Major Management Challenges and Program Risks:

Department of Defense

OCG-99-4: Published: Jan 1, 1999. Publicly Released: Jan 1, 1999.

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As part of its Performance and Accountability Series, GAO provided information on the major management challenges and program risks facing the Department of Defense.

GAO noted that: (1) DOD continues to struggle to overcome the many problems brought about by decades of neglect and to fully institute sound financial management practices; (2) these problems range from being unable to properly account for billions of dollars in assets to being unable to produce reliable and timely information needed to make sound resource decisions; (3) information management and technology issues are key DOD management challenges; (4) a primary short-term concern centers on the implementation of the year 2000 conversions of date-sensitive information on DOD's computer systems; (5) also, information security for computer systems poses concerns, since malicious attacks on these systems are an increasing threat to the nation's security; (6) effectively managing the weapon systems acquisition process continues to be a concern for DOD; (7) although DOD has increased its procurement budget, it consistently pays more and takes longer than planned to develop systems that do not perform as anticipated; (8) DOD spends over $100 billion a year contracting for goods and services; (9) over the last few years, DOD has made several broad-based changes to its acquisition and contracting processes to improve DOD-contractor relationships and rules; (10) DOD has given attention to acquisition reform initiatives, but GAO continues to identify risks in DOD's contracting activity, including areas such as erroneous, fraudulent, and improper payments to contractors, payment of higher prices for commercial spare parts than necessary, and the award and administration of DOD health care contracts; (11) although DOD has substantially downsized its force structure over the past 7 to 10 years, it has not reduced operations and support costs commensurately because the services are reluctant to consolidate activities that span service lines and reduce capacity as necessary; (12) DOD's inventory management practices continue to be ineffective and inefficient and are not well-suited to meet DOD's new missions and warfighting strategies; (13) DOD's personnel programs to recruit, train, and retain a high-quality active-duty enlisted workforce have not received the management attention needed to ensure their successful operation; (14) to address the management and performance problems GAO has cited, DOD has taken actions in the high risk and other areas and has made progress in improving some of them; and (15) DOD has had some success in addressing its inventory management problems, is working to reform its weapon systems acquisition process, and has recognized the need for infrastructure reductions.

Below are the reports in this series:

High-Risk Series: An Update HR-99-1, Jan 1, 1999

Performance and Accountability Series:

Major Management Challenges and Risks: An Executive Summary OCG-99-ES, Feb 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Risks: A Governmentwide Perspective OCG-99-1, Jan 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Risks: Department of Agriculture OCG-99-2, Jan 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Risks: Department of Commerce OCG-99-3, Jan 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Risks: Department of Defense OCG-99-4, Jan 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Risks: Department of Education OCG-99-5, Jan 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Risks: Department of Energy OCG-99-6, Jan 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Risks: Department of Health and Human Services OCG-99-7, Jan 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Risks: Department of Housing and Urban Development OCG-99-8, Jan 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Risks: Department of the Interior OCG-99-9, Jan 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Risks: Department of Justice OCG-99-10, Jan 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Risks: Department of Labor OCG-99-11, Jan 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Risks: Department of State OCG-99-12, Jan 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Risks: Department of Transportation OCG-99-13, Jan 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Risks: Department of the Treasury OCG-99-14, Jan 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Risks: Department of Veterans Affairs OCG-99-15, Jan 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Risks: Agency for International Development OCG-99-16, Jan 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Risks: Environmental Protection Agency OCG-99-17, Jan 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Risks: National Aeronautics and Space Administration OCG-99-18, Jan 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Risks: Nuclear Regulatory Commission OCG-99-19, Jan 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Risks: Social Security Administration OCG-99-20, Jan 1, 1999

Major Management Challenges and Program Risks: U.S. Postal Service OCG-99-21, Jan 1, 1999

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