May 15, 2014 --
The inspector general from Marine Corps Installations East, Camp Lejeune, N.C., along with a team of about 35 individuals, converged upon Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany for two days, starting May 8.
The team came to perform an inspection required once every two years through the inspector general program.
“We came to inspect and determine if the command is complying with higher headquarters’ orders and directives,” Col. Peter Ramey, inspector general, MCIEAST, said. “We are the eyes and ears for (Brig.) Gen. (Robert F.) Castellvi (MCIEAST commanding general).”
According to Ramey, a functional area checklist including all things a particular department should be doing, is used. If there are areas not performing to standard, a root-cause analysis is conducted to determine what is prohibiting acceptable adherence. From there, corrective action is taken to bring that area within standard.
Inspections will lead to a command as a whole being deemed mission capable or non-mission capable.
“Marine Corps Logistics Base (Albany) is mission capable,” Ramey said.
In addition to the base earning mission-capable status, the inspection addressed how well 66 functioning areas of the command performed. The areas inspected received a designation of either noteworthy, having discrepancies or having findings, Ramey explained.
Noteworthy is the most desirable rating. This indicates a functioning area is performing every task as it should, according to the checklist. Having a discrepancy indicates the area is functioning, but needs to make minor adjustments, which can be done within a very short period of time. Having a finding is an undesirable rating indicating there are significant discrepancies, which will take a major effort to correct.
“This unit did very well,” Ramey said. Although the inspection is normally conducted every two years, “I mixed that up a little this year and came in at 18 months.”
“The command was not expecting us to come down this early so I was surprised with the all improvements made,” he said.
There were no non-mission capable functional areas, approximately a 50-percent reduction in findings, as well as approximately a 50-percent reduction in discrepancies, Ramey reported.
Donnie Baggs, command inspector general, MCLB Albany, said the improvements were largely due to adjustments with the internal inspection procedures.
“We conduct an internal inspection during the year they don’t come down,” Baggs said.
Initially, internal inspections were not effectively identifying problem areas. Those inspections included a self-assessment method as well as a department head assessment method.
The new concept is a team of six people with an inspection schedule. He said the new method keeps the number of people involved manageable and the process consistent. This provides more consistency and a better probability of identifying areas of concern.
There has been significant progress with 13 areas attaining noteworthy status. However, Baggs said there is always room for improvement. He said Ramey reported 30 deficiencies and 5 findings during the inspection.
“There will be deficiencies and I can handle a few of those, but we are going to eliminate all these findings,” Baggs vowed. “Marine Corps Logistics Base (Albany) will become mission capable without any findings.”
Baggs indicated functioning areas considered noteworthy have now set a standard and must continue their accomplishments for future inspections.
“If an area achieved noteworthy status, that area still has to work hard,” he explained. “The hard work it took to meet that standard has to continue or do even more to maintain noteworthy status.”