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Highlights

In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) planning, management, acquisition and use of automatic data processing (ADP) for personnel, financial management, accident/incident/violation reporting and other administrative functions.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Transportation 1. The Secretary of Transportation should direct FAA to implement a comprehensive planning process for information resources, including ADP. This process should provide a mechanism to: (1) define information requirements on an agencywide basis; and (2) establish objectives, strategies, and priorities for these requirements.
Closed - Implemented
The Administrator issued the Information Resources Management Plan on August 3, 1983. Chapters 3 through 10 define eight major systems' information requirements within FAA. Each system has identified its goals, objectives, and projects to accomplish the requirements.
Department of Transportation 2. The Secretary of Transportation should direct FAA to strengthen and integrate its management structure for information resources by placing responsibility for information resource management under the control of a single, high-level official and by creating clear lines of authority to any other official to whom aspects of information management are delegated.
Closed - Implemented
The Administrator has staffed the Information Resource Management Program Office within the Office of Management Systems. FAA Order 1370.52 was revised in August 1984 and it sets forth revised Information Resource Policies and Procedures.
Department of Transportation 3. The Secretary of Transportation should direct FAA to shift software management responsibilities from the Information Systems Review Committee to a central office of the type recommended by GAO.
Closed - Implemented
Software management responsibilities were one of the overall responsibilities transferred to the Information Resource Management Program Office.
Department of Transportation 4. The Secretary of Transportation should direct FAA to require user organizations to prepare a thorough analysis of requirements, feasible alternatives, and cost-benefits as a basis for approving software development projects.
Closed - Implemented
The Information Resource Management Plan requires users to define their needs, alternatives for meeting needs, a cost/return analysis of the investment, a project summary showing relation of project to program objective, project milestones, and project status.
Department of Transportation 5. The Secretary of Transportation should direct FAA to implement standard cost collection and control procedures for software projects and establish a control mechanism to trigger management reviews of high-cost variances.
Closed - Implemented
The DOT/OIG is currently assessing DOT efforts to develop and implement ADP systems. Since ADP is a tool used to collect and control costs and identify variances for management review and it has been 3.5 years since this was recommended, this recommendation should be closed. The results of the DOT/OIG work can be used to decide if GAO needs to pursue this matter with another review.
Department of Transportation 6. The Secretary of Transportation should direct the Assistant Secretary for Administration to develop a departmentwide computer capacity and workload management program.
Closed - Implemented
The DOT/OIG is assessing efforts to develop and implement ADP systems. Part of the effort includes the development and issuance of a DOT-wide umbrella order applicable to all administrations regarding information resources policy, management, and resources. The results of the OIG work can be used to determine if DOT-wide computer capacity and work load management programs are being developed.

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