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Defense Acquisitions: Actions Needed to Ensure Adequate Funding for Operation and Sustainment of the Ballistic Missile Defense System

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In 2002, the Department of Defense (DOD) implemented a new acquisition model to develop a Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS) that included all major missile defense acquisitions, some of which were being developed by the military services. The model called for the management and funding responsibility for production, operation, and sustainment of a capability to be transferred to a military service when a BMDS element or major component is technically mature and plans for production are well developed. The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) was given responsibility for developing the BMDS and recommending the transfer of management and funding responsibilities to the services. In 2004, MDA emplaced an initial missile defense capability, but DOD did not transfer management and funding responsibility for that capability. Because a formal transfer did not occur, GAO was asked to (1) identify DOD's criteria for deciding when a missile defense capability should be transferred to a service and (2) determine how DOD is managing the costs of fielding a BMDS capability."
Date: September 6, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense Acquisitions: Space System Acquisition Risks and Keys to Addressing Them

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "On April 6, 2006, we testified before Congress on the Department of Defense's (DOD) space acquisitions. In fiscal year 2007, DOD expects to spend nearly $7 billion to acquire space-based capabilities to support current military and other government operations as well as to enable DOD to transform the way it collects and disseminates information, gathers data on its adversaries, and attacks targets. Despite its growing investment in space, however, DOD's space system acquisitions have experienced problems over the past several decades that have driven up costs by hundreds of millions, even billions, of dollars; stretched schedules by years; and increased performance risks. In some cases, capabilities have not been delivered to the warfighter after decades of development. Within this context, Congress requested that we provide additional comments regarding the need for better program management, space acquisition policy, and DOD's Space Radar and Transformational Satellite Communications System acquisitions."
Date: June 1, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense Acquisitions: Missile Defense Agency Fields Initial Capability but Falls Short of Original Goals

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Defense (DOD) has spent nearly $90 billion since 1985 to develop a Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS). In the next 6 years, the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), the developer, plans to invest about $58 billion more. MDA's overall goal is to produce a system that is capable of defeating enemy missiles launched from any range during any phase of their flight. MDA's approach is to field new capabilities in 2-year blocks. The first--Block 2004--was to provide some protection by December 2005 against attacks out of North Korea and the Middle East. Congress requires GAO to assess MDA's progress annually. This year's report assesses (1) MDA's progress during fiscal year 2005 and (2) whether capabilities fielded under Block 2004 met goals. To the extent goals were not met, GAO identifies reasons for shortfalls and discusses corrective actions that should be taken."
Date: March 15, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense Acquisitions: Plans Need to Allow Enough Time to Demonstrate Capability of First Littoral Combat Ships

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "To conduct operations in littorals--shallow coastal waters--the Navy plans to build a new class of surface warship: the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). LCS is being designed to accomplish its missions through systems operating at a distance from the ship, such as helicopters and unmanned vehicles, and that will be contained in interchangeable mission packages. The Navy is using an accelerated approach to buy the LCS, building the ships in "flights." Flight 0, consisting of four ships, will provide limited capability and test the LCS concept. The schedule allows 12 months between the delivery of the first Flight 0 ship and the start of detailed design and construction for Flight 1 ships. Estimated procurement cost of the Flight 0 ships is $1.5 billion. The Congress directed GAO to review the LCS program. This report assesses the analytical basis of LCS requirements; the Navy's progress in defining the concept of operations; the technical maturity of the mission packages; and the basis of recurring costs for LCS."
Date: March 1, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense Acquisitions: Observations on the Department of Defense Service Contract Inventories for Fiscal Year 2008

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Defense (DOD) is the federal government's largest purchaser of contractor-provided services and relies on contractors to support its varied missions. DOD's contractors provide a range of services, such as consulting and administrative support, information technology services, and weapon system and base operations support. However, DOD contract management has been on our high-risk list since 1992, and our recent work continues to identify weaknesses in DOD's management and oversight of services contracts. In particular, we have reported on the need for reliable data on how service acquisition dollars are spent to make informed contract management decisions and achieve positive acquisition outcomes. Congress has enacted legislation in recent years to increase the availability of information on services acquisitions to improve DOD's ability to manage these purchases. As part of those efforts, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 amended 10 U.S.C. 2330a to require DOD to submit an annual inventory of the activities performed pursuant to contracts for services for or on behalf of DOD during the preceding fiscal year. These inventories are to contain a number of different elements for the service contracts listed, including information on the functions and missions performed by the contractor, the funding source for the contract, and the number of contractor full-time equivalents (FTE) working under the contract. Once compiled, the inventories are to be reviewed by senior DOD officials and used to inform a variety of acquisition and workforce decisions."
Date: January 29, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense Acquisitions: DOD Management Approach and Processes Not Well-Suited to Support Development of Global Information Grid

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Department of Defense (DOD) officials currently estimate that the department will spend approximately $34 billion through 2011 to develop the core network of the Global Information Grid (GIG), a large and complex undertaking intended to provide on-demand and real-time data and information to the warfighter. DOD views the GIG as the cornerstone of information superiority, a key enabler of network-centric warfare, and a pillar of defense transformation. A high degree of coordination and cooperation is needed to make the GIG a reality. In prior work GAO found that enforcing investment decisions across the military services and assuring management attention and oversight of the GIG effort were key management challenges facing DOD. This report assesses (1) the management approach that DOD is using to develop the GIG and (2) whether DOD's three major decision-making processes support the development of a crosscutting, departmentwide investment, such as the GIG."
Date: January 30, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense Acquisitions: Strategic Airlift Gap Has Been Addressed, but Tactical Airlift Plans Are Evolving as Key Issues Have Not Been Resolved

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Department of Defense (DOD) used nearly 700 aircraft, as well as commercial and leased aircraft, to carry about 3 million troops and 800,000 tons of cargo in support of wartime, peacetime, and humanitarian efforts in 2008. C-5s and C-17s move troops and cargo internationally (strategic airlift) and C-130s are the primary aircraft that moves them within a theater of operation (tactical airlift). Over the next 4 years, DOD plans to spend about $12 billion to modernize and procure airlifters and is currently studying how many it needs. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) was asked to (1) identify the status of DOD's modernization and acquisition efforts and (2) determine how well DOD is addressing any capability gaps and redundancies. In conducting this work, GAO identified the cost, schedule, and performance of airlift programs, as well as DOD's plan for addressing gaps and redundancies. GAO also discussed mobility study efforts with DOD, Institute for Defense Analysis (IDA), and RAND Coporation officials."
Date: November 12, 2009
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense Acquisitions: Assessments of Selected Weapon Programs

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "This report is GAO's fifth annual assessment of selected weapon programs. From 2001 to the present, the Department of Defense (DOD) has doubled its planned investment in new systems from approximately $750 billion to almost $1.5 trillion. While DOD expects these systems to transform military operations, their acquisition remains a high-risk area. GAO's reviews of weapons over three decades have found consistent cost increases, schedule delays, and performance shortfalls. The nation's growing long-range fiscal challenges may ultimately spur Congress to pressure DOD to cut spending on new weapons and to redirect funding to other priorities. In response, DOD might be compelled to deliver new weapon programs within estimated costs and to obtain the most from its investments. This report provides congressional and DOD decision makers with an independent, knowledge-based assessment of selected defense programs, identifying potential risks and needed actions when a program's projected attainment of knowledge diverges from the best practices. Programs assessed were selected using several factors: high dollar value, acquisition stage, and congressional interest. This report also highlights issues raised by the cumulative experiences of individual programs. GAO updates this report annually under the Comptroller General's authority to conduct evaluations on his own initiative."
Date: March 30, 2007
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense Acquisitions: Testing of F-15 and F-16 Radomes

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "GAO provided information on the potential for shortfalls in the performance of two radomes, one for the F-15 Eagle and one for the F-16 Falcon, focusing on whether replacement radomes, bought for spares and supplied by vendors other than the original manufacturer, met the Air Force's specifications for the original radomes."
Date: January 28, 1999
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense Acquisitions: Guidance Needed on Navy's Use of Investment Incentives at Private Shipyards

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "As fiscal constraints increasingly shape Navy shipbuilding plans, the pressure to increase efficiency mounts. Modernizing facilities and equipment at shipyards that build Navy ships can lead to improved efficiency, ultimately reducing the cost of constructing ships. In response to a request from the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, GAO (1) identified investments in facilities and equipment at privately-owned shipyards over the last 10 years; (2) determined the Navy's role in financing facilities and equipment investments at these shipyards; and (3) evaluated how the Navy ensures investments result in expected outcomes. To address these objectives, GAO analyzed shipyard investment data over the past 10 years; interviewed shipyard, corporate, and Navy officials; and reviewed contracts, investment business cases, and other Navy and contractor documents."
Date: July 26, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense Acquisitions: Improved Management Practices Could Help Minimize Cost Growth in Navy Shipbuilding Programs

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The U.S. Navy invests significantly to maintain technological superiority of its warships. In 2005 alone, $7.6 billion was devoted to new ship construction in six ship classes--96 percent of which was allocated to four classes: Arleigh Burke class destroyer, Nimitz class aircraft carrier, San Antonio class amphibious transport dock ship, and the Virginia class submarine. Cost growth in the Navy's shipbuilding programs has been a long-standing problem. Over the past few years, the Navy has used "prior year completion" funding--additional appropriations for ships already under contract--to pay for cost overruns. This report (1) estimates the current and projected cost growth on construction contracts for eight case study ships, (2) breaks down and examines the components of the cost growth, and (3) identifies any funding and management practices that contributed to cost growth."
Date: February 28, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense Acquisitions: Assessments of Selected Weapon Programs

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The total estimated cost of the Department of Defense’s (DOD) 2011 portfolio of 96 major defense acquisition programs stands at $1.58 trillion. In the past year, the total acquisition cost of these programs has grown by over $74.4 billion or 5 percent, of which about $31.1 billion can be attributed to factors such as inefficiencies in production, $29.6 billion to quantity changes, and $13.7 billion to research and development cost growth. DOD’s portfolio is dominated by a small number of programs, with the Joint Strike Fighter accounting for the most cost growth in the last year, and the largest projected future funding needs. The majority of the programs in the portfolio have lost buying power in the last year as their program acquisition unit costs have increased. The number of programs in the portfolio has decreased from 98 to 96 in the past year and, looking forward, is projected to decrease again next fiscal year to its lowest level since 2004."
Date: March 29, 2012
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense Acquisitions: Army Aviation Modernization Has Benefited from Increased Funding but Several Challenges Need to Be Addressed

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Army's current efforts to transform and modernize its aviation assets began in 1999, seeking to maintain and improve the warfighting capabilities of the existing force as well as to invest in science and technology in a way that improved the future force. To accomplish these goals, the Army focused on upgrading and modernizing existing equipment, rapidly fielding new equipment, incorporating new technologies as they became available, and restructuring aviation warfighting units. Initially, fielding the developmental Comanche helicopter was a key focus of modernization, but when the Comanche program was terminated in 2004, an investment strategy was presented to Congress that would redistribute $14.6 billion of planned Comanche funding through fiscal year 2011 to enhance a broad range of Army aviation modernization efforts. Furthermore, the Army is currently re-evaluating the plans that were established in 2004 by conducting several assessments, tracking progress, and assessing future capability requirements, and intends to develop an updated Aviation Modernization Plan in 2010. Given this, Congress asked us to determine: (1) What is the Army's current investment strategy for its aviation forces? (2) How do the current aviation plans differ from the initial post-Comanche plans and what are the causes of the differences? (3) What challenges does the current investment strategy face?"
Date: September 28, 2009
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense Acquisitions: Missile Defense Program Instability Affects Reliability of Earned Value Management Data

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "By law, GAO is directed to assess the annual progress the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) made in developing and fielding the Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS). GAO issued its latest assessment of MDA's progress covering fiscal year 2009 in February 2010. This report supplements that assessment to provide further insight into MDA's prime contractor performance for fiscal year 2009. Prime contractors track earned value management (EVM) by making comparisons that inform the program as to whether the contractor is completing work at the cost budgeted and whether the work scheduled is being completed on time. Our analysis of contractor EVM data included examining contract performance reports for 14 BMDS contracts, reviewing the latest integrated baseline reviews, performing extensive analysis of data anomalies, and conducting interviews with Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) officials--the independent reviewers of MDA contractor EVM systems."
Date: July 14, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense Acquisitions: Navy's Ability to Overcome Challenges Facing the Littoral Combat Ship Will Determine Eventual Capabilities

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Navy's Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is envisioned as a reconfigurable vessel able to meet three missions: surface warfare, mine countermeasures, and anti-submarine warfare. It consists of the ship (seaframe) and the mission package it carries and deploys. The Navy plans to invest over $25 billion through fiscal year 2035 to acquire LCS. However, recurring cost growth and schedule delays have jeopardized the Navy's ability to deliver promised LCS capabilities. Based on a congressional request, GAO (1) identified technical, design, and construction challenges to completing the first four ships within current cost and schedule estimates, (2) assessed the Navy's progress developing and fielding mission packages, and (3) evaluated the quality of recent Navy cost analyses for seaframes and their effect on program progress. GAO's findings are based on an analysis of government and contractor-generated documents, and discussions with defense officials and key contractors. This product is a public version of a For Official Use Only report, GAO-10-1006SU, also issued in August 2010."
Date: August 31, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense Acquisitions: Many Analyses of Alternatives Have Not Provided a Robust Assessment of Weapon System Options

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Department of Defense (DOD) weapon programs often experience significant cost and schedule problems because they are allowed to start with too many technical unknowns and not enough knowledge about the development and production risks they entail. GAO was asked to review the department's Analysis of Alternatives (AOA) process--a key first step in the acquisition process intended to assess the operational effectiveness, costs, and risks of alternative weapon system solutions for addressing a validated warfighting need. This report (1) examines whether AOAs have been effective in identifying the most promising options and providing a sound rationale for weapon program initiation, (2) determines what factors have affected the scope and quality of AOAs, and (3) assesses whether recent DOD policy changes will enhance the effectiveness of AOAs. To meet these objectives, GAO efforts included collecting information on AOAs from 32 major defense acquisition programs, reviewing guidance and other documents, and interviewing subject matter experts."
Date: September 24, 2009
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense Acquisitions: DOD Needs to Establish an Implementing Directive to Publish Information and Take Actions to Improve DOD Information on Critical Acquisition Positions

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "During the course of our work for Congress examining the space acquisition workforce, we learned that the Department of Defense (DOD) may not be periodically publishing a list of designated critical acquisition positions as required by statute. We are bringing this matter to your attention not only because it is a requirement to publish this data, but because having it is critical to effectively managing DOD's current workforce. Operating without this critical information may result in flawed decisions regarding this part of the workforce and may put the organization's ability to sustain its mission or function effectively at risk. The designation "critical acquisition positions," according to the 1990 Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA), refers to certain senior-level military and civilian positions that carry significant responsibility and primarily consist of supervisory, oversight, and management duties in the DOD acquisition system. They are a key factor in ensuring that DOD acquisitions--some of which are very expensive and critical to the success of current combat operations--are effectively managed. In accordance with DAWIA and as was later codified in Title 10 of the United States Code, the Secretary of Defense is required to periodically publish a list of critical acquisition positions. The service Secretaries are responsible to ensure that the individuals who hold these positions have the appropriate skills, experience, and rank to perform their duties effectively. According to a DOD instruction on the reporting of DOD acquisition personnel data, the services are required to provide data on their critical acquisition positions to the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC). We sought to determine whether DOD is publishing a list of critical acquisition positions, as required by statute."
Date: September 8, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense Acquisitions: Production and Fielding of Missile Defense Components Continue with Less Testing and Validation Than Planned

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) has spent about $56 billion and will spend about $50 billion more through 2013 to develop a Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS). GAO was directed to assess the annual progress MDA made in developing the BMDS as well as improvements in accountability and transparency in agency operations, management processes, and the new block strategy. To accomplish this, GAO reviewed contractor cost, schedule, and performance; tests completed; and the assets fielded during 2008. GAO also reviewed pertinent sections of the U.S. Code, acquisition policy, and the activities of the new Missile Defense Executive Board (MDEB). An appendix on the effect the cancellation of a Ground-based Midcourse Defense flight test had on BMDS development is also included."
Date: March 13, 2009
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense Acquisitions: Status and Challenges of Joint Forces Command's Limited Acquisition Authority

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Over 3 years ago, Congress granted limited acquisition authority (LAA)--subject to delegation by the Secretary of Defense--to U.S. Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) for a 3-year period to expedite development and acquisition of certain warfighter equipment. Congress directed GAO to report on JFCOM LAA implementation. GAO's report, issued in November 2005, said JFCOM finished five LAA projects and was working on a sixth project, and that JFCOM had experienced difficulty finding funding to develop, acquire, and sustain LAA projects. Last year, Congress extended LAA through September 2008 and again directed GAO to report on LAA. This report updates the status of JFCOM LAA efforts since the authority was enacted and key LAA challenges."
Date: April 12, 2007
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense Acquisitions: Departmentwide Direction Is Needed for Implementation of the Anti-tamper Policy

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Defense (DOD) invests billions of dollars on sophisticated weapon systems and technologies. These may be at risk of exploitation when exported, stolen, or lost during combat or routine missions. In an effort to minimize this risk, DOD developed an anti-tamper policy in 1999, calling for DOD components to implement anti-tamper techniques for critical technologies. In March 2004, GAO reported that program managers had difficulties implementing this policy, including identifying critical technologies. This follow-up report (1) describes recent actions DOD has taken to implement its anti-tamper policy and (2) identifies challenges facing program managers. GAO reviewed documentation on actions DOD has taken since 2004 to implement its anti-tamper policy, and interviewed officials from the Anti-Tamper Executive Agent's Office, the military services, other DOD components, and a cross-section of program offices."
Date: January 11, 2008
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense Acquisitions: Assessments of Selected Weapon Programs

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "This report is GAO's sixth annual assessment of selected weapon programs. Since 2000, the Department of Defense (DOD) has roughly doubled its planned investment in new systems from $790 billion to $1.6 trillion in 2007, but acquisition outcomes in terms of cost and schedule have not improved. Total acquisition costs for major defense programs in the fiscal year 2007 portfolio have increased 26 percent from first estimates, compared with 6 percent in 2000. Programs have also often failed to deliver capabilities when promised. DOD's acquisition outcomes appear increasingly suboptimal, a condition that needs to be corrected given the pressures faced by the department from other military and major nondiscretionary government demands. This report provides congressional and DOD decision makers with an independent, knowledge-based assessment of defense programs, identifying potential risks when a program's projected attainment of knowledge diverges from best practices. The programs assessed--most of which are considered major acquisitions by DOD--were selected using several factors: high dollar value, acquisition stage, and congressional interest. This report also highlights overall trends in DOD acquisition outcomes and issues raised by the cumulative experience of individual programs. GAO updates this report annually under the Comptroller General's authority to conduct evaluations on his own initiative."
Date: March 31, 2008
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense Acquisitions: Sound Business Case Needed to Implement Missile Defense Agency's Targets Program

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) is likely to spend $460 million annually on missiles used as targets for flight tests. Executing these tests depends on the quality and availability of targets. Congress asked GAO to assess (1) if MDA is providing reliable targets; (2) the causes of any deficiencies; and (3) if resolutions exist for any problems identified. To do this, GAO analyzed acquisition policies and procedures; flight test data; and budget, program execution, and acquisition materials; and interviewed MDA and DOD officials."
Date: September 26, 2008
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department