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Highlights

The Global Positioning System (GPS) provides positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) data to users worldwide. The U.S. Air Force, which is responsible for GPS acquisition, is in the process of modernizing the system. Last year GAO reported that it was uncertain whether the Air Force could acquire new satellites in time to maintain GPS service without interruption. GAO was asked to assess (1) the status of Air Force efforts to develop and deliver new GPS satellites, the availability of the GPS constellation, and the potential impacts on users if the constellation availability diminishes below its committed level of performance; (2) efforts to acquire the GPS ground control and user equipment necessary to leverage GPS satellite capabilities; (3) the GPS interagency requirements process; and (4) coordination of GPS efforts with the international PNT community. To do this, GAO analyzed program documentation and Air Force data on the GPS constellation, and interviewed officials from DOD and other agencies.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Transportation 1. The Secretaries of Defense and Transportation, whose departments co-chair the National Executive Committee for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing, should develop more comprehensive guidance for the GPS interagency requirements process, including an explanation of key terms, documentation expectations, process steps, requirements approval, and funding commitments.
Closed - Not Implemented
The Department of Transportation has not taken action to implement this recommendation and noted that actions pursuant to this recommendation are contingent on actions of the Department of Defense, which did not concur with the recommendation.
Department of Defense 2. The Secretaries of Defense and Transportation, whose departments co-chair the National Executive Committee for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing, should develop more comprehensive guidance for the GPS interagency requirements process, including an explanation of key terms, documentation expectations, process steps, requirements approval, and funding commitments.
Closed - Not Implemented
The Department of Defense has not taken action to implement this recommendation.

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