Land Management Systems:

Actions Needed in Completing the Automated Land and Mineral Record System Development

AIMD-98-107: Published: May 15, 1998. Publicly Released: May 15, 1998.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided a follow-up assessment of the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) actions to address the recommendations contained in its March 1997 report, focusing on the status of BLM's efforts to test, deploy, and implement the automated land and mineral records system's (ALMRS) initial operating capability.

GAO noted that: (1) BLM has not yet fully implemented GAO's recommendations to mitigate risks and help ensure a successful transition and operating environment for ALMRS; (2) specifically, BLM does not have a security architecture and sound security plan, complete transition plans, and complete operations and maintenance plans for ALMRS; (3) BLM has developed a draft configuration management plan and has been implementing a configuration management program; (4) however, BLM has not developed a credible project schedule; (5) these tools are essential to manage the remainder of the project, help ensure system availability and performance, and avoid security and operational problems; (6) during beta testing of the ALMRS initial operating capability and validation testing of converted data, BLM identified computer workstation configuration and software problems; (7) the testing also surfaced operation concerns that had not been adequately addressed, such as how ALMRS will support public information needs and data exchanges between BLM and other organizations; (8) BLM is revising its project plan and schedule to address these problems before entering the final testing and certification phase; (9) BLM may not be able to maintain the modified schedule, however, because it: (a) is being developed without analyzing human resource usage and task relationships for predevelopment activities; and (b) contains optimistic timeframes for completing activities, leaving little time to deal with unanticipated problems that are likely to arise; (10) recent and potential future delays in implementing ALMRS place BLM at risk that existing systems supporting mission-critical business processes, which are to be replaced by ALMRS, will be subject to the year 2000 computer problem; and (11) while BLM is planning to provide the upgrades necessary to allow for the continued use of these systems if ALMRS is not fully deployed by the year 2000, it has not yet completed the requisite assessment to determine how to do this.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: BLM implemented this recommendation. BLM identified and assessed the legacy systems and recently completed actions to make the legacy systems, which the ALMRS initial operating capability was to replace, year 2000 compliant and rehost them. These actions are critical to continuing information technology support for BLM's core business processes after 1999, because the ALMRS initial operating capability will not be deployed and BLM will have to rely on its year 2000 compliant legacy systems.

    Recommendation: To reduce the risk that BLM will lose information technology support for core business processes, the Director, BLM, should direct that the two mission-critical systems ALMRS is to replace be fully assessed to determine what actions are needed to ensure the continued use of these systems after January 1, 2000.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Interior: Bureau of Land Management

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: As GAO recommended, BLM developed a contingency plan to take needed actions to ensure the continued use of legacy systems, that the ALMRS initial operating capability was to replace, in the event that ALMRS is not fully deployed by January 1, 2000. BLM executed thew contingency plan after an October 1998 operational assessment test and evaluation showed that the ALMRS initial operating capability was not deployable.

    Recommendation: To reduce the risk that BLM will lose information technology support for core business processes, the Director, BLM, should develop a contingency plan to take those actions in the event that ALMRS is not fully deployed by that time.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Interior: Bureau of Land Management

 

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