The Army’s ambitious plan for modernisation of the Army Base Workshops (ABWs) and implementation of ‘Government-owned, contractor-operated (GOCO)’ model is “delayed” and the original timeline for implementing the system lapsed in December 2019, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) said in its report tabled in the Parliament.
‘Fraught with risk’
“The implementation of GOCO model is fraught with risks and operational challenges as identified by the Headquarters Base Workshop Group. 385 out of the 1,077 affected civilian manpower of closed stations/static workshops are lying idle and the same situation may arise in ABWs, if these issues are not addressed while implementing the GOCO Model,” said the report on Defence Services – Army presented in Parliament for the year ended March 2019. It was tabled in the Rajya Sabha on August 11 and the Lok Sabha on November 29.
ABWs carry out repairs and overhaul of weapons, vehicles and equipment of the Army. The GOCO model was meant to modernise the workshops as well free up Army personnel from maintenance work.
“Audit recommends that the Ministry of Defence formulate a strategy to mitigate all risks, including deployment of existing manpower, relating to GOCO implementation,” the CAG said.