Business Systems Modernization: DOD Continues to Improve Institutional Approach, but Further Steps Needed

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "For decades, the Department of Defense (DOD) has not been successful in repeated attempts to modernize its timeworn business systems and operations. In 1995, we first designated DOD's business systems modernization as "high risk," and we continue to designate it as such today. As our research on successful public and private sector organizations has shown, attempting a large-scale systems modernization program in a large organization such as DOD without, among other things, a well-defined enterprise architecture and the associated investment management controls for implementing it often ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. May 15, 2006.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "For decades, the Department of Defense (DOD) has not been successful in repeated attempts to modernize its timeworn business systems and operations. In 1995, we first designated DOD's business systems modernization as "high risk," and we continue to designate it as such today. As our research on successful public and private sector organizations has shown, attempting a large-scale systems modernization program in a large organization such as DOD without, among other things, a well-defined enterprise architecture and the associated investment management controls for implementing it often results in systems that are duplicative, stovepiped, non-integrated, and unnecessarily costly to manage, maintain, and operate. In May 2001, we made recommendations to the Secretary of Defense that provided the means for effectively developing and implementing an enterprise architecture and limiting systems investments until the department had a well-defined architecture and a corporate approach to investment control and decision making. In July 2001, the department initiated a business management modernization program to, among other things, develop a business enterprise architecture and establish the investment controls needed to effectively implement it. This effort was begun as part of the Secretary of Defense's broad initiative to "transform the way the department works and what it works on." Between 2001 and 2005, we reported that the department's business management modernization program was not being effectively managed, concluding in 2005 that hundreds of millions of dollars had been spent on an architecture and investment management structures that had limited use. To assist DOD in addressing these modernization management challenges, Congress included provisions in the Ronald W. Reagan National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005 (the Act) that were consistent with our recommendations for developing a business enterprise architecture and associated enterprise transition plan, and establishing and implementing effective information technology (IT) business system investment management structures and processes. More specifically, the Act required the department to, among other things, (1) develop a business enterprise architecture, (2) develop a transition plan to implement the architecture, (3) include systems information in its annual budget submission, (4) establish a system investment approval and accountability structure, (5) establish an investment review process, and (6) approve and certify system modernizations costing in excess of $1 million. The Act further requires that the Secretary of Defense submit an annual report to congressional defense committees on its compliance with certain requirements of the Act not later than March 15 of each year from 2005 through 2009. Additionally, the Act directs us to submit to congressional defense committees--within 60 days of DOD's report submission--an assessment of DOD's actions taken to comply with these requirements. The objectives of our review were to (1) assess the actions by DOD to comply with the requirements of Section 2222 of Title 10, U.S. Code and (2) determine the extent to which DOD has addressed our prior recommendations. To accomplish this, we used our November 2005 report as a baseline of comparison, focusing on the steps the department has taken to address the areas of noncompliance that we cited in that report."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • May 15, 2006

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Business Systems Modernization: DOD Continues to Improve Institutional Approach, but Further Steps Needed, report, May 15, 2006; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc297583/: accessed April 27, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.