Defense Management:

Stronger Oversight of Joint Service Imagery Processing System Needed

NSIAD-91-164: Published: Jul 26, 1991. Publicly Released: Jul 26, 1991.

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GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) management of the Joint Service Imagery Processing System (JSIPS), focusing on whether: (1) the JSIPS program kept to original cost, schedule, and performance estimates; (2) DOD and the services fully considered user requirements in JSIPS design, development, and planned testing; (3) JSIPS program decisions were appropriately coordinated with closely related imagery programs; and (4) DOD exercised adequate oversight of program activities.

GAO found that: (1) JSIPS cost, schedule, and performance estimates changed significantly, causing a funding shortfall of $38 million and resulting in a restructuring of the contract; (2) JSIPS design and development efforts supported the individual services' needs rather than joint operations requirements; (3) the new contract reduced the number of JSIPS units to be delivered under full-scale development from three to two, delayed the planned delivery of the second JSIPS unit by 18 months, and voided the negotiated prices of production options in the original contract; (4) JSIPS design, development, test plans, and production schedules are not coordinated with closely related systems that will gather and transmit data for JSIPS; (5) the Office of the Secretary of Defense has not developed an integrated test plan and production schedule that would be binding on the individual services and would prevent the uncoordinated fielding of mutually supporting systems; and (6) top-level DOD officials have not received adequate and independent information to address such JSIPS problems as funding shortfalls, the failure to emphasize joint requirements, poor coordination with related systems, and inadequate management oversight.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: DOD has not acted to ensure the adequacy and stability of future program funding or to make JSIPS a major acquisition program subject to review by the Defense Acquisition Board.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should ensure that: (1) JSIPS program funding is adequate and stable; (2) the requirements of the theater commanders in chief for joint operations are adequately considered in JSIPS development and acquisition decisions; and (3) JSIPS and interrelated programs are adequately planned and coordinated to ensure that the combined systems are fully tested and concurrently available.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: DOD has not acted to ensure the adequacy and stability of future program funding or to make JSIPS a major acquisition program subject to review by the Defense Acquisition Board.

    Recommendation: To overcome the services' reluctance to participate in the JSIPS program and to improve program management and oversight, the Secretary of Defense should designate JSIPS a major acquisition program subject to review by the Defense Acquisition Board.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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