GAO Concerns About Army Plans To Develop Intermediate Forward Test Equipment

NSIAD-85-137: Published: Aug 13, 1985. Publicly Released: Aug 13, 1985.

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GAO reviewed the Army's automatic fault diagnostics equipment and identified several concerns that the Army should consider before it awards a full scale development contract for Intermediate Forward Test Equipment (IFTE).

GAO found that, in performing the cost and operational effectiveness analysis that it used to support the contract award, the Army: (1) did not consider the alternatives; (2) excluded some applicable costs; and (3) used questionable assumptions. The Army considered alternative maintenance concepts to support different weapons systems that would use: (1) existing automated test equipment; (2) no automated test equipment; or (3) IFTE and replace the existing automated test equipment. The analysis also compared stockage, transportation, test equipment, and software development costs to show that IFTE was cost effective. However, GAO found that: (1) IFTE may not be the most cost effective alternative for some weapons systems; (2) the Army did not consider modifying test equipment; and (3) the Army did not consider the costs of developing and converting to IFTE. GAO believes that the Army should complete a reassessment of IFTE costs, benefits, and alternatives before it awards the development contract.

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