Skip to Highlights
Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the effectiveness of the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) year 2000 program, including the reliability of its year 2000 cost estimate.

Skip to Recommendations

Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Transportation 1. Urgent action is imperative to improve the management effectiveness of FAA's year 2000 program and thus the likelihood of its success. Accordingly, the Secretary of Transportation should direct that the Administrator, FAA, take the actions necessary to expedite the completion of overdue awareness and assessment activities. At a minimum, the Administrator should finalize an agencywide plan which provides the year 2000 program manager the authority to enforce year 2000 policies and outlines FAA's strategy for addressing year 2000 date change.
Closed - Implemented
The administrator issued an agencywide year 2000 plan on March 9, 1998. This document outlines FAA's year 2000 strategy and provides the year 2000 program manager the authority to enforce year 2000 policies.
Department of Transportation 2. Urgent action is imperative to improve the management effectiveness of FAA's year 2000 program and thus the likelihood of its success. Accordingly, the Secretary of Transportation should direct that the Administrator, FAA, take the actions necessary to expedite the completion of overdue awareness and assessment activities. At a minimum, the Administrator should assess how its major business lines and the aviation industry would be affected if the year 2000 problem were not corrected in time, and use the results of this assessment to help rank the agency's year 2000 activities, as well as a means of obtaining and publicizing management commitment and support for necessary year 2000 initiatives.
Closed - Implemented
FAA issued an enterprise-wide contingency plan which identifies the potential impact of key system failures.
Department of Transportation 3. Urgent action is imperative to improve the management effectiveness of FAA's year 2000 program and thus the likelihood of its success. Accordingly, the Secretary of Transportation should direct that the Administrator, FAA, take the actions necessary to expedite the completion of overdue awareness and assessment activities. At a minimum, the Administrator should, by January 30, 1998, complete inventories of all information systems and their components, including data interfaces.
Closed - Implemented
FAA completed its inventory of systems and data interfaces.
Department of Transportation 4. Urgent action is imperative to improve the management effectiveness of FAA's year 2000 program and thus the likelihood of its success. Accordingly, the Secretary of Transportation should direct that the Administrator, FAA, take the actions necessary to expedite the completion of overdue awareness and assessment activities. At a minimum, the Administrator should, by January 30, 1998, finish assessments of all systems in FAA's inventory to determine each one's criticality and to decide whether each system should be converted, replaced, or retired.
Closed - Implemented
FAA has completed assessing its inventory of systems and data interfaces.
Department of Transportation 5. Urgent action is imperative to improve the management effectiveness of FAA's year 2000 program and thus the likelihood of its success. Accordingly, the Secretary of Transportation should direct that the Administrator, FAA, take the actions necessary to expedite the completion of overdue awareness and assessment activities. At a minimum, the Administrator should determine priorities for system conversion and replacement based on systems' mission-criticality.
Closed - Implemented
FAA agreed with the recommendation and has determined priorities for system conversion. Mission-critical systems are divided into three tiers; those that affect safety, those that affect the capacity of the National Airspace System, and those that impact efficiency throughout the agency.
Department of Transportation 6. Urgent action is imperative to improve the management effectiveness of FAA's year 2000 program and thus the likelihood of its success. Accordingly, the Secretary of Transportation should direct that the Administrator, FAA, take the actions necessary to expedite the completion of overdue awareness and assessment activities. At a minimum, the Administrator should establish plans for addressing identified date dependencies.
Closed - Implemented
FAA established plans for addressing date dependencies in its mission-critical systems and data exchanges.
Department of Transportation 7. Urgent action is imperative to improve the management effectiveness of FAA's year 2000 program and thus the likelihood of its success. Accordingly, the Secretary of Transportation should direct that the Administrator, FAA, take the actions necessary to expedite the completion of overdue awareness and assessment activities. At a minimum, the Administrator should develop validation and test plans for all converted or replaced systems.
Closed - Implemented
FAA agreed with the recommendation and requires test plans for mission-critical systems being repaired.
Department of Transportation 8. Urgent action is imperative to improve the management effectiveness of FAA's year 2000 program and thus the likelihood of its success. Accordingly, the Secretary of Transportation should direct that the Administrator, FAA, take the actions necessary to expedite the completion of overdue awareness and assessment activities. At a minimum, the Administrator should craft year 2000 contingency plans for all business lines to ensure continuity of critical operations.
Closed - Implemented
FAA issued its enterprise-wide business continuity and contingency plan on April 15, 1999.
Department of Transportation 9. Urgent action is imperative to improve the management effectiveness of FAA's year 2000 program and thus the likelihood of its success. Accordingly, the Secretary of Transportation should direct that the Administrator, FAA, take the actions necessary to expedite the completion of overdue awareness and assessment activities. At a minimum, the Administrator should make a reliable cost estimate based on a comprehensive inventory and completed assessments of the various systems' criticality and handling needs.
Closed - Implemented
FAA agreed with this recommendation, and has repeatedly refined its cost estimates as new and better cost information became available. Most recently, in April 1999, the Department of Transportation reported revised FAA Year 2000 cost estimates.

Full Report