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Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the National Weather Service's (NWS) Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS), focusing on whether the proposed AWIPS capabilities will improve weather forecasts and reduce staffing levels and the number of weather offices.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Commerce 1. The Secretary of Commerce should direct the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Assistant Administrator for Weather Services to expand ongoing AWIPS requirements review activities to include validation that proposed capabilities are justified on the basis of mission impact. At a minimum, such validation should include analyses of data and factual accounts from past and ongoing AWIPS prototype experiences that link those proposed capabilities to stated mission improvement goals.
Closed - Not Implemented
NOAA does not agree with the recommendation and does not intend to implement it. It is NOAA's position that specific system capabilities cannot be individually justified on the basis of mission impact, but must be considered together as an interconnected whole.
Department of Commerce 2. The Secretary of Commerce should direct the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Assistant Administrator for Weather Services to not implement any of those capabilities that are not validated.
Closed - Not Implemented
NOAA does not agree with the recommendation and does not intend to implement it. This recommendation is tied to the previous one, which NOAA also does not intend to implement.

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