DOD's Automated Telecommunications Centers Reduce the Impact of Message Volume on Staffing

IMTEC-83-2: Published: Aug 16, 1983. Publicly Released: Aug 16, 1983.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO followed up on its 1975 report regarding the need for electronically transmitting narrative messages at military telecommunications centers. In that report, GAO estimated that the number of narrative messages sent from six military installations could have been reduced and that a cost savings could be realized by decreasing staff who operated the telecommunications equipment. The report also projected that the Department of Defense (DOD) could save millions of dollars annually if up to 40 percent of the messages sent electronically from all military telecommunications centers were mailed.

GAO found that a number of changes had been made at the six military telecommunications centers since the earlier review. Center equipment has been upgraded so that little manual effort is required for message transmission through the Automated Digital Network (AUTODIN). Also, the centers have provided guidelines to message releasers on message preparation. Consequently, even though some messages could be mailed, reductions to AUTODIN message traffic would not likely translate into further staff reductions beyond those which resulted from center automation. GAO also found that the Air Force has consolidated five telecommunications centers into three in response to recommendations contained in the earlier report.

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