FAA Information Technology:

Complete Cost Data Not Provided to OMB

IMTEC-91-22: Published: Jan 18, 1991. Publicly Released: Feb 19, 1991.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) compliance with the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) requirement that it report data on the costs associated with the acquisition, operation, and use of such information technology as computer and communications systems.

GAO found that: (1) FAA did not submit all required data on information technology expenditures supporting the air traffic control system, since it believed that it was not required to report on those resources; (2) FAA identified only $182 million in planned obligations for information technology systems for fiscal year (FY) 1991, although an internal report estimated FAA information technology investment at $3 billion annually; (3) FAA omission of information technology data resulted in a significant understatement of information technology activity and constituted a material internal control weakness under the Federal Managers' Financial Integrity Act (FMFIA) of 1982; and (4) FAA stated that it had begun to identify a process to gather complete data on air traffic control systems information technology resources and expenditures.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department reported this as a material weakness in its December 31, 1991 FMFIA report.

    Recommendation: To underscore the importance of this omission and to comply with Circular A-11, the Secretary of Transportation should report the lack of complete information technology systems data as a material control weakness under the Federal Managers' Financial Integrity Act. This weakness should remain outstanding until FAA fully complies with the requirements of OMB Circular A-11.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In its December 31, 1991 FMFIA report, the Department agreed to evaluate the FAA budget submission to ensure complete and accurate data.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Transportation should direct the Department's senior official for information resources management to evaluate FAA actions to comply with OMB Circular A-11 prior to FAA submission of its FY 1993 budget. This evaluation should include determining if FAA has implemented appropriate processes to ensure that its information technology resources submission will result in complete and accurate data for its air traffic control systems.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation


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