Computer Procurement:

Decision Needed on Navy's Standard Automated Financial System

IMTEC-88-47: Published: Sep 13, 1988. Publicly Released: Sep 13, 1988.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Navy's management and implementation of its Standard Automated Financial System (STAFS).

GAO found that the Navy: (1) initiated STAFS in 1980 to improve its engineering centers' and research laboratories' accounting and financial management; (2) expanded the system's purposes and capabilities into a more comprehensive management information system to decrease user opposition to STAFS; (3) is more than 5 years behind its STAFS implementation schedule; (4) estimated that program costs have increased from $32.9 million to $479.4 million; (5) has not fully disclosed project costs in its congressional budget submissions; (6) had limited success at one of its four implementation sites, although STAFS has not yet operated under representative work loads or operating conditions; (7) did not adequately test the system to ensure successful deployment; (8) has not adequately explored less expensive alternatives; and (9) believes that it would have to redesign STAFS to accommodate the Department of Defense's (DOD) unsupported recommendation that it convert its center and laboratory funding from its industrial fund to an alternative funding method.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Undersecretary of the Navy terminated the program.

    Recommendation: The Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Financial Management should direct the Commander, Navy Accounting and Finance Center, to concurrently: (1) fully test STAFS as required by DOD policies to determine how effectively the system will operate under the work-load and operational conditions found at the sites; (2) evaluate the need for STAFS expanded capabilities in light of its intended mission; (3) fully explore alternatives to STAFS for satisfying the centers' and laboratories' accounting and financial management requirements; and (4) ensure that, in the interim, spending for STAFS is held to the minimum necessary to complete these efforts.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy: Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Financial Management)

  2. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: This recommendation was conditional on the Navy continuing STAFS. The Navy has terminated the program.

    Recommendation: If the Navy decides to continue with STAFS, the Assistant Secretary of the Navy should provide the Office of the Secretary of Defense the information needed to review this decision in accordance with its oversight responsibilities.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Navy: Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Financial Management)

  3. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: This recommendation was conditional on the Navy continuing STAFS. The Navy has terminated the program.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should provide Congress with a revised budget exhibit for STAFS based on a current estimate of project and life-cycle costs.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Office of the Secretary for Defense has agreed to allow the Navy to continue industrially funding the activities.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should permit the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Financial Management to continue industrially funding the centers and laboratories, unless the need for a change can be clearly demonstrated.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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