Strategic Defense Initiative Program:

Better Management Direction and Controls Needed

NSIAD-88-26: Published: Nov 27, 1987. Publicly Released: Nov 27, 1987.

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Thomas J. Brew
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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) Strategic Defense Initiative Organization's (SDIO) management of the Systems Analysis and Battle Management (SABM) Program.

GAO found that: (1) inadequate direction and planning of some research efforts within the SABM program resulted in inefficiencies because SDIO terminated the contracts before completing intended work; (2) inadequate SDIO oversight of work directives resulted in a lack of approval for 47 percent of the total dollar value of the planned research; (3) SDIO made little progress in integrating system and battle management architecture; and (4) inadequate documentation existed because SDIO did not develop a formal internal management control program.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The Director, SDIO, directed that the system and battle management architecture effort be integrated, and the content of work package directives be changed.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should require the Director, SDIO, to place increased management attention on providing direction and oversight to the executing agencies associated with the SABM program. This should minimize inefficiencies and increase the usefulness of work package directives as the primary management document.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: DOD stated that: (1) the SDIO internal management contract program is being implemented on schedule; (2) the fiscal year 1987 annual statement of assurance was prepared; and (3) material weaknesses discovered during the risk assessment process were disclosed.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should: (1) ensure that SDIO implements an internal management control (IMC) program; and (2) report the SDIO material IMC weaknesses and describe the plans and schedule for correcting the weaknesses, in accordance with the Federal Managers' Financial Integrity Act of 1982.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense


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