Air Force ADP:

Systems Funded Without Adequate Cost/Benefit Analyses

IMTEC-90-6: Published: Dec 28, 1989. Publicly Released: Jan 30, 1990.

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Samuel W. Bowlin
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Air Force Logistics Command's (AFLC) development of four management information systems, focusing on: (1) whether initial project planning weaknesses identified in other system development projects occurred in these projects; and (2) the cost-benefit analyses AFLC prepared in justifying and planning the projects.

GAO found that: (1) AFLC performed inadequate cost-benefit analyses on three of the four projects, while the fourth project, the Air Force Technical Order Management System (AFTOMS) was still in the initial planning stage; (2) the cost-benefit analyses that AFLC performed on the Air Force Equipment Management System (AFEMS), the Automated Technical Order System (ATOS), and the Reliability and Maintainability Information System (REMIS) included only the existing system and one alternative, even though AFLC identified several feasible alternatives for each project; (3) AFLC claimed that the new systems would provide about $8.4 billion in benefits, but could not support any of the claimed benefits; (4) AFLC significantly understated estimated project costs because it did not include data-loading costs in its analyses; (5) although the Air Force stated that AFLC could have done more complete analyses, it believed that the analyses met minimum requirements; and (6) many systems experienced cost increases and schedule slippages, because the Air Force consistently allowed systems to proceed into development with deficient cost-benefit analyses.

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