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Highlights

GAO reviewed the United States' two separate, but similar, polar-orbiting meteorological satellite systems to determine if the two systems could be combined to eliminate duplicative practices and overlapping functions, and continue to provide necessary services to the systems' users.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Commerce The Secretaries of Defense and Commerce should jointly take the initiative to converge the Defense Meteorological Satellite and the Television Infrared Observation Satellite polar orbiting systems to the maximum extent possible. The Secretaries should also take actions to: (1) curtail or minimize the divergent trends associated with the two programs; (2) eliminate unnecessary duplication; and (3) ensure that ongoing sensor integration efforts are maintained.
Closed - Not Implemented
Policy issues on convergence were studied by a joint OMB, DOD, and Commerce working group. The Deputy Secretary of Defense expressed to OMB that total convergence was not attainable and that levels of convergence greater than presently exist would impact the civil mission in ways Commerce would have to assess. Neither DOD or Commerce intend to further pursue the topic of a convergence initiative.
Department of Defense The Secretaries of Defense and Commerce should jointly take the initiative to converge the Defense Meteorological Satellite and the Television Infrared Observation Satellite polar orbiting systems to the maximum extent possible. The Secretaries should also take actions to: (1) curtail or minimize the divergent trends associated with the two programs; (2) eliminate unnecessary duplication; and (3) ensure that ongoing sensor integration efforts are maintained.
Closed - Not Implemented
Policy issues on convergence were studied by a joint OMB, DOD, and Commerce working group. The Deputy Secretary of Commerce subsequently advised OMB that the two separate satellite systems should be continued. Neither Commerce nor DOD intend to further pursue the topic of a convergence initiative.

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