The Army's Future Combat Systems (FCS) program features multiple new systems linked by a first-of-a-kind information network. The Army contracted with a lead systems integrator (LSI) for FCS that could serve in a more expansive role than a typical prime contractor would. In response to a congressional mandate, this report addresses (1) why the Army decided to employ an LSI for the FCS program; (2) the nature of the LSI's working relationship with the Army; and (3) how FCS contract fees, provisions, and incentives work. In conducting its work, GAO reviewed extensive program documentation and held discussions with key officials at DOD and throughout the FCS program.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Defense||The Secretary of Defense should reassess OSD's approach to overseeing the FCS program, including asserting its own policy-based markers for progress, particularly in the areas of cost, technology maturity, design maturity, and production maturity.|
|Department of Defense||The Secretary of Defense should ensure that there is the best link possible between the fee events in the FCS contract and actual FCS demonstrations.|
|Department of Defense||The Secretary of Defense should review the major FCS program changes to ensure that determinations for the government to accept changes as being programmatic or scope-related in nature are carefully scrutinized.|
|Department of Defense||The Secretary of Defense should assess whether the experience of the LSI on FCS has broader implications for acquisition management, such as the ability of the DOD workforce to manage a system-of-systems acquisition.|