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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the development of differential global positioning systems (DGPS), focusing on: (1) the extent to which federal agencies have been developing joint systems or sharing equipment; and (2) additional steps needed to enhance joint development or sharing of DGPS equipment, facilities, and information.

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Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Office of Management and Budget 1. To help ensure the cost-effectiveness of future federal or federally financed DGPS applications, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) should take the lead in establishing a more coordinated governmentwide approach to managing DGPS. Such an approach could take the form of establishing a coordinative mechanism for all civil DGPS applications and giving it the authority to establish policies, procedures, and standards needed to facilitate joint development and use of DGPS technology. It could also take the form of requiring that federal agencies' proposals to add DGPS base stations in fiscal years 1998 and beyond or participate in federal financing of base stations to be acquired by state or local government units demonstrate to OMB that acquiring the base stations and related equipment would be more cost-effective than using base stations owned or operated by other federal agencies.
Closed - Implemented
Consistent with GAO's recommendation, a March 29, 1996 Presidential Decision Directive established the Department of Transportation as the lead agency for all federal civil GPS matters, including the responsibility to coordinate U.S. government-provided GPS civil augmentation systems to minimize cost and duplication effort. According to a DOT GPS official, the latter requirement was instituted as a result of GAO's recommendation.

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