Defense Computers:

LSSC Needs to Confront Significant Year 2000 Issues

AIMD-97-149: Published: Sep 26, 1997. Publicly Released: Sep 26, 1997.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed: (1) the status of the Logistics Systems Support Command's (LSSC) efforts to correct Commodity Command Standard System (CCSS) Year 2000 systems problems; and (2) the appropriateness of LSSC's strategy and actions for ensuring that CCSS Year 2000 issues will be successfully addressed.

GAO noted that: (1) the Year 2000 problem is one of the most comprehensive and complex information management projects ever faced by LSSC; (2) if not successfully completed, the procurement of weapon systems and their spare parts, accounting for the sales of Army equipment and services to allies, and the financial management of $9 billion of inventory could be disrupted; (3) as a result, it could be extremely difficult to efficiently and effectively equip and sustain the Army's forces around the world; (4) LSSC has completed several actions to address the CCSS Year 2000 problem; (5) a Year 2000 project manager and management staff have been designated, a project manager charter and schedule were developed, and supplementary contractor support was acquired to assist with assessment tasks; (6) regularly scheduled quarterly meetings are held by the Army Materiel Command (AMC) headquarters to report LSSC Year 2000 status; (7) these steps are compatible with the Department of Defense's (DOD) suggested approach and consistent with those found in GAO's five-phased approach for planning, managing, and evaluating Year 2000 projects; (8) although LSSC commenced its Year 2000 project over a year ago, there are several issues facing LSSC that, if not completely addressed, may result in the failure of CCSS to successfully operate at the year 2000; (9) LSSC has yet to completely address: (a) competing workload priorities and staffing issues; (b) the appropriate mix and scheduling of needed testing data and expertise as well as the development of test plans; (c) the scope and substance of written interface agreements with system interface partners to ensure that CCSS subsystems will be capable of exchanging data at the year 2000; and (d) contingency plan development to help assure that Army missions will be accomplished if CCSS is not fully available to users by the year 2000; (10) LSSC's risk of failure is increased because the agency has not attained the level of software development and maintenance maturity that would provide the foundation needed for successful management of large-scale projects such as the Year 2000 initiative; and (11) because CCSS is used to support military readiness, these critical elements must be resolved and aggressively pursued to enable LSSC to achieve a Year 2000 compliant environment prior to the year 2000.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: LSSC identified a total of 67 interfacing partners and has completed and approved memoranda of agreement for all 67 interfaces that describe the method of data exchange (i.e., data format), name the responsible entity for interface modification, and specify the date for ensuring the operability of the interface.

    Recommendation: The Director, LSSC, should ensure that written interface agreements describe the method of data exchange between interfacing systems, name the entity responsible for performing the system interface modification, and state the completion date.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army: U.S. Army Materiel Command: Logistics Systems Support Center

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: LSSC has: (1) determined test requirements; (2) identified the testing staff needed; (3) finalized year 2000 plans describing how the testing staff will be acquired and scheduled for developing year 2000 test-compliant test scenarios and data; and (4) revised the year 2000 test schedule to ensure that enough time is available to meet Army-mandated deadlines for year 2000 implementation. LSSC completed Y2K testing of the CCSS system on March 3, 1999, and based largely on a review of test activities, CCSS was certified Y2K compliant by the Communications-Electronics Command and the Army Materiel Command on March 15, 1999. To provide additional assurance over the certification function, the DOD/IG reviewed LSSC's Y2K certification process on April 18, 1999 and concluded that it was properly performed.

    Recommendation: The Director, LSSC, should ensure that LSSC has the capability to complete the testing of all CCSS subsystems and programs. Specifically, LSSC should: (1) determine test requirements; (2) identify the testing staff needed; (3) finalize Year 2000 plans describing how the testing staff will be acquired and scheduled for developing Year 2000 test compliant test scenarios and data; and (4) revise the Year 2000 test schedule to assure that enough time is available to meet Army-mandated deadlines for Year 2000 implementation.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army: U.S. Army Materiel Command: Logistics Systems Support Center

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: LSSC identified system change packages which could be cancelled or postponed in June 1997 and action was taken by AMC to approve and reschedule LSSC's workload in late August 1997. In addition, LSSC initiated contract actions to acquire experienced personnel to assist with the renovation and testing phases of its Year 2000 project. This contract was approved in September 1997 and work commenced shortly after.

    Recommendation: The Director, LSSC, should immediately assess the impact of competing workload and staffing demands on the CCSS Year 2000 project. Based on this assessment, the Director should consider: (1) cancelling or deferring less critical software projects until after the Year 2000 project is substantially completed; and (2) augmenting the Year 2000 project with staff having the necessity skills to ensure timely completion of the project.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army: U.S. Army Materiel Command: Logistics Systems Support Center

  4. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: LSSC's position is that it does not need to elevate to CMM level 2 to complete its year 2000 project. Moreover, LSSC stated that it has no intention of initiating action to elevate from a CMM level 1 designation to CMM level 2 until its year 2000 effort is completed on December 31, 1999.

    Recommendation: The Director, LSSC, should act to improve LSSC's software development process that will provide the basis for achieving Compatibility Maturity Model (CMM) level 2 maturity.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army: U.S. Army Materiel Command: Logistics Systems Support Center

  5. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: LSSC completed a system contingency plan for CCSS on February 5, 1999. In addition, each user command of CCSS has been directed to complete a functional contingency plan. According to LSSC, the DOD/IG reviewed the CCSS system contingency plan for adequacy and indicated the plan was sound, but should be tested. On August 23, 1999, LSSC tested the contingency plan.

    Recommendation: The Director, LSSC, should develop a contingency plan that includes specific actions for ensuring that the Army's logistic functions continue to operate at appropriate levels if all or part of CCSS fails to work at the year 2000.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army: U.S. Army Materiel Command: Logistics Systems Support Center

 

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