Computer Systems:

Further Development of Navy's Source Data System Needs to Be Reassessed

IMTEC-90-25: Published: May 8, 1990. Publicly Released: May 15, 1990.

Additional Materials:


Samuel W. Bowlin
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Navy's development and management of its Source Data System project, intended to automate its military pay and personnel data.

GAO found that: (1) by the end of fiscal year 1989, the Navy had spent about $174 million on the project without completing it; (2) as of February 1990, the Navy had converted only 64 percent of its active personnel to the system; (3) the Navy did not use the system at oversea stations or on ships; (4) the Navy planned to fully deploy the system for active duty personnel by 1994, over 12 years later than it originally planned; (5) the Navy estimated that the system would cost an additional $33 million to develop and deploy; (6) the Navy incorporated reserve personnel into a separate system after spending $1.1 million to complete development of a reserve subsystem; (7) system deployment resulted in more accurate and timely data; (8) the system did not meet all performance goals and would not meet all goals when fully deployed; and (9) the Navy did not appropriately oversee the project.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Navy was directed to reassess the Source Data System, update the program plans, hold obligations to a minimum, and report the results to the Assistant Secretary of Defense (C3I), by June 1991, for review.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Navy to: (1) reassess the management, plans, goals, alternative solutions, cost, and benefits of the Source Data System project and determine whether it or a portion of it should be continued; and (2) ensure that spending for the system and planned solutions are held to a minimum while this reassessment is conducted.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (C3I) will determine how to proceed with the program, including the need for OSD oversight after the Navy completes its review. This action satisfies the intent of the original recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Office of the Secretary of Defense should provide Congress with a revised budget forecast for Source Data System based upon a current estimate of project and life-cycle costs.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Office of the Secretary of Defense

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Assistant Secretary of Defense (C3I) reported that any necessary changes to the budgetary requirement resulting from the Navy and OSD reviews and updated plans will be identified and communicated.

    Recommendation: If the Navy decides to continue with the Source Data System (SDS), the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) should review the Navy's decision and reinstate Major Automated Information System Review Committee oversight for the entire project.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Office of the Secretary of Defense


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