Defense IRM:

Management Commitment Needed to Achieve Defense Data Administration Goals

AIMD-94-14: Published: Jan 21, 1994. Publicly Released: Feb 7, 1994.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) efforts to improve defense data administration and progress in implementing the Corporate Information Management (CIM) initiative.

GAO found that: (1) poor DOD data administration practices and a lack of data standards have increased costs and hindered DOD information management capabilities, information exchanges, and decisionmaking; (2) DOD has not been able to meet its corporate data administration goals or properly determine its corporate data needs because its senior functional managers have not documented their business requirements or established data requirements, and are not uniformly committed to CIM principles; (3) DOD has engaged in activities that do not promote its data administration goals and issued data standardization procedures without issuing guidance for developing, validating, integrating, and approving data standards; (4) the Defense Data Repository System (DDRS) cannot meet DOD needs and is incapable of providing required data storage capabilities; (5) DDRS has been loaded with unreliable and incompatible information about existing nonstandard data elements; and (6) DOD functional managers and Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (ASD/C3I) need to effectively implement CIM so that DOD can meet its data administration goals.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD disagreed that it should strictly follow the CIM model in a "top-down" fashion to determine data requirements. However, the department has proceeded to develop functional process models and provide them to DOD components for review.

    Recommendation: To ensure that corporate DOD data requirements are properly identified, the Secretary of Defense should require Defense Principal Staff Assistants to document their business methods and performance measures prior to developing process and data models, in accordance with the CIM model.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD has completed a functional process improvement model for data administration and has provided the model to functional managers and DOD components for validation.

    Recommendation: To ensure that data administration efforts more effectively support DOD data administration goals, the Secretary of Defense should require the ASD/C3I to apply the CIM model to clearly determine the DOD data administration methods, performance measures, processes, and data needed to manage DOD corporate data resources. The ASD/C3I should solicit active participation of DOD data administration customers--including functional managers, component data administrators, and information system developers--in determining these requirements.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD disagreed with GAO's recommendation to cancel DDRS. The Department believes the repository is satisfying basic requirements for data administration and was facilitating the development and coordination of standard data.

    Recommendation: To ensure that data administration efforts more effectively support DOD data administration goals, the Secretary of Defense should require the ASD/C3I to cancel DDRS operation and support activities and take steps to acquire an information resource dictionary system based on the data administration process and data requirements identified.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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