FAA Procurement:

Major Data-Processing Contract Should Not Be Awarded

IMTEC-90-38: Published: May 25, 1990. Publicly Released: Jun 15, 1990.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Jayetta Hecker
(202) 512-8984
contact@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Computer Resources Nucleus (CORN) project.

GAO found that: (1) FAA did not properly justify and plan CORN, which had major unresolved problems; (2) FAA claims about the causes of perceived problems with its Common System were poorly supported, as were its future requirements, raising doubts about the projects' justifications; (3) the FAA methodology for evaluating project technical and cost aspects was flawed and could have cost ramifications; (4) FAA cost estimates for the software conversion to CORN and the amount of support needed for the conversion were unreliable; (5) the estimated time frame for the conversion doubled from 18 months to 3 years, which led to more cost growth; and (6) the conversion would not result in better management information.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: FAA developed a more representative work load in evaluating vendors' proposals.

    Recommendation: Before proceeding with a comprehensive procurement similar to CORN, the Administrator, FAA, should ensure that the evaluation of vendors' proposals involves the use of a representative work-load sample.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation: Federal Aviation Administration

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department agreed with this recommendation. FAA major revisions to the CORN procurement alleviated GAO prior concerns.

    Recommendation: Before proceeding with a comprehensive procurement similar to CORN, the Administrator, FAA, should ensure that existing system deficiencies are accurately and completely identified and a solution is designed that addresses those deficiencies. Direct, periodic, systemwide monitoring, accomplished through the implementation of a computer capacity and performance management program for FAA general-purpose systems, should be used to determine the presence, extent, and causes of such performance problems as poor response times.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation: Federal Aviation Administration

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department agreed with this recommendation. FAA major revisions to the CORN procurement alleviated GAO prior concerns.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator, FAA, to ensure that future procurements of this type and magnitude are properly justified and planned prior to contract award.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The FAA Administrator requested an independent review of the CORN project in response to the report. Subsequent to the independent review, the Administrator cancelled the original solicitation and issued a new request for proposals.

    Recommendation: Because the CORN acquisition has not been adequately justified or planned and has major unresolved problems, the Secretary of Transportation should direct that the CORN contract not be awarded.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation

  5. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In revising the procurement, FAA significantly improved its conversion planning.

    Recommendation: Before proceeding with a comprehensive procurement similar to CORN, the Administrator, FAA, should ensure that planning for conversion includes an accurate inventory of the existing applications, an assessment of their continued need, and complete estimates of the cost and employee-years needed to support the conversion, including the extent to which qualified staff are available.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation: Federal Aviation Administration

 

Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Sep 14, 2016

Sep 2, 2016

Aug 8, 2016

Jul 28, 2016

Jul 13, 2016

Jul 7, 2016

Jun 24, 2016

Jun 21, 2016

May 26, 2016

Looking for more? Browse all our products here