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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO assessed the Forest Service's plans to acquire a $1.2-billion computer-based geographic information system (GIS) for its field sites nationwide.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Agriculture||1. In order to reduce the risk that GIS may not satisfy mission needs, the Secretary of Agriculture should direct the Chief, Forest Service, to evaluate the feasibility, costs, benefits, and organizational impact of alternatives, including selective placement of GIS capabilities and associated analytical resources, to achieve mission-based objectives. The Service should demonstrate that the benefits of the selected alternative exceed projected costs.|
|Department of Agriculture||2. In order to reduce the risk that GIS may not satisfy mission needs, the Secretary of Agriculture should direct the Chief, Forest Service, to develop a more comprehensive functional requirements analysis that includes sources, flow, timing, accuracy levels, validation, and performance requirements for processing a complete range of data that include planned as well as existing data sources.|