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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) Computer-Aided Acquisition and Logistics Support (CALS) initiative to reduce the cost of maintenance and support by automating the millions of pages of technical data needed to support weapons systems.

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Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Defense 1. Because of the tremendous potential benefits of CALS to almost every aspect of weapons systems support, the Secretary of Defense should ensure that ongoing actions to develop a coordinated, Defense-wide CALS implementation plan with clearly stated objectives and measurable milestones for completing those objectives are completed. Such an implementation plan should include: (1) specific target dates for completing CALS technical data exchange standards for DOD and a decision for determining when each standard is ready to be required in weapons systems contracts; (2) a clear description of the relationship between ongoing and planned CALS projects and CALS overall objectives; (3) clear areas of responsibility for each of the services and the Defense Logistics Agency with an emphasis on the development of common automated systems that conform to CALS standards; and (4) clear lines of responsibility and authority within the Office of the Secretary of Defense for central direction and budgetary control of the services' efforts to implement CALS.
Closed - Implemented
DOD prepared a cursory plan for CALS implementation, but it did not contain sufficient detail to effectively manage the program. Responsibility for CALS implementation has been shifted to the DOD Joint Logistics Systems Center. GAO will address the intent of this recommendation as part of its ongoing work at the Center.
Department of Defense 2. To facilitate coordination, oversight, and control of CALS initiatives, DOD should follow through on the actions it has underway to manage CALS as part of the DOD Corporate Information Management (CIM) program.
Closed - Implemented
DOD agreed to incorporate CALS under the CIM initiative, i.e., better coordinate CALS projects across DOD. As a first step, it cancelled an $800-million CALS project and rolled the requirements into an ongoing Army CALS project.
Department of Defense 3. To facilitate coordination, oversight, and control of CALS initiatives, the Secretary of Defense should clearly designate all CALS automation projects, including those associated with weapons systems development programs, in annual information technology budget exhibits.
Closed - Not Implemented
DOD has not specifically addressed this recommendation, nor has Congress directed that the information technology budgets separately designate CALS projects. GAO will continue to pursue the intent of this recommendation informally as it assists the pertinent committees in improving the information technology budget exhibits.

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