DOD Business Systems Modernization: Billions Being Invested without Adequate Oversight

GAO-05-381 Published: Apr 29, 2005. Publicly Released: Jun 08, 2005.
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Highlights

Despite its significant investment in business systems, the Department of Defense (DOD) continues to have long-standing financial and business management problems that preclude the department from producing reliable and timely information for making decisions and for accurately reporting on its billions of dollars of assets. GAO was asked to (1) identify DOD's fiscal year 2005 estimated funding for its business systems and (2) determine whether DOD has effective control and accountability over its business systems modernization investments.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Defense To improve the department's control and accountability of business systems investments, the Secretary of Defense should direct that the DOD CIO, in consultation with the domains, review the 56 systems reclassified from business systems to national security systems to determine how these should be properly reported in the fiscal year 2007 IT budget request.
Closed - Implemented
DOD performed a review of the 56 systems and determined the classification for these systems. Of the 56 systems, 6 had been retired and 5 were reclassified to IT from NSS. Based on the information DOD provided and our review of DOD's fiscal year 2007 IT budget request, we determined that the department appropriately classified the 56 systems.
Department of Defense To improve the department's control and accountability of business systems investments, the Secretary of Defense should direct that the Defense Business Systems Management Committee work with the domain investment review boards to review the reported Business Management Modernization Program business systems inventory so systems are defined in accordance with the definition specified in the fiscal year 2005 defense authorization act.
Closed - Implemented
The Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005 defined what is to be considered a defense business system. Our report pointed out that it is incumbent upon the Department of Defense (DOD) to ensure that the definition in the act is used consistently throughout the department. Subsequently, DOD has established a single authoritative system inventory called the DOD Information Technology Portfolio Repository (DITPR). DOD also issued guidance for certification of business systems modernizations, which defined business systems in accordance with the Act. In addition, the system used to prepare the department's fiscal year 2007 Information Technology (IT) budget request has been reconciled and is continually reconciled with this authoritative system inventory. Our review of DOD's fiscal year 2007 IT budget request determined that the department's business systems are reported in accordance with the criteria specified in the fiscal year 2005 National Defense Authorization Act. These actions meet the intent of our recommendation.
Department of Defense To improve the department's control and accountability of business systems investments, the Secretary of Defense should direct that the Defense Business Systems Management Committee develop a comprehensive plan that addresses implementation of our previous recommendations related to the business enterprise architecture and the control and accountability over business systems investments (at a minimum, the plan should assign responsibility and estimated time frames for completion).
Closed - Implemented
In 2008 and 2009, the Department of Defense (DOD) provided to GAO written status of its implementation of several GAO recommendations. Based on these reports that DOD provides to GAO each year on the status of open recommendations, we believe the DOD has met the intent of this recommendation.
Department of Defense To improve the department's control and accountability of business systems investments, the Secretary of Defense should direct that the comprehensive plan we recommend above be incorporated into the department's second annual report due March 15, 2006, to the defense congressional committees, as required by the fiscal year 2005 defense authorization act, to help facilitate congressional oversight.
Closed - Implemented
In its March 15, 2006, and March 15, 2007, annual reports to congressional committees, the department included steps that it is taking or plans to take to address our open recommendations.

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