(U.S. Air Force photo by Sarayuth Pinthong)

GAO: DOD Has Made Progress in Addressing Recommendations to Improve IT Management, but More Action Is Needed

DOD spends billions of dollars each year to operate, maintain, and modernize IT systems supporting key business areas like personnel and logistics. DOD’s business systems have been on the Government Accountability Office’s High Risk list since 1995 due, in part, to the department’s challenges in managing its considerable investments in them.

GAO looked at 12 recommendations from 2012-2018 on DOD business systems management. As of November 2019, DOD implemented 4 of them. Two of those recommendations were to help ensure that the military services don’t approve investments for needlessly complex systems.

We are monitoring DOD’s progress on the remaining recommendations.

As of November 2019, the Department of Defense (DOD) had taken actions that addressed some, but not all, of the 12 prior GAO recommendations for strengthening defense business systems management. In doing so, the department made progress in complying with related business system investment management requirements contained in U.S. Code Title 10 Section 2222 (the code or U.S. Code).

Specifically, as of November 2019, DOD had implemented four of the 12 recommendations (see table). For example, with respect to the requirement associated with investment management guidance, DOD had implemented the recommendation to issue policy requiring full consideration of sustainability and technological refreshment requirements for its business system investments.

However, DOD had not yet implemented eight other recommendations relating to the code’s requirements. The recommendations that had not been implemented relate to the department’s actions to:

  • integrate its business and information technology (IT) architectures,
  • ensure that portfolio assessments are conducted in key areas identified in the GAO Information Technology Investment Management framework.
  • develop a skills inventory, needs assessment, gap analysis, and plan to address identified gaps as part of a strategic approach to human capital planning, among other things.

GAO is not making any new recommendations in this report. As of November 2019, DOD had not yet implemented eight of the 12 prior recommendations. GAO will continue to monitor DOD’s actions to address the remaining recommendations.

Read the GAO report

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