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Highlights

Given the magnitude of its reported spending on information technology (IT) services--more than $6.2 billion in fiscal year 2001--it is critical that the Department of Defense (DOD) adopt effective practices for acquiring IT services. GAO researched leading commercial practices for the outsourcing of IT services, and, in November 2001, published a framework consisting of seven phases that span the full range of activities that are performed during the outsourcing of those services (this is an acquisition in which a client organization transfers responsibility for performing services to an external provider). GAO was asked to determine (1) the extent to which selected DOD projects for outsourcing IT services use leading commercial practices as specified in GAO's framework and (2) whether DOD is sharing lessons learned from its IT outsourcing projects across the department.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Defense To assist DOD organizations in planning and implementing outsourcing projects for IT services, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, working in conjunction with the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (C31), to provide senior management support and adequate resources to develop and implement an electronic tool to capture and disseminate examples and lessons learned from actual IT outsourcing projects. These examples and lessons learned, at a minimum, should include the results of our review of the five projects discussed in this report.
Closed - Not Implemented
According to an official in the DOD Office of the Chief Information Officer who was designated as GAO's point of contact for this recommendation, the department has not taken action to implement the recommendation.
Department of Defense The Secretary of Defense should direct the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, working in conjunction with the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence (C31), to ensure that the method used to gather information for this electronic tool incorporate the main elements of a lessons learned process--namely, collection, verification, storage, and dissemination.
Closed - Not Implemented
According to an official in the Office of the Chief Information Officer who was designated as GAO's point of contact for this recommendation, the department has not taken action to implement the recommendation.

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