Key Issues > Duplication & Cost Savings > GAO's Action Tracker > DOD's Timeline for Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Database Implementation (2012-04)
defense icon, source: [West Covina, California] Progressive Management, 2008

Defense: DOD's Timeline for Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Database Implementation (2012-04)

The Department of Defense continues to risk duplication in its multibillion-dollar counter-improvised explosive device efforts because it does not have a comprehensive database of its projects and initiatives.

Action:

To improve visibility of its collective counter-improvised explosive device (IED) expenditures and investments, the Department of Defense (DOD) should develop an implementation plan, including a detailed timeline with milestones to help achieve the goal of creating a database of all department-wide counter-IED efforts.

Progress:

In 2013, DOD’s Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) adapted and implemented a plan it began in August 2012 for the creation of a department-wide counter-IED efforts database, as GAO recommended in February 2012. DOD actions in 2012 and 2013 created an opportunity for JIEDDO to complete the development and implementation of its database for identifying and recording counter-IED initiatives across DOD. JIEDDO developed and maintains the database using several sources to capture comprehensive data on counter-IED efforts department-wide. The approach JIEDDO uses consists of capturing information derived from (1) its own counter-IED initiatives, (2) DOD agency contacts other than JIEDDO, (3) queries to existing DOD information systems that are open and available to JIEDDO, (4) GAO’s list of potential counter-IED initiatives from 2006 to 2011 taken from GAO’s DOD-wide survey completed in 2012, and (5) counter-IED initiatives identified through a February 2012 Joint Staff data call to all DOD components, which was conducted to support DOD efforts to identify the enduring counter-IED capabilities needed by the department. DOD’s Joint Requirements Oversight Council issued memorandums in January 2013 with the effect of making the department-wide data call for counter-IED initiatives an annual requirement. According to JIEDDO officials, the annual data call results will continue to feed into JIEDDO’s database, thereby corroborating and supplementing the counter-IED initiatives JIEDDO identified through the other ongoing means described in the first three items listed above, ensuring that its database is and remains comprehensive. With these data, JIEDDO is better able to manage and comprehensively coordinate all DOD counter-IED efforts, thereby limiting and reducing the risk of duplication in its multibillion-dollar counter-improvised explosive device efforts.

Implementing Entity:

Department of Defense

Action:

To improve visibility of its collective counter-improvised explosive device (IED) expenditures and investments, the Department of Defense (DOD) should develop a process to use this database once it is established to identify and reduce duplication, overlap, and fragmentation among its counter-IED initiatives.

Progress:

In response to GAO’s February 2012 recommendation, the Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) developed a process to analyze counter-IED initiative alternatives to consider whether overlap is present in DOD’s counter-IED efforts and assess the potential for duplication among these efforts, and is now applying this process to the counter-IED efforts that JIEDDO has identified. After updating its database with the counter-IED initiatives identified as a result of a February 2012 DOD-wide data call to identify DOD’s portfolio of counter-IED efforts, JIEDDO began a portfolio review when determining whether or not to validate a new requirement presented to JIEDDO for resourcing consideration. The process within JIEDDO compares “like” capabilities with the requested requirement to determine if there is duplication or overlap. According to JIEDDO, if there is any duplication, a strong argument must be made for why the requested capability is better than the existing one to move it forward for consideration. Further, if the requirement is validated, the selected solution and portfolio review are presented to the services and key stakeholders in a series of JIEDDO boards to obtain external inputs and concerns prior to funding the effort. JIEDDO’s actions, along with an ongoing annual DOD-wide data call to help keep JIEDDO’s database of counter-IED efforts current, will ensure DOD’s annual counter-IED capabilities and portfolio assessment remain comprehensive. The counter-IED initiative alternatives analysis process now helps ensure transparency and that selected solutions are fully vetted to identify and reduce unnecessary duplication, overlap, and fragmentation before being funded by JIEDDO.

Implementing Entity:

Department of Defense
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    • Cary Russell
    • Director, Defense Capabilities and Management
    • russellc@gao.gov
    • (202) 512-5431