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Highlights

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO assessed the: (1) cost-effectiveness of the Defense Data Network (DDN); and (2) Defense Communication Agency's (DCA) plans to spend $126 million over 7 years to expand DDN.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Defense 1. The Secretary of Defense should direct the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence to: (1) perform a thorough economic analysis to determine the most cost-effective way to meet DOD long distance data communication needs; and (2) require the Director, DCA, to reflect the results of this analysis in any plans for DDN. At a minimum, this analysis should consider: (1) discarding the policy of mandating DDN use; (2) focusing on the needs of individual users on a case-by-case basis, particularly those that are not well-suited for DDN packet switching technology; (3) recognizing the impact of some DDN users switching to Federal Telecommunications Systems (FTS) 2000; and (4) including cost as a factor in all decisions.
Closed - Implemented
In response to the recommendation, DOD initiated a study which showed that DDN should be downsized, resulting in a $53.9-million savings over the next 10 years.

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