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Highlights

The Department of Education's Guaranteed Student Loan Program guarantees loans to undergraduate and graduate college students by ensuring federal government loans directly and by reinsuring loans issued by states. To keep track of and to control this multibillion dollar program, Education maintains a computerized information system to process most program transactions. GAO reported on Education's efforts and plans to correct known deficiencies in the system, whether the major system costs under the previous contractor were reasonable and proper, and how well the new contractor is performing.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Education The Secretary of Education should direct the Office of Student Financial Assistance to subject the Guaranteed Student Loan information system to a total redesign effort. This redesign should include the documentation and validation of the appropriate system controls needed to ensure accountability for the expenditure of program funds.
Closed
Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.
Department of Education The Secretary of Education should direct the Office of Student Financial Assistance to establish a process for system design, planning, and other key Guaranteed Student Loan information system life-cycle management functions.
Closed
Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.
Department of Education The Secretary of Education should direct the Assistant Secretary for Management to provide automated data processing (ADP) oversight of Guaranteed Student Loan system development efforts by the Office of Student Financial Assistance which ensures Office adherence to Education policies for ADP system life-cycle management and for the development of ADP systems under contract.
Closed
Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.
Department of Education The Secretary of Education should direct the Office of Student Financial Assistance to implement Education policies for developing ADP systems by competitively procuring a Guaranteed Student Loan information system at a fixed price and according to a prescribed plan once the recommended system redesign is completed.
Closed
Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.
Department of Education The Secretary of Education should direct the Office of Student Financial Assistance to develop comprehensive plans and timetables for completing and implementing a total Guaranteed Student Loan system redesign.
Closed
Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.
Department of Education The Secretary of Education should direct the Office of Student Financial Assistance to pursue a timely completion and acceptance of the contractor's conversion effort, including full system documentation, security and backup/recovery subsystems, a terminal user training program, and controls for maintaining and documenting changes to programming.
Closed
Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

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