Improving the Effectiveness and Acquisition Management of Selected Weapon Systems:

A Summary of Major Issues and Recommended Actions

MASAD-82-34: Published: May 14, 1982. Publicly Released: May 14, 1982.

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GAO summarized its reports on 24 major defense systems, the principal issues found to be common among the weapon programs, and its recommendations on those programs.

The planned growth in defense expenditures over the next few years makes it imperative that the Department of Defense (DOD) exercise tight control over the development and acquisition of weapon systems. Two general types of issues were identified in the reports. About one-third of these issues would have a direct impact on the weapon systems' effectiveness in accomplishing its intended mission; the remaining two-thirds are program acquisition issues requiring management decisions or improvements. Since the systems are in various stages of the acquisition process, each issue may become more or less serious over time depending on how DOD chooses to address it. Recommendations were made to Congress and the Secretaries of Defense, the Navy, and the Air Force addressing problem areas. The potential impact of these recommendations and observations include minimizing risk and ensuring effectiveness, improving disclosure to Congress, affirming requirements, evaluating alternatives, reducing cost, and improving program management.

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