The Defense Integrated Data System: Is It Efficient and Effective?

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1977-12-20.

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

                                DOCUMENT    ESUME
 04539 -   B35748e8   *fsiett       .?L--                      /7   ?
 The Defense Integrated Data System: Is It fficient and
 Effective? LCD-77-117; B-163074. December 20, 1977. 47 pp.   + 3
 appendices (13pp.).
Report to Rep. George . ahon, Chairsan, House Committee on
Appropriations: Defense Subcommittee; Sen. John C, Stennis,
Acting Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriations: Defense
Subcommittee; by Elmer B. Staats, Comptroller General.

Issue Area: Automatic Data Processing (100); Facilities and
    Material Management: Supply and Maintenance Operations
    Resortiag Systems (703).
Contact: Logistics and Cossunications Div.
Budget Function: National Defense: Department of Defense -
    Procurement   Contracts (058); iscellaneous: Automatic Data
    Processing (1001).
Organization Concerned: Department o Defense; Defense Logistics
Congressional Relevance: House Committee on Appropriations:
    Defense Subcommittee; Senate Commssittee on AFpropriations;
    Defense Subcosaittee.
Authority: Defense Cataloging and Standardization Act of 1952.
    H. ept. 94-1475.

          In ay 1965, the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) began
 developing the Defense Integrated Data System which was expected
 to provide for future workload growth by consolidating various
 logistics subsystems into one integrated data bank. DLA has
 consolidated the various subsystems into one integrated data
bank, centralized the processing and storage of catalog
 management data to provide uniform control ver its accuracy,
provided a limited capability for immediate and remote access,
and generally improved the quality and quantity of information
  vailable to customers and eliminated soae duplicative files and
publications. Findings/Conclusions: Since the system was
declared operational in March 1975, the agency has had problems
achieving all its processing goals. Particular problems affected
the item identification function, ability to process current
workload, elimination of local duplicative files, centralization
of publications, and exchange of some data with ther logistics
systems. Stringent managesent control sight have headed off the
agency's problems, Shortcomings in project anagement permitted
development of n inadequately sized system based on understated
workload projections and permitted preparation of an
overoptimistic economic analysis justifying development of the
system and premature operation before all ajor unctions were
completely implemented and tested and errors were corrected. To
cope with these probleas, new hardware was added and software
was refined to augment the original system. This augmentation
did not provide the processing capability required to eet
denaLds. There is valid need for this system, but the processing
problems have resulted from inadequate system sizing
andprenature operations.   Recosmendations: The Secretary of
Defense should require the Assistant Secretary (anpower,
Reserve Affairs and Logistics) to: establish project
accountability for the operation and continued development of
the Defense Integrated Data System; have a steering ccmmittee
study the current and projected user requirements for the
system; have the steering committee reevaluate the systsems
major alternatives anddeteruine what odifications are
necessary; require the steering coamittee to use an updated
economic analysis is the basis for cost control purposes;
require formal sanagesent agreements between DLA and the
services and agencies to provide iproved anagement control
over operations, data base integrity, and the exchange of data
between systems; and have te   steering committee take firs
measures to eliminate all unnecessary duplicate data bases and
operations regardless of which service or agency developed,
maintains, or uses then. (Author/S)
               RESTRICIO -       ot to be nrohl          VB    ue r
               Accountng Office exept orn the bsl/of spetif approval
               by the Oftlfce o CongrsAienal Re

  <""   ·rr+   REPORT OF THE                                           /

               The Defense
               Integrated Data System--
               Is It Efficient And Effective?
               This study concerns the Defense Logistics
               Agency's attempt to consolidate various logis-
               tics data systems into a single logistics man-
               agement information system through the use
               of a large-scale computer system.
               The system was declared operational in March
               1975, but because of design and development
               problems, it has not achieved performance

               LCD-77-117                                  DECEMBER 20, 1977
                         WAIIHINITON. D.C. U

B-163 ) 74

The Honorable George H. Mahon
Chairman, Subcommittee on Defense
Committee on Appropriations
House of Representatives

The Honorable Johln C. Stennis
Acting Chairman, Subcommittee on Defense
Committee on Appropriations
United States Senate

     This is our report on the problems affecting the operat-
ing efficiency and effectiveness of the Defense Integrated
Data System.

     We made our review in response to your request (H. Rept.
94-1475, dated Sept. 3, 1976) to study the operating costs
and requirements of and changes made to this system. As
requested by your offices, we have not obtained comments
from the Secretary of Defense. However, the results of our
review were discussed with various Defense Department per-
sonnel, including representatives of the Assistant Secretary
of Defense (Manpower, Reserve Affairs and Logistics), and
their comments were considered in preparing this report.

     As arranged with your offices, we are sending a copy to
the Secretary of Defense, but unless you publicly announce its
contents earlier, we will not distribute this report further
until 30 days from the date of the report.  At that time we
will send it to interested parties and make copies avail-
able to others upon request.

                                   Comptroller General
                                   of the United States
REPORT OF THE                             THE DEFENSE

            In May 1965 the Defense Logistics Agency
            started a program for developing the De-
            fense Integrated Data System. This program
            was expected to provide for future workload
            growth by consolidating various logistics
            subsystems into one integrated data bank
            capable of accommodating at least 13.5
            billion characters of data and capable of
            expanding tc 20 billion characters by the
            In addition, the system was supposed to
            handle at least 60 million transactions
            yearly, possess immediate and remote access
            capability, and interface througi  he
            Automatic Digital Network with other
            automatic data processing systems throtgh-
            out the United States.  (See pp. 4 and 5.)
            The Defense Logistics Agency has

            -- consolidated the various subsystems
               into one integrated data bank,
            -- centralized the processing and storage
               of catalog management data to provide
               uniform control over its accuracy,

            -- provided a limited capability for
               immediate and remote access, and
            -- generally improved the quality and
               quantity of information available to
               customers and eliminated some duplica-
               tive files and publications.

           However, since the system was declared
           operational in March 1975, the Agency has
           had problems achieving all its processing
           goals. Particular problems affected the
           item identification function, ability to
           process current workload, elimination of
           local duplicative files, centralization of
Tear   et. Upon removal, the report
covr ate should be noted hereon.      i                     LCD-77-117
 publications and echange of     ome data
 with other l,gistics systems.   (See p. 6.)
Stringent management control might have
heeded off the Agency's problems. Short-
coming£ in project management permitted
development o an inadequately sized sys-
tem Vbsed on understated workload pojec-
tions.' It also permitted preparation of
an overoptimistic economic analysis justify-
ing development of the system and premature
operation before all major functions were
completely implemented and tested and errors
were corrected. (See p. 40.)
To cope with these problems, the Defense
Logistics Services Center, before Jan-
uary 1976, augmented the original Defense
Integrated Data System by adding a third
processor to the original system, install-
ing a second Burroughs 6700 ysem estimated
to be one-tenth the size of tle original
system, and upgrading and retaining one
IBM 360/65 system, originally scheduled to
be released. (ee p. 18.)

This augumentation did not provide the
processing capability required to meet
current demands, and there is no reason-
able assurance that additional augmenta-
tions being considered by the Center will
provide a long-term solution to existing
processing problems. On the contrary,
GAO's audit experience suggests that several
additional augmentations may not result in
a long-term solution.
Other alternatives should also be considered,
such as reevaluating user needs and system
requirements with a view toward reducing
the scope of the Defense Integrated Data
System. In this regard, GAO suggests that
the Agency concentrate on developing ef-
ficient and effective operation of those
functions most critical to satisfying cus-
tomer needs and defer new or unimplemented
features until their operability could be

Another alternative would be t reevaluate
the system in light of the mission budget-
ing concept. This conceot is fully described
in GAO's report to t   Congress, "Mission
Budgeting: Disuussion nd Illustration of
the Concept in Research and Development
Programs" (PSAD-77-124, July 27, 1977).

Applying this concept to the program would
enable the Defense Logistics Agency to
identify mission-essential applications more
clearly and to focus allocation of its re-
sources on development, implementation, and
use of those applications. When reliability
of and user confidence in the Defense nte-
grated Data System are firmly established,
an environment should exist in which the
System's objectives--such as elimination
of duplicative files and publications--
could be more readily achieved.  (See
pp. 41 and 42.)

There is a need for a central Federal
repository for item identification and
related cataloging data to complement
the Federal Supply System. The Defense
Integrated Data System fulfills this need.

In its letter report to the Subcommittee on
Defense, House and Senate Committees on Ap-
propriations, dated May 5, 1977, GAO recom-
mended that the Subcommittees discuss with
concerned officials the existing management
plan for the Defense Integrated Data System
and the associated cost implications.

GAO also recommended that the Subcommittees
review any proposed costs tn rsolve system
performance problems.
Finally, GAO recommended that the scope of
the system be limited to item identifica-
tion and catalog publications. GAO believes
that by so limiting the system, only those
parts of the following data base segments
or functions necessary to support mission
objectives would be rouired at the npfpnse
Logistics Services Center.

-- Supply management.
-- Utilization and marketing.

-- Statistical reports.

-- System support record maintenance.
-- Special operations.
Agency reaction to our interim report indi-
cated that clarification was necessary for
the above recommendation concerning the
limitation of system scope. In this regard,
we have defined reduction of system scope
under development alternatives on page 41
of this report.

In line with the above, GAO recommends that
the Secretary of Defense require the Assist-
ant Secretary (Manpower, Reserve Affairs and
Logistics) to:

-- Establish project accountability for the
   operation and continued development of the
   system. A steering committee of key De-
   fense Logistics Agency and service and
   agency personnel should be responsible
   for future system development, implementa-
   tion, and review and should report directly
   to the Assistant Secretary.

-- Have the steering committee study the cur-
   rent and projected user requirements for
   the system t determine what mission-
   essential functions other than item
   identification and cataloging are feasible
   and necessary.
-- Have the steering committee reevaluate the
   system's major alternatives and determine
   what modifications are necessary.
-- Require the steering committee to use an
   updated economic analysis as the basis
   for cost control purposes which include,
   but are not limited to, implementation of
   any program change, equipment augmenta-
   tions, or new design configurations.

              -- Require formal management agreements
                 between the Defense Logistics Agency
                 and the services and agencies to
                 improved management control over provide
                operations, data base integrity, system
                exchange of data between systems. and the
                steering committee should have      The
                bility for seeing that these agreements
                are complied with and updated as
             -- As the above actions are completed,
                the steering committee take firm    have
                to eliminate all unnecessary duplicate
               data bases and operations rardless
               which service or agency deveiopeJ,    of
               tains, or uses them.   (See pp. 44 and 45.)
             At the request of the Subcommittees,
             were not solicited from the Secretary comments
             fense. However, the matters in         of De-
                                              this report
             have been discussed with various
                                               Defense De-
             partment personnel, including representatives
             cf the Assistant Secretary
             power, Reserve Affairs and of Defense (Man-
             their comments have been considered     and
                                                  in the

Iear Sheet                        V

DIGEST                                                   i

   1       'NTRODUCTION                                  1
               DLA organization                          1
               Need for DIDS                             2
               Original DDS objectives                   4
               Current operating environment            6
               Item identification has been
                 generally improved, but
                 pro' ems remain                       13
               Expec d processing performance
                 not achieved                          17
               Reduction of local duplicative files
                 not fully realized                    21
               Centralization of catalog publica-
                 tions has not eliminated duplica-
                 ticn                                  24
               Difficulties with information ex,
                 change                                27
             VALUE                                     34
               Analysis completed after contract
                 award                                 34
               System cost-benefit estimates           36
             SUCH AS DIDS FEASIBLE?                    40
               Successful system integration           40
               Development alternatives                41
               Conclusions                             43
               Recommendations                         44
   6       SCOPE OF REVIEW                             46

   I       Defense Integrated Data System overview     48

      II   Addendum to GAO overview--Defense
             In'eqrated Data System                49
  III      Principal oficials responsible for
             administering activities discussed
             in this report                        60
ADP        automatic data processing
AUTODIN    Automatic Digital Network
DAAS       Defense Automatic Addressing System
DIDS       Defense Integrated Data System
DLA        Defense Logistics Agency
DLSC       Defense Logistics Services Center
DOD        Department of Defense
FIIG       Federal Item Identification Guide
GAO        General Accounting Office
NATO       North Atlantic Treaty Organization
NSN        National Stock Number
TIR        Total Item Record
                           CHAPTER 1

      The Federal Catalog System, 1/ containing about 6 million
items of supply, i under Department of Defense (DOD) control.
The Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Manpower,
Reserve Affairs and Logistics) 2/ is responsible for the
direction of this system, and the Defense Logistics Agency
(DLA), which reports to the Assistant Secretary, is responsi-
ble for the administrative control. The Defense Logistics
Services Center (DLSC), under DLA, is responsible for main-
taining the Federal Catalog System records, which includes
implementing and operating the Defense Integrated Data
System (DIDS).


     The Defense Logistics Agency, (formerly the Defense Supply
Agency) 3/ was organized in 1962 to provide effective and
economical logistical support, primarily for common use items,
to DOD components, Federal civil agencies, and others as
authorized. DLA administers its mission requirements through
the following 24 primary field activities.

     Suppl centers--There are six supply centers responsible
for material management of assigned commodities and items of
supply relating to food, clothing, textiles, medical, chemical,
petroleum, industrial, construction, electronics, and general
items of supply. Three of the supply centers also perform
depot operation functions for assigned commodities.

1/The Federal Cataloging System was established as a result
  of the Defense Cataloging and Standardization Act of 1952.
  It converted many cataloging systems into a single system
  and, since its completion in 1958, has provided one common
  supply language for supply systems throughout the Govern-

2/This office represents the consolidation of the Assistant
  Secretary (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) and the Assistant
  Secretary (Installations and Logistics) after April 20, 1977.
  Before this date, the Assistant Secretary (Installations
  and Logistics) was responsible for the Defense Integrated
  Data System.
3/Name changed effective January 1, 1977.
      Service centers--The following five service centers
 furnish varied support services.

      -- The Defense Lo istics Services Center is reponsible
          for maintaining the Federal CatalogSystem records,
         including developing and disseminating cataloging
         item intelligence data to the military services   and
         other authorized customers.                     and

      -- The Defense Industrial Plant Equipment Center
         responsible for the DOD General Industrial Equipment
         Reserve, the Defense Logistics Agency Industrial
        ment Reserve, and the National Industrial Equipment
         Reserve under the custody of the General Services
      -- The Defense Documentation Center is responsible
         development, maintenance, and operation of the for the
         ment information system in the field of scientific
         technical reports and primary distribution of       and
         technical reports.
      -- The Defense Logistics Agency Administrative
         Center provides administrative support and common
         ice functions to DLA activities in the Washington, serv-
         D.C., metropolitan area.
     -- The Defense Property Disposal Service is responsible
         or the integrated management of the worldwide
        property disposal operations, including reuse personal
                                                       of serv-
        iceable assets, in support of the military services
        and other authorized customers.
     Contract administrative services regions--Nine
offices engage in contract administration, production,
assurance, and financial management activities.        quality
                                                 They adminis-
ter industrial security, contract compliance,
iness/labor programs within the United States and small bus-
areas as specifically authorized.             and such external

     Depots--There are four depots responsible for
storage, and issuance of DLA-managed items.        receipt,

     Since 1962, DLA mission responsibilities and
                                                   demands on
automatic data processing (ADP) capabilities
                                              have continually
increased. The volume of logistical data transactions
creased from 10 million in 1963 to 33 million           in-
                                               by 1967.

Consequently, ADP files grew from 1.3 billion to 3.9 billion
characters of data during that period. Additionally, DLA was
confronted with other issues also affecting the efficient and
effective processing of logistics information. Among the more
significant problems were:

     -- The number of duplicate items entering the supply sys-
        tem needed to be reduced. Under then-current proce-
        dures, about 250,000 items were screened each year to
        determine if they matched items already in the supply
        system. This screening disclosed about 10,000 dupli-
        cate items; however, improved screening was desired.

     -- The amount of time required to assign National Stock
        Numbers (NSNs) needed to be shortened. This procedure,
        which was taking 4 to 14 days, was supposed to be re-
        duced to 4 to 72 hours.

     -- Unnecessary duplicate files and records maintained by
        customers needed to be eliminated. An estimated 30
        million manual and 30 million mechanized records
        were maintained by services and agencies that could
        be eliminated.

     -- Centralization of catalog publication data was con-
        sidered necessary. DLA wanted to reduce the cost of
        supply publications by centralizing distribution and
        converting hard copy material to microfiche.
     Beginning in 1964 DLA tried to resolve these problems by
installing a third-generation computer.  However, this equip-
ment provided only temporary relief and did not permit DLSC
to effectively meet agency mission responsibilities.

     At this time, the logistics information processing sys-
tem included the following eight separate, nonintegrated sub-

    -- The Federal Catalog System, providing a single, unique
       stock number for each different item of supply.
    -- The DOD Materiel Utilization Program, designed to
       achieve maximum use of DOD assets.
    -- Supply management data, providing ir:ormation as to
       how, why, where, when, and by whom items of supply
       are managed.

      -- Federal Supply atalog publications,
         publications pertaining to the Federalproviding various
         (compiled by DLSC and the services and Catalog System
      -- Provisioning screening, designed to
                                             determine whether
         items of supply are in the supply system.

      -- Item entry control, a system designed
                                               to prevent the
         entry of duplicate items into the Federal'
         ventory.                                   supply in-

     -- Utilization and marketing, a system
                                            designed to max-
        imize use of assets declared excess to
                                                DOD and to
        dispose of assets excess to Federal needs.
     -- The Management Data System, providing
                                               stati stics con-
        cerning the management of items in the
                                                supply system.
     To further resolve DLA's information-processing
DLSC began developing the DIDS concept                 problems,
pose was to achieve a long-term processing May  1965.  Its pur-
veloping a sy:.tem that could handle expectedcapability by de-
                                               workload expan-
sion and not require major system redesigns
of totally new ADP equipment.                 or acquisition

     On March 31, 1972, DOD formalized the
its Directive 4100.39, entitled "The        concept and issued
                                      Defense Integrated Data
System," which established the policy
design, development, operation, and maintenance. for system
tive provided for a central repository             The direc-
                                        of logistics data that
was to be maintained as a single integrated
tem was to be structured to fully use        record. The sys-
                                       advanced ADP and com-
munications technology.

     In this regard, DLA established the following
for DIDS:                                          objectives

     --To consolidate the eight subsystems
                                           identified above
       into a single integrated data bank of
       billion c racters capable of expandingat least 13.5
       characters by the mid-1970s.            to 20 billion

    -- To provide a capability of processing
                                             60 million
       transactions yearly.
    -- To provide immediate and remote access

      -- To provide a means of communicating
         systems through the Automatic Digitalwith other ADP
                                                Network (AUTODIN).
      --To reduce or eliminate existing
                                         logistics files main-
         tained by DLSC customers.
      -- To develop and use standard and
                                          uniform data elements.
      -- To maintain data integrity at all
      -- To provide a means to quickly and
                                            effectively process
         changes to the data bank.

       -- To provide rapid response to customer
       -- To centralize publication preparation
                                                  and distribution.
       Although DLSC declared DIDS to
 1975, it has not fully achieved its be operational in March
design changes are necessary to enable objectives     Substantial
 realize the benefits expected from        the sys m to fully
                                      its continued operation.
As explained in the following chapters,
operating deficiencies resulted from        many of the system's
estimates upon which the original       inaccurate   workload
(that is, the total amount of work system design was based
                                      to be accomplished by DIDS
was vastly underestimated, resulting
Also, the absence of strong centralized in too small a system).
                                            control over system
development and implementation resulted
of application programs that did not        in the continued use
  vailable computer-processing capabilities full advantage of

                              CHAPTER 2
                       PROBLEMS IN ACHIEVING

                           DIDS OBJECTIVES
       Although the Defense Irtegrated
                                          Data System has made
  some significant achievements
                                  in logistics data management,
  it has not completely fulfilled
  the Department of Defense. The the objectives set forth by
  been able to consolidate various Defense Logistics Agency has
                                     separate subsystems into
 one integrated dat- bank; centralize
 age of catalog management data           the processing and
 of issue, etc.), providing uniform(source of supply, price, stor-
                                       control over the accuracy
 of this information; provide limited
 and remote access to the data            capability for immediate
                                 bank; generally improve     the
 quality and quantity of information
 and eliminate some duplicative         available to customers;
                                   files and publications.
       DIDS is an overall improvement
 System; however, the system is         to the Federal Supply
                                  having problems achieving
all processing goals. Particular
 item identification function,        problems affected the (1)
workload, (3) elimination of local    ability  to process current
centralization of catalog publications,duplicative   files and
some data with other logistics               and (4) exchange of
      An assessment of the impact of
                                        these problems within
tne logistics community requires
complexities of the operating       an understanding of the
                                environment    and data flows
associated with DIDS. For this
the DIDS operating environment reason, a description of
                                  is included.

      DIDS is the focal point
ing process. As such, it is of    the entire Federal catalog-
plex information network with the  heart of an extremely com--
including DOD components, abouta multitude of participants,
                                  72 civil agency activities,
and 25 foreign governments.
maintained with information providedhas been built and is
                                       by these participants.
     Therefore, DDS is activated
                                    by its participants and
exists primarily to satisfy their
                                    needs. The foldout chart

on page 9 is a general overview 1/ of how information flows
into and out of DIDS. Simply stated, the information flow
consists of participant-generated data, data bank manipula-
tion, and products that flow back to the participants in
various forms. Although data may be submitted to DLSC in
a variety of forms (card, tape, etc.) and through various
media (mail, telephone, etc.), the primary source of commu-
nications used to transmit data into and out of the system
     The various components of this network can be generally
described as follows.

Participant-generated inputs
     DIDS participants are identified by authorized activity
codes (see chart on p. 9 and app. II) and interact with the
DIDS data bank through a series of authorized transaction
codes. These codes indicate the type of transactions au-
thorized for a particular user. For example, one code may
permit a customer to interrogate or search the DIDS inven-
tory for informaticn, while another code permits the custo-
mer to add, delete, or change data in the data bank. In
addition, certain participants are designated as item mana-
gers and submit transactions that alter catalog management
data. This information, which is critical to the supply
management function, includes such data as source of supply,
unit of issue, and dollar value.

     In the case of the military services and DLA, a hier-
archy exists in which various activities interface directly
with the data bank through one or more activity input codes.
and subordinate units or activities obtain access to the data
bank only through those activities authorized to directly
submit data.

     About 72 civil agency activities interface
data bank for file data requests only; that is, with the
                                                they can
interrogate the DIDS data bank, but cannot add, delete,
or change data in it. The General Services Administration,
designated as an item manager for items concerned with

1/The chart contains some slight variations from actual data
  flow due to a printing error. These variations involve
  only four individual activity codes and do not materially
  affect the validity of the chart. See appendix II for cor-

civil agencies, is authorized to submit transactions that
could alter data in the DIDS data bank,

     In addition to the military services and civil and de-
fense agencies, about 25 foreign governments are permitted
to exchange information with DIDS. They communicate with
the system through DLSC's International Codification Divi-
sion for new item identification, but may go directly to
the data bank for file maintenance transactions.

     The Army's Military Traffic Management Command is shown
separately on the chart because it is the single manager in
the Federal Catalog System for confirmed freight classifica-
tion data and provides this information to DIDS for dissemi-
nation to other system participants.

Data bank organization

      The DIDS data bank is organized into two basic parts--
 item-oriented data and system-oriented data.   Item-oriented
data includes National Item Identification Numbers, item
characteristics and reference numbers, and Catalog Manage-
ment Data.   System-oriented data encompasses such informa-
ticn as item names, Federal supply classification codes,
and activity addresses.   Through indexing techniques, the
various kinds of item-oriented data are stored, updated,
and retrieved.   The first part of the data bank is known
as the Total Item Record (TIR), and the second part is
called tne System Support Record.   The TIR is oriented to
National Item Identification Numbers and contains item
identification and logistics management information.    The
System Support Record contains all information, such as
edit and validation tables, format guides, controls,
statistics, codes, and terms, that are required to support
or specify the content and use of data in the TIR.    The TIR
is established through a file buildup of current system
data and is maintained by input transactions that have
been processed by various functional segments.    The Sys-
tem Support Record is also established through continuous
updating and serves as a tool to maintain the TIR.

     DIDS has eight interrelated functional segments,
which are broken down into several operations that either
contribute to tne content of the data bank or pull and
use that content for such purposes as interrogation and
publications production.  (See graphic representation of
the data bank in app. I.)  The functional segments in-
                                          ARMY                                                                                                                                           NAVY
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      OVERVIEW - DEFENSE ITEGRATED
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   DATA SYSTEM
                                          ARMY                                                                                                                                           MAVY                                                                                                                                                                     AIR FORCE                                                                                                       MARINE CORPS
               Activity                                      Office
                Code                  Name                  Symbol

                 CJ LOGISTICS SYSTEM                    DRXLS-LF -_                _
                    SUPPORT                                                                                                                                __     _    _   _   _   _         _      _   _   _    _       _   _       _                                                                                                                 SA LOGIS-iCS C   M N                                                                                           -j

                                                                                                                                                           ...                                          rCODE                                                                                                                                     SA LSaCm              .Am _I _                                                                       I'
                 D3 ELECTRONICS COMMANDAMSEL-PP-ED                    -        _       I                                                                        GP AVIATION SUPPLY OFFICE                            DAIrGP                                                                                                                       S     LOGISTICS COMMAND            MMOA
                 D4 MOBILITY EQUIPMENT AMME-RZK-KX                                                _E                                                                  Ali! ENGIE2N                 CENTER        .UD-
                 :       TR PSUPPORTN
                               .                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       CENTER
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               LOGTICS C             MMLISC                                                             I
              :'__              _____a-I                                           CMADiiQ
_ -              AZ TANK AUTOMOTIVE                     DRSTA-FC
       _D                 ,ISS LE CMAND                 DRS.RC                                                  '                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              i
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     CO--                                               .
 .__    a--      F       RMAMENT COMMAND             DIIAR-MlMC
                     0         ALMA       RIELy&TOP-T                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         I
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     Item identification. This segment collects, maintains,
     and disseminates stock-number-related item character-
     istics, part numbers, and other identifying data neces-
     sary to establish the unique character of an item of
     supply and differentiate it from all other items in the
     Federal stock inventory.

     Utilization and marketing. 1/ This segment contains the
     necessary information to permit optimum use of an item
     in the Federal stock inventory during its life cycle to:
     (1) preclude concurrent procurement and disposal of
     assets for which a valid requirement exists, (2) preclude
     the repair or overhaul of unserviceable assets when
     identical serviceable excess assets are available for
     redistribution, and (3) obtain the best rate of re-
     turn when the property is sold as surplus.
     Interchangeability and substitutability. This segment
     records military service and civil agency decisions re-
     garding the relationships of items of supply and dis-
     seminates this information to users. It also provides
     information for use of engineering standardization
     Publications. This segment contains operations that
     mechanically compile and compose various publications,
     such as books, listings, or manuals.

    Supply management. This segment deals with operations
    to record and use data applicable to logistics manage-
    ment.  It provides data on how, why, where, when, and
    by whom items in the Federal inventory were managed
    or used during their life cycles.

    Statistical reports. This segment provides for the
    collection, storage, retrieval, and dissemination of
    statistical information for quality control, as well
    as management information for determining the effi-
    ciency and effectiveness of user programs.

l/These subsystems were administratively segregated from
  the DIDS requirements for the Burroughs computer con-
  figuration and are currently run on the IBM 360/65 re-
  tained to support the Defense Property Disposal Service.
  (See p. 18.)

      System support record item maintenance. This segment
      contains operations and processes required to maintain
      the system support record, which is all information
      (guides, tables, statistics, controls, etc.) needed to
      support and specify the content of the TIR.
     Special operations.  This segment contains several opera-
     tions that did not fall logically into one of the other
     segments. This enables file interrogations tailored to
     customers' specific needs and provides a capability to
     make mass changes to the data bank.  In addition, it is
     supposed to include processes to make an automated
     followup on delinquent transactions and a report genera-
     tor for extracting data or reports to satisfy customers'
     needs without delay.
DIDS products and services

     DIDS products and services can be generally categorized
as (1) those that are disseminated to data submitters and
authorized data receivers and (2) file updates of source-of-
supply information for the Defense Automatic Addressing Sys-
tem. Included in the first category are publications, sta-
tistical reports, and file update notices.
     Publications--DIDS is supposed to provide for the produc-
     tion of all Federal Catalog System publications for dis-
     tribution to both Government and industry users, as ap-
     propriate. These include the Management Lists, Item
     Identification Lists, and various handbooks as well as
     lists or catalogs of excess personal property and mate-
     rial declared surplus. The output products are issued
     in microfiche.
     Statistical reports--The system is supposed to provide
     for the generation and dissemination of statistical
     documents to support logistics program managers.
     File update notices--For purposes of our description
     of the DIDS data flow, we have defined these notifica-
     tions as any notice to a system participant of an
     action taken on data submitted; that is, acceptance
     or rejection and, in the case of acceptance, notifi-
     cation of all authorized data receivers to update
     their files.
     The other category, file update of the Defense Auto-
matic Addressing System, is supposed to provide a capability

for updating source-of-supply information for supply manage-
ment purposes. These updates are made from catalog manage-
ment data received and manipulated in the DIDS data bank.

     An important par'. of the catalog system is positive and
unique identification of items-of-supply. Under the Federal
Catalog System, the concept of an item-of-supply is expressed
in a National Item Identification and fixed by a National
Stock Number. A National Item Identification consists of
the minimum data necessary to establish the essential charac-
teristics of the item that give it its unique character and
differentiate it from every other item-of-supply used in the
Federal Government. Each National Item Identification is
applicable to one item-of-supply and, conversely, each item-
of-supply has only one National Item Identification.

     Characteristics are basically physical or functional
(performance) and are defined by technical research, the
foundation for the process of item identification or catalog-
ing.  This process incorporates Item Name, Item Identification
(descriptive and/or reference data), Item Classification
(Federal Supply Classification), Stock Number (National/North
Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Stock Number), and Pub-
lication (Federal Supply Catalogs).

     DIDS was intended to enhance this process by (1) fully
automating it, (2) extending the capability of screening
item characteristics for assigning NSNs, (3) introducing
characteristics search capabilities (exact and parametric),
and (4) introducing a prototype item description technique,
making it easier to enter items into the supply system.
     Generally, automation of the item identification func-
tion has resulted in less duplication of items entering
the supply system--more than doubling pre-DIDS performance.
However, DLSC has had problems in fully implementing all
the above aspects of this function. Although the system
has enhanced the new item screening capability, problems
exist with implementing the characteristic search capa-
bility and updating Federal Item Identification Guides
(FIIGs). In addition, an original DIDS requirement--
prototype item description--has not yet been incorporated
into the system.

New item screening
     Before DIDS, new item entry screening was essentially
a manual operation. Limited computer screening was done to
identify two or three characteristics. Then, hard copy cards
(Form DD146) containing complete item characteristic data
for any matches obtained from the limited computer screening
were reviewed manually to further determine similarities.
DIDS has eliminated hard copy cards, and automated character-
istics screening is now accomplished on an exact or possible
match basis for all characteristics.
     Screening for NSN assignment is being done faster and
more effectively. According to the June 1972 DLA economic
analysis, DLSC had been taking from 4 to 14 days to process
NSN assignments. The goal was to reduce this time to 72
hours or less. We reviewed agency statistics for July 1976
through February 1977 and found that 86 percent of the NSN
assignment transactions received by DLSC have been processed
within 72 hours.
     Screening effectiveness is measured by the number of
NSN requests for which like items or potentially like items
were identified as being already in the system. Screening
effectiveness has improved greatly under DIDS. During 1976,
of 221,260 NSN assignments or requests, 20,016 were identi-
fied as actual duplicates and 5,495 as possible duplicates.
This represents 11.5 percent of the NSN requests submitted.
Pre-DIDS statistics cited in the June 1972 economic analysis
show that only 4 percent of the new items proposed annually
matched an item already in the system.

Characteristic search
     This application provides services and agencies and
other logistic customers with the ability to search charac-
teristic data in the DIDS data bank for a single item or a
group of similar items. The application is used for various
purposes, such as preprovisioning screening, parts control,
standardization, item reduction studies, item entry con-
trol, and special projects. A characteristic search is dif-
ferent from a characteristic screening because it does not
result in an NSN assignment.

     There are two types of characteristic searches--non-
parametric and parametric. A nonparametric search attempts
to obtain exact matches between the characteristics of the

item being compared and characteristics of items already in
the supply system.
     Eventually, 433 FIIGs involving 2,542,730 items are
scheduled for nonparametric search. As of March 1977, 117
FIIGs--863,119 items--have been implemented. Another 62
FIIGs are from 1 to 10 months behind their implementation
schedule. The entire schedule is supposed to be implemented
by February 1980.
     A parametric search does not attempt to make an exact
match. Item matches within predetermined tolerances or para-
meters are sought (for example, all 3- to 5-foot desks, metal
and wooden). Parametric search requests are coded based on
predetermined key characteristics (for example, height,
length, and number of drawers). Later cycles are made through
the "matched" items for each additional characteristic desired
by the requester. This process continues until all the pos-
sible key matches have been eliminated or a match is made
on an item or group of items that fully satisfies the re-
quester's requirements.
     Parametric search transactions require considerable proc-
essing time. DLSC statistics for the 12-month period ended
February 1977 show that the average computer processing time
for a single transaction is about 6 minutes 1/ with a range
of 3 to 16 minutes.  In addition, there are Tndications that
this application has not been extensively used.  For the same
12-month period, transactions averaged about 34 a month on
implemented FIIGS.

     DLSC plans to implement 42 FIIGs--1,692,592 items--for
parametric searches. Only two FIIGs had been implemented
as of March 1977. The others are scheduled for implementa-
tion by November 1979.
     Because of the long processing time involved in the
parametric search application, some restrictions on this
application may be necessary. DLSC is considering reducing
the use of this application by the 2,500 activities now
permitted to make searches. This restriction would involve
either (1) restricting the number of Government users or
(2) precluding contractors from searching competitors'

1/The DLSC statistics, from which these times were calcu-
  lated, were based on wall clock time.

 files.  In addition, reducing the maximum number of possible
 substitute items from 1,000 to 100 per search transaction
 has been considered.
      Considerable effort has already been expended on de-
 veloping the parametric screening and search application.
 Since May 1973 an estimated 22,726 staff-hours have been
 spent developing this application. The amount of computer
 time used is not known. Agency officials have estimated
 future development through 1979 to require at least

      --3,660 elapsed machine processing hours and

     -- nine programmers on a 5- to 50-percent basis.
     Becart-  t' the possible restrictions on its use and
the exten        fort required to implement all FIIGs, we
believe cc      ed development of this application should
be reevaluated to determine whether it is necessary
whether it should proceed in competition with other, and
critical functions.                                   more

FIIG updating

     Characteristic data for a significant number of
in the DIDS data bank, an estimated 40 percent, does items
accurately express the descriptions called for by appli-
cable FIIGs. Some characteristic data formats are inaccu-
rate because hanges to FIIG requirements are not reflected
for all applicable items. New items entering the system
conform to current FIiG requirements, but characteristic
data was not updated to the new formats for all items
ready in the system when the FIIG requirements were changed.

     Updating item characteristics data to conform to the
latest FIIGs is being done on a revised schedule as
time becomes available.                              computer
                          In 1975 DLSC officials tried to
schedule FIIG revisions for a 5-year period.   However,
the schedule was later found to be unrealistic because
transaction backlogs and the general unavailability      of
computer time for processing FIIG revisions. As a result,
a FIIG steering committee met in September 1976 to schedule
FIIG revisions through 1977. As of
revisions had been implemented, and September  1976, 28 FIIG
                                     the committee has sche-
duled an additional 53 revisions through 1977. As of
1977, DLSC had implemented 15 of the scheduled revisions;
8 revisions had been made on scledule, but the other 7

missed the implementation date by a few days to 3 months.
The other 38 FIIGs ae still scheduled for revision by the
end of 1977.
      According to DLSC officials contacted, unrevised FIIGs
should not hamper parametric screening for NSN assignments.
Although a request for an NSN may not get an exact match
with an item in the TIR, it will probably get a possible
"ballpark" match, permitting the requester to consider the

Prototype item description

      Currently, a proposed new item must be completely de-
scribed for NSN assignment purposes, even though many of
its characteristics are the same as an item already having
an NSN (for example, a proposed new brown shoe, identical
to an existing black shoe except for color).   One unimple-
mented feature of DIDS--prototype item description--would
require the submission of only those characteristics of a
new item that are different from an existing item. The
June 1972 economic analysis specified that an estimated per-
sonnel savings of about $800,000 a year would be realized
by implementing prototype processing.

     DLA has initially reviewed the plan showing how the
prototype processing will be implemented and has forwarded
it to the services and agencies for comment. As of Feb-
rurary 1977, four of them have had difficulties with the
plan. Although DLSC officials are working to resolve
these differences, they have not scheduled a completion
date for this application.

     DID. has had continued processing difficulty since it
was declared operational in March 1975. These problems can
be largely attributed to an underestimation of the total
workload, resulting in inadequate system sizing, and the
use of computer programs that do not take advantage of the
computer's total processing capabilities. DLA attempted to
solve these problems by augmenting hardware and refining
software, but this was not sufficient to overcome current
workload processing demands.

Attempts to improve   rocessing
performance by augmentation
     On March 13, 1972, the Burroughs Corporation was awarded
tht    .tract for implementing the DIDS computer configuration.
This cojnfiguration was composed of a Burroughs 6700 computer
system with two central processing units, related operating
software, and peripheral equipment.
     The system, upon becoming operational, could not ade-
quately process DLSC's workload. According to OLA documen-
tation, this was because of an underestimation of workload
requirements made in the early stages of DIDS development.
     To compensate for the underestimate and improve process-
ing capability, DLSC augmented the original DIDS configura-
tion by:
     -- Adding a third processor to the original system.
     -- Installing a second Burroughs 6700 system consisting
        of dual processors and peripheral equipment (esti-
        mated to be one-tenth the size of the original sys-
     -- Upgrading and retaining one IBM 360/65 system, ori-
        ginally scheduled to be released as a result of DIDS
        implementation. According to DLSC, this system had
        to be retained to support the Defense Property Serv-
       ice's I'm-  -ated Disposal Management System.   A
       seco-        '0/65 was released.
    Although the aoove-mentioned hardware helped the situa-
tion, it was still not enough to meet current workload
demands. The following schedule, showing average daily back-
logs for July 1976 through March 1977, is typical of trans-
actions backlogs encountered since operations began with the
augmented system.

                    Actual transaction     Transactions awaiting
    1976                 backlogs          computer availability
 July                    187,440
 August                                               736,704
                         137,640                    3,305,619
 September               106,847
 October                                            2,521,334
                          41,664                    1,302,535
 November                 26,112
 December                                             657,720
                          52,850                      580,05.3

January                    8,759
February                                             366,532
                          27,012                     999,648
March                     55,745                     876,813
      Another part of the DIDS processing objective,
lined in the June 1972 economic analysis,             as out-
                                           was to respond to
all customer inquiries on a priority basis
                                             from 4 to 72 hours.
Priorities would be rated 1 through 4 and
                                           assigned y the
transaction originator.   The system has had problems achiev-
iing performance rates on priority processing,
                                                as indicated
below.   The table shows monthly performance rates
transaction processing for July 1976 through        on priority
                                               March 1977.
                1            2             3
  1976       1-4 hours                                    4
                         1-12 hours    1-48 hours     1-72 hours

July           50           46             47            63
August         55           24             60            58
September      48           55             45            61
October        91           59             56            70
November       58           67             70            67
December       79           44             40            62

January        71           84             88            85
February       80           77             89            84
March          90           41             37            38
     The impact of these processing problems
in a DLA order issued on August 4, 1976,      is demonstrated
                                          which requested de-
fense supply centers to temporarily rely
until DIDS could effectively handle its on their own files
                                         workload.  Our review

 has shown, however, that the supply centers still do some
 limited interrogation processing through DIDS.
DOD consultants recommend additional
hardware and software improvements to
overcome processing inefficiencies
     To gain insight into the underlying causes of processing
problems encountered in DIDS, the Office of the Assistant
Secretary of Defense (Manpower, Reserve Affairs and Logistics)
contracted with the Logistics Management Institute, a consult-
ing organization, to assess the computer system's performance.
The study was to determine whether additional hardware would
solve the efficiency and capability problems and whether
present hardware could be ued more effectively.

     The Institute, 1/ in a report issued in February 1977,
described DIDS as a arge-scale, centralized, multiprocessor
system that uses a functionally integrated data base of some
8 billion characters and processes 2.5 million transactions
monthly. (The size of the data bank and amount of trans-
actions processed are substantially less than was originally
envisioned. See p. 4.)
      In their report, the consultants determined that the cur-
rent DIDS system configurations are virtually workload
rated and that there are problems with workload scheduling
and application program processing. Refering to the latter,
the consultants pointed out that considerable processing
is required for the application programs to access the TIR
because of interface inefficiencies, limited asynchronous
processing, and ineffective handling of variable length
fields and records by the Burroughs computer software. Fur-
ther, the manual workload scheduling method limits through-
put on the primary Burroughs computer configuration. Also,
the preemptive introduction of high-priority (levels 1 and
2) transactions, in inefficient queue lengths, into the
load stream disrupts the work flow and limits throughput work-

l/According to the consultants, the brevity of their study
  precluded the computation of DIDS workload and ADF capa-
  city estimates in terms of central processor unit hours.
  Consequently, they used DLSC estimates based on wall clock
  hours, which are not as appropriate as processor hours.

      The consultants concluded that effectiveness
 increased through system optimization and          could be
 ware implementation. They recommended specific        hard-
 ments for operating software, application        improve-
 bank changes, workload scheduling, and job programs, data
       In addition, they recommended that a to-phase
  ware augumentation be implemented.                     hard-
                                       First, for the short
  term, to correct immediate processing bottlenecks,
  recommended adding additional hardware to             they
 Burroughs computer configurations involving  the  existing
 penditures of $350,000 to $400,000. 1/ They estimated ex-
 that, if expected workload trends materialize,recommended
 augmentation be made, combining existing           a second
 puter equipment with a larger Burroughs     Burroughs  com-
                                           single computer
 system    This augmentation was expected
 $1,104,000 to $1,768,000. 1/ According to     cost between
 this augmentation must be preceded by the the consultants,
 mentation or its cost-effective equivalent short-term aug-
 sive 5-year projection of DIDS workload mustand a comprehen-
                                                 be prepared.

      The DOD policy directive requires DOD components
employ procedures in mechanized logistics               to
 insure maximum use of the DIDS data bank functions that
taining duplicative files. Based on thi3 in lieu of main-
DLA established as a DIDS objective that policy guidance,
                                          the system eli-
m..nate these duplicative files and provide
ot the most current logistics data, thereby a single source
                                             improving the
quality of material in the supply system.

     Many files and records have been eliminated.
example, the following files were eliminated        For
fense supply centers:                        at the  de--

               File                                Quantity at
                                                   each -enter
Identification List--Descriptive   (mechsnized)
Identification List--NSN Index                          I
                                   (                    1
Reference Number Master            (          )         1
Identification List--Reference
  NR Master                                            1
Catalog Management Data
Characteristic Data File                             a/1
                                   (manual    )         2
a/Portions of this file were reinstated
                                        to the local TIR.

1/Figures are in 1977 dollars.

  In additon, some files at the services
 .eliminated. Among these were            and agencies were
                                 the Master
  (DD 635) maintained on tapes, portions     Army Catalog File
                                          of  the Army Master
  Data File, and the Navy DD 635
       Although progress has been made
  files still exist and DIDS customers in this area, duplicate
 cated that some files that could       contacted have indi-
 won't be unless poblems in obtaining  eliminated  probably
 from DIDS are alleviated.               timely information
                             In other instances, according to
 customers, local file duplication
                                     is necessary to carry on
 their day-to-day operations.

      The problems experienced by the
                                       services and agencies
 contacted primarily deal with processing
 transaction backlogs at DLSC, and         turnaround time,
 local users. Examples of these    the  data format needed by
                                 problems  are more fully de-
 scribed below.
 Defense supply centers

      In November 1974 DLA tried to reduce
 issuing an order to supply                  local files by
                            centers to eliminate all   computer
catalog files duplicating DIDS
                                data and to rely completely
cn the system's ability to furnish
files were to be eliminated when     data. These duplicate
                                   (1) DIDS met reauired re-
sponse time and data quantity and quality,    (2) the supply
centers were no longer responsible
Identification List, and (3) DLSC    for  publication of the
quiries for deciding which items    could  support mass in-
gard, DLA expected the supply     are standard.    In this
                               centers to eliminate dupli-re-
cat, local files by April 1, 1977,
operations,                          2 years after DIDS began

     However, on September 30, 1976,
because of "interminable difficulties DLA canceled the order
sponses."                              in getting DIDS re-

      We contacted officials at the
                                     Defense Personnel Sup-
port Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania;
tronics Supply Center, Dayton,             the Defense Elec-
struction Supply Center,        Ohio;  and the Defense Con-
generally do not believe Columbus,  Ohio. These officials
                          that eliminating
local files is    viable objective for DIDS.all For
in May 1976, the Defense Electronics                example,
letter to DLA, said that, because      Supply Cnter, in a
backlog, i had to postpone         of the DIDS processing
                             $10 million worth of recommended
buys and was experiencing delays
                                  in processing requisitions

and a complete slowdown in other logistics processes.  In
discussing the system, the Electronics Supply Center said:
"The DIDS concept of the central file at this point is not
credible. To overcome the shortcomings, increased depen-
dence must be placed on the local TIR."

     Another problem that the Center pointed out involves
a manufacturer discontinuing production of a Center-managed
item. To identity all the items for which it needs to find
an alternate source, the Center has to interrogate the data
bank. Using DIDS, it took up to 5 ornths to get a mass da.a
retrieval. Using the Center's local file, it takes 1 week.

     DIDS has improved the response time for mass data re-
trieval since the May 1976 letter, but Supply Center offi-
cials still feel that DIDS is not flexible enough to meet
specific user requirements.   In addition, the system does
not furnish some data in the format requized by the centers
and does not tailor responses to users' specific wants.
For example, if the Center needs to know all the items mtanu-
factured by a company for one specific Federal stock class,
DIDS will furnish a list of items manufactured by the com-
pany for all Federal stock cla.ises; the local file, on the
other hand, is prcgrammed to meet this specific need.

     Although the DIDS programs couild be redesigned to make
them more responsive to users, both the Electronics ard
Construction Supply Centers believe the local files ate
needed since they offer reliable data, faster turnaround
time for interrogations, ard low--cost emergen:y backup.
Military users

     The military services generally maintain local fi'es
that duplicate data contained in the DIPS data bank. We
visfted various Army, Navy, and A   Force ctivities and
found that these activities continue to mr.aincain duplica-
tive local files. Officials contacted believed that com-
plete local files will continue to be needed tc provide
quick response to local usezs.

     Officials at the Air Force Lugistics Command, Wi:ight-
Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio, said thet t    Air
Force does not plan to eliminate its local catalog   les.
The Air Force maintains automated systems thaL duplicate
DIDS data at three levels. These are at the Air Force
Logistics Command, each of the five air logistics centers,

and each air force base functioning on the Standard Base
Supply System.

     Officials maintain that local files must be retained
since the Air Force s Stock Number User Directory depends
on data from the Logistics Command files. They said air
logistics center and base level files will always be needed
siice they furnish information to local users.

     The U.S. Am% Tank Automotive Materiel Readiness Com-
mand, Warren, Michigan, maintains two files that duplicate
DIDS data. Tney are:
     NSN master data record. This is the Command's primary
     computer file. It providss supply managers with a
     full range of supply information on an immediate in-
     quiry basis. Some of this information--NSN, unit of
     issue, price, shelf-life, etc.--is included in the
     DIDS data bank. According to Command supply officials,
     this information is used daily by item managers. They
     told us they need fast response time for this informa-
     tion and could not wait for responses from DLSC.
     DIDS master data record. The Command maintains this
       F. -wich dupl cates- DIDS data for such information
     as Major Organizational Entity rules, standardization
     dar, interchangeability and substitutability, and
     catalog management data. According to Command catalog-
     ing officials, the DIDS master data record is main-
     tained at the Command to provide immediate access to
     the above data.
     Before DIDS, responsibility for completing and produc-
ing various publications supporting logistics-oriented
functions was vested in DLSC, the DLA supply centers, and
the military services. Based on recommendations contained
in a 1965 study 1/ and initial DIDS requirements established
in early 1966, DLSC assumed responsibility for publishing
Identification Lists, Management Lists, and Master Cross
Rference Lists formerly produced by the centers and serv-
ices. Later decisions expanded DIDS requirements to include

l/"Progressive Refinement of Integrated Supply Management
  (PRISM)," Department of Defense, March 1965.

 additional publications and the use of microfiche
 primary publication medium. The various DC         as the
 available provide the descriptive and management
 sary for requisitioning, procurement, shipping, data neces-
 warehousing, and technical research. Catalogs receiving,
                                                are supposed
 to be compiled in tailored form listing only
                                              items  of in-
 terest to a particular service and/or in consolidated
 listing all items in the DOD supply system             form
                                            rgardless of
 service interest.

      In reviewing publications used by various inventory
control points, posts, camps, and stations,
 that the DIDS data bank does not contain     we foLnd
                                           ll  of the data
elements peculiar to the various users. Therefore,
local publications are produced that not only          many
                                                provide data
not normally provided by DIDS but also duplicate
is provided. Also, some users contacted said       dal   that
customized data formatting that is not provided they    quire
                                                  by DIDS.
      We examined Army and Navy publications in
                                                 detail to
develop some concept of the extent of information
tion, cost, and need for specific publications.     duplica-
contacts with other users have provided specific   Also,  our
of only secondary reliance upon DIDS-produced      examples
to satisfy user needs.                          information

Army-Navy catalog publications

     We compared eight Army publications 1/ with
DIDS publications and found that 16 of 17-data    comparable
contained in a DIDS-produced Army Management    elements
                                              List are dup-
licated in the Army Master Data File. In
Army publication contains an additional 13 addition, the
                                            data elements,
12 of which are classified as Army unique
                                           and 1 which is
published in another DIDS file.
     Army and DIDS freight classification file publications
contain comparable data except for
contained in the Army's publication.one The
                                         additional element
                                            six other Army
publications have both DIDS common and Army
                                              unique data
elements in varying degrees.

l/Army publications selected:   (1) Army Master Data File,
  (2) Interchangeable and Substitute File, (3)
  Master Data File, (4) Master Data Record,     SAILS-
  Publication, (6) Automatic Return Item List, Packaging
  Publication, and (8) Reference and History    (7) Freight

     Five Navy publications 1/ were selected for comparison
and a similar situation was ound to exist. For example,
the Navy's Clothing Price List is duplicated by DIDS pub-
lications known as Catalog Management Data and the Manage-
ment List.  In addition, more than 75 percent of three other
Navy publications are duplicated in DIDS publications.

Some examples of local
duplicate publications
     In addition to the detailed analysis made of Army and
Navy materials previously discussed, our review disclosed
the following specific examples of catalog information dup-

     The Defense Electronics Supply Center produces a micro-
fiche of their local TIR file, which is updated quarterly
and distributed in 46 copies to six offices within the
Supply Center and to four external activities. Supply Center
officials said they need this local publication because all
the needed data is not included in the DIDS publications.
Also, it is easier, quicker, and cheaper to use the locally
produced microfiche than to interrogate the local TIR file.
Producing this publication costs about $8,000 annually.

     The Air Force produces a microfiche of the Air Force
interchangeability and substitutability system. The system
contains family groups of items that can be interchanged
and describes the conditions for interchangeability. Ac-
cording to Air Force officials contacted, the DIDS publi-
cations contain only item-to-item information with no family
groups and conditions. The Air Force produces and distri-
butes 4,200 copies of this catalog every 2 months at an
estimated cost of $18,000 per year.

     The Army supply activity in Hawaii does not use the
DIDS consolidated publications, such as the Master Cross
Reference List and the Catalog Management Data, which con-
tain all stock items in the Federal Supply System. In-
stead, they use the Army Catalog Data Agency's versions
of these publications, which contain only Army items. The

i/Navy Publications selected:  (1) List of Items Requiring
  Special Handling, (2) Master Repairable Item List, (3)
  Consolidated Hazardous tem List, (4) Afloat Shopping
  Guide, and (5) Clothing Price List.

 Army supply personnel saw little
                                  need to have the Government-
 wide data since they seldom use non-Army
       The military services contacted in
 tion of DIDS and service publications;    Europe use a combina-
                                          however, they also
 rely primarily on catalog dta furnished
 ices.                                      by their own serv-

 DOD is studying the need for
 and adequacy of ublications
       In June 1976, the Office of tne Assistant
 Defense (Manpower, Reserve Affairs               Secretary of
 that a study group be established   and  Logistics) requested
 of Federal catalog publications.   to determine the adequacy
                                    On August 10, 1976, the
 study group, made up of representatives
 ices and DLSC, met to start the study. from the armed serv-
 was directed at an evaluation             Initially, the study
                                of DIDS publications; however,
 in March 1977 it was changed to
                                  include catalogs still being
 produced by the military services.
                                      The group has identified
 some catalogs that could be eliminated,
 ited use or duplication of DIDS catalogs.due either to lim-

     An example of DIDS duplication is
                                        demonstrated in the
publication of Catalog Management
List. These publications contain   Data and the Management
                                   almost  identical data,
and DLSC has recommended that the
publication be eliminated and that Catalog  Management Data
expanded by three data elements     the Management List be
Management Data. DLA distributedthat were unique to Catalog
                                   the proposal to services
and agencies in May 1976. As of
from users had been received.     April 1977, no responses

     DIDS has had some difficulties with
                                          its ability to
exchange data with other agency systems.
being experienced in the method             Problems are
flow of source-of-supply and freight     to  control the
                                      classification data.
Inaccurate source-of-supply data

     The Defense Automatic Addressing
matically routes supply documents       System (DAAS) auto-
the source of supply (the activity from  the originator to
ing and issuing items).             responsible  for manag-

      DAAS receives, addresses, and retransmits an average
 30 million supply documents monthly, many of which        of
 uisitions. The DAAS file contains source-of-supply are req-
 tion for the Army, the Air Force, the Navy, the
                                                 Marine Corps,
 the Coast Guard, DLA, and the General Services Administration.

       Before DIDS, DAAS developed and maintainer its
 source-of-supply address file directly from service
 agency input. DAAS averaged 4,000 to 6,000 cases     and
 which the source of supply shown for the user of monthly in
                                                   an item did
 not agree with source of supply shown for the
                                                manager of that

      Now that DAAS relies on DIDS for updates,
 averages about 15,000 cases in which the source it reportedly
                                                  of supply
 does not agree. These exceptions cause requisitions
 misrouted, and when that happens, the supplies        to be
                                                are not re-
 ceived by the customers, some of whom support combat
      Users elieve that the method used to update source
 supply when items are transferred from one               of
                                            manager to another
 is a major cause of file discrepancies.

      Item management transfers

      When supply activitiec transfer
 they must update segments B and H of management    of items,
                                       the DIDS Total Item
 Record. Segment B lists the manager and all users
 item, while segment H lists catalog management         of an
 as source of supply, price, unit of issue, and   data,    such
 by item manager and user. Before transfers occur,shelf-life,
manager losing responsibility for the item sends        the
action to DIDS changing segment B to show the new trans-
manager. Seventy-five days before the agreed transfer  item
date, the new item manager sends a transaction
                                                  to DIDS
changing segment H to show the new source of supply.
users are also responsible for updating their
of the segment H record.                        own   sections
                           (See chart on the following page.)
      We reviewed item management transfers at the Defense
Electronics Supply Center and the Air Force Logistics
Command. The Supply Center had 1,670 management
fers from January 1, 1976, through December 31,
statistically sampled these transfers and found 1976. We
either the gaining manager or the user of the      that
sometimes both, failed to update their sources  item,    and
                                                 of supply
52 percent of the time.

  LOSING ITEM MGR                             EFFECTIVE TRANSFER DATE
  FEDERAL STOCK CLASS                              DIDS CHANGES
  IF NECESSARY                                                                      LIM
                                                   THE SOURCE OF SUPPLY IN
               - LOSIG                  A)         SEGMENT H. SENDS
 LOSING ITEM MANAGER (LIM)                                                          GIM
                                                   NOTICE TO LIM, GIM,
                  l             _                 lAND USERS                       USERS
   NOTICE OF CHANGE                               DAAS UPDATES TO NEW
   TO HE GAINING ITEM                   B)        SOURCE OF SUPPLY FROM
   MANAGER AND TO ALL                             ITS SUSPENSE FILE.


   USER              GAINING
                     ITEM MGR

                                                                    GAINING ITEM
                                         DIDS SENDS                 MANAGER SENDS
       75 DAYS PRIOR TO                 THE LIM'STRANSACTIONS
       THE EFFECTIVE                    SEGMENT H TO
       TRANSFER DATE                                  TO DIDS TO
                                        THE GAINING   CHANGE SOURCE
                                    _   ITEM MGR.                   OF SUPPLY IN
                                                                    SEGMENT .

 SUPPLY IN                                                         DIDS PRCESSES
 SEGMENT H OF DIDS.                                                CHANGE AND
                                                                   SENDS UPDATE TO

                                                                   DAAS TAKES
                                                                   CHANGE AND
                                                                   PUTS IT IN
                                                                   SUSPENSE FILE

      From January 1976 to March 1977, the Air Force gained
 item management responsibility for 430 items. Of these,
'383 belonged to the Air Force Cryptologic Depot, a tenant
 organization of the San Antonio Air Logistics Center, and
 47 were managed by other centers.

     We reviewed 10 percent (38) of the 383 item management
transfers for the Air Force Cryptologic Depot and found that
the source-of-supply information was properly pdated and
compatible with information in the DIDS system. We also
reviewed the 47 item management transfers for the other
centers and found only one such transfer for which the
source-of-supply information was properly updated and com-
patible with the information in DIDS.

     According to Air Force officials contacted, the Crypto-
logic Depot does not process its transactions through the in-
ternal Air Force logistics system, known as the D036 system,
but is tied directly to DIDS and there is no problem with the
interface. However, problems concerning automatic update
exist between the D036 system, which normally processes
transactions for the air logistics centers, and DIDS.
problems arise because the DIDS output is not entirely These
patible with that of the D036 system and source-of-supply
information cannot be automatically updated between these
two systems.
     Defense Electronics Supply Center officials said they
have had similar problems in updating source of supply.
When items are transferred from one supply center to another,
the Standard Automated Material Management System should
automatically change the source of supply. This automatic
updating has not worked, however, and the supply centers
have had to manually update their records.

     An official at the Data Systems Automation Office,
which is responsible for programming the Standard Automated
Material Management System, said that a misunderstanding
between DLSC and DLA caused this problem. The misunderstand-
ing involved the type of TIR data that DLSC was to send to
the supply centers. According to the official, the problem
has been resolved and automatic updating of source of supply
data will now work, except that the gaining item manager
must request information from DIDS.

     Attempts to correct
     source-of-supply errors
      DIDS includes a segment J of the TIR, which is generated
as an output only and should be identical to the DAAS source-
of-supply file.   In January 1976, DLSC compared the DIDS
segment J record with the DAAS file and found that more than
2 million of the almost 6 million items were different. These
differences were never resolved. (DOD officials told us,
during our informal discussions regarding their comments,
that this large difference was due to a logic error, which
has been corrected.)

      Six months later, DLSC compared item manager data in
kigment B and the source of supply in segment H of the DIDS
f.les.   Differences were sent to the services, the supply
centers, and the General Services Administration to correct.
The following table summarizes the number of differences
found for each user.

                                    Number of
             User                  differences
       Army                          101,293
       Air Force                     154,196
       Navy                          163,999
       Marine Corps                   80,104
       DLA                            34,917
       General Services
         Administration                2,563
           Total                     537,072
The three most prevalent conditions were:

     --The service was listed in segment B as a manager or
       user of an item, but there was no service segment H
       record on file.
    -- The agency or service was listed as an active manager
       or user in segment B, but the applicable segment H
       data was inactive.
    --The service or agency was not listed as a manager or
      user in segment B, but it had an active segment H
      record on file.

       DLSC is planning further reconciliations
 differences between segment B and segment H andto resolve
                                                   within seg-
 ment H. These reconciliations will cover all
 DIDS and are planned to be finished before DLSC records  in
 major system programming change in April 1978.    makes a
 will require segment H data to be submitted alongThis change
 ment B data for new items entering                  with seg-
                                     the system as well as for
 changes in item management. DIDS users that
 hope that the new procedures will             we contacted
                                    correct many source-of-
 supply errors, but they are concerned that such
 might create problems and result in more          a major change
                                           processing backlogs.
 Lack of adequate interface
 impairs efficient use of
 freight classification information
       DOD Directive 5160.53, dated March 24, 1967,
 a single manager service assignment within DOD     established
                                                 to eliminate
 duplication and overlapping of effort, with respect
 military freight traffic, between and among military to DOD
 ments, defense agencies, and other DOD components.    depart-

      The Military Traffic Management Command, under
was designated single manager with the responsibilitythe Army,
velop and maintain a Freight Classification Guide       to de-
This system provides freight classification data
covered by National Stock Numbers. The proper     to all items
                                                freight clas-
sification or tariff description is essential
                                               for determining
applicable freight rates, obtaining proper handling
and processing freight claims for loss or damage.     in transit,
seminates this information into the military         DLSC dis-
                                              supply systems
through DIDS.

      Items are segregated into two freight classification
 categories--confirmed and nonconfirmed. When
                                                an item re-
ceives a freight classification code from the
agement Command, it is categorized as confirmed.Traffic Man-
classification codes assigned by services and        Freight
fore Command confirmation are categorized as    agencies   be-
      When items have to be shipped, the service or
interrogates the DIDS data bank to determine
                                              whether a con-
firmed freight classification code has been assigned
                                                        to the
item. If no confirmed freight classification
                                                has been as-
signed, the service or agency is supposed to
confirmed freight classification code and shipassign   a non-
The nonconfirmed code is entered into the servicethe  item.
                                                     and agency
logistic system, such as the Mechanization of

 and Storage Procedures System,
                                 and it is supposed to be si-
 multaneously submitted to DIDS.
                                    DIDS automatically forwards
 the nonconfirmed freight classification
                                           information to the
 Traffic Management Command for
      Since the implementation of
                                   DIDS, not all items have r.
ceived confirmed freight classification
that logistical systems such               codes. We found
ing and Storage Procedures    as the Mechanization of Wareh'us-
                            System do not all communicate
rectly with DIDS (see p. 9,                                  di-
submit nonconfirmed freight note 3), the Air Force does not
data bank, and services and classification codes to the DIDS
                             agencies are not complying
established directives regarding                           with
cedures.                           freight  classification  pro-
      Therefore, many items in the
managed by DLA, the Air Force,       DIDS data bank that are
firmed freight classifications   and  others contain noncon-
not forwarded to the Taffic      simply because the items were
                              Management Command for confirma-
tion. As of December 1976,
                             the  DIDS data bank contained
5,971,266 NSN items. Only
classification codes. The other         had confirmed freight
freight classification codes       items had either nonconfirmed
                              or no codes at all.

                           CHAPTER 3

                   DIDS ECONOMIC ANALYSIS
                   IS OF QUESTIONABLE VALUE

     In June 1972, the Defense Logistics Agency issued a
formal economic analysis to justify development and implemen-
tation of the Defense Integrated Data System at the Defense
Logistics Services Center, at military services, and at
defense and other Federal agencies.  There were significant
shortcomings involved with the development and use of this


     DLA made various studies concerning the economic jus-
tification of DIDS.   Initial efforts began in July 1966, and
updates were made in 1967 and 1968.   However, until 1968
these studies did not include data from the participating
services and agencies.   Additional cost and benefit esti-
mates were made from December 1969 through November 1970,
but not until June 1972, 3 months after the Burroughs con-
tract was awarded, were the last efforts to finalize savings
and benefits made and the formal document issued.

     Policy and procedural guidance for reparing and using
an economic analysis supporting DOD investments are contained
in DOD Instruction 7041.3, entitled "Economic Analysis of
Proposed Department of Defense Investment."  At the time of
the DIDS investment, the instruction, dated February 26,
1969, 1/ was in effect and stipulated that:

     1. Economic analysis will be used in planning studies
        involving relative comparisons and tradeoffs among
        investment alternatives to achieve stated objectives;
        effect cost reductions; or add to, delete, or adjust
        the scope of approved programs.

     2. An analysis of benefits and costs or cost effective-
        ness will normally provide the primary basis for
        recommending and selecting among investment options.
        Decisions should be made considering the cost-benefit

I/This instruction has been superseded by DOD Instruc-
  tion 7041.3, dated October 18, 1972.  The content of
  this instruction is generally the same as the earlier one.

        implications of investment options. The procedures
        described herein will be used to provide information
        for recommending and making investment decisions.
     3. Proposed DOD investments will be evaluated and the
        relative merits of alternative proposals compared in
        order to recommend investments likely to be the most
        productive and beneficial.
     It appears that DLA did not fully comply with the intent
of this instruction, since major system acquisition commit-
ments were made before the formal analysis was completed
(that is, the Burroughs contract was awarded March 13, 1972).
In addition, there was no compariscn of alternatives, other
than the then-current system and DIDS, or any indication
that other alternatives were explored.   rhe analysis states
that DIDS is the only alternative to the present system for
achieving the objectives and concepts directed by the Office
of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Manpower, Reserve
Affairs and Logistics).

     In our opinion, if the analysis were to be fully effec-
tive as a management tool to achieve the above-mentioned
policy objectives, a more adequate discussion of system
alternatives was necessary. For example, design alterna-
tives that could be examined include the existing system,
various modifications to the existing system, augmentations
to the existing system, and new system configurations.
Without the cost and benefit relationship of available alter-
natives, top managiment does not have enough information to
select the most cost-effective and beneficial system con-
figuration and justify funding for the proposed system.

     In addition, we believe that DLA should have completed
the analysis early in the system design stage, before re-
leasing the request for proposals. Had this been done, a
more thorough assessment of alternatives, costs, and ex-
pected benefits might have evolved, providing a sounder basis
for determining the original configuration.


     In its economic analysis DLA estimated that DIDS would
have a present value 1/ development and implementation cost
of $39.19 million 2/ and net benefits of $43.70 million over
an 8-year economic life. Also, annual operating costs were
estimated to be about $14 million. We have calculated that
DOD actual costs for development and implementation of DIDS
amounted to $74.3 million and that annual operating costs
would be about $14 million to $19 million.

l/Office of Management and Budget Circular A-94 defines
  present value costs and benefits as each year's expected
  cost or benefit multiplied by its discount factor and then
  summed over all years of the planning period. The dis-
  count factor is the factor for any specific discount rate
  which translates expected cost or benefit into its present
  value.  It is equal to l/(l+r)t, where (r) is the discount
  rate and (t) is the number of years s ce the date of ini-
  tiation, renewal, or expansion of a pugram or project.

2/Does not include sunk cost of $14.9 million incurred before
  January 1, 1972.

           Development and Implementation Costs

         Capital cost:
             Site eparation             a/$ 2,683.1
             ADP equipment purchase       b/1,849.2
             Other capital                c/3,923.6

         Conversion costs:
             ADP salaries                     22,406.5
             Other salaries                   23,314.1
             Administrative overhead
               and supplies               d/8,570.7
             ADP equipment rental         e/8,886.7
             Contractual                  I/   454.5
             AUTODIN upgrade                 2244.5

                  Total DOD cost        %/$   74 , 3 2 2 . 9

a/l. Uninterruptable power supply building modification,
  2. New building modifications at DLSC, $2,400.
b/l. Purchase of uninterruptable power supply equipment,
  2. Purchase of telecommunications equipment, $18.
  3. Purchase of B6700-109 (second system), $1,800.
c/Purchase of microfiche equipment.

d/Includes administrative overhead at 15 percent, supplies
  (personnel', supplies (ADP equipment), and temporary duty

e/l. DLA centers, $190.7.
  2. DLSC, $8,275.5. This is the implementation portion of
     the con%:ract with Burroughs.
  3. Military services, $420.5.
f/ADP support provided by Burroughs and printing costs for
  DIDS procedures manual.

,/Includes sunk costs of $14,904.5.    These costs were in-
  curred before Jan. 1, 1972.

      When DDS was declared operational in March 1975, the
Assistant Secretary of Defense (Manpower. Reserve Affairs
and Logistics) requested DLA to review the system and re-
validate the economic analysis. In Octcber 1976 DLA for-
warded its findings to the Assistant Secretary. The report
said that the total amount of work to be processed by the
system was grossly underestimated even though externally
generated transactions were less than anticipated. Estimates
were especially low in the area of characteristic data proc-
essing (that is, the maintenance f characteristic data
through the Federal Item Identification Guide Program and
the publication and distribution of characteristic data
Identification Lists and Federal Item Logistics Data Records).
The report said that, as a result of the low estimates, equip-
ment eventually selected on the basis of the request for pro-
posals (a dual processor Burroughs 6700 system) was in-
adequate. Because of this, the modifications and augmenta-
tions described on page 18 were made to the initial equipment
configuration before January 1976.

Annual operating costs

     DLA provided cost information for DSC for the 24-month
peziod April 1975 to March 1977. These were actual costs
except for the quarter ended Marck 1977. The data was
arranged according to its relationship to DIDS as follows:

                   Total                       Nonlabor
                   cost          Personnel     (note a)   Reimbursed
                           - -      (mi      llions)
Direct DIPS       $27.2           $19.0         $11.8      $-3.6
Indirect DIDS       1.5             1.5           0          0
Administrative      5.3             5.0           1.0       -0.7
Pure cataloging     1.7             1.6           0.1        0
Miscellaneous       2.5             2.6           0.3       -0.4
    Total         $38.2          $29.7          $13.2      $-4.7
a/Composed primarily of equipment rental and maintenance
  purchased services and supplies.

We have averaged the above costs to arrive at an approximate
annual operating cost of $19 million for the system. DLA of-
ficials expressed the view that administrative support, pure
cataloging, and miscellaneous are not actually attributable
to DIDS, since these activities would be carried on whether
or not DIDS existed. However, we believe that, since DIDS is
the heart of DLSC operations, all costs discussed above shoul
be considered DIDS operating costs.

       The above-mentioned DLA report to the Assistant
 of Defense (Manpower, Reserve Affairs and               Secretary
 out that actual personnel resource savings Logistics)  pointed
                                              through fiscal
 year 1976 and revised estimates through
 dicate a 66-percent decrease. This meansfiscal year 1982 in-
 estimated staff-year savings of about 2,212that the originally
 by 1,458 staff-years. Also, the report        would decrease
 about $14 million attributed to recovery said  that savings of
 were virtually nonexistent. Cost avoidanceof  cost avoidance
 tential savings expected to accrue to the     savings are po-
 system through the avoidance of future     DOD  logistics
      In conclusion, the report   tated
     "Based on this reevaluation of previous
     savings resulting from DIDS, it can be
     that there are no quantifiable dollar savings
     resulting from IDS. Intangible savings
     will result in an overall improvement of * * *
     total logistics services provided by DLSC the
     will provide a modernized ADP base for     and
      We agree that an overall improvement of
                                                total logistics
services can be epected, and although
DLA operational review indicates that nothe  above-mentioned
                                          quantifiable savings
are resulting from DIDS, we believe that
                                          future quantifiable
benefits can and should be expected. However,
DLA used to develop the une 1972 economic         the method
include the flexibility to track changes     analysis  did not
ment and, subsequently, could not functionin  system  develop-
tool to predict future adjusted benefits. a a management
page 38, the DLA economic analysis          As mentioned on
                                    was developed from faulty
estimates of the total workload. Later
                                         milestone reports
prepared to update the analysis concentrated
staff-years and costs to be incurred but       on additional
adjust anticipated benefits.              did  not attempt to

     We believe that the economic analysis
a tool to continually monitor a system's    should be used as
plementation.  Therefore, the entire document should and im-
dated regarding all elements of costs                 be up-
                                      and benefits.   Had DLA
done this, the June 1972 economic analysis
have been adjusted to permit management     could probably
                                         to make reasonable
predictions of adjusted costs and benefits.

                           CHAPTER 4
                     SUCH AS DIDS FEASIBLE?
     The data flow model discussed in chapter 2 demonstrates
the complex interrelationships involved in developing a
large, integrated data system. Our review of the Defense
Integrated Data System indicates that implementing
concept is feasible and that large portions of each the total
                                                     of the
functional segments are operational.  However, development
of this system has not provided the efficient, effective
operation expected by the Defense Logistics Agency in the
areas discussed in previous chapters.

     The design and development efforts required for com-
plex, integrated systems are costly, constrained by time,
and affected by changing technology and management. More-
over, they greatly affect functional users and the efficiency
and effectiveness of their operations.  Each effort requires
(1) numerous systems analysts, (2) programmers, who are gen-
erally in short supply, and (3) financial and managerial
resources, which are also limited.

     The success of such effccts depends greatly on a dis-
ciplined approach and the proper assessment and management
of needed data processing resources. These resources should
be used to facilitate the furnishing of logistical support
to military units regardless of whether those units are
operating under peacetime or emergency conditions.

     Our experience in auditing large system developments,
such as DIDS, indicates that development efforts lacking
strong and authoritative management control usually result
in prolonged system development cycles, sizeable cost over-
runs, and user dissatisfaction with the system products be-
cause they are not timely or reliable. DIDS is experiencing
all three of these problems.
     In our opinion, the stringent management control required
for this complicated system integration was not provided.
believe this is the cause of the problems DLA is having     We
achieving operational goals. This lack of strong project
management control permitted an inadequately sized system
be developed predicated on understated workload projections.
It also permitted the system to become operational before

 major functions were completely implemented and
                                                 tested and
 errors were corrected. Consequently, the modification
 augmentations made so far to compensate for sizing      and
 mature operation have not provided the processing   and pre-
 originally thought to be required.
      We think, logically, that these conditions strongly
 reinforce system participant motivations to maintain
 cate files and issue duplicative supply publications. dupli-
      In our discussions with DOD officials about the
of this report, they maintained that past and
ment control for DIDS have been adequate. They present manage-
                                                 cited such
practices as management reviewL, joint service/agency
ferences, and designation of focal points for
functions as indications of a competent management
However, although the organizational structure      structure.
                                                for manage-
ment control exists, the controls were not functioning

      The augmentations to DIDS (see p. 18) have not
 the processing capacity required by the system          provided
 rent demands, and there is no reasonable assurance   meet   cur-
 another augmentation will provide a long-term          that
                                                 solution to
 existing processing problems. On the contrary,
experience suggests that even several additional our audit
 tions may not result in a long-term solution.
      Further augmentation is an alternative, but
                                                     it is not
the only one. Another approach might be to reevaluate
needs and system requirements rather than to                 user
                                               continue assuming
the validity of the perceived role for DIDS--initially
ceived more than 10 years ago. In this regard,
                                                   a reduced
system scope could prove more beneficial, particularly
view of the concerns expressed by many of the                in
and set forth elsewhere in this report. By reduction     of  DIDS
scope, we mean developing efficient and effective
of functions most critical to satisfying customer     operation
For example, new features, such as parametric         needs.
type item descriptions, and other features not  search,    proto-
                                                 yet imple-
mented, could be phased in later, after their
could be assured.                               operability

     Moreover, resources should be applied on a priority
basis to correcting the processing deficiencies
by the consultant.                              identified
                    (See p. 20.) This approach would reduce
the risk of uncertainties and possible system
                                              failure in the

more critical DIDS operations. Reducing the scope of DIDS
can be helpful, but this in itself is not sufficient to as-
sure success without providing long-term project management.
     Another alternative would be to reevaluate DIDS in
light of the mission budgeting concept. This concept is
fully described in our report to the Congress, "Mission
Budgeting: Discussion and Illustration of the Concept in
Research and Development Programs (PSAD-77-124, July 27,
1977). Although this report used research and development
programs to illustrate the concept, it is equally applicable
to system development activities, such as DIDS. Applying
this concept to DIDS would enable DLA to more clearly identify
mission-essential applications and to focus its allocation of
resources on development, implementation, and use of those
     It would seem to follow that, when system reliability
and user confidence in DIDS are firmly established, an en-
vironment would exist in which the system's objectives--such
as the elimination of duplicative files and publications--
could be more readily achieved.

                         CHAPTER 5


     The Defense Integrated Data System demonstrates the need
for strong central management control over the development of
large integrated data systems. Management must recognize
that the various phases of system development (that is, de-
termination of need, development of requirements, economic
justification, planning of system specifications, detailed
system design, programming, and testing of equipment and soft-
ware) are interrelated and that each phase depends on the
successful completion of preceding phases.  In addition,
management must be deliberate in identifying mission-
essential applications and allocating resources to develop
these applications before beginning to develop others that
are feasible but less essential.

     We believe that the stringent management control nec-
essary for the prc)er development of this system was not
exercised. Consequently, the system was not properly imple-
mented and tested and errors were not corrected before it
was declared operational in March 1975. As a result, a lot
of time and money is being spent for system modifications
and augmentations to make the system perform as it was in-
tended to. Our experience with this management approach
has been that it usually involves prolonged system develop-
ment cycles and sizeable cost overruns.

     We believe that there is a valid need for a central Fed-
eral repository for item identification and related catalog-
ing data to complement the Federal Supply System and that
DIDS fulfills this need. In this regard, the system h"s
already made some significant achievements in the area of
logistics data management.  It has provided for the consolida-
tion of separate subsystems into one integrated data base;
it has centralized catalog management data to provide uni-
form control over data accuracy; it has provided limited
capability for immediate and remote access to the data bank;
it has enhanced the quality and quantity of information
available to customers; and it has eliminated some duplica-
tive files and publications. However, system development
has been accompanied by processing problems resulting from
inadequate system sizing and premature operations.

     The Defense Logistics Services Center, which is responsi-
ble for the system's operation, has attempted to improve DIDS
processing capabilities by augmenting hardware and refining
software but, although some progress has been made, serious
problems still exist.
      In our opinion, there is no assurance that the completed
or planned modifications and upgrades will eliminate process-
ing difficulties for any sustained period, without a reevalua-
tion of customer needs and system requirements. This reevalua-
tion should be made with a view toward reduced scope of oper-
ations for DIDS, if necessary. By reduced scope, we mean that
development of new functions, not previously provided to cus-
tomers by DLSC, could be deferred until adequate processing
capacity is available and their reliable operation can be

     The Defense Logistics Agency did not prepare an adequate
economic analysis in the initial planning stages of DIDS.
We believe that, in developing systems such as DIDS, special
attention should be given to preparing this document early
in the concept planning stage, that is, before the release
of a request for proposals. Such a document should clearly
show the difference between several alternatives, not just
the existing system and the chosen alternative. For example,
it might include the costs, benefits, and differences among
the existing system, various modifications to the existing
system, augmentations to the existing system, and new system
configurations. In this way, top management could select
and justify the most cost effective and beneficial system
configuration and use the economic analysis as a management
tool to monitor costs and benefits of system implementation.

      In our letter report to the Subcommittees on Defense,
House and Senate Committees on Appropriations, dated May 5,
1977, we recommended that the Subcommittees discuss with con-
cerned officials the existing management plan for the Defense
Integrated Data System and the associated cost implications.

     We also recommended that the Subcommittees review any
proposed costs to resolve DIDS performance problems.

     Finally, we recommended that the scope of DIDS be limited
to item identification and catalog publications. We believe
that by so limiting the system, only those parts of the follow-
ing data base segments or functions necessary to support
mission objectives would be required at the Defense Logistics
Services Center.

     -- Supply management.
     -- Utilization and marketing.

     -- Statistical reports.

     -- System support record maintenance.

     -- Special operations.
     Agency reaction to our interim report indicated that
clarification was necessary for the above recommendation
concerning the limitation of system scope.  In
we have defined reduction of system scope under this regard,
alternatives on page 41 of this report.
     In line with the above, we recommend that the Secretary
of Defense require the Assistant Secretary (Manpower, Reserve
Affairs and Logistics) to:

    -- Establish project accountability for the operation and
       continued development of DIDS. A steering committee
       of key DLA and service and agency personnel should be
       responsible for future system development, implementa-
       tion, and review and should report directly to the
       Assistant Secretary.

    -- Have the steering committee study the current and pro-
       jected user requirements for DIDS to determine what
       mission-essential functions other than item identifica-
       tion and cataloging are feasible and necessary.

    -- Have the steering committee reevaluate DIDS' major
       alternatives and determine what modifications are
    -- Require the steering committee to use an updated eco-
       nomic analysis as the basis for cost control purposes
       which include, but are not limited to, implementation
       of any program change, equipment augmentations, or new
       design configurations.

    -- Require formal management agreements between DLA and
       the services and agencies to provide improved manage-
       ment control over DIDS operations, data base integrity,
       and the exchange of data between systems. The steering
       committee should have responsibility for seeing that
       these agreements are complied with and updated as

    --As the above actions are completed, have the steering
      committee take firm measures to eliminate all unnec-
      essary duplicate data bases and operations regardless
      of which service or agency developed, maintains, or
      uses them.

                           CHAPTER 6

                        SCOPE OF REVIEW

     Management responsibility for the Defense integrated Data
System is vested in the Defense Logistics Agency, with opera-
tional control located at the Defense Logistics Services Cen-
ter, Battle Creek, Michigan. Our review was primarily con-
cerned with Department of Defense components--DLA, defense
supply centers, defense service centers, and military
departments--that manage, direct, coordinate, and use DIDS.
Also, NATO was included in this review to determine (1) the
compatibility of its cataloging systems with the Federal
Catalog System and (2) how this organization interfaces
with DIDS.

     We evaluated the DIDS program's policies, objectives,
plans, principles, and procedures. We also interviewed
responsible DOD officials and reviewed planning documents,
memorandums, internal reports, and cost data. Our work was
done at the following locations.
Department of Defense

      Department of Defense, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
      Defense Logistics Agency, Alexandria, Va.
      Defense Logistics Services Center, Battle Creek, Mich.
      Defense Electronics Supply Center, Dayton, Ohio
      Defense Construction Supply Center, Columbus, Ohio
      Defense Personnel Support Center, Philadelphia, Pa.
      Defense Automatic Addressing Systems Office, Dayton, Ohio
Air   orce

      Air Force Logistics Command, Dayton, Ohio
      Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio
      Rickenbacker Air Force Base, Columbus, Ohio
      Headquarters, U.S. Air Force in Europe, Ramstein, West
      86th Tactical Fighter Wing, Ramstein Air Base,
        West Germany
      50th Tactical Fighter Wing, Hahn Air Base,
        West Germany
      Headquarters, Pacific Air Force, Hawaii
      18th Tactical Fighter Wing, Kadena Air Base, Okinawa,

 Ar my
         Catalog Data Agency, New Cumberland, Pa.
         Tank Automotive Materiel Readiness Command, Warren, Mich.
         Military Traffic Management Command, Washington,
         Army Material Management Center, Zweibruecken,   D.C.
         Army Support Command and Army Supply Activity,
         Naval Supply Systems Command, Washington, D.C.
         Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C.
         Fleet Material Support Office, Mechanicsburg, Pa.
         Ships Parts Control Center, Mechanicsburg, Pa.
         Aviation Supply Office, Philadelphia, Pa.
         Naval Air Facility, Sigonella, Sicily, Italy
         Pacific Division, Naval Facilities Engineering
         Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, Hawaii
         Naval Supply Center, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
Marine Corps

       Marine Corps, Headquarters, Washington, D.C.
       lSt Marine Brigade, Marine Corps Base, Kaneohe
         Hawaii                                        Bay,
       Marine Corps Base, Camp Butler, Okinawa, Japan
       3d Force Service Support Group, Camp Foster,
       1st Marine Air Wing, Futenma, Okinawa, Japan
       Marine Corps Air Station, Futenma, Okinawa,

       NATO Supply Center, Capellon, Luxembourg

APPENDIX I                                                                            APPENDIX I

                                    ITEM IDENTIFICATION (I.1.)

             %                              ..D I        1D =-'
                                             DATA ....             I       "    "                  "

                                                           ~                   ~"II

                                     SIV/           'O                 I

                               SUPPLY MANAGEMENT INFORAION

                                                       APPENDIX II

                  ADDENDUM TO GAO OVERVIEW--
     This addendum corrects the printing
on page 9 and shows the complete addresseserror in the chart
codes listed on the chart. The following for activity
                                           printing varia-
tions were noted:

     Marine Corps:
     -- Activity code PA includes a solid blue line
        ing Lin input code for standardization data indicat-
                                                    (H); how-
        ever, it should be a solid black line for files
        patability input (Q).                            com-

     Defense Logistics Agency:
     -- Activity -ode TX should include a dashed
                                                 orange      ine
        for Organizational Entity Data (R).
     --Activity code UX should not include a dotted
       for (T) Defense Logistics Services Center-T. red line
     -- Activity code UP reads Defense Supply
        DSAH-DLAO.                            Agency,
                    However, it should read Defens- Logis-
        tics Agency, DLAH-DLAO.

      AC             Edgewood Arsenal
                     Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.   21010
      AJ             U.S. Army Troop Support Command
                     St. Louis. Mo. 63120
      AM             U.S. Army Medical Materiel Agency
                     Frederick, Md. 21701
      Ar          U.S. Army Catalog Data Agency
                  New Cumberland Army Depot
                  New Cumberland, Pa. 17070

APPENDIX II                                   APPENDIX I


       AZ      U.S. Army Tank-Automotive Command
               Warren, Mich. 48090
       BD     U.S. Army Missile Command
              Directorate of Material Management
              Cataloging Division
              Redstone Arsenal, Ala.  35809
       BF     U.S. Army Armament Command
              Rock Island, Ill. 61201
       BL     Picatinny Arsenal
              Dover, N.J. 07801
       BN     Picatinny Arsenal
              SARPA-ND-M-P-C, Building 3002
              Dover, N.J. 07801
       CA     U.S. Army Support Activity, Philadelphia
              Philadelphia, Pa. 19101
      CD      U.S. Army General, Material and Petroleum
              New Cumberland Army Depot
              New Cumberland, Pa. 17070
      CJ      Director
              U.S. Army Logistics Systems Support Agency
              ATTN: DRXLS-LF
              Chambersburg, Pa. 17201
      CL      U.S. Army Electronics Command
              Fort onmouth, N.J. 07703
      CM      U.S. Army Communications Security Logis-
                tics Agency
              Fort Huachuca, Ariz. 85613

APPENDIX II                                   APPENDIX II


      CT      U.S. Army Aviation Systems Command
              St. Louis, Mo. 63166
      CU      U.S. Army Security Agency
              Materiel Support Command
              Vint Hill Farms Station
              Warrenton, Va. 22186
      D2      U.S. Army Natick Laboratories
              Natick, Mass. 01760
      D3      U.S. Army Electronics Command
              Ft. Monmouth, N.J. 07703
      D4      U.S. Army Mobility Equipment Research and
                Development Center
              Ft. Belvoir, Va. 22060
      D6      Commander
              Frankford Arsenal
              Attn: SARFA-MDM
              Philadelphia, Pa.   19137
      EN      Department of the Army
              U.S. Army International Logistics Center
              New Cumberland Army Depot
              New Cumberland, Pa. 17070
      XZ      Military Traffic Management Command
              Department of the Army
              Washington, D.C. 20315

      GH      Navy Fleet Material Support Office
              Code 91123
              Mechanicsburg, Pa. 17055

APPENDIX II                                  APPENDIX II

       GM     Navy Fleet Material Support Office
              Code 91123
              Mechanicsburg, Pa. 17055
       GP     Commanding Officer
              Navy Aviation Supply Office
              Attn: DAI-GP
              700 Robbins Avenue
              Philadelphia, Pa. 19111
       G5     Naval Ammunition Depot
              Code 03
              Crane, Ind. 47522
       HC     Naval Electronics Systems Command
              Code ELEX 50423
              Washington, D.C.  20360
       HD     Navy Ships Parts Control Center
              (Ships and Base Materiel)
              Mechanicsburg, Pa. 17055
       HE     Naval Air Engineering Center
              ESS), Code X-32
              Ph ladelphia, Pa. 19112
       HH     Navy Ships Parts Control Center
              Code 815
              Mechanicsburg, Pa.  17055
      HP      Naval Supply Systems Command
              Code SUP10
              Department of the Navy
              Washington, D.C.  20360
      HW      Military Sealift Command
              Washington, D.C.  20390
      HX      Navy Ships Parts Control Center
              Special Propulsion Plant Material
              Mechanicsburg, Pa. 17055
      JB      Navy Ships Parts Control Center
              Attn: Code 880 (TRIDENT)
              Mechanicsburg, Pa. 17055

APPENDIX     I                                 APPENDZ   I!


       JF        Nevy Ships Parts Control Center
                 Nuclear Equipment Support Branch
                 Mechanicsburg, Pa.  17055
       JG        Navy Ships Parts Control Center
                 (Ammunition Division)
                 Mechanicsburg, Pa. 17055

       JS        Naval Construction Battalion Center
                 Seabee Systems
                 Eng.neering Office
                 Code 15432
                 Port Hueneme, Calif. 93043
       JV        Strategic Systems Project Office
                 Vitro Laboratories
                 (Code MSC)
                 Silver Spring, Md. 20910
       J4        Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
                 Logistics Directorate (J-4)
                 Mobility Operation Division
                 Logistics Coordination Center
                 Room 2C836, Pentagon
                 Washington, D.C.  20301
       KE        Navy Aviation Supply Office
                 Code DAP-A
                 Philadelphia, Pa. 19111
    Air Force

       SA        Air Force Logistics Command
                 gright-Patterson AFB, Ohio 45433
       SC        San Antonio Air Logistics Center
                 SWRC (Atomic Ordnance)
                 Kelly AFB, Tex. 78241
       SD        Air Force Logistics Command
                 Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio 45433

APPENDIX II                                    APPENDIX II

    Air Force
       SE       San Antonio Air Logistics Center
                Kelly AFB, Tex. 78241
       SJ       AFCD/LGGLSC
                San Antonio, Tex.   78243
       SP       San Antonio Air Logistics Center
                Kelly AFB, Tex.  78241
       ST       Air Force Services Office (AFLC)
                Philadelphia, Pa. 19101
      SU        Ogden Air Logistics Center
                Hill AFS, Utah 84406
      SX        Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center
                Tinker AFB, Okla. 73145
      TA        Sacramento Air Logistics Center
                McClellan AFB, Calif. 95652
      TG        Warner-Robins Air Logistics Center
                Robins AFB, Ga. 31098
      TT        Air Force Medical Materiel Field Office
                Frederick, Md. 21701
      TU        AFLC Cataloging and Standardization
                Battle Creek, Mich. 49016
      TW        AFLC Cataloging and Standardization
                Battle Creek, Mich.  49016

APPENDIX II                                          APPENDIX II

 Marine Corps
       PA           Marine Corps Supply Activity
                    Code 840
                    Philadelphia, Pa.   9146
       PB           Commanding General
                    Marine Corps Supply Center
                    Albany, Ga. 31704

       PC           Comnmanding General
                    Marine Corps Supply Center
                    Barstow, Calif. 92311
       PD           Commanding General
                    Marine Corps Base
                    Camp Pendleton, Calif.   92055
       PE           Commanding General
                    Marine Corps Base
                    Camp Lejeune, N.C.   28542
       PM           Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps
                    Code LMO-1
                    Washington, D.C. 20380
Defense Logistics

       AX           Defense Construction Supply Center
                    Columbus, Ohio 43215
       CX           Defense General Supply Center
                    Richmond, Va.  23297
       CY           Defense Personnel Support Center
                    Philadelphia, Pa. 19101

       CZ           Defense Personnel Support Center
                    Philadelphia, Pa. 19101
       KX           Defense Personnel Support Center
                    Philadelphia, Pa. 19101

                                                       APPENDIX II

Defense Logistics
          KY         Defense Fuel Supply Center
                     Cameron Station
                     Alexandria, Va. 22314
      KZ             Defense Industrial Supply Center
                     Philadelphia, Pa. 19111
      PX             Defense Industrial Plant Equipment
                     DIPEC-TE                           Center
                     Memphis, Tenn. 38114
      TX             Defense Electronics Supply Center
                     Dayton, Ohio 45444
      UP             Defense Logistics Agency
                     ATTN: DLAH-DLAO
                     Cameron Station
                     Alexandria, Va. 22314
      UU            Defense Depot Ogden
                    Ogden, Utah 84401
     UX             Defense Depot Mechanicsburg
                    DDMP-EC, Building 09
                    Mechanicsburg, Pa. 17055
     Ue             PURA Project Office
                    Defense Automatic Addressing
                    Gentile Air Force Station
                    Dayton, Ohio 45444
     U3             Defense Automatic Addressing System
                    Gentile Air Force Station           Office
                    Dayton, Ohio 45444
     U5             Defense Industrial Supply Center
                    Philadelphia, Pa. 19111

                                                     APPENDIX II
Defense Logistics

       U6            DOD Automatic Addressing Facility
                     Western Division
                     c/o Defense Depot Tracy
                     Tracy, Calif. 95376
      U7             Defense Property Disposal Service
                     Federal Center
                     Battle Creek, Mich.  49016
      XC             Defense General Supply Center
                     DGSC-SEA (Civil Defense)
                     Richmond, Va. 23219
      XR             Defense Logistics Services Center
                     DLSC-M-MRCP Design Sup-Group
                     Battle Creek, Mich.  49016
      XY            Defense Logistics Services Center
                    Directorate of Item Identification
                    Attn: DLSC-C/Special Projects
                    Battle Creek, Mich. 49016
      96            Defense Logistics Services Center
                    Directorate of Item Identification
                    Battle Creek, Mich. 49016
      97            Defense Logistics Services Center
                    Office of Systems
                    Battle Creek, Mich. 49016
      98            Defense Logistics Services Center
                    Directorate of Item Identification
                    Battle Creek, Mich.  49016
     99             Defense Logistics Services Center
                    Directorate of Item Identification
                    Battle Creek, Mich. 49016
     9A             Defense Logistics Services Cnter
                    Battle Creek, Mich. 4016
     9B             Defense Logistics Services Cnter
                    Battle Creek, Mich.  49016
     9C             Defense Logistics Services Center
                    Battle Creek, Mich.  49016

APPENDIX II                                        APPENDIX II

Defense Logistics

       9E           Defense Logistics Services Center
                    Battle Creek, Mich. 49016
       9F           Defense Logistics Services Center
                    Battle Creek, Mich. 49016
       9G           Defense Logistics Services Center
                    Battle Creek, Mich.  49016
       9K           Defense Logistics Services Center
                    Battle Creek, Mich.   49016
       9L           Defense Logistics Services Center
                    Battle Creek, Mich.  49016
      9M            Defense Logistics Services Center
                    Directorate of Logistics Data Management
                    Battle Creek, Mich. 49016
      9N            Defense Logistics Services Center
                    Battle Creek, Mich.  49016
      90            Defense Logistics Services Center
                    Battle Creek, Mich. 49016
      9S            Defense Logistics Services Center
                    Battle Creek, Mich.  49016
      9T            Defense Logistics Services Center
                    Directorate of Logistics Data Management
                    Battle Creek, Mich.  49016
      )w            Defense Logistics Services Center
                    Battle Creek, Mich. 49016

APPENDIX II                                        APPENDIX II

Defen;A- Logistics
     A enc

       9X            Defense Logistics Srices Center
                     Battle Creek, Mich. 49016
       9Y            Defense Logistics Services Center
                     Battle Creek, Mich. 49016
       92            Defense Logistics Services Center
                     International Codification Division
                     Battle Creek, Mich.  49016

                                                      APPENDIX III



                    DISCUSSED IN THIS REPORT

                                             Tenure of office
                                             From          To
                     DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE
     Harold Brown                      Jan.
     Donald h. Rumsfeld                        1977     Present
                                       Nov.    1975     Jan. 1977
     James R. Schlesinger              July
     William P. Clements, Jr.                  1973     Nov. 1975
       (acting)                        May     1973
     Eliot L. Richardson                                July   1973
                                       Jan.    1973     May    1973
     Melvin R. Laird                   Jan.
     Clark M. Clifford                         1969     Jan.   1973
                                       Mar.    1968     Jan.   1969
     Robert S. McNamara                Jan.    1961     Feb.   1968
    (note a):
       John P. White                   May
       Dale R. Babione (acting)               1977     Present
                                       Jan.   1977
                                              1977     May 1977
                                                       May   .977
       Frank A. Shrontz                Feb.
       Dr. John J. Bennett (acting)           1976     Jan. 1977
                                       Apr. 1975       Jan. 1976
      Arthur I. Mendolias              June
      Hugh McCullough (acting)                1973     Mar. 1975
                                       Feb. 1973       June 1973
      Barry J. Shillito                Feb. 1969
      Thomas D. Morris                                 Feb. 1973
                                       Sept. 1967      Feb. 1969
      Paul R. Ignatius                 Dec. 1964       Aug. 1967
    (note b):
      Lt. Gen. W. W. Vaughan           Dec. 1975       Present
      Lt. Gen. Wallace H. Robinson,
         Jr.                           Aug. 1971
      Lt. Gen. Earl C. Hedlund                         Dec. 1975
                                      July 1967       July  1971
      Adm. oseph M. Lyle              July 1964       June 1967
a/This office represents the consolidation
   Secretary (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) of
                                                 the Assistant
   Secretary (Installations and Logistics)        the Assistant
                                            after April 20, 1977.
b/Before January 1, 1977, the title was Defense
                                                   Supply Agency.