Land Management Systems:

Progress and Risks in Developing BLM's Land and Mineral Record System

AIMD-95-180: Published: Aug 31, 1995. Publicly Released: Nov 7, 1995.

Additional Materials:


Jack L. Brock, Jr
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) modernization of its Automated Land and Mineral Record System (ALMRS), focusing on: (1) BLM progress in developing and implementing ALMRS modernization; and (2) potential modernization risks.

GAO found that: (1) although BLM initiated ALMRS planning in the early 1980s, it did not award the modernization contract until 1993 because of numerous changes in the project's concept and scope; (2) BLM has installed most of its initial computer and telecommunications equipment and has met most of its schedule milestones, but it is deferring some equipment deployment until fiscal year (FY) 1996 and FY 1997 because of a lack of funds; (3) project costs are expected to exceed the FY 1996 spending limit by $25.5 million due to added system requirements; (4) schedule slippages may occur because ALMRS modernization is becoming more complicated and BLM has allocated little time to deal with unanticipated problems; and (5) although BLM has recently obtained independent verification and validation of new ALMRS software to ensure that it meets BLM needs, BLM does not plan to stress test the entire ALMRS modernization project to access its ability to meet anticipated peak workloads.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: To implement the recommendation, BLM retained a contractor to perform stress tests of the Automated Land and Mineral Record System modernization platform. BLM has conducted stress testing periodically along with expanded performance testing to ensure that the hardware, software, and telecommunications architecture perform acceptably to support BLM's mission. As a result of the tests, BLM identified several performance problems with varying workloads. BLM plans to continue stress testing and performance testing to ensure that the deployed system is properly sized to meet performance expectations.

    Recommendation: The Director, BLM, should ensure that the entire ALMRS modernization is thoroughly stress tested before it is deployed throughout BLM.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Interior: Bureau of Land Management


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