oversight

Information Resources: Army Corporate Data Base Disregards Congressional and DOD Direction

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-07-19.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

_.-. .--    .._.-...._____.   . -__--..--_.-.--.   --y-1_              -

.JuIy        I t
           I’M)

                                                            INFORMATION
                                                            RESOURCES
                                                            Army Corporate Data
                                                            Base Disregards
                                                            Congressional and
                                                            DOD Direction




                                                            RESTRICTED --Not     to be released outside the
                                                            General Accounting Of&e unless speclflcally
                                                            approved by the Of&e of Congressional
                                                            l&e-iatious.

 GAO/‘1         M’IW          ‘-Wfi4
Information Management and
Technology Division

B-239633

July 19, 1990

The Honorable John P. Murtha
Chairman, Subcommittee on Defense
Committee on Appropriations
House of Representatives

Dear Mr. Chairman:

This report responds to your September 5,1989, request that we review the Department of
the Army’s efforts to develop a corporate data base.

As agreed with your office, unless you publicly announce its contents earlier, we plan no
further distribution of this report until 30 days from the date of this letter. At that time, we
will send copies to interested parties and make copies available to others upon request.

The report was prepared under the direction of Samuel W. Bowlin, Director, Defense and
Security Information Systems, who can be reached at (202) 275-4649. Other major
contributors are listed in the appendix.

Sincerely yours,



lbdzAJ+~
Ralph V. Carlone
Assistant Comptroller General
                                                                                                  c
Ekecutive Summq


                     In fiscal year 1988, the Army canceled its Corporate Data Base Project
Purpose              because it could not address congressional and Secretary of Defense
                     questions about mission need and potential economic benefit. The Army
                     estimated that the project would cost approximately $130 million,
                     excluding some development and all operations and maintenance costs.

                     The Chairman of the Subcommittee on Defense, House Committee on
                     Appropriations, asked GAO:

                   . to determine whether the Army is pursuing the objectives of the can-
                     celed project through other efforts, and if so,
                   . to compare the merits of the Army’s current efforts to those of a cen-
                     trally directed program subject to Army and Defense oversight.


                     The Army began the Corporate Data Base Project in 1984 to improve the
Background           quality of information used to make personnel, equipment, financial,
                     and other decisions. The project called for the development of an Army-
                     wide data base that would be accessible to decision-makers at the head-
                     quarters, major command, and installation levels. Although portions of
                     the data base would be located at these three organizational levels, it
                     would ultimately operate as a single data base.

                     The Congress denied the Army’s fiscal year 1987 funding request for
                     the project because the Army had not adequately defined requirements,
                     performed a cost/benefit analysis, or determined the total project cost.
                     The Congress also directed the Army to submit the project to the Office
                     of the Secretary of Defense for an oversight review.

                     After the September 1986 oversight review, the Office of the Secretary
                     of Defense directed the Army to justify the need for the project, deter-
                     mine its total costs and benefits, and establish a management approach
                     for controlling its development and operation. In 1988, the Army can-
                     celed the project because it could not provide the required justification
                     or determine the project’s potential economic value.


                     Without regard for congressional and Department of Defense direction,
Results in Brief     the Army is continuing to develop an ad hoc corporate data base. GAO
                     identified eight initiatives at the headquarters, major command and
          ”          installation levels that are intended to provide capabilities identical or
                     very similar to the canceled data base project. Because these initiatives
                     are not centrally-directed or in compliance with pertinent federal and


                     Page2                                  GAO/IMTEG90~4Army CorporateDataBase
                               ExecutiveSummary




                               Defense acquisition policies, the Army cannot be sure that these systems
                               will meet valid mission needs, will work together and not duplicate one
                               another, or that they are cost effective. In addition, the Army has no
                               idea how much money is being spent on these eight initiatives or what it
                               will cost to develop, maintain, and operate the systems.



Principal Findings

The Army Is Pursuing           GAO'Swork at Army headquarters, two major commands, and selected
Corporate Data Base            installations identified eight system development initiatives which will
                               provide capabilities identical or similar to the canceled Corporate Data
Objectives                     Base Project. The headquarters-level initiatives involve the development
                               of a standard data base, an unknown number of decision support sys-
                               tems, and a long-distance communications system. The initiatives at the
                               major command and installation levels primarily involve the develop-
                               ment of standard data bases. While GAOidentified eight ongoing initia-
                               tives, there may be other Army organizations with initiatives also
                               pursuing the objectives of the canceled project.


Army Management of             GAOalso found that the Army’s management of the initiatives lacks the
Initiatives Lacks Meri ts of   merits of a centrally-directed program. Specifically, the initiatives lack a
                               coordinated implementation plan and guidance because the Army has
a Centrally-Directed           not established a program office or completed its information architec-
Program                        ture (i.e., framework for how the systems would fit together). Conse-
                               quently, the Army is not sure that the initiatives will work with and not
                               duplicate others. The Army also is not sure that the initiatives will be
                               able to exchange data useful to Army decision-makers because it has not
                               fully implemented its data standardization program, which is intended
                               to eliminate conflicting and inaccurate data.

                               Additionally, although federal and Defense policies call for require-
                               ments determinations and economic analyses prior to system develop-
                               ment, the organizations controlling seven of the eight initiatives had
                               begun system development but had not completed these requirements.
                               The organization responsible for the eighth initiative plans to comply
                               with the policies. Therefore, the Army lacks assurance that seven of the
                               eight initiatives are based on valid requirements. The Army also does
                               not know whether the most economical approach has been selected for



                               Page3                                  GAO/IMTEG90-54
                                                                                   Army CorporateDataBase
                  ExecutiveSummary




                  the seven initiatives or how much it may cost to develop any of the ini-
                  tiatives. In addition, the Army did not know how much had been spent
                  on the initiatives because the organizations controlling them have not
                  fully tracked costs.


                  GAOrecommends that the Secretary of Defense direct the Secretary of
Recommendations   the Army to suspend development activity on the eight initiatives GAO
                  identified, and not to resume any of them unless all required federal and
                  Defense acquisition requirements are met. This would include preparing
                  mission needs statements and requirements and economic analyses. In
                  addition, GAOrecommends that the Secretary of Defense direct the Sec-
                  retary of the Army to prohibit funding for any other initiative whose
                  purpose is to achieve a corporate data base capability until the Army
                  adequately justifies to the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the
                  Congress the mission need and potential economic benefit of an Army-
                  wide corporate data base.


                  At the Chairman’s request, GAOdid not obtain official agency comments
Agency Comments   on a draft of this report. However, GAOdid discuss the results of this
                  review with agency officials and they agreed with the facts presented.




                  Page4                                 GAO/IMTEG9084Army CorporateDataBase
Page5   GAO/IMTJ3G9044
                     Army CorporateDataBase
Contents                                                                                      ,



Executive Summary                                                                              2

Chapter 1                                                                                      8
Introduction             History of the Army’s Corporate Data Base
                         Congressional and Defense Reaction to the Army
                                                                                               8
                                                                                              10
                              Corporate Data Base Project
                         Objectives, Scope, and Methodology                                   10

Chapter 2                                                                                     13
The Army Is Pursuing     Headquarters Initiatives Are Pursuing Canceled Data
                              Base Objectives
                                                                                              14
Corporate Data Base      Two Major Command Initiatives Are Following Corporate                15
Project Objectives            Data Base Objectives
                         Installation Initiatives Are Pursuing the Objectives of the           15
                              Canceled Project

Chapter 3                                                                                     17
Army Management of       Initiatives Lack Central Direction
                         Initiatives Are Not Based on Analysis of Need or
                                                                                              17
                                                                                              18
Initiatives Lacks              Consideration of Economic Benefit
Merits of a Centrally-
Directed Program
Chapter 4                                                                                     24
Conclusions and          Conclusions
                         Recommendations
                                                                                              24
                                                                                              25
Recommendations          Agency Comments                                                      25

Appendix                 Major Contributors to This Report                                    26

Tables                   Table 2.1 Comparison Between the Initiatives and                     13
                             Corporate Data Base Project Objectives
                         Table 3.1 Project Compliance With Federal and Defense                20
                             Acquisition Policies




                         Page6                                 GAO/IMTEG90-64
                                                                            Army CorporateDataBase
\       Contents




        Abbreviations

        ACSIM      Assistant Chief of Staff for Information Management
        DOD        Department of Defense
        IQRSCOM    Forces Command
    Y
        GAO        General Accounting Office
        IMTEC      Information Management and Technology Division
        TRADOC     Training and Doctrine Command


        Page7                                GAO/iMTEG!M84Army CorporateDataBase
Chapter 1

Introduction                                                                                    ,


                        The Army began the Corporate Data Base Project to improve the quality
                        of information used to make personnel, equipment, organizational struc-
                        ture, and budget decisions affecting the entire Army. The project was
                        intended to correct the adverse impact that inconsistent, duplicate, and
                        conflicting data was having on these decisions by providing a repository
                        of consistent, up-to-date information,

                        Army organizations at the headquarters, major command, and installa-
                        tion levels manage data needed for personnel, logistics, acquisition,
                        operations, facilities, and budget and finance decisions. Headquarters is
                        the focal point for pulling together data for all Army decisions. Below
                        the headquarters level are several major commands that manage data
                        within functional areas corresponding with headquarters. Two of the
                        Army’s major commands are the Training and Doctrine Command
                        (TRADW) and the Forces Command (FORSCOM).TRADOC is responsible for
                        training all soldiers and establishing doctrine on how the Army will be
                        organized and equipped. FORSCOMis responsible for the operations and
                        readiness of all active and reserve Army units in the continental United
                        States, Alaska, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Panama.

                        The organizational level below the major commands consists of the
                        installations. Worldwide the Army has 179 installations, with TRADOC
                        and FORSCOMcontrolling 16 and 17 of them, respectively. Since the bulk
                        of the Army personnel, equipment, facilities, and other assets are at
                        installations, this level creates or processes much of the data needed for
                        Army-wide decisions.


                        In September 1983, the Vice Chief of Staff announced the need for a
History of the Army’s   corporate data base, highlighting the adverse effect that conflicting and
Corporate Data Base     inconsistent data was having on Army-wide decisions. In 1983, the
                        Army contracted with the American Management Systems and the Sys-
                        tems Research Applications Corporations for a joint study of the
                        problem. In March 1984, the two firms issued a report on the Army’s
                        corporate data base.

                        According to the 1984 report, the Army’s systems did not effectively
                        support the information needs of the Army-wide decision process. Many
                        of the systems managed data from the organizational or functional per-
                        spectives of their developers, without regard for overall Army informa-
                        tion needs. While some systems operated at one or more of the Army’s
                        three organizational levels, many of the systems actually manipulated



                        Page8                                 GAO/IMTEG90-64
                                                                           Army CorporateDataBase
chapter 1
Introduction




the same data or subsets of the same data for different purposes. In
addition, the systems collectively contained inconsistent or incomplete
data.

In June 1984, the Assistant Chief of Staff for Information Management
(ACSIM) directed the United States Army Management Systems Support
Agency to develop a prototype to help evaluate the technical feasibility
of a corporate data base. The Support Agency developed the prototype
and determined that a corporate data base was technically achievable.

In December 1985, on the basis of the results of the prototype, the ACSIM
issued a corporate data base concept paper and a plan of action. The
ACSIMpaper indicated that conceptually the corporate data base would
be available to anyone with the appropriate clearance. Portions of the
data base would be located at each of the three organization levels, but
would operate together as a central data base.

The ACSIM plan established guidelines for development of the Army Cor-
porate Data Base and assigned the Information Systems Command
responsibility for the project. The Command delegated program manage-
ment responsibility to its Information Systems Engineering Command,
which designated a project manager for the Army Corporate Data Base
Project in August 1986.

In September 1986, the Army Corporate Data Base Project Office issued
an implementation strategy, which called for a three-phased develop-
ment of the proposed data base. Phase 1 called for the development of
separate data bases with a common data structure that would be con-
nected via a communications network to meet the information require-
ments of the headquarters, major commands, and installations. The
common data structure was to be defined in an Army-wide data dic-
tionary. In this phase, users would be able to obtain data from the data
bases on the network if they knew its location. Phase 2 specified the
development of a distributed data base to provide shared access to data.
With this system capability, users would be able to obtain data from any
of the separate data bases developed under phase 1 without knowing its
location because the data bases would begin to operate as one. Phase 3
called for the incorporation of artificial intelligence, or enhanced deci-
sion aides, into the distributed data base. Artificial intelligence capabili-
ties would be made available to help users quickly analyze multiple
alternatives, select and locate data, or formulate questions for decision-
making purposes. The Army estimated that the project would cost
approximately $130 million, excluding some development and all opera-
tions and maintenance costs.


Page9                                   GAO/IMTEC9O-64
                                                    Army CorporateDataBase
                        Chapter1                                                                         r
                        Introduction




                        While reacting favorably to the data management disciplines associated
Congressional and       with the Corporate Data Base Project, the Congress denied the Army’s
Defense Reaction to     fiscal year 1987 appropriations request to buy computers for the project
the Army Corporate      because of concerns about the approach. In its August 14,1986, report
                        on the Department of Defense Appropriations Bill, 1987, the House
Data Base Project       Committee on Appropriations stated

                        The Committee is excited about the Army’s plans to develop. . . a central approach
                        to management of data. However, a significant financial investment will be neces-
                        sary to accomplish these objectives. The amount required has not been disclosed to
                        the Congress. Further, it appears that the formal requirements determination, eco-
                        nomic analysis, and other prerequisites dictated by the Defense Department’s life
                        cycle management policy for acquisition of computers are not in place for the Corpo-
                        rate Data Base.... Therefore, hardware acquisition at this time is premature. The
                        Committee would be receptive to a reprogramming request during fiscal 1987 if the
                        Comptroller of the Defense Department determines it is warranted after a formal
                        oversight review of Army plans.

                        The Appropriations conferees agreed with the House Committee and
                        expressed concern that the acquisition had not been approved by the
                        Major Automated Information Systems Review Committee. Further, the
                        conferees directed the Army to limit its obligation of funds to those
                        needed for planning and defining requirements.

                        On September 23,1986, the Defense Major Automated Information Sys-
                        tems Review Committee reviewed the Army’s Corporate Data Base Pro-
                        ject. In a December 1986 memorandum, the Defense Committee noted
                        that the Army’s justification for the project was based on generic
                        problems and did not demonstrate that the corporate data base would
                        satisfy specific mission needs or result in economic benefit. Further, the
                         memorandum noted that the Army had not adequately addressed tech-
                        nical, managerial, financial, or operational issues. The Committee
                        directed the Army to demonstrate all aspects of developing and oper-
                         ating the data base before proceeding with the project. Although the
                        Army developed a demonstration, it canceled the Corporate Data Base
                         Project in fiscal year 1988 because it could not define the mission criti-
                         cality or economic benefit of the project.


                         On September 5,1989, the Chairman, Subcommittee on Defense, House
Objectives, Scope,and   Committee on Appropriations, asked GAO whether the Army is contin-
Methodology              uing to pursue the objectives of the canceled Corporate Data Base Pro-
                        ject. Our objectives were to (1) determine whether the Army is still
                        pursuing the objectives of the Corporate Data Base Project through


                        Page10                                     GAO/lMTEC-9044
                                                                                Army CorporateDataBase
.   chapter 1
    Introduction




    various headquarters, major command, and installation-level initiatives;
    and (2) if so, compare the merits of the Army’s current approach with
    that of a centrally-directed program subjected to Defense and Army
    oversight.

    To accomplish our objectives, we identified and reviewed selected Army
    data base development efforts. We performed our work at the Depart-
    ment of Defense and Army headquarters in the Washington, D.C. area;
    the Information Systems Command at Fort Huachuca, Arizona; the
    Information Systems Engineering Command at Fort Belvoir, Virginia;
    TRUKMJheadquarters at Fort Monroe, Virginia; FORSCOM   headquarters at
    Fort McPherson, Georgia; and at Army installations in Fort Sill,
    Oklahoma, and Fort Hood, Texas.

    For background on the Army’s original project, we interviewed knowl-
    edgeable Defense and Army officials, reviewed pertinent Army studies
    and analyses, and Corporate Data Base Project documents. We also
    reviewed Department of Defense Inspector General, Department of the
    Army Inspector General, and Army Audit Agency reports.

    To determine whether current Army projects are pursuing corporate
    data base objectives, we reviewed Army planning documents for the
    canceled project to identify key project objectives and organizations
    responsible for accomplishing them. We contacted the responsible orga-
    nizations to determine their progress toward accomplishing the identi-
    fied objectives. On the basis of this work, we identified eight initiatives
    and compared the objectives of the identified initiatives to those for the
    canceled Corporate Data Base Project. Given the time constraints of our
    review and the original scope of the canceled project, we did not attempt
    to identify all initiatives following the objectives of the canceled project.
    Additionally, we traced the origins of the current initiatives to deter-
    mine whether they were part of the original Corporate Data Base
    Project.

    To compare the merits of the Army’s current approach to that of a cen-
    trally directed program subjected to Defense oversight, we reviewed the
    Army’s Corporate Data Base Project planning documents to identify the
    expected benefits of central project management. Also, we assessed the
    current initiatives to determine whether they were being developed in
    accordance with federal, Defense, and Army policies and regulations for
    automated information systems. We also spoke with officials from the
    National Institute of Standards and Technology on their guidelines for
    prototype development with data base management systems.


    Page11                                  GAO/IMTEGQOdM
                                                        Anuy CorporateDataBase
Chapter1
Introduction




We conducted our review from September 1989 to May 1990 in accor-
dance with generally accepted auditing standards. As the Chairman
requested, we did not obtain formal written comments from the Depart-
ment of the Army on a draft of this report. We did, however, discuss the
issues in this report with officials from the Office of the Secretary of
Defense and the Department of the Army and they agreed with the facts
presented.




Page12                               GAO/IMTEG90-64
                                                  Army CorporateDataBase
Chanter 2

The Army Is Pursuing Corporate Data Base
Project Objectives

                                      We identified eight Army information system development initiatives
                                      that are pursuing the objectives of the canceled Corporate Data Base
                                      Project. Specifically, we identified three headquarters, two major com-
                                      mand, and three installation-level initiatives following various objec-
                                      tives of the canceled project. The three headquarters-level initiatives
                                      involve the development of a standard data base, an unknown number
                                      of decision support systems, and a long-distance communications
                                      system, The five initiatives at the major command and installation levels
                                      primarily involve the development of standard data bases, There may
                                      be other initiatives at Army headquarters organizations, major com-
                                      mands, and installations that we did not visit which are also pursuing
                                      objectives of the canceled project.

                                      As noted in chapter 1, the Army planned to implement the corporate
                                      data base in three phases. Phase 1 involved development of standard
                                      data bases at the headquarters, major command, and installation levels
                                      and use of telecommunication systems to permit remote users to access
                                      them. Phases 2 and 3 called for the use of distributed data bases and
                                      artificial intelligence, respectively. The following table illustrates how
                                      the objectives of the eight initiatives compare with those of the canceled
                                      Corporate Data Base Project.

Table 2.1 Comparison Between the
initiatives and Corporate Data Base                                                    Corporate Data Base Objectives
Project Objectives                                                                  Phase 1             Phase 2       Phase 3
                                                                             (Standard     (Telecom- (Distributed      (Artificial
                                      Initiatives                           data base) municationsl     data base) intellbence1
                                      Headquarters
                                      Decision resources data base
                                      ----                                             X
                                      Decision
                                      -____- support systems                           X                X                X            ..__ X
                                      $nno;kanagement    support
                                               a                                                        X                         -__-
                                      Major Command
                                      ~_____---.
                                      TRADOC decision support
                                      systems                                          X                X                X                    X
                                      63SCOM   command data base                       X                X                X
                                      installation
                                      AmrzdLw;de installation support
                                                                                       X
                                      TRAD~C installation support
                                      modules                                          X                X
                                      Fort Hood integrated data base                   X
                                      An X indicates that the initiative is pursuing the corporate data base objective.
                                      “This network permits users to access data bases at the headquarters, major command, and installation
                                      levels.




                                      Page13                                               GAO/IMTEG90-64
                                                                                                        hy           CorporateDataBase
                       Chapter2                                                                I
                       TheArmy Is PursuingCbrporateDataBase
                       ProjectObjectives




                       The three headquarters initiatives involve the development of a stan-
Headquarters           dard data base called the Decision Resources Data Base, decision sup-
Initiatives Are        port systems under the Headquarters Decision Support Systems effort,
Pursuing Canceled      and a long-distance communication system called the Army Management
                       Support Network. The Information Systems Command at the Pentagon
Data Base Objectives   is developing the Decision Resources Data Base, which is intended to
                       provide a repository of data to improve headquarters decision-making.
                       A December 1988 Army information paper on the data base called it the
                       headquarters component of the Army’s Corporate Data Base. Two sys-
                       tems that will initially use the data base process organizational, per-
                       sonnel, and equipment data on all Army units from around the world.
                       Army officials familiar with both the canceled project and the data base
                       agreed it is pursuing the headquarters objectives of the canceled project.

                       The headquarters Decision Management Agency is pursuing another ini-
                       tiative, the Headquarters Decision Support Systems, which involves the
                       development of an unknown number of computer applications and data
                       bases that follow objectives of the canceled corporate data base project
                       strategy. Similar to objectives in the Army’s 1986 Corporate Data Base
                       Concept Paper and Plan, the systems are being developed to improve
                       Army decision-making by allowing users access to data in standard and
                       other data bases at the headquarters, major command, and installation
                       levels. Like the canceled project, the Headquarters Decision Support
                       Systems call for the use of artificial intelligence and distributed data
                       bases. Under this initiative, the Army also developed a telecommunica-
                       tions system called the Headquarters Decision Support Systems Net-
                       work, which permits over 2,000 users to access the systems. The 1987
                       Decision Support Systems Master Plan calls for implementing these sys-
                       tems Army-wide. Headquarters Decision Systems Management Agency
                       officials agreed that the initiative is pursuing many objectives estab-
                       lished for the canceled Corporate Data Base Project.

                       The Information Systems Command at the Pentagon has also installed a
                       network like that called for in the Army’s Corporate Data Base Project
                       strategy to provide long-distance communications capability. The Army
                       Management Support Network provides long-distance communications
                       among headquarters, TRADOC,FORSCOM,       Depot Systems Command, and
                       Fort Sill-all key sites called for in the corporate data base plans. In
                       June 1985, the Army installed the first circuit in the network to increase
                       the data available to the headquarters decision support systems. Army
                       officials responsible for the network indicated that the fundamental
                       objectives of the network are similar to those of the Corporate Data
                       Base Project.


                       Page14                                 GAO/IMTEGSO84
                                                                          Army Caporate.DataBase
                           Chapter2
                           TheArmy Is PursuingCorporateDataBase
                           ProjectObJectives




                           The two major command initiatives are TFiADoC’sDecision Support Sys-
Two Major Command          terns effort and FORSCOM’S development of a command data base. Started
Initiatives Are            in July 1987, TRAWC’Sinitiative is a prototype of the headquarters deci-
Following Corporate        sion systems effort. As called for in the canceled Corporate Data Base
                           Project, the TRAKXXeffort involves development of a corporate data base
Data Base Objectives       capability available to decision-makers throughout the Command. Addi-
                           tionally, the Command has developed an automated data dictionary to
                           document standard Command data definitions and established a policy
                           that Command software developers use the data dictionary.

                           TRAIXX?has installed a command-wide telecommunications network,
                           called the TRAWL Decision Support System Network, to permit users to
                           exchange data among the 16 Command installations and with Army
                           headquarters via the Army Management Support Network. The Com-
                           mand’s automation plans also call for the development of a distributed
                           data base capability and the potential use of artificial intelligence capa-
                           bilities like those called for in the canceled project, Officials responsible
                           for the TRADoCDecision Support System agree that the objectives of this
                           effort are the same as those for the Army’s canceled corporate data base
                           initiative.

                           Although not as extensive as the TRADoCprogram, IWWOM has informa-
                           tion system initiatives underway that are pursuing corporate data base
                           objectives. The FORSCOM   initiatives, which started in 1986, primarily
                           focus on developing a standard Command data base for its headquarters
                           decision-makers. The Command also is promoting common data struc-
                           tures and documenting data standards in a Command dictionary. Com-
                           mand plans call for linking Command headquarters and installation-
                           level systems and data bases via a telecommunications network. FORSCOM
                           officials agreed that the Command is pursuing objectives similar to
                           those of the Army Corporate Data Base.


                           The three installation-level initiatives pursuing objectives of the can-
Installation Initiatives   celed project are the Army-wide Installation Support Modules Project,
Are Pursuing the           the TR.ADoCInstallation Support Modules initiative, and the Fort Hood
Objectives of the          Integrated Data Base initiative. The Army-wide Installation Support
                           Modules Project and the TRADoCInstallation Support Modules initiative
Canceled Project           are different attempts to expand the Army’s use of support systems
                           developed at Fort Sill, a TRADOCinstallation. Fort Sill developed the
                           Installation Support Modules to permit its users interactive access to
                           information processed in the Army’s standard automated information
                           systems, which are centrally designed and maintained systems used by


                           Page15                                 GAO/IMTEG!W34Army CorporateDataBase
Chapter2
TheAnmyIs FkrsulngCorporateDataBase
Pro&et Objectives




more than one of the Army’s major commands. The Fort Sill systems
were also developed to permit data sharing at the installation. The
export of the Fort Sill systems to other installations was an objective of
the canceled Corporate Data Base Project.

The objective of the Army-wide Installation Support Modules Project is
to install an upgraded version of the Fort Sill systems at all 179 Army
installations. Similarly, TRADOC’SInstallation Support Modules effort
involves enhancing the existing Fort Sill systems and installing them at
its 16 installations. Army Officials responsible for both the Army-wide
and TRADOCInstallation Support Modules projects agreed that their ini-
tiatives are pursuing the objectives of the canceled Corporate Data Base
Project.

The third installation-level initiative is being developed at Fort Hood
 and is called the Integrated Data Base. This project evolved from the
Army Corporate Data Base Project, In the September 1986 Corporate
 Data Base Plan, the Army Corporate Data Base Project Manager desig-
 nated Fort Hood as the site for the installation-level prototype of the
 Army Corporate Data Base. After the Army Corporate Data Base Pro-
ject was canceled in late 1987, Fort Hood continued developing the pro-
totype and changed the name of the project to the Fort Hood Corporate
 Data Base. In 1988, the project name was changed to the Integrated Data
 Base. While the project’s scope has been reduced, it is still intended to be
 the standard data base for the installation, Officials from the installa-
tion’s Directorate of Information Management agreed that the current
 data base project evolved from the canceled project and that the current
 project is pursuing the similar objectives.




Page16                                 GAO/IMTEG90-64
                                                    Army CorporateDataBase
Chapter 3

Army Managementof Initiatives Lacks Merits
of a Centrally Directed Program

                    The Army’s management of the eight initiatives (which are pursuing
                    objectives similar to those of the canceled project) does not provide
                    assurance that the systems will work together, not duplicate one
                    another, and are based on valid mission needs. Further, the Army is not
                    sure that a cost effective capability will be achieved. For example, we
                    found that the initiatives lack central direction and guidance because
                    the Army has not established a program office, completed its informa-
                    tion architecture, or fully implemented its data standardization pro-
                    gram. Additionally, organizations controlling seven of the eight
                    initiatives have not completed requirements determinations to validate
                    mission needs or economic analyses to ensure that the most cost-effec-
                    tive development approach has been used. The organization controlling
                    the eighth initiative plans to comply with these requirements. Because
                    these organizations have not completed economic analyses, the Army
                    also does not know how much it may cost to develop the initiatives. Fur-
                    ther, the Army does not know how much has been spent on the initia-
                    tives because the responsible organizations have not tracked their costs.


                    Without central project management and an information architecture,
Initiatives Lack    the Army is not sure that the initiatives will be able to work together
Central Direction   and not duplicate other systems. Additionally, in the absence of an
                    information architecture, the Army lacks a basis on which to plan a
                    transition from its current to the future information systems environ-
                    ment. The Service also does not know whether the initiatives will be
                    able to exchange data useful to Army decision-makers because it has not
                    fully implemented a data standards program, which is intended to elimi-
                    nate conflicting and duplicative data.

                    When the Army canceled the Corporate Data Base Project, it eliminated
                    the program office that had been established to prepare an overall
                    implementation strategy and oversee integration and coordination. The
                    Corporate Data Base Implementation Strategy Plan stated that without
                    central coordination and control the Army could not adequately inte-
                    grate and manage the project. Although individual organizations are
                    developing aspects of the corporate data base, the Army has not estab-
                    lished a program office to manage and oversee the individual initiatives
                    to ensure that they will work together and not duplicate others.
                    According to Army headquarters officials, a program office was not
                    established because the Service could not reach a consensus that a cen-
                    trally-directed program was the best way to implement a corporate data
                    base.



                    Page17                                GAO/lMTEG90-64   Army   CorporateDataBase
                        Chapter8
                        Army Managementof I&iativea Lacks
                        IMerItsof a Centrally-Direct4 Program




                        Army regulations require the development of an information architec-
                        ture to ensure that automated systems will work with and not duplicate
                        others. The information architecture is supposed to be the basic frame
                        of reference for information management decisions and provides the
                        basis for planning the logical transition from the current to the future
                        information systems environment. However, as we reported in June
                        1990,’ the Army has not developed an Army-wide information architec-
                        ture. We also reported that architecture development had been hindered
                        at all levels because the Army has neither exercised effective manage-
                        ment nor provided adequate guidance to facilitate architecture develop-
                        ment. Without an information architecture, the Army cannot ensure
                        that information systems initiatives will fit into the architectural frame-
                        work once it’s developed.

                        Even with an Army-wide information architecture, meaningful data
                        exchange among the systems supporting the Army’s decision-making
                        process could be jeopardized because the Army has made minimal pro-
                        gress in establishing data standards. In 1986, the Army Audit Agency
                        reported2 that the Service’s lack of progress was attributable to ineffec-
                        tive policy and procedures, and that the data standardization program
                        needed redirection, Although the Army revised its policy on data stand-
                        ardization in September 1989, it does not plan to publish guidance on
                        how to implement the policy until November 1990.


                        To ensure that automated systems meet mission needs at the lowest
Initiatives Are Not     overall cost, federal and Defense policies require that system develop-
Based on Analysis of    ment efforts be justified by preliminary analyses. Specifically, federal
Need or Consideration   information resources management regulations state that the acquisition
                        of new or additional information processing resources shall be based on
of Economic Benefit     mission needs and supported by a requirements analysis prior to begin-
                        ning system development. Army regulations require all organizations to
                        develop an information architecture to identify all requirements for
                        their information systems.

                        After the requirements analysis is completed, federal regulations
                        require an economic analysis to identify the most cost effective


                        I Information Resources: Army Should Limit New Initiatives Until Management Program Is Imple-
                        mented (GAO--68,             June 29,lQQO).
                        2Army Data Element Standardization Program, Assistant Chief of Staff for Information Management,
                        United States Army Audit Agency, (Report No. SW 86-203, March 28,1986).



                        Page18                                            GAO/IMTJ3G9O84
                                                                                      Army CorporateDataBase
Chapter3
Army Managementof Initiatives Lacks
Merit4 of a Centra&Birect45dProgram




approach for developing an automated information system. DODInstruc-
tion 7041.3, Economic Analysis and Program Evaluation for Resource
Management, requires that proposals involving a choice between two or
more alternatives include (1) a comparison of the total estimated cost/
benefit of each alternative over its useful life and (2) all of the resources
required to meet the stated objectives. Further, the instruction requires
periodic comparisons between estimated and actual costs and benefits to
determine the cost effectiveness of the system. Army regulations also
require that the analysis be updated when assumptions of the original
study change.

In developing the initiatives, the Army has failed to follow these
required acquisition procedures and policies. Specifically, organizations
controlling seven of the eight initiatives have not completed require-
ments analyses, prepared economic analyses, or tracked their total
costs. The organization controlling the eighth initiative project plans to
prepare requirements and economic analyses, but does not plan to track
all of the initiative’s equipment costs. Officials responsible for the initia-
tives generally told us that requirements analyses were not a priority.
Further they did not believe that they were required to prepare eco-
nomic analyses or track total costs. However, without such analyses, the
Army cannot be sure that the initiatives are based on valid mission
needs and represent the most cost effective solution or how much it may
ultimately cost to develop the initiatives. Moreover, the Army does not
know how much has been expended on the projects because it has not
tracked their costs. The following table lists the initiatives and notes
their compliance with the pertinent information systems policies and
regulations.




Page19                                  GAO/IMTEG9044Army CorporateDataBase
                                    Chapter3                                                                                        .
                                    Army Managementof Initiatives Lacks
                                    Merits of a Centrally-DirectedProgrsm




Table 3.1 Project Compliance With
Federal and Defense Acquisition                                                  Requirements            Economic
Policies                            Project                                           analysis            analysis
                                    Headauatters
                                    Decision support systems                                  No                 No
                                    Decision resources data base                              No                 No                     No
                                    Army management support network                           No                 No                     No
                                    Maior Command
                                    TRADOC decision support systems                           No                  No                    No
                                    FORSCOM command data base                                 No                  No                    Noa
                                                                                                                                        -
                                    Installation
                                    Army-wide installation support modules                   Yesb                Yesb                   No
                                    TRADOC installation support modules                       No                  No                    No
                                    Fort Hood intearated data base                            No                  No                    No
                                    aAlthough FORSCOM had not tracked total costs, the Command agreed to do so for the remainder of
                                    the project.
                                    bThe Army-wide Installation Support Modules Project Office plans to complete the requirements and
                                    economic analyses prior to beginning system development.




Headquarters Initiatives            The organizations controlling the three headquarters initiatives had not
                                    completed requirements determinations, prepared economic analyses, or
                                    tracked their costs. Although headquarters officials recognize that
                                    requirements analyses are needed, they told us that they have not been
                                    completed because the headquarters information architecture has not
                                    been completed. They told us that waiting for its development would
                                    have delayed individual systems development.

                                    Further, while responsible headquarters officials told us that they did
                                    not believe an economic analysis was required for the systems, we did
                                    find a September 1988 cost/benefit analysis of the Headquarters Deci-
                                    sion Support Systems. The analysis disclosed that headquarters had not
                                    prepared an overall economic analysis, and that organizations control-
                                    ling the individual systems had not maintained reliable costs or deter-
                                    mined whether tangible benefits had accrued. The Headquarters
                                    Decision Systems Management Agency agreed that an overall economic
                                    analysis was needed and that cost and benefit information on the indi-
                                    vidual systems was not available.

                                    Additionally, Army headquarters officials did not know how much had
                                    been expended on the systems because the initiatives have been funded




                                    Page20                                             GAO/IMTEG90-64
                                                                                                    Army CorporateDataBase
                            Chapter3
                            Army Managementof Initiatives Lack13
                            MerItaof a Centrally-DirectedProgram




                            by many different organizations and their total costs have not been cen-
                            trally tracked. However, the September 1988 cost/benefit analysis esti-
                            mated that for fiscal years 1988 through 1996 the headquarters decision
                            support systems alone would cost over $600 million.


Major Command Initiatives   TRADOC and FORSCOMhave not completed requirements analyses or pre-
                            pared economic analyses for their initiatives. Further, neither Command
                            tracked the total costs for their initiatives. TRADOC officials stated that
                            completing its information architecture or requirements analysis was
                            not a priority until recently. In response to Department of Defense
                            Inspector General and Army Audit Agency reports, the Command
                            started to prepare the requirements analysis and plans to complete it in
                            June 1990.

                            TRADOC officials also stated they did not believe they were required to
                            prepare an economic analysis or track actual costs because the effort is
                            a prototype. However, the Command’s decision support systems effort
                            goes well beyond the Army’s definition of a prototype. Army regulations
                            state that a prototype is used to evaluate a design or test aspects of a
                            proposed production system involving high-risk technology. According
                            to National Institute of Standards and Technology officials responsible
                            for the Institute’s guide on prototyping,3 TRADOC is developing a produc-
                            tion system and not a prototype. In their opinion, TRADOC’S prototype
                            involves too many installations and is taking more time than needed to
                            further define requirements or test aspects of a proposed system. Fur-
                            ther, Command officials have not tracked all the costs for the effort
                            because they have omitted some of the personnel and equipment costs
                            needed to implement the proposed system.

                            Similarly, FORSCOM has not completed its requirements analysis, pre-
                            pared an economic analysis, or tracked all the costs for its Command
                            Data Base initiative. Command officials told us that they have not com-
                            pleted their information architecture or requirements analysis because
                            they lack needed headquarters guidance. As we reported in June 1990,4
                            the Command has done significant work toward developing its architec-
                            ture, but an official stated that they could not afford further investment

                            “NBS Special Publication 500-148, Application Software Prototyping and Fourth Generation Lan-
                            guages, National Bureau of Standards (now called the National Institute of Standards and Tech-
                            nology), May 1987.
                            41nformation Resources: Army Should Limit New Initiatives IJntil Management Program Is Imple-
                            mented (GAO/IMm90_ _b8 , June 29,lQQO).



                            Page21                                            GAO/IMTEC-9084
                                                                                           Army CorporateDataBase
                     Chapter3                                                                   .
                     Army Managementof Initiativee Lacks
                     Merits of a Centrally-DirectedProgram




                     without the overall architecture to guide them. FORSCOMofficials also
                     told us that they did not believe it was necessary to prepare an economic
                     analysis or track total costs because the initiative was not a major pro-
                     gram and had been justified in the Information Management Plan
                     approval process. However, we determined that Army regulations
                     require the analysis for projects of all sizes. Further, Army regulations
                     do not permit organizations to substitute the Information Management
                     Plan approval process for the analysis. During the course of our review,
                     Command officials decided to prepare an economic analysis and track
                     total costs for the remainder of the effort because they wanted to
                     comply with the pertinent Army policies. The Command had not com-
                     pleted its analysis prior to the conclusion of our review.


Installation-level   Only one organization controlling the three installation-level   initiatives
Initiatives          plans to comply with regulations for preparing requirements       and eco-
                     nomic analysis. Further, none of the organizations have fully     complied
                     with Defense policies on cost tracking-two    have incomplete     costs and
                     the other one has not tracked costs at all.

                     The Army-wide Installation Support Modules Project office has initiated
                     its requirements analysis and plans to conduct an economic analysis
                     prior to system development. Although the Army-wide project office is
                     tracking costs, it does not plan to include all of the costs associated with
                     implementing the system. For example, the Army plans to install the
                     modules at all 179 Army installations, but an undetermined number of
                     installations may require upgrades to their computers to operate them.
                     The Army plans to provide the needed upgrades through other pro-
                     grams and does not plan to identify the costs as part of the Installation
                     Support Modules project.

                     TRADOC has not completed a requirements analysis, prepared an eco-
                     nomic analysis, or fully tracked the costs for its Installation Support
                     Modules initiative. TFtADOCofficials told us that the Command has not
                     completed information architectures or requirements analysis for all of
                     its installations because they were not priorities until recently. The
                     Command plans to complete the analyses in June 1990.

                     Although TRADOC Decision Support Systems officials initially stated that
                     the initiative did not require an economic analysis because it was a part
                     of their prototype effort, they did provide us a 1987 cost/benefit anal-
                     ysis prepared by the Information Systems Command. However, the anal-
                     ysis did not include all equipment costs for the system. For example,


                     Page22                                  GAO/IMTEC-9084
                                                                          Army CorporateDataBase
.   Chapter3
    Army Men8gementof Initiativee IAWlcs
    Merits of a Centrally-DirectedProgram




    while the Command’s installations have procured new data base man-
    agement systems and operating systems for the Installation Support
    Modules system, the 1987 analysis did not address these costs, Addition-
    ally, the Command did not know the total cost of the system because
    portions of its development have been funded by many different organi-
    zations and not centrally tracked. For example, Fort Sill developed a
    major portion of the system but did not track its costs.

    Fort Hood has not completed a requirements analysis, prepared an eco-
    nomic analysis, or tracked total costs for its Integrated Data Base. Fort
    Hood officials told us that the installation has not completed its infor-
    mation architecture or requirements analysis because it had not been a
    priority until recently.

    Fort Hood officials also said they had not prepared an economic analysis
    because the type of data base management system being used has been
    proven in private industry. We do not agree with the installation offi-
    cials’ assertions because federal and Defense policies for automated
    information systems require that economic analyses address the activity
    to be automated-in    this case, the installation. The regulations also
    require organizations to complete the analysis prior to beginning system
    development and conduct periodic reviews to determine the cost effec-
    tiveness of the approach selected. Additionally, installation officials
    stated that they did not track the total cost of the data base develop-
    ment because portions of it have been funded by the users.




    Page23                                  GAO/IMTEC-90-84
                                                         Army CorporateDataBase
Chapter 4

Conclusionsand Recommendations


              Without regard for the 1986 congressional and Defense direction, the
Conclusions   Army is continuing to develop an ad hoc corporate data base. Because
              this effort is not centrally directed or in compliance with pertinent fed-
              eral and Defense policies, the Army cannot be sure that the systems it is
              developing are based on valid mission needs, will work together and not
              duplicate one another, or that a cost effective capability will be
              achieved.

              We identified eight initiatives at the headquarters, major command, and
              installation levels that are intended to provide capabilities planned for
              the canceled project. The headquarters-level initiatives involve the
              development of a standard data base, an unknown number of decision
              support systems, and a long-distance communications system. The ini-
              tiatives at the major command and installation levels primarily involve
              the development of standard data bases. Our work was limited to initia-
              tives at Army headquarters, two major commands and selected installa-
              tions; other organizations also may have projects pursuing the objectives
              of the canceled project.

              We also found that the initiatives lack the merits of a centrally-directed
              program. Specifically, we found that the initiatives lack central direc-
              tion and guidance because the Army has not established a program
              office, completed its information architecture, or fully implemented its
              data standardization program. Without a program office or information
              architecture, the Army is not sure that the initiatives will work with and
              not duplicate others. The Army also is not sure that the initiatives will
              be able to exchange data useful to Army decision-makers because it has
              not fully implemented a data standards program, which is intended to
              eliminate conflicting and inaccurate data.

              Additionally, although federal and Defense policies for automated infor-
              mation systems call for formal requirements determinations and eco-
              nomic analyses prior to beginning system development, organizations
              controlling seven of the eight initiatives had not complied with these
              policies. The organization responsible for the eighth initiative plans to
              comply. Therefore, the Army lacks assurance that the initiatives are
              based on valid requirements. The Service also does not know whether
              the most economical approach has been selected or how much it may
              cost to develop the initiatives. In addition, the Army did not know how
              much has been spent on the initiatives because the organizations con-
              trolling them have not fully tracked costs.




              Page24                                GAO/LMTEG90+34
                                                                Army CorporateDataBase
 .
                  Chapter4
                  ConcludonfsandRecommendations




                  We recommend that the Secretary of Defense direct the Secretary of the
Recommendations   Army to suspend development activity on the eight initiatives we identi-
                  fied, and not to resume any of them unless all required federal and
                  Defense acquisition requirements are met. This would include preparing
                  mission needs statements and requirements and economic analyses.

                  In addition, we recommend that the Secretary of Defense direct the Sec-
                  retary of the Army to prohibit funding for any other initiative the pur-
                  pose of which is to achieve a corporate data base capability, until the
                  Army adequately justifies to the Office of the Secretary of Defense and
                  the Congress the mission need and potential economic benefit of an
                  Army-wide corporate data base.


                  At the Chairman’s request, we did not obtain official agency comments
Agency Comments   on a draft of this report. However, we did discuss the results of this
                  review with agency officials and they agreed with the facts presented.




                  Page26                               GAO/IMTEG9084Army CorporateDataBase
Appendix

Major Contributors to This Report


                       Thomas J. Howard, Assistant Director
Information            Wiley E. Poindexter, Evaluator-in-Charge
Management and         M. Scott Laemmle, Evaluator
Technology Division,
Washington, DC.

                       Carl L. Higginbotham, Regional Assignment Manager
Atlanta Regional       Christopher T. Brannon, Evaluator
Office

                       Joseph J. Watkins, Regional Management Representative
Norfolk Regional       Suzanne K. Wren, Evaluator
Office




(510470)               Page26                               GAO/lMTEGQO44
                                                                        Army CorporateDataBase
--   --