Weapon Acquisition:

Improving DOD's Weapon Systems Acquisition Reporting

NSIAD-90-20: Published: Nov 14, 1989. Publicly Released: Nov 14, 1989.

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GAO examined ways the Department of Defense (DOD) could improve the quality, timeliness, and presentation of its selected acquisition reports (SAR) to Congress.

GAO found that: (1) DOD developed the Defense Acquisition Executive Summary (DAES) to maintain and report more timely, consistent, and reliable data on weapon system costs, schedules, performance, and funding status; (2) DOD used a standard microcomputer-based model to generate DAES reports that reflected data current to within 60 days; (3) some of the information in DAES included planned costs to date, contractor and noncontractor costs, variances between actual and planned costs, and actual and planned delivery schedules; (4) DAES provided more complete contract cost data than SAR, had less detail, and presented information in concise and readable formats; (5) administration of both SAR and DAES within one office would provide an opportunity for DOD to draw information from a single automated data system to consolidate reporting requirements; and (6) DOD could further enhance the presentation and usefulness of SAR data through automation and graphs.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD is exploring the feasibility of a single weapon system reporting system, but disagrees that actual cost data needs to be reported.

    Matter: The timeliness, usefulness, and presentation of SAR data can be significantly improved by incorporating key program and cost information formats similar to those in DAES. Opportunities now exist for the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition to develop a single weapon system data reporting system that can be used internally by DOD management and to generate status reports to Congress. Weapons system status reports generated from the same database used to manage those systems would bring more integrity to SAR and enhance confidence in the data reported to Congress. Although DOD has some efforts underway, Congress should reinforce its interest by directing DOD to adopt reporting content and format changes presented in this report.


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