Defense Computers:

DOD Y2K Functional End-to-End Testing Progress and Test Event Management

AIMD-00-12: Published: Oct 18, 1999. Publicly Released: Oct 18, 1999.

Additional Materials:


Jack L. Brock, Jr
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the effectiveness of the Department of Defense's efforts to perform year 2000-related end-to-end tests for its major business functions.

GAO noted that: (1) because year 2000 conversions often involve numerous large interconnecting systems with many external interfaces and extensive supporting technology infrastructures, year 2000 testing should be approached in a structured and disciplined fashion; (2) GAO's year 2000 guidance recommends that in planning and managing end-to-end tests, agencies define test boundaries, secure the commitment of data exchange partners, prepare test procedures and data, define exit criteria and document test results, among other steps; (3) each of the individual test events GAO attended and reviewed within the four functional areas generally satisfied the key processes that GAO's year 2000 test guide defines as necessary to effectively plan, conduct, and report on end-to-end testing; (4) moreover, while the events' respective approaches to implementing the key processes varied, these differences were appropriately based on consideration of the event's scope and complexity; (5) in addition, overall end-to-end test efforts within three of the four functional areas were reported to be largely on schedule and expected to be completed by October 1999; (6) however, at the time GAO briefed the Communications functional area on the results of GAO's review, it could not provide complete progress information; and (7) while information was subsequently provided by Communications, it showed that the functional area had not yet developed plans to test 31 mission-critical systems.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In response to the recommendation, DOD reported and provided documentation to show the testing status of all 31 systems, indicating that (1) 14 systems had completed the required testing, (2) 16 systems would not require testing, and (3) the remaining one system would be tested by October 15, 1999. As of December 16, 1999, the DOD Communications functional area reported that the remaining system had completed testing on October 25, 1999. Because of the importance of communications systems to DOD's mission, the updated status and progress data will provide DOD managers the ability to make more informed decisions on communications functional readiness at the year 2000.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Senior Civilian Official of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence to report to the Deputy Secretary immediately on plans for end-to-end testing the 31 mission-critical communications systems, including milestones for executing tests and reporting test results, or to otherwise justify in writing to the Deputy Secretary why any of the systems will not be included in an end-to-end test event.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense


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