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Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Army's program for solving its year 2000 computer system problem, focusing on the: (1) status of the Army's efforts to identify and correct its systems; and (2) appropriateness of the Army's strategy and actions to remediate its year 2000 problems.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of the Army 1. The Secretary of the Army should direct the Army Chief Information Officer (CIO) to require by July 30, 1998, that all Army components: (1) correct their inventory databases, ensuring that they are accurate and complete; (2) certify all claims of year 2000 compliance and submit completed certification checklists to the Army Year 2000 Project Office; (3) provide reliable year 2000 cost estimates that are based on a comprehensive inventory and completed assessments of all mission-critical and major systems so that priorities can be established and informed resource trade-off decisions can be made; (4) prepare contingency plans that include specific actions for ensuring the continuity of the Army's critical operations at the year 2000; (5) prepare memorandums of agreement for all identified interfaces; and (6) develop test plans and identify the need for additional testing resources.
Closed - Implemented
The Army CIO conducted senior-level reviews with all commanders, Program Executive Officers, and functional proponents to require each to ensure that: (1) inventory databases are accurate and complete; (2) all claims of year 2000 compliance are certified and that completed certification checklists are submitted to the Army Year 2000 Project Office; (3) reliable year 2000 cost estimates are prepared; (4) contingency plans that include specific actions for ensuring the continuity of the Army's critical operations at the year 2000 are prepared; (5) memorandums of agreement for all identified interfaces are prepared; and (6) test plans are developed and additional testing resources are identified. All of the senior-level reviews were completed by October 31, 1998.
Department of the Army 2. The Secretary of the Army should direct the Army CIO to require by July 30, 1998, that the Army Year 2000 Project Office ensure that the Army Year 2000 inventory database contains complete, accurate, and current information on year 2000 status. To accomplish this, the Army Year 2000 Project Office should: (1) correct known problems, including erroneous database default values; and (2) perform quality assurance checks of the data prior to its use.
Closed - Implemented
The Army has corrected the systemic problems such as erroneous database default values, but still continues to perform other quality assurance checks of the data prior to the data's submission to OSD, OMB, and Congress. Nevertheless, GAO views the action taken as completed because the Army has addressed the intent of the recommendation.
Department of the Army 3. The Secretary of the Army should direct the Army CIO to require that the Army Year 2000 Project Office continuously monitor components' progress in: (1) identifying all systems interfaces and defining key details of the data exchange between systems interfaces; and (2) preparing and implementing required memorandums of agreement.
Closed - Implemented
The Army Year 2000 Project Office, in response to Secretary of the Army and Army CIO direction, has continuously monitored Army component year 2000 progress. As of October 1, 1998, the Army Year 2000 Project Office reported that the Army had completed and approved all memoranda of agreement for all mission critical systems' data exchanges.
Department of the Army 4. The Secretary of the Army should direct the Army CIO to require that the Army Year 2000 Project Office negotiate with other entities to secure and schedule additional test facilities if components determine that more test capacity is needed.
Closed - Implemented
The Army hired a contractor to determine if test capacity due to year 2000 would be a problem for the Army. The contractor prepared a report which concluded that test capacity was not a problem for the Army. The study methodology and conclusions were briefed to both the Director of Information Systems for Command, Control, Communications, and Computers (DISC4) and the Army Studies Program in late 1998.

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