FAA Registry Systems:

Key Steps Need to Be Performed Before Modernization Proceeds

IMTEC-91-29: Published: Apr 9, 1991. Publicly Released: May 10, 1991.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) modernization plans for its Airmen and Aircraft Registry Systems, focusing on whether FAA: (1) adequately defined user needs; and (2) addressed other key system development steps before proceeding with planned equipment and services procurement.

GAO found that: (1) FAA failed to adequately define the needs of internal users or law enforcement agencies involved in drug interdiction; (2) FAA used inadequately defined and documented functional requirements, a limited alternative systems design and configuration analysis, and a flawed cost-benefit analysis; and (3) the analyses were inadequate to support FAA plans and increased the risk of cost overruns and schedule delays.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: FAA is preparing a systems concept analysis and cost-benefit analysis that will be used to support a new imaging system acquisition plan.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator, FAA, to, before soliciting a delegation of procurement authority and preparing a request for proposals: (1) define users' needs, within FAA and involved law enforcement agencies, and systems requirements, including functional requirements for interfacing with existing systems and performance requirements; and (2) subsequent to defining those requirements, consider a broad range of alternatives and prepare cost-benefit analyses on those alternatives.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation


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