Weapons Testing:

Quality of DOD Operational Testing and Reporting

PEMD-88-32BR: Published: Jul 26, 1988. Publicly Released: Jul 26, 1988.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO assessed the Department of Defense's Office of the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation's (DOTE): (1) oversight of operational testing and evaluation for six weapons systems; and (2) reporting of the test results to Congress.

GAO found that DOTE oversight of the operational testing and evaluation: (1) was not methodologically adequate, since the services experienced significant problems and limitations in test planning, execution, realism, analysis, and reporting; and (2) had some impact on the operational testing and evaluation process, but minimal impact on major production decisions. GAO also found that the informal and undocumented communications DOTE frequently conducted with the services' test agencies made it difficult to accurately determine how effectively it carried out its functions. In addition, GAO found that DOTE reports to Congress: (1) tended to present more favorable results than the systems would present when employed in combat; (2) contained incomplete and inaccurate statements; and (3) did not adequately describe the systems' capability to help Congress make weapon funding decisions.

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