National Defense:

Adequacy of Department of Defense Operational Test and Evaluation

T-NSIAD-89-39: Published: Jun 16, 1989. Publicly Released: Jun 16, 1989.

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GAO discussed the Department of Defense's (DOD) operational testing and evaluation (OT&E) of major weapon systems. GAO found that: (1) there was insufficient management oversight of the OT&E function; (2) such factors as requirements urgency and prototype costs outweighed the need to identify and correct performance shortfalls; (3) DOD had no established policies or procedures for maintaining accurate test records prior to full production; (4) DOD did not obtain OT&E results critical to assessing mission performance before production; and (5) although DOD has required the use of early operational assessments to ensure system readiness and identify potential risks, those assessments should not take the place of actual OT&E before production.

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