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Highlights

GAO discussed the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) management of acquisitions for modernization of the air traffic control (ATC) system. GAO noted that: (1) modernization of the ATC system involves the acquisition of new equipment such as sophisticated radars, computers, and communications networks; (2) FAA has experienced substantial schedule delays and cost growth in modernizing the ATC system; (3) the impacts of delays in ATC modernization have delayed planned benefits, created a need for costly interim projects to sustain existing equipment, and decreased FAA credibility as a capable manager; (4) schedule and cost increases have occurred because FAA did not follow federal acquisition guidance aimed at reducing cost, schedule, and performance risks; (5) FAA has taken some positive steps to resolve cost and schedule problems, but it seldom uses quantitative or qualitative evidence of the ATC system to justify new investments; and (6) FAA can make significant progress in improving its acquisition process by following through with its planned improvements.

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