Defense Communications:

Defense's Program to Improve Telecommunications Management Is at Risk

IMTEC-93-15: Published: Feb 19, 1993. Publicly Released: Mar 23, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) improvements to its communications resources management, focusing on DOD implementation of its Telecommunications Management Program (TMP).

GAO found that: (1) less than 1 year after the program's start, DOD redirected TMP resources before TMP had completed functional analyses and established DOD telecommunications management requirements; (2) DOD originally developed a sound TMP strategy and methodology, but failed to articulate a strategic vision and precisely define roles and responsibilities; and (3) DOD changed priorities to achieve immediate cost savings by consolidating existing information networks through the Defense Information System Network, which may not support the fundamental improvements needed for more effective and efficient DOD-wide communications management.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Although DOD has partially agreed with the recommendation, it has reported that no additional guidance and direction is needed to manage its current communications environment. It believes that as the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) proceeds with the implementation of the Defense Information Infrastructure established by Defense Management Report Decision 918, the Telecommunications Management Program will be woven together with other critical elements. Defense has developed a high level vision as part of the DISA and Defense Information Infrastructure Master Plan.

    Recommendation: To ensure that the goals of improving the management of communications resources can be met, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (OASD/C3I) to clearly articulate a vision of how DOD communications business and management processes should be conducted DOD-wide.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Defense issued its Defense Information Infrastructure Master Plan, the DISA Strategic Plan, and updated its regulations to define the rules and responsibilities. The Department has also taken action to define overall rules and responsibilities within a recently drafted study. There actions meet the intent of the recommendation.

    Recommendation: To ensure that the goals of improving the management of communications resources can be met, the Secretary of Defense should direct OASD/C3I to define the communications management roles and responsibilities of DISA and other communications management and operational components.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: On September 3, 1993, the Comptroller, DISA, transmitted the agreed-upon business plan to OASD/C3I.

    Recommendation: OASD/C3I should direct DISA to develop a DOD-wide communications business plan that supports the OASD/C3I vision of DOD-wide communications management.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD states that priority has already been given to the Telecommunications Management Program. In addition, the information management models developed by the TMP office have resulted in fielding software to support the Defense Information System Network provisioning and customer service (a goal of TMP). Moreover, DOD reported that the model is being used for other business elements of DISA in providing telecommunications support to DOD operational requirements.

    Recommendation: OASD/C3I should direct DISA to give priority to the TMP information engineering effort to develop the DOD-wide telecommunications management system to support the business plan.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Office of the Assistant Secretary for Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence

 

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