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GAO recommended actions it believes the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) should take to improve its efforts to develop and deploy its Automated Land and Mineral Record System (ALMRS).
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of the Interior||The Secretary of the Interior should ensure that BLM thoroughly analyzes the ALMRS Initial Operating Capability (IOC) software, reported to cost more than $67 million, to determine whether it can be cost-beneficially modified to meet the bureau's needs. This analysis should be part of an overall effort to identify and assess all viable alternatives, including: (1) modifying ALMRS IOC software; (2) modifying existing land and recordation systems; (3) acquiring commercial, off-the-shelf software; or (4) developing new systems. The alternatives analysis should clearly identify the risks, costs, and benefits of each alternative, and should be performed only after BLM is assured that it has fully verified its business requirements.|
|Department of the Interior||The Secretary of the Interior should ensure that BLM assesses and strengthens its investment management practices to help avoid future problems. The Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996 seeks to maximize the return on investments in information systems by requiring agencies to institute sound capital investment decision making. Under the act, agencies must design and implement a process for maximizing the value and assessing and managing the risks of information technology acquisitions. The act also requires agencies to: (1) assess the knowledge and skills of their executive and management staff to meet agencies' information resources management requirements, and take steps to rectify any deficiencies; and (2) develop, maintain, and facilitate the implementation of a sound and integrated information technology architecture. Effectively enforcing a sound information technology architecture to guide and constrain a modernization program can preclude inconsistent systems design and development decisions, suboptimal performance, and excessive cost.|
|Department of the Interior||The Secretary of the Interior should ensure that BLM obtains an independent assessment of its systems acquisition capabilities, and ensure that it uses sound systems acquisition processes.|
|Department of the Interior||Until such assessments are completed and corrective actions taken, BLM should not undertake any sizable systems acquisition or development efforts.|