Test and Evaluation:

The Director, Operational Test and Evaluation's Role in Test Resources

NSIAD-90-128: Published: Aug 27, 1990. Publicly Released: Aug 27, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the tasks of the Office of the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E), focusing on the Director's: (1) role as chairman of the Test and Evaluation Committee; and (2) use of early operational assessments.

GAO found that: (1) the Deputy Secretary of Defense appointed the director as chairman of the Test and Evaluation Committee to be responsible for planning, programming, and budgeting for development test resources; (2) DOT&E statutes did not prohibit its use of early operational assessments; (3) the director attempted to redefine the Department of Defense's (DOD) perspective on test and evaluation and to emphasize the use of early operational assessments; and (4) performing early operational assessments when production representative test articles are not available could fill a void in the availability of actual operational test and evaluation results.

Status Legend:

More Info
  • Review Pending-GAO has not yet assessed implementation status.
  • Open-Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-implemented-Actions that satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-not implemented-While the intent of the recommendation has not been satisfied, time or circumstances have rendered the recommendation invalid.
    • Review Pending
    • Open
    • Closed - implemented
    • Closed - not implemented

    Recommendations for Executive Action

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should keep development and operational testing independent and separate by ensuring that the Director, Operational Test and Evaluation, provides advice only to those committees or councils that are responsible for the planning, programming, and budgeting of development test resources.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

    Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: On December 13, 1991, DOD issued a charter for the Defense Test and Evaluation Steering Group that defines roles and responsibilities for managing test resources within DOD. This charter identifies DOT&E as an advisor to the committee. As a result, DOT&E is not to plan, program, and/or budget for development test resources.

    Recommendation: The Director, Operational Test and Evaluation, should perform oversight and policy functions by reviewing test plans and results and making recommendations to the Secretary of Defense so that test resource needs are given appropriate consideration.

    Agency Affected:

    Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

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