Command and Control:

Upgrades Allow Deferral of $500 Million Computer Acquisition

IMTEC-88-10: Published: Feb 23, 1988. Publicly Released: Feb 23, 1988.

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GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) modernization program for its Worldwide Military Command and Control System (WWMCCS) and its corresponding information system (WIS), focusing on: (1) the justification for the planned $500-million WIS joint mission computer system acquisition; and (2) whether completed or planned upgrades to the current system met the defined user requirements.

GAO found that: (1) completed or planned upgrades will correct six of the seven system deficiencies DOD identified and will bring system capability to the level of current computer technology; (2) the remaining deficiency in system security is not correctable by currently available computer technology; and (3) DOD is developing the Joint Operation Planning and Execution System (JOPES) in two increments, with the first increment modernizing and integrating current information management activities, and the second supporting upgraded system activities. GAO also found that, although DOD has identified a need for important new joint mission and security capabilities, DOD has not: (1) defined system requirements for supporting JOPES Increment II capabilities; (2) established a security policy, defined security requirements, or explored alternative approaches for meeting those requirements; or (3) established a computer performance measurement and capacity planning program to help guide future computer system upgrades or replacement decisions.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Defense transferred program management from the Air Force to the Defense Communications Agency. The program GAO reviewed has been terminated.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should defer the currently planned $500-million WIS joint mission computer system acquisition until: (1) requirements for the acquisition are defined and approved, especially the processing capabilities needed for JOPES Increment II; (2) a formal security policy is established, security requirements are defined, alternatives for implementing these requirements are evaluated, and the most cost-effective means of meeting security requirements are selected; and (3) the above processing and security requirements can no longer be met by upgrading the current computer systems.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The WIS program has been terminated. This recommendation is no longer applicable.

    Recommendation: To ensure a proper and timely acquisition, the Secretary of Defense should establish milestones and monitor the development and approval of the requirements for the additional mission capabilities needed in JOPES Increment II, incorporate these milestones into the WIS acquisition schedule, and target completion of development and approval for 1992.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The WIS program has been terminated. This recommendation is no longer applicable.

    Recommendation: To ensure a proper and timely acquisition, the Secretary of Defense should establish a network-wide performance management and capacity planning program to: (1) measure computer system performance against DOD standards; (2) identify future needs for computer system resources; and (3) project when the current computer systems can no longer provide cost-effective mission support.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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