Problems in Developing the Advanced Logistics System

LCD-75-101: Published: Jun 17, 1976. Publicly Released: Jun 17, 1976.

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The Advanced Logistics System was intended to modernize the Department of the Air Force's logistics management activities through automation. The problem with the system concerned computers acquired from the Control Data Corporation. A review was conducted by GAO to determine the course of events that led to the termination of the project.

Remedial efforts by the Air Force and the Corporation were not successful despite contract changes to enable the Corporation to correct its software deficiencies. Many factors contributed to the Air Force's unsuccessful system design and development efforts. The major factor was that the Air Force did not manage the system as a complex, high-risk program that stressed computer equipment capabilities and software technology. GAO concluded that the Air Force had not exercised prudent management during the system's development. The Air Force continued to develop the system despite strong evidence of technical problems that would preclude its successful completion. In December 1975, Congress instructed the Air Force to terminate the system. Nine years of work and $250 million had been expended. Congress directed the Air Force to develop a new system after restudying its needs for logistical information and after the Secretary of Defense approved a plan to develop a new system using machine-independent software.

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