclear, Biological, and
Chemical Defense Annual report to Congress stated that the pre-planned
product improvement program might identify additional sources of supply
to meet those requirements that were not achieved in the JSLIST program.

--------------------------- Indexing Terms -----------------------------

 REPORTNUM:  NSIAD-98-214
     TITLE:  Chemical and Biological Defense: DOD's Evaluation of 
             Improved Garment Materials
      DATE:  08/18/98
   SUBJECT:  Chemical warfare
             Bid evaluation
             Combat readiness
             Biological warfare
             Defense capabilities
             Defense procurement
             Solicitation specifications
             Department of Defense contractors
             Reporting requirements
IDENTIFIER:  Marine Corps Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology Program
             Joint Service Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology Program
             
******************************************************************
** This file contains an ASCII representation of the text of a  **
** GAO report.  Delineations within the text indicating chapter **
** titles, headings, and bullets are preserved.  Major          **
** divisions and subdivisions of the text, such as Chapters,    **
** Sections, and Appendixes, are identified by double and       **
** single lines.  The numbers on the right end of these lines   **
** indicate the position of each of the subsections in the      **
** document outline.  These numbers do NOT correspond with the  **
** page numbers of the printed product.                         **
**                                                              **
** No attempt has been made to display graphic images, although **
** figure captions are reproduced.  Tables are included, but    **
** may not resemble those in the printed version.               **
**                                                              **
** Please see the PDF (Portable Document Format) file, when     **
** available, for a complete electronic file of the printed     **
** document's contents.                                         **
**                                                              **
** A printed copy of this report may be obtained from the GAO   **
** Document Distribution Center.  For further details, please   **
** send an e-mail message to:                                   **
**                                                              **
**                    <info@www.gao.gov>                        **
**                                                              **
** with the message 'info' in the body.                         **
******************************************************************


Cover
================================================================ COVER


Report to the Honorable
Rick Santorum, U.S.  Senate

August 1998

CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL DEFENSE -
DOD'S EVALUATION OF IMPROVED
GARMENT MATERIALS

GAO/NSIAD-98-214

Chemical and Biological Defense

(707320)


Abbreviations
=============================================================== ABBREV

  DOD - Department of Defense
  MCLIST - Marine Corps Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology
  JSLIST - Joint Service Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology

Letter
=============================================================== LETTER


B-279587

August 18, 1998

The Honorable Rick Santorum
United States Senate

Dear Senator Santorum: 

As you requested, we examined the Department of Defense's (DOD)
research and development programs for improved chemical defense
garment materials for U.S.  armed forces to determine whether the
programs were conducted fairly.  A company that participated in the
Marine Corps and Joint Service Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology
(MCLIST and JSLIST) programs raised concerns about the evaluation,
claiming that it did not have an opportunity to submit an improved
material for evaluation and that requirements changed in the
transition from MCLIST to JSLIST.  To assess the fairness of DOD's
evaluation process, we determined whether, in the research and
development context, DOD (1) provided sufficient notice to industry
of the government's interest in identifying improved chemical defense
materials, (2) provided industry sufficient opportunity to
participate in the programs, and (3) changed requirements in the
transition of MCLIST to JSLIST.  In addition, we are reporting on
DOD's response to a recent congressional reporting requirement
concerning sources of supply for the military's chemical defense
materials. 


   BACKGROUND
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :1

In the late 1980s, the Marine Corps began efforts to improve its
chemical and biological protective suits because the ones used by
U.S.  armed forces at the time were bulky and heavy and could not be
reused after laundering.  Starting in 1989, the Marine Corps'
exploratory development efforts and subsequent MCLIST Advanced
Technology Transition Demonstration program identified, evaluated,
and field tested a number of chemical defense materials.  During the
same time period, the Army began an exploratory development effort to
evaluate materials that offered less weight and bulk and enhanced
protection, and the Air Force and the Navy began pursuing improved
materials for their chemical protective uniforms. 

Separate from the MCLIST program, the Marine Corps fielded the
Saratoga chemical and biological protective overgarment in 1991.  The
Saratoga garment, made from materials manufactured by Blucher, a
German company, had an inner liner made with activated carbon spheres
rather than the carbon-impregnated foam used by the military services
at the time. 

All of the military services eventually combined their chemical
defense material improvement efforts.  Marine Corps, Army, Air Force,
and Navy officials signed a memorandum of agreement, effective in
November 1993, that defined the new JSLIST program and set forth the
services' respective responsibilities for the development,
production, and deployment of the next-generation chemical and
biological protective suits.  The Marine Corps Nuclear, Biological,
and Chemical Defense Office was designated as the lead agency for the
JSLIST program. 

The MCLIST and Army programs, which ultimately became JSLIST, were
research and development activities.  Research and development
activities are generally conducted in a more flexible environment
than acquisition programs and often involve informal communications
with prospective participants.  DOD used market research to seek out
existing foreign and domestic technologies for testing.  The minimum
requirements that applied to DOD's efforts to identify improved
chemical defense materials were published in a series of annual Broad
Agency Announcements.  These announcements described various areas of
scientific or technical interest, provided specific points of
contact, and included a statement that proposals would be evaluated
based on merit and responsiveness to a government requirement. 

According to Marine Corps officials, the JSLIST program evaluated 57
material combinations (including liners, outershells, and
combinations of both).  The program evaluation was conducted in two
phases.  At the completion of phase I, 5 of the 57 material
combinations were qualified to enter phase II for developmental and
operational testing.  At the completion of phase II in April 1997,
only one of the five material combinations tested was determined to
be acceptable for use in protective suits--Blucher's Saratoga liner
with a nylon and cotton outershell.  (See app.  I for further
information on the JSLIST test program phases.) DOD is contracting
for the suits through the National Industries for the Severely
Handicapped and a company under section 8(a) of the Small Business
Act.  The contracts require that the suits be made from the Blucher
material combination.  Appendix II contains additional information on
the JSLIST contracts. 

The JSLIST acquisition strategy includes a pre-planned product
improvement program.  DOD announced this new competition in the
Commerce Business Daily in June 1997.  DOD is seeking additional
materials to address JSLIST objectives that were not met in the
initial evaluation, such as a chemical protective garment that lasts
for 60 days and improved chemical protective gloves and socks. 
Production is scheduled to begin in fiscal year 2000.  Appendix III
shows a timeline of key events in the MCLIST and JSLIST programs. 

Congress has raised concerns about the fact that the JSLIST material
is produced by a sole-source company.  The National Defense
Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1998 conference report noted that
DOD should consider taking actions necessary to qualify additional
sources of supply for chemical protective garment materials. 
Congress directed the Secretary of Defense to address this issue in
DOD's next Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Defense Annual Report to
Congress. 


   RESULTS IN BRIEF
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :2

Because the MCLIST program and the Army's exploratory development
efforts-- which ultimately became the JSLIST program--were research
and development activities, they were not subject to the same
procedural requirements that apply to acquisition programs.  In this
research and development context, DOD provided sufficient notice to
industry of its interest in improved chemical defense materials
through market research, direct industry contacts, ongoing
exploratory development projects, and Broad Agency Announcement
notices published in the Commerce Business Daily. 

DOD provided industry an adequate opportunity to participate in the
research and development programs.  On the basis of the notice DOD
provided to industry, a total of 57 material combinations, submitted
by 13 companies (including the complainant company), were evaluated
in JSLIST after initial testing in MCLIST and the Army demonstration. 
However, reliance on informal communications--common in a research
and development environment--resulted in companies receiving
different information about submission deadlines to the MCLIST and
the Army programs.  Due in part to the lack of formal communications
regarding deadlines of material submissions, the complainant company
did not get an improved material into JSLIST for evaluation. 

The complainant company, which already had one material in the MCLIST
demonstration, submitted an unsolicited proposal to the Marine Corps
for an improved chemical defense material after entry into MCLIST was
closed.  The Marine Corps rejected the proposal in accordance with
the Federal Acquisition Regulation, which governs unsolicited
proposals, because the material duplicated an existing Marine Corps
effort.  However, the Marine Corps missed an opportunity to refer the
company to the Army's demonstration program, which might ultimately
have allowed the improved material to enter the JSLIST program.  We
could not determine whether the outcome of JSLIST would have differed
if this material had been assessed. 

The basic requirements for a lightweight, launderable, chemical
protective garment did not change in the transition from MCLIST to
JSLIST.  However, the individual military services added certain
mission-specific requirements under JSLIST. 

DOD overlooked the congressional reporting requirement in the
National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1998 conference
report.  A May 1998 addendum to DOD's February 1998 Nuclear,
Biological, and Chemical Defense Annual Report to Congress stated
that the pre-planned product improvement program might identify
additional sources of supply to meet those requirements that were not
achieved in the JSLIST program. 


   DOD PROVIDED ADEQUATE NOTICE TO
   INDUSTRY
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :3

Because the MCLIST and Army demonstrations were research and
development activities, they were not subject to the formal
notification requirements that apply to acquisitions.  However, DOD
provided adequate notice of its interest in identifying improved
chemical protective materials through three different mechanisms. 
First, DOD conducted informal market research efforts and contacted
industry directly to identify materials to include in the research
and development programs.  These efforts involved foreign as well as
domestic suppliers.  Officials from the Army's Natick Research,
Development, and Engineering Center, which managed MCLIST for the
Marine Corps, told us that they traveled worldwide to locate
promising technologies. 

Second, ongoing exploratory development projects at Natick identified
technologies that were subsequently included in the demonstration
programs.  Marine Corps officials told us that they directed certain
new and promising materials from these projects into the MCLIST
demonstration program. 

Last, notice of three Broad Agency Announcements, published in the
Commerce Business Daily, alerted industry of the government's
interest in developing new technologies for chemical defense
materials.\1 The dates of the announcements are shown in table 1. 
Although these announcements did not specifically cite the MCLIST
program or the Army's exploratory development effort, points of
contact were named so that industry representatives could obtain
further information concerning DOD's research and development
efforts. 



                                Table 1
                
                 Broad Agency Announcement Solicitation
                           Numbers and Dates

Solicitation number             Opening date        Closing date
------------------------------  ------------------  ------------------
DAAK60-90-T-0001                September 1989      September 30, 1990

DAAK60-91-T-0001                February 1, 1991    September 30, 1991

DAAK60-92-T-0001                October 1, 1991     September 30, 1992
----------------------------------------------------------------------

--------------------
\1 Broad Agency Announcements may be used by agencies to fulfill
their requirements for scientific study and experimentation directed
toward advancing the state of the art or increasing knowledge or
understanding rather than focusing on a specific system or hardware
solution.  These announcements are to be used only when meaningful
proposals with varying technical and scientific approaches can
reasonably be expected. 


   DOD PROVIDED ADEQUATE
   OPPORTUNITY TO PARTICIPATE IN
   THE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
   PROCESS BUT DID NOT EVALUATE A
   COMPANY'S MATERIAL
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :4

Participation in the JSLIST program was limited only to those
materials submitted under the MCLIST or Army's demonstrations; new
companies or materials were excluded from entering JSLIST.  DOD
tested 57 material combinations, submitted by 13 companies, in the
JSLIST program.  However, reliance on informal communications--common
in a research and development environment--resulted in some companies
getting different information about deadlines for material
submissions. 

Outside of the research and development programs, a company submitted
an unsolicited proposal to the Marine Corps for an improved chemical
defense material.  The Marine Corps' subsequent rejection of the
proposal was consistent with the Federal Acquisition Regulation. 
However, the Marine Corps could have referred the company to the
Army's exploratory development program so that the material could
have been considered for inclusion in JSLIST. 


      INDUSTRY LEARNED OF
      OPPORTUNITIES THROUGH
      INFORMAL COMMUNICATION WITH
      DOD
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :4.1

Industry learned of the opportunity to participate in the MCLIST and
Army research and development programs through informal discussions
with DOD officials or by calling the points of contact listed in the
Broad Agency Announcements.  Participation in these programs resulted
in 57 material combinations, submitted by 13 companies, being tested
in JSLIST.  However, because the MCLIST and Army programs operated
separately, each had different timeframes and cutoff dates for
submitting materials.  For example, materials for the MCLIST program
had to be submitted to Natick in time to make garments before field
testing, which took place from April to June 1992.  According to
Marine Corps officials, industry was required to submit garments by
September 30, 1992, for participation in the Army's demonstration,
which was held in March 1993.  If industry was submitting materials
rather than fully constructed garments, the deadline was June 1992. 
The Army's program was industry's final opportunity to have materials
entered in JSLIST. 

MCLIST participants were advised informally of the final date to
submit materials to the Marine Corps program, but not all companies
learned of the opportunity to submit materials to the Army program. 
For example, officials from the complainant company said that they
were not told of the Army program's deadline for submission of
materials until September 30, 1992, the last day submissions were
allowed.  Therefore, the company did not submit an improved material
to Natick that could have been included in the Army's demonstration
and JSLIST program.  Officials from this company did not call the
points of contact listed in the Broad Agency Announcement.  Rather,
they contacted a Natick official who had been involved with MCLIST
but was not directly involved with JSLIST. 

In contrast, a company that fared poorly in MCLIST was advised by a
Natick official who was also not named in the Broad Agency
Announcements of its opportunity to submit an improved material for
evaluation in the upcoming Army program.  Because contacts between
DOD officials and industry were informal and largely undocumented, we
could not determine whether all companies that contacted the Natick
officials named in the Broad Agency Announcements were told of the
opportunity to participate in the Army's demonstration program. 

According to Marine Corps officials, the closing date of each Broad
Agency Announcement represented the cutoff dates for material
submissions to the demonstration programs.  For example, the
officials said that the closing date of the final
announcement--September 30, 1992--was the deadline for entering
materials in the Army's demonstration program.  However, Natick
officials told us that the Broad Agency Announcements were not
connected to cutoff dates for material submissions to the
demonstration programs.  For example, the officials noted that the
cutoff date for the MCLIST demonstration was simply tied to their
need to receive materials and make garments in time for field
testing. 

The three Broad Agency Announcements did not cite particular
programs--such as MCLIST or JSLIST--or cutoff dates for material
submissions and thus were not explicitly tied to the deadline for
material submissions.  Nothing in the third announcement sets it
apart from the two previous announcements to indicate that September
30, 1992, was industry's last opportunity to submit a material to
JSLIST via the Army's demonstration program.  Furthermore, a fiscal
year 1993 Broad Agency Announcement, issued a year after entry to
JSLIST was closed, is nearly identical to the three previous
announcements. 


      MARINE CORPS REJECTED
      UNSOLICITED PROPOSAL
---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :4.2

In June 1992, 3 months before the closing date of the fiscal year
1992 Broad Agency Announcement, the complainant company submitted an
unsolicited proposal to the Marine Corps for an improved chemical
defense material.  The company had developed this improved material
after its initial submission to the MCLIST program.  The
proposal--submitted outside of the Advanced Technology Transition
Demonstration process--was for a competitive alternative to the
Saratoga suits that the Marine Corps had begun to field in 1991.  The
company offered to absorb a substantial share of the testing costs if
its product did not meet the Marine Corps' requirements. 

In April 1993, more than 6 months after the deadline for submissions
to the Army's demonstration program, the Marine Corps rejected the
unsolicited proposal, stating that it was duplicative in nature to an
existing Marine Corps effort.  The rejection letter noted that the
Marine Corps had already initiated a research and development effort
based on the carbon sphere technology identified in the proposal. 

The Federal Acquisition Regulation provided that an unsolicited
proposal be rejected when it resembled an ongoing acquisition or did
not demonstrate an innovative and unique concept.  The Marine Corps'
actions in rejecting the proposal were therefore consistent with the
Federal Acquisition Regulation.  However, we believe the Marine Corps
missed an opportunity to refer the firm to the Army's demonstration
program, which ultimately became part of JSLIST, before it was too
late for entry.  Because a joint program was already planned at that
time, the Marine Corps could have informed the company that the Broad
Agency Announcement was still open, thus allowing the firm's
potential entry into the Army's demonstration program.  We could not
determine whether the outcome of the JSLIST program would have
differed if the firm's material had been assessed. 


   BASIC REQUIREMENTS DID NOT
   SIGNIFICANTLY CHANGE
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :5

The complainant company asserted that the transition to JSLIST had
caused a significant change in requirements.  The company was
primarily concerned that the requirement for a single-use garment in
MCLIST had changed to one that was launderable in JSLIST.  Officials
from the company stated that the changed requirements placed it at a
disadvantage relative to the competition because it was not allowed
to submit a different material under JSLIST.  However, the basic
requirements for a lightweight, launderable, chemical protective
overgarment did not change during the transition. 

The requirements for MCLIST and JSLIST were based on assessments of
the services' missions and the threat.  DOD's basic requirement for
both programs was to develop a lightweight, launderable, durable
material that protected against chemical agent penetration and
reduced heat stress.  These fundamental requirements were reflected
in the three Broad Agency Announcements issued from fiscal years 1990
to 1992.  The latter two announcements added a requirement for
protection from toxic aerosols.  MCLIST and JSLIST both sought
improved materials that could be laundered multiple times and reused,
unlike the single-use garment that the Army, Air Force, and Navy were
using at the time, which could not be laundered. 

Although the fundamental requirements did not change, each service
added various service-unique requirements to the JSLIST program.  For
example, the Army required, in addition to the standard 30-day
garment, a single-use, 7-day garment that would weigh less than the
30-day garment and provide the same level of chemical protection.  In
addition, the Air Force required chemical protection for liquid
dispersed by air burst munitions or spray tanks.  Although materials
were tested that would accommodate these variations, the basic
requirements for the overgarment did not change.\2


--------------------
\2 The Army requirement was dropped during the JSLIST evaluation
because testing revealed that the requirement could not be met. 


   ONGOING PROGRAM MAY IDENTIFY
   ADDITIONAL SOURCES OF SUPPLY
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :6

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1998
conference report urged DOD to consider taking actions necessary to
qualify additional sources of supply for its chemical protective
garment materials.  The conferees directed the Secretary of the Army,
as executive agent for the chemical-biological defense program, to
report to the congressional defense committees on any plans to
qualify such sources.  The conferees also directed the Secretary of
Defense to address the issue as a special area of interest in DOD's
next annual report to Congress on the Nuclear, Biological, and
Chemical Defense program.  However, the subsequent annual report to
Congress, issued in February 1998, did not address the issue of
qualifying additional sources of supply.  A DOD official told us that
the reporting requirement had been overlooked. 

In May 1998, DOD issued an addendum to its February 1998 report to
address the congressional reporting requirement.  The addendum cited
DOD's ongoing pre-planned product improvement program as a potential
mechanism for identifying additional sources of supply for the
requirements that were not achieved in the JSLIST program.  The
report emphasizes, however, that DOD's primary goal remains to
provide the U.S.  armed forces with the best chemical protective
ensemble available. 


   CONCLUSIONS
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :7

Because the MCLIST program and the Army's exploratory development
efforts-- which ultimately became the JSLIST program--were research
and development activities, they were not subject to the same
procedural requirements that apply to acquisition programs.  In this
context, we believe that the MCLIST and JSLIST programs were
conducted fairly.  DOD provided industry adequate notice of the
government's interest in improved chemical defense garment materials
and sufficient opportunity to participate in the programs.  The basic
requirement for a lightweight, less bulky overgarment that could be
reused after laundering did not change in the transition from MCLIST
to JSLIST, although each service added certain unique requirements. 
Although the informal nature of communications that characterizes the
research and development environment may have contributed to a missed
opportunity for DOD to evaluate the complainant's improved chemical
defense garment material, the Marine Corps' rejection of the
unsolicited proposal was consistent with the Federal Acquisition
Regulation governing such proposals. 


   AGENCY COMMENTS
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :8

DOD reviewed a draft of this report and fully concurred with the
information as presented. 


   SCOPE AND METHODOLOGY
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :9

To determine whether DOD provided sufficient notice to industry of
its interest in new chemical defense materials and industry had
sufficient opportunity to participate in the MCLIST demonstration,
the Army's exploratory development effort, and the JSLIST program, we
obtained and analyzed Broad Agency Announcements and information
about DOD's formal and informal communications with industry
regarding the programs.  We gathered and analyzed information
pertaining to the intent, timeframes, and participants in the MCLIST
and Army's demonstration programs, which afforded industry entry to
JSLIST.  We discussed these programs with officials from the Office
of the Secretary of Defense, Director of Defense Procurement; the
Marine Corps Systems Command; the Army's Natick Research,
Development, and Engineering Center; and selected contractor
locations.  We also reviewed the unsolicited proposal a company sent
to the Marine Corps in June 1992 and the Marine Corps' response to
the company.  We determined whether the Marine Corps' rejection of
the proposal was done in accordance with the Federal Acquisition
Regulation. 

To determine whether basic requirements that materially affected the
competition changed in the transition from MCLIST to JSLIST, we
obtained and analyzed requirements documents, such as the Marine
Corps' 1986 Required Operational Capability statement and the 1995
Joint Operational Requirements Document for JSLIST, as well as test
plans for JSLIST.  We discussed MCLIST and JSLIST requirements with
officials from the Marine Corps Systems Command and industry
officials.  We also analyzed the requirements as stated in the Broad
Agency Announcements. 

To report on DOD's response to the congressional reporting
requirement in the Fiscal Year 1998 National Defense Authorization
Act conference report, we interviewed officials at the Office of the
Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Nuclear, Chemical, and
Biological Defense Programs and the Marine Corps Systems Command.  We
also reviewed DOD's February 1998 Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological
Defense Annual Report to Congress and the May 1998 addendum to that
report. 

We did not attempt to assess the accuracy of the JSLIST test results
or determine whether the outcome of the JSLIST program would have
differed if additional chemical defense materials had been evaluated. 

We conducted our review from February to June 1998 in accordance with
generally accepted government auditing standards. 


---------------------------------------------------------- Letter :9.1

We are sending copies of this report to appropriate congressional
committees, the Secretary of Defense, and the Commandant of the
Marine Corps.  We will also provide copies to other interested
parties on request. 

Please contact me at (202) 512-4841 if you or your staff have any
questions concerning this report.  Major contributors to this report
are listed in appendix IV. 

Sincerely yours,

Katherine V.  Schinasi
Associate Director
Defense Acquisitions Issues


JSLIST TEST PHASES
=========================================================== Appendix I

Because the Joint Service Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology
(JSLIST) program was a joint effort, standardized test methods and
procedures had to be developed that would be acceptable to all the
services and recognize service-unique requirements.  Testing occurred
during two phases.  Phase I began in October 1993; phase II began in
August 1995 and resulted in the selection of the only material
combination that was determined to be acceptable for use in the
Department of Defense's chemical defense garments. 

PHASE I

During phase I, 600 suits made from 57 candidate material
combinations (outershells, liners, or both) were tested.  Phase I
testing involved chemical agent penetration, aerosol penetration,
heat stress, laundry tests, wear tests, suit design evaluation,
physical properties and flame resistance tests, and user size and fit
tests.  Wear tests were conducted over 14 days at Camp Pendleton,
California, and Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.  Suit design
evaluations took place at Camp Pendleton, California; Camp Lejeune,
North Carolina; Brooks Air Force Base, Texas; U.S.  Army Natick
Research, Development, and Engineering Center, Massachusetts; Fort
Rucker, Alabama; Norfolk Naval Station, Virginia; and Fort Bragg,
North Carolina.  To pass the tests, candidate materials had to equal
or exceed the performance of the Battledress Overgarment, which was
the suit used by the Army at that time, or the Saratoga, which was
replacing the Battledress Overgarment in the Marine Corps.  Those
materials that did not pass chemical agent penetration and laundry
tests were disqualified.  Test garments and individual swatch samples
were coded to ensure unbiased testing. 

Phase I culminated in a decision by the Marine Corps Systems Command
to proceed to the engineering and manufacturing development phase, or
phase II.  Of the 57 material candidates, 5 were selected for phase
II testing. 

PHASE II

During phase II, more than 3,000 suits (330 suits per candidate
material plus the Battledress Overgarment and Saratoga control
garments) were tested at 10 worldwide field locations using
mission-oriented scenarios and individual user tasks.  The purpose of
these tests was to collect operational and technical data to assess
the performance of each material configuration during
mission-oriented activities and provide worn suits for follow-on
laboratory tests.  The coding procedure used in phase I was also used
in phase II to continue unbiased testing.  Arctic, tropic, and desert
environmental conditions were represented during the tests.  The wear
periods were 7, 15, 30, and 45 days, and suits were laundered up to 6
times.  Laboratory tests included chemical agent, flame resistance,
aerosol penetration, and heat stress.  As with phase I, the Army's
Battledress Overgarment and the Marine Corps' Saratoga garment were
the established baselines.  Only one material combination was found
to meet all program requirements--the nylon/cotton outershell over
the Blucher Saratoga liner. 


CONTRACTUAL MECHANISM FOR JSLIST
CHEMICAL DEFENSE GARMENTS
========================================================== Appendix II

Because Blucher's Saratoga liner with a nylon/cotton outer shell was
the only material combination to pass the JSLIST phase II tests, the
JSLIST production material is sole source.  The Department of Defense
is contracting for the JSLIST suits through the National Industries
for the Severely Handicapped and another contractor under section
8(a) of the Small Business Act.  Tex-Shield, Inc., Blucher's American
distributor, is a directed sole source for the material from which
the suits are to be fabricated.  The contracts are not awarded
competitively. 

Suit fabrication services are on the procurement list developed under
the provisions of the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act.  Under the act, once a
commodity or service has been added to the list by the Committee for
Purchase from the Blind and Other Severely Handicapped, contracting
agencies are required to procure the commodity or service directly
from the workshops for blind or other severely handicapped
individuals affiliated with the National Industries for the Severely
Handicapped.  For the JSLIST suits, the Marine Corps offered the
requirement to the National Industries for the Severely Handicapped,
which accepted as much of the work as it could, and the Marine Corps
contracted for the balance of work with another contractor under
section 8(a) of the Small Business Act.  Neither contracting through
the National Industries for the Severely Handicapped nor the contract
with the section 8(a) contractor required publication of a notice in
the Commerce Business Daily or the use of competitive procedures. 


TIMELINE OF EVENTS
========================================================= Appendix III



   (See figure in printed
   edition.)


MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS REPORT
========================================================== Appendix IV

NATIONAL SECURITY AND
INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS DIVISION,
WASHINGTON, D.C. 

Clifton E.  Spruill
Michele Mackin
Stacy Edwards

OFFICE OF THE GENERAL COUNSEL

John A.  Carter
William T.  Woods


*** End of document. ***