Test and Evaluation:

An Assessment of DOD's Operational Test and Evaluation Capability Improvement Program

NSIAD-90-141: Published: Mar 30, 1990. Publicly Released: Mar 30, 1990.

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GAO reviewed whether the Department of Defense (DOD) Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E) Capability Improvement Program was within the jurisdiction of the Office of the Director, OT&E.

GAO found that: (1) the OT&E Capability Improvement Program was not within the scope of the Director's mission, since the services had primary responsibility for planning, programming, and budgeting for adequate test resources; (2) the Office of the Director, OT&E, continued to manage and direct the program because it was responsible for program funding and resource management; (3) the Director, OT&E, did not adequately coordinate the program with the services or the intelligence community, coordinate actual acquisitions within other DOD organizations, or identify some test resource shortfalls; and (4) DOD did not provide Congress with a detailed description of items bought with OT&E program funds.

Matters for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Based on the results of GAO work, Congress has terminated the OT&E Capability Improvement Program. Accomplishment report A-NSIAD-90-18 identified savings of $149 million for fiscal years 1989 and 1990. In addition, a second accomplishment report will be prepared identifying savings of $74 million for FY 1991.

    Matter: Congress may wish to consider legislatively withdrawing the $59 million appropriated for the OT&E Capability Improvement Program in fiscal year 1989 and making it available for use by the services to acquire essential operational test resources.

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In July 1990, DOT&E reported to Congress how it planned on spending FY 1989 unobligated funds and the FY 1991 funding level of $74 million.

    Matter: Congress may wish to require a report from DOD specifying how the withdrawn funds will be spent.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In commenting on the March 1990 report, DOD reaffirmed the services' responsibility for acquiring operational test resources. However, DOD believed that DOT&E should execute the OT&E Capability Improvement Program. In response, Congress terminated the program in October 1990.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct and ensure that the services plan, program, and budget for adequate test resources needed to conduct operational testing of weapon systems effectively.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: In August 1990, GAO issued a report on DOT&E role in test resources. GAO will follow-up on the recommendation contained in the August report (GAO/NSIAD-90-128).

    Recommendation: The Director, OT&E, should continue to perform oversight and policy functions by reviewing and making recommendations to the Secretary of Defense to ensure that adequate test resources are acquired.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Office of the Secretary of Defense: Office of the Director of Operational Testing and Evaluation

 

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