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Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) efforts to implement the Defense Information Systems Network (DISN), focusing on: (1) those DOD long-haul telecommunications networks operating outside of the common-user DISN; (2) DOD's progress in implementing its policies for managing DISN; and (3) DOD's progress in developing performance measures for DISN, which DOD agreed to do in response to GAO's previous review of the DISN program.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Defense 1. The Secretary of Defense should direct the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (ASD/C3I) to ensure that existing policies are clearly defined, documented, and enforced. Specifically, ASD/C3I should develop and maintain a comprehensive inventory of Defense's telecommunications equipment and services.
Closed - Not Implemented
There is no comprehensive inventory of telecommunications equipment and services as recommended, nor a plan for the same at this time. Interim Defense guidance contained in a policy memorandum does not require an inventory.
Department of Defense 2. The Secretary of Defense should direct the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence to ensure that existing policies are clearly defined, documented, and enforced. Specifically, ASD/C3I should track acquisitions of telecommunications services throughout Defense, the actual costs of those services, and trends in usage (that is, the volumes and types of traffic that networks carry).
Closed - Not Implemented
OASD/C3I does not track acquisitions of telecommunications services throughout Defense, the actual costs of those services, and trends in usage. Interim Defense guidance contained in a policy memorandum does not require such tracking. Such action has not been taken, nor is any planned at this time.
Department of Defense 3. The Secretary of Defense should direct the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence to ensure that existing policies are clearly defined, documented, and enforced. Specifically, ASD/C3I should define and institute an effective process for evaluating the cost-effectiveness of Defense networks and mandating the use of common-user networks for long-haul telecommunications where appropriate. As part of this process, define the criteria that DISA will use to make waiver determinations, including how DISA will measure technical, economic, and customer service factors in granting waivers.
Closed - Implemented
DOD concurred with this recommendation, and has implemented a waiver process that provides oversight via its Global Information Grid (GIG) Waiver Panel. Customer service factors are not explicitly outlined as a waiver criterion, although operational considerations are considered. Technical and economic factors are explicitly described. Therefore, the DOD's GIG Panel and Waiver Process does fulfill the intent of the recommended action regarding a waiver process.
Department of Defense 4. The Secretary of Defense should direct the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence to develop and adopt provisioning, pricing, and performance metrics as minimum performance measures for DISN.
Closed - Implemented
DOD concurred with this recommendation. The recommended DISN performance measures are now included in the current fiscal year (FY) 2002-FY2007 DISA performance contract. Specifically, for networking services, the DISA performance contract does include provisioning and performance measures for DISN voice, data, and video services. That contract also includes DISN unit cost targets for those services. Because of these steps taken to establish metrics through the DISA performance contract, this recommendation is Closed Implemented.

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