Funded at $8 billion to $10 billion per year, the Missile Defense Agency's (MDA) effort to develop and field a Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) is the largest research and development program in the Department of Defense (DOD). The program has been managed in 2-year increments, known as blocks. Block 2006, the second BMDS block, was completed in December 2007. By law, GAO annually assesses MDA's progress. This testimony is based on GAO's assessment of MDA's progress in (1) meeting Block 2006 goals for fielding assets, completing work within estimated cost, conducting tests, and demonstrating the performance of the overall system in the field, and (2) making managerial improvements to transparency, accountability, and oversight. In conducting the assessment, GAO reviewed the assets fielded; contractor cost, schedule, and performance; and tests completed during 2007. GAO also reviewed pertinent sections of the U.S. code, acquisition policy, and the charter of a new missile defense board. We have previously made recommendations to improve oversight in the areas that MDA has recently taken action. We also have a draft report that is currently with DOD for comment that includes additional recommendations.
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