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Reverse Auctions: Guidance Is Needed to Maximize Competition and Achieve Cost Savings

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "GAO found that government agencies were increasingly using reverse auctions as a means to drive down prices but without adequate guidance to ensure that the potential benefits were maximized. GAO's analysis of the data also identified some common characteristics among contract awards resulting from reverse auctions."
Date: December 11, 2013
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Status of GAO Recommendations to the Department of Defense (Fiscal Years 2001-2007)

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Section 402 of the Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2009 required us to report to the appropriate congressional committees by the end of the 110th Congress regarding the Department of Defense's (DOD) progress in implementing GAO's recommendations over the last 7 years. During this period of time, we issued 637 reports to DOD or its components that included 2,726 recommendations. By law, agencies, including DOD, are required to submit written statements to Congress explaining actions taken in response to recommendations we have made. We follow up on the implementation status of each recommendation at least annually to determine whether DOD has instituted sufficient corrective actions. This report, which responds to this mandate, contains the results of our analysis on the implementation status of the 2,726 recommendations we made to DOD or its components in reports issued during fiscal years 2001 through 2007. Based on discussion with congressional staff, we are also providing examples of related financial accomplishments3 reported for the period, based on DOD-related work."
Date: December 11, 2008
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense Budget: Army National Guard Operation and Maintenance Budget

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO identified the reasons for the Army National Guard's unfinanced Operation and Maintenance (O&M) requirements, focusing on the: (1) way the Guard prepares its O&M budget; (2) five Army models the Guard uses to generate most of its O&M requirements; and (3) improvements the Army and the Guard are making to correct problems in their use of the models."
Date: January 11, 2000
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Standard Missile-3 Block IIB Analysis of Alternatives

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "GAO has previously reported that the SM-3 Block IIB program did not conduct a formal analysis of alternatives (AoA) prior to beginning technology development. AoAs provide insight into the technical feasibility and costs of alternatives by determining if a concept can be developed and produced within existing resources. Although the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) is not required to do an AoA for its programs because of its acquisition flexibilities, GAO has previously reported that an AoA can be a key step to ensure that new programs have a sound acquisition basis."
Date: February 11, 2013
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Military Personnel: DOD Comments on GAO's Report on More DOD Actions Needed to Address Servicemembers' Personal Financial Management Issues

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In response to a Congressional request, we issued a report in April 2005 on the Department of Defense's (DOD) efforts to address personal financial management (PFM) issues encountered by its servicemembers and their families. In that report, we made recommendations to the Secretary of Defense to enhance servicemembers' financial conditions and the effectiveness of DOD's PFM programs and training. On March 17, 2005, we provided a draft of that report to DOD for review and comment. DOD did not provide comments in time to incorporate them in the final GAO report that went to printing on April 22, 2005. To present DOD's comments and provide our perspective on them, this report briefly summarizes our April 2005 report's objectives, results, and recommendations, along with DOD's comments and our evaluation of the comments. We answered three questions in our April 2005 report: (1) To what extent does deployment impact the financial conditions of active duty servicemembers and their families? (2) Does DOD have an oversight framework for evaluating military programs that assist both deployed and non-deployed servicemembers in managing their personal finances? And (3) To what extent are junior enlisted servicemembers receiving required personal financial management training?"
Date: May 11, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Status of Selected Aspects of the Coast Guard's Deepwater Program

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Coast Guard is in the midst of the largest acquisition program in its history--one that has experienced serious performance and management problems. The Deepwater program is intended to replace or modernize the Coast Guard's fleet of vessels, aircraft, and information management capabilities in order to carry out its missions along our coastlines and farther out at sea. Deepwater incorporates acquisition of 15 major classes of new or upgraded assets--5 major classes each of vessels and aircraft, and 5 other projects, including command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems. To carry out this acquisition, the Coast Guard contracted with a system integrator, Integrated Coast Guard Systems (ICGS). Since 2001, we have reviewed the Deepwater program and have informed Congress, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Coast Guard of the risks and uncertainties inherent with such a large acquisition. In March 2004, we made recommendations to the Coast Guard to address three broad areas of concern: improving program management, strengthening contractor accountability, and promoting cost control through greater competition among potential subcontractors. In April 2006 and June 2007, we issued follow-on reports describing efforts the Coast Guard had taken to address the recommendations. Congress asked us to determine (1) how decisions are made regarding whether to purchase assets under the contract with ICGS or directly with another vendor; (2) the costs and performance trade-offs, if any, associated with the Coast Guard's acquisition strategy for the Fast Response Cutter (FRC); (3) cost, schedule, and performance issues associated with changes to the National Security Cutter (NSC); and (4) actions the Coast Guard has taken to address the open recommendations from our March 2004 report."
Date: March 11, 2008
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense Health Care: Management Attention Needed to Make TRICARE More Effective and User-Friendly

Description: A statement of record issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed the Department of Defense's (DOD) implementation of TRICARE, focusing on the extent to which: (1) beneficiaries enrolled in TRICARE are getting timely access to health care; (2) claims for medical services are paid in a timely and accurate manner; (3) DOD and its contractors are identifying and mitigating fraud and abuse in TRICARE; and (4) DOD's pharmacy programs are cost-effective and consistently serve the needs of all beneficiaries."
Date: March 11, 1999
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

NATO's Operations and Contingency Plans for Stabilizing the Balkans

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "GAO provided information on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO) operations and contingency plans for stabilizing the Balkans, focusing on: (1) current and projected security conditions in the Balkans region, particularly with regard to Bosnia and the Serbia province of Kosovo; and (2) the potential impact of these conditions on: (a) prospects for a drawdown of the NATO-led Stabilization Force (SFOR) in Bosnia; (b) NATO's current operations around Kosovo; and (c) NATO and U.S. plans to deploy air and ground forces for resolving the ongoing conflict in Kosovo, in particular, ground operations planned for a permissive environment--one where all parties to the conflict agree to the presence and mission of NATO-led forces."
Date: March 11, 1999
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Improvement Continues in DOD's Reporting on Sustainable Ranges, but Opportunities Exist to Improve Its Range Assessments and Comprehensive Plan

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In the midst of the global war on terrorism and recent operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Department of Defense (DOD) is working to make U.S. forces more agile and expeditionary. This transformation involves a shift from a Cold War era defense posture to a military that can surge quickly to trouble spots around the globe. In order to accomplish this transformation, it is vital for U.S. forces to train as they intend to fight. New advances in technology, coupled with this shift in force posture, mean that DOD needs to continually update and maintain its training ranges. Military training ranges vary in size from a few acres--for small arms training--to over a million acres for large maneuver exercises and weapons testing, as well as broad open ocean areas that provide for offshore training and testing. These ranges face ever increasing limitations and restrictions on land, water, and airspace as residential, commercial, and industrial development continues to expand around and encroach upon once remote military training and testing installations. Section 366 of the Bob Stump National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2003, dated December 2, 2002, required that the Secretary of Defense report on several items. First, the Secretary of Defense was required to develop a comprehensive plan for using existing authorities available to the Secretary of Defense and the military services to address training constraints caused by limitations on the use of military lands, marine areas, and airspace--both in the United States and overseas. As part of the preparation of the plan, section 366 required the Secretary of Defense to conduct an assessment of current and future training range requirements and an evaluation of the adequacy of current DOD resources, including virtual and constructive assets, to ...
Date: October 11, 2007
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Depot Maintenance: Air Force Is Assessing Engine Maintenance Options for Work Currently Performed at Kelly Aviation Center

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "This report responds to questions that Congress raised about Air Force engine maintenance and repair work currently performed at Kelly Aviation Center (KAC) and the potential transfer of that work to another location. In 1999, Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center (OC-ALC) awarded a contract to KAC to perform work, including depot-level maintenance, repair, and overhaul on TF39 engines, which are typically used for C-5 Galaxy aircraft; T56 engines, which are typically used for C-130 aircraft; and fuel accessories on these engines. The Air Force estimates the total expenditure under the contract for this work to be $3.7 billion from February 16, 1999, through December 1, 2010. The contract is not to exceed 15 years (the contract had an initial 7-year ordering period that could be extended to 15 years or reduced to 5 years based on performance), and will expire not later than February 15, 2014. The Air Force will need to determine how to conduct the engine maintenance work after the term of the contract ends. Congress requested that we review the potential transfer of the engine maintenance and repair workload from KAC. Our objectives were to determine (1) the extent to which the Air Force has identified the costs and benefits of possibly moving engine maintenance for selected aircraft from KAC and (2) the steps the Air Force has taken and plans to take to mitigate any potential aircraft readiness risks that might occur if the work is moved."
Date: February 11, 2011
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Challenges and Risks Associated with the Joint Tactical Radio System Program

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The recent emergence of software-defined radio technology offers the potential to address key communications shortfalls and significantly improve military capabilities. The Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) program was initiated in 1997 to develop and apply this technology and to bring together separate service-led programs into a joint software-defined radio development effort. JTRS radios are intended to interoperate with existing radio systems and provide the war fighter with additional communications capability to access maps and other visual data, communicate via voice and video with other units and levels of command, and obtain information directly from battlefield sensors. As such, the JTRS program is considered a major transformational effort for the military and is expected to enable information superiority, network-centric warfare as well as modernization efforts, such as the Army's Future Combat Systems. Although total program costs have yet to be determined, the Army's effort to acquire and field close to half of the estimated 250,000 JTRS radios that are needed is expected to cost $14.4 billion. Congress asked us to review the JTRS program to determine if there are either management or technical challenges and risks that could jeopardize a successful program outcome."
Date: August 11, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense Management: Actions Needed to Overcome Long-standing Challenges with Weapon Systems Acquisition and Service Contract Management

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Today's testimony addresses the challenges DOD faces to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its weapon systems acquisition and contract management. GAO has designated both areas as high risk areas since the early 1990s. DOD's major weapon systems programs continue to take longer to develop, cost more, and deliver fewer quantities and capabilities than originally planned. DOD also continues to face long-standing challenges managing service contracts and contractors. For example, the oversight of service contracts has been recognized as a material weakness in the Army. The current fiscal environment combined with the current operational demands elevates the need to improve weapon systems acquisition and contract management. DOD has taken steps in response to recommendations GAO has made over the past decade. Taken collectively, these actions reflect the commitment of DOD senior leadership. However, to fully address these challenges the department needs to (1) translate policy into practice, (2) ensure steps undertaken result in intended outcomes, and (3) conduct a fundamental reexamination of its reliance on contractors. In preparing this testimony, GAO drew from issued reports, containing statements of scope and methodology used, and testimonies."
Date: February 11, 2009
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Nuclear Security: DOE Must Address Significant Issues to Meet the Requirements of the New Design Basis Threat

Description: Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "A successful terrorist attack on Department of Energy (DOE) sites containing nuclear weapons or the material used in nuclear weapons could have devastating consequences for the site and its surrounding communities. Because of these risks, DOE needs an effective safeguards and security program. A key component of an effective program is the design basis threat (DBT), a classified document that identifies, among other things, the potential size and capabilities of terrorist forces. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, rendered the then-current DBT obsolete, resulting in DOE issuing a new version in May 2003. GAO (1) identified why DOE took almost 2 years to develop a new DBT, (2) analyzed the higher threat in the new DBT, and (3) identified remaining issues that need to be resolved in order for DOE to meet the threat contained in the new DBT."
Date: May 11, 2004
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense Management: DOD Needs to Reexamine Its Extensive Reliance on Contractors and Continue to Improve Management and Oversight

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The federal government, including the Department of Defense (DOD), is increasingly relying on contractors to carry out its missions. Governmentwide spending on contractor services has more than doubled in the last 10 years. DOD has used contractors extensively to support troops deployed abroad. The department recently estimated the number of contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan to be about 196,000. DOD also relies heavily on contractors for various aspects of weapon system logistics support. While contractors, when properly used, can play an important role in helping agencies accomplish their missions, GAO has identified long-standing problems regarding the appropriate role and management of contractors, particularly at DOD. This testimony highlights the challenges federal agencies face related to the increased reliance on contractors and the specific challenges DOD has had in managing its increased reliance on contractors who support deployed troops and who provide logistics support for weapons systems. This testimony also highlights some of the recommendations GAO has made over the past several years to improve DOD's management and oversight of contractors, as well as DOD's actions in response to those recommendations."
Date: March 11, 2008
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defense Acquisitions: Missile Defense Needs a Better Balance between Flexibility and Accountability

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Over the next 5 years the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) expects to invest $49 billion in the Ballistic Missile Defense System's (BMDS) development and fielding. MDA's strategy is to field new capabilities in 2-year blocks. In January 2006, MDA initiated its second block--Block 2006--to protect against attacks from North Korea and the Middle East. Congress requires GAO to assess MDA's progress annually. GAO's March 2007 report addressed MDA's progress during fiscal year 2006 and followed up on program oversight issues and the current status of MDA's quality assurance program. GAO assessed the progress of each element being developed by MDA, examined acquisition laws applicable to major acquisition programs, and reviewed the impact of implemented quality initiatives."
Date: April 11, 2007
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Joint Strike Fighter: Significant Challenges Remain as DOD Restructures Program

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "This testimony discusses our work on the F-35 Lightning II, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). The JSF is the Department of Defense's (DOD) most costly and ambitious aircraft acquisition. DOD is seeking to simultaneously develop and field three aircraft variants for the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and eight international partners. The JSF program is to provide critical replacement aircraft that will serve as the heart of future tactical air forces. It will require a long-term commitment to very large annual funding outlays. The current estimated investment is $323 billion to develop and procure 2,457 aircraft."
Date: March 11, 2010
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Joint Strike Fighter: Impact of Recent Decisions on Program Risks

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) is the Department of Defense's (DOD) most expensive aircraft acquisition program. DOD is expected to develop, procure, and maintain 2,443 aircraft at a cost of more than $950 billion. DOD plans for the JSF to replace or complement several types of aircraft in the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps. Given the program's cost and importance, it is critical that decisions are made within this program to maximize its benefit to the nation. This testimony highlights a number of those decisions and impacts. It (1) discusses emerging risks to the overall program, and (2) updates information for GAO's cost analysis of last year regarding sole-source and competitive scenarios for acquisition and sustainment of the JSF engine. Information on the overall program is from our mandated annual report, also issued today. GAO tracked annual cost and schedule changes, reasons for changes, decisions affecting development, and compared DOD cost estimating methodologies to best practices. For the two engines, GAO updated cost data from last year's testimony and made new projections."
Date: March 11, 2008
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Space Acquisitions: DOD Delivering New Generations of Satellites, but Space System Acquisition Challenges Remain

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Despite decades of significant investment, most of the Department of Defense's (DOD) large space acquisition programs have collectively experienced billions of dollars in cost increases, stretched schedules, and increased technical risks. Significant schedule delays of as much as 9 years have resulted in potential capability gaps in missile warning, military communications, and weather monitoring. These problems persist, with other space acquisition programs still facing challenges in meeting their targets and aligning the delivery of assets with appropriate ground and user systems. To address cost increases, DOD reduced the number of satellites it would buy, reduced satellite capabilities, or terminated major space system acquisitions. Broad actions have also been taken to prevent their occurrence in new programs, including better management of the acquisition process and oversight of its contractors and resolution of technical and other obstacles to DOD's ability to deliver capability. This testimony will focus on the (1) status of space system acquisitions, (2) results of GAO's space-related reviews over the past year and the challenges they signify, (3) efforts DOD has taken to address causes of problems and increase credibility and success in its space system acquisitions as well as efforts currently underway, and (4) what remains to be done."
Date: May 11, 2011
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Best Practices: Better Acquisition Outcomes Are Possible If DOD Can Apply Lessons from F/A-22 Program

Description: Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Over the next 5 years, DOD's overall investments are expected to average $150 billion a year to modernize and transition our forces. In addition, DOD must modernize its forces amid competing demands for federal funds, such as health care and homeland security. Therefore, it is critical that DOD manage its acquisitions in the most cost efficient and effective manner possible. DOD's newest acquisition policy emphasizes the use of evolutionary, knowledge-based concepts that have proven to produce more effective and efficient weapon systems outcomes. However, most DOD programs currently do not employ these practices and, as a result, experience cost increases, schedule delays, and poor product quality and reliability. This testimony compares the best practices for developing new products with the experiences of the F/A-22 program."
Date: April 11, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Military Personnel: Active Duty Benefits Reflect Changing Demographics, but Continued Focus Is Needed

Description: Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Since the advent of the all-volunteer Army in 1973, the number of servicemembers with spouses and children has grown significantly. Although the Department of Defense (DOD) has responded positively to this change, GAO believes that some current family benefits could be strengthened. For example, despite improvements to the quality of military child care centers, DOD needs to further expand child care capacity. Moreover, DOD faces challenges in increasing awareness and use of these benefits. GAO compared the military's benefits with those of the private sector, including retirement pay, health care, life insurance, and paid time-off, and found no significant gaps in the benefits offered to active duty servicemen and women. In fact, some military benefits exceed those offered by the private sector."
Date: April 11, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Anthrax Vaccine: Preliminary Results of GAO's Survey of Guard/Reserve Pilots and Aircrew Members

Description: Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "This testimony discusses the Department of Defense's (DOD) Anthrax Vaccine Program. Many questions have been raised about the program since DOD began vaccinating its 2.4 million active duty and reserve members in 1998. A major concern has been the program's effect on the National Guard and Air Force Reserve's retention of trained and experienced personnel. A questionnaire sent to 1,253 randomly selected Guard and Reserve pilots and others revealed that the anthrax immunization was a key reason these individuals left or otherwise changed their military status. Since September 1998, an estimated 25 percent of the pilots and aircrew members of the Guard and Reserve in this population transferred to another unit, left the military, or moved to inactive status."
Date: October 11, 2000
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department