Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO evaluated the Department of the Interior's effort to acquire and develop its new Trust Asset and Accounting Management System (TAAMS), focusing on: (1) actions Interior has taken in response to GAO's previous reviews and recommendations; and (2) the business and technical risks and challenges still confronting Interior as it begins to deploy TAAMS.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of the Interior||To ensure that TAAMS is fully aligned with trust management needs and that Interior's use of the systems is optimized, the Secretary of the Interior should direct the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs to work with the Special Trustee for American Indians to do the following before phase II of TAAMS: (1) examine and revise business processes supported by TAAMS; (2) properly develop and implement data conversion plans; and (3) evaluate and revise policies, procedures, and internal controls relating to TAAMS: ensure that top trust fund managers across the department participate in this effort; and ensure that any needed modifications to TAAMS are made and tested.|
|Department of the Interior||To facilitate Interior's adoption of disciplined software and acquisition processes, the Secretary of the Interior should direct the Chief Information Officer to evaluate existing software development and acquisition processes against the Capability Maturity Models developed for these activities by the Software Engineering Institute, implement disciplined processes where they are lacking, and regularly assess progress in this regard.|
|Department of the Interior||To facilitate Interior's adoption of disciplined software and acquisition processes, the Secretary of the Interior should direct the Chief Information Officer to ensure that contractors used by Interior to develop software systems have implemented disciplined software development processes.|
|Department of the Interior||To facilitate Interior's adoption of disciplined software and acquisition processes, the Secretary of the Interior should direct the Chief Information Officer to define and manage the requirements that TAAMS should meet using accepted processes. Once the requirements have been adequately defined, perform a gap analysis to assess whether TAAMS is capable of providing the necessary functionality and what modifications, if any, are necessary to address Interior's needs. If modifications are needed, then Interior should develop the cost, schedule, and performance impacts of making those modifications.|
|Department of the Interior||To ensure that TAAMS can properly interoperate with other trust fund systems, GAO reiterates its recommendation to the Secretary of the Interior to develop an information systems technology architecture for trust fund operations. In the interim, the Secretary should direct the Chief Information Officer to: (1) perform an analysis of the infrastructure necessary to support the TAAMS application and ensure its adequacy; and (2) ensure that TAAMS can interface with TFAS and MMS systems.|