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GAO Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide - Best Practices for Developing and Managing Capital Program Costs GAO-09-3SP.aspx
  
Learning MaterialReports
March 2009 


Our Cost Assessment Guide was developed in order to establish a consistent methodology based on best practices to be used across the federal government for the development and management of its program cost estimates. In particular, it provides a detailed link between cost estimating and earned value management (EVM) — which is especially critical for setting realistic program baselines and managing risk. By design, managers and auditors alike should find this Guide to be a useful manual as they assess (1) the credibility of a program’s cost estimate for budget and decision-making purposes, and (2) the program’s status using EVM.
5/18/2017 7:47 PM
GAO Assessments of Selected Weapon Programs March 2010.pdf
  
EngineeringArmy; DoDLearning MaterialReports
In 2009, the Secretary of Defense proposed canceling or significantly curtailing weapon programs with a projected cost of at least $126 billion. Congress supported several of the recommended terminations. DOD plans to develop new options to replace several of the canceled programs. The most significant of these will be the effort to restructure the Army’s terminated Future Combat System program. At the same time, DOD’s 2009 portfolio of major defense acquisition programs grew to 102 programs—a net increase of 6 since last year. DOD did not issue complete Selected Acquisition Reports for these programs in 2009, which precluded an analysis of the overall cost and schedule performance of DOD’s portfolio in this year’s assessment.
5/18/2017 7:47 PM
GAO DOD Needs to Improve its Planning for Using Contractors to Support Future Military Operations.pdf
  
Auditing; Contracting; Engineering; Program ManagementArmy; DoD; Joint StaffLearning MaterialReports
March 2010


Report to Congressional Committees



The Department of Defense (DOD) has long used contractors to provide supplies and services to deployed U.S. forces. However, the scale and scope of contract support the department relies on today in locations such as Iraq and Afghanistan have increased considerably from previous operations. According to DOD, in September 2009 the number of contractor personnel working for the department in Iraq and Afghanistan was about 218,000, with the number of contractors at times exceeding the number of military personnel in each country. By way of contrast, an estimated 9,200 contractor personnel supported military operations in the 1991 Gulf War. In Iraq and Afghanistan, contractors provide traditional logistical support, such as base operating support (food and housing) and maintaining weapons systems, but also nonlogistical support, such as providing intelligence analysts and interpreters who accompany military patrols. DOD expects to continue to rely heavily on contractors for future operations.


It is important to note that the increased use of contractors at deployed locations, which DOD refers to as operational contract support, is the result of thousands of individual decisions rather than comprehensive planning across the department.1 The department has acknowledged shortcomings in how the role of contractors was addressed in its planning for Iraq and Afghanistan. For example, the Secretary of Defense has stated that the growth of contractor services in Iraq in many respects happened without a coherent strategy.2


Our previous work has highlighted long-standing problems regarding the oversight and management of contractors supporting deployed forces and has identified the need to ensure that specific information on the use and roles of contract support to deployed forces is integrated into DOD’s plans
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GAO Defense Acquisitions Strong Leadership is Key to Planning and Executing Stable Weapon Programs May 2010.pdf
  
Auditing; Engineering; Program Management; Test and EvaluationAir Force; Army; DoD; Joint Staff; NavyLearning MaterialReports
Why GAO did this Study: 

For several decades, Congress and the Department of Defense (DOD) have explored ways to improve the acquisition of major weapon systems, yet program outcomes and their underlying causes have proven resistant to change. Last year, we reported that the cumulative cost growth in DOD’s portfolio of major programs was $296 billion. The opportunity to achieve meaningful improvements may now be at hand with the recent introduction of major reforms to the acquisition process.



In response to a mandate from this Committee, GAO has issued several reports about DOD’s budget and requirements processes to support weapon program stability. This follow-on report focuses on (1) identifying weapon programs that are achieving good outcomes, (2) the factors that enable some programs to succeed, and (3) lessons to be learned from these programs to guide implementation of recent reforms. GAO analyzed DOD’s portfolio of major defense programs and conducted case study reviews of five programs.
5/18/2017 7:47 PM
GAO Rpt on OS and LCC July 22010.pdf
  
Auditing; Engineering; Program Management; Purchasing; Test and EvaluationAir Force; Army; DoD; NavyLearning MaterialReports
DoD Need Better Information and Guidance to More Effectively Manage and Reduce Operating and Support Costs of Major Weapon Systems.
GAO Report to Congressional Committees, July 2010
5/18/2017 7:47 PM
Structure and Management of Subcontracts under Major Weapon System Contracts GAO Oct 28 2010.pdf
  
Auditing; Contracting; Earned Value Management; Engineering; PurchasingAir Force; Army; Defense Contract Management Agency; DoD; NavyLearning MaterialReports
GAO Briefing for Senate and House Armed Services Committees - October 28, 2010
Introduction
•According to some Department of Defense (DOD) and industry experts, prime contractors are subcontracting more work on the production of weapon systems and concentrating instead on systems integration.
•Based on some estimates, 60 to 70 percent of work on defense contracts is now done by subcontractors, with some industries aiming to outsource up to 80 percent of their work.
•At the same time, there is evidence that subcontract performance is contributing to cost and schedule delays on weapon system programs.
•2010 National Defense Authorization Act required GAO to study the structure and management of major subcontracts under prime contracts for the acquisition of selected major weapon systems.
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GAO Rpt on Nunn McCurdy Breaches.pdf
  
Auditing; Contracting; EngineeringAir Force; Army; DoD; Joint Staff; NavyLearning MaterialReports
Report dated March 9, 2011


Trends in Nunn-McCurdy Cost Breaches for Major Defense Acquisition Programs



For nearly 30 years, the statutory provision, known as the Nunn-McCurdy has been an oversight tool for Congress to hold the Department of Defense (DOD) accountable for cost growth on major defense programs. A Nunn-McCurdy breach occurs when a program's unit cost exceeds certain thresholds. When that happens, DOD must notify Congress of the breach. There are a number of statutory provisions that help implement cost growth reporting under Nunn-McCurdy. For the purposes of this report, we refer to these statutory provisions as the Nunn-McCurdy process. In September 2010, you requested that we examine trends in Nunn-McCurdy breaches and factors that may be responsible for these trends. In this report, we also discuss changes DOD is making or proposing to make to the Nunn-McCurdy process.
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GAO JSF Restructure Rpt April 2011.pdf
  
Auditing; Contracting; Earned Value Management; Engineering; Program Management; Test and EvaluationAir Force; Defense Contract Management Agency; DoD; NavyLearning MaterialReports
GAO Report to Congressional Committees, GAO-11-325, Dated April 2011
Joint Strike Fighter Restructuring Places Program on Firmer Footing, but Progress Still Lags


This report, prepared in response to a congressional mandate in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010, discusses (1) program cost and schedule changes and their implications on affordability; (2) progress made during 2010; (3) design and manufacturing maturity; and (4) test plans and progress. GAO’s work included analyses of a wide range of program documents and interviews with defense and contractor officials.

What GAO Recommends

To sustain a focus on accountability and facilitate tradeoffs within the JSF program, GAO recommends that DOD (1) maintain annual funding levels at current budgeted amounts; (2) establish criteria for evaluating the STOVL’s progress and make independent reviews, allowing each variant to proceed at its own pace; and (3) conduct an independent review of the software development and lab accreditation processes. DOD concurred.
 
GAO
5/18/2017 7:47 PM
GAO 12 366 KC 46 Tanker Report.pdf
  
Auditing; Contracting; Earned Value Management; Engineering; Test and EvaluationAir Force; Defense Contract Management Agency; DoD; NavyLearning MaterialReports
GAO Report to Congressional CommitteesGAO-12-366March 2012
KC-46 Tanker Aircraft - Acquisition Plans Have Good Features but Contain Schedule Risk.
5/18/2017 7:47 PM
GAO Missile Defense Opportunity Exists to Strenghten Acquisitions by Reducting Concurrency.pdf
  
Auditing; Engineering; Program Management; PurchasingArmy; DoD; NavyLearning MaterialReports
Why GAO Did This Study

MDA has spent more than $80 billion since its initiation in 2002 and plans to spend $44 billion more by 2016 to develop, produce, and field a complex integrated system of land-, sea-, and space-based sensors, interceptors, and battle management, known as the BMDS.
Since 2002, National Defense Authorization Acts have mandated that GAO prepare annual assessments of MDA’s ongoing cost, schedule, testing, and performance progress. This report assesses that progress in fiscal year 2011. To do this, GAO examined the accomplishments of the BMDS elements and supporting efforts and reviewed individual element responses to GAO data collection instruments. GAO also reviewed pertinent Department of Defense (DOD) policies and reports, and interviewed a wide range of DOD, MDA, and BMDS officials.

What GAO Recommends

GAO makes seven recommendations to the Secretary of Defense to reduce concurrency and strengthen MDA’s near- and long-term acquisition prospects. DOD concurred with six recommendations and partially concurred with one related to reporting on the cause of the Aegis BMD Standard Missile-3 Block IB test failure before committing to additional purchases. DOD did not agree to tie additional purchases to reporting the cause of the failure. DOD’s stated actions were generally responsive to problems already at hand, but did not consistently address implications for concurrency in the future, as discussed more fully in the report.
 
GAO Report dated April 2012
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GAO Urgent Warfighter Needs.pdf
  
Auditing; Contracting; Engineering; Program Management; Test and EvaluationAir Force; Army; DoD; Joint Staff; NavyLearning MaterialReports
April 2012

GAO recommends that DOD reduce the time spent on identifying and contracting for off-the-shelf solutions, devise methods for providing early funding to research laboratories and engineering centers, require that initiative decision memorandums be prepared for all initiatives, and require acquisition organizations to communicate with the Central Command and other combatant commands about plans for fielding capabilities. DOD concurred with these recommendations.
5/18/2017 7:47 PM
GAO 12 747R Defense Acquisition Workforce Report Jun 12.pdf
  
Auditing; Contracting; Engineering; Facilities Engineering; Information Technology; Life Cycle Logistics; Program Management; Test and EvaluationAir Force; Army; Defense Contract Management Agency; DoD; NavyLearning MaterialReports
This GAO report is dated June 2012.
5/18/2017 7:47 PM
GAO Rpt Re WSARA.pdf
  
Auditing; Engineering; Test and EvaluationAir Force; Army; DoD; NavyLearning MaterialReports
Weapons Acquisition Reform - Reform Act Is Helping DOD Acquisition Programs Reduce Risk, but Implementation Challenges Remain.
This GAO report is dated December 2012.
5/18/2017 7:47 PM
GAO Feb 13 Rpt Re KC 46 Tanker.pdf
  
Auditing; Contracting; Earned Value Management; Engineering; Program Management; Test and EvaluationAir Force; Defense Contract Management Agency; DoD; NavyLearning MaterialReports
KC-46 Tanker Aircraft - Program Generally Stable but Improvements in Managing Schedule Are Needed.
This GAO Report is dated February 2013.
5/18/2017 7:47 PM
GAO Mar 13 Rpt Re MAIS.pdf
  
Auditing; Engineering; Information Technology; Program Management; Purchasing; Requirements Management; Test and EvaluationAir Force; Army; DoD; NavyLearning MaterialReports
GAO Report dated March 2013
MAIS Selected Defense Programs Need to Implement Key Acquisition Practices
5/18/2017 7:47 PM
GAO Mar 13 Rpt Re Defense Contracting and Competition.pdf
  
Auditing; Contracting; Engineering; Information Technology; Purchasing; Small Business ProgramsAir Force; Army; Defense Contract Management Agency; Defense Logistics Agency; DoD; NavyLearning MaterialReports
GAO Report dated March 2013
5/18/2017 7:47 PM
GAO Annual Rpt Re Selected Weapon Programs Mar 13.pdf
  
Auditing; Engineering; Test and EvaluationAir Force; DoD; NavyLearning MaterialReports
GAO Report dated March 2013
5/18/2017 7:47 PM
GAO Jul 13 Report Re Navy LCS Program.pdf
  
Auditing; Contracting; Engineering; Purchasing; Test and EvaluationDoD; NavyLearning MaterialReports
Navy Shipbuilding.  Significant Investments in the Littoral Combat Ship Continue Amid Substantial Unknowns aabout Capabilities, Use, and Cost.
Government Accountability Office Report to Congressional Requesters dated July 2013.
5/18/2017 7:47 PM
GAO 13 826R Department of Defenses Waiver of Competitive Prototyping Requirement for the VXX Presidential Helicopter Replace.pdf
  
AuditingAir Force; DoD; NavyLearning MaterialReports
This U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) document is dated September 6, 2013.
5/18/2017 7:47 PM
GAO Testimony Re Defense Acquisition Reform.pdf
  
Auditing; Contracting; EngineeringArmy; DoD; NavyLearning MaterialReports
United States Government Accountability Office, Testimony Before the Committee on Armed Services, House of Representatives, dated Octoer 29, 2013.
5/18/2017 7:47 PM
GAO Nov 13 Rpt Re Army Logistics Modernization Program.pdf
  
Auditing; Engineering; Information Technology; PurchasingArmy; Defense Logistics Agency; DoDLearning MaterialReports
United States Government Accountability Office, Report to Congressional Requesters. November 2013Defense Logistics: Army Should Track Financial Benefits Realized from its Logistics Modernization Program
5/18/2017 7:47 PM
GAO Nov 13 Rpt Re DoD Estimates of Contract Termination Liability.pdf
  
Auditing; ContractingAir Force; Army; DoD; NavyLearning MaterialReports
U.S. Government Accountability Office, letter to Congressioonal Committees, dated November 12, 2013.
 Preliminary Observations on DOD Estimates of Contract Termination Liability
5/18/2017 7:47 PM
GAO Testimony Re Defense Acquisition Reform 12.pdf
  
Auditing; Contracting; EngineeringArmy; DoD; NavyLearning MaterialReports
GAO Report. Testimony Before the Committee on Armed Services, House of Representatives,  dated October 29, 2013.
5/18/2017 7:47 PM
GAO Report Defense Efficiencies Action Needed to Improve Evaluation of Initiatives.pdf
  
Auditing; Information TechnologyAir Force; Army; DoD; NavyLearning MaterialReports
United States Government Accountability OfficeReport to Congressional CommitteesJanuary 2014

Why GAO Did This Study

In May 2010, the Secretary of Defense announced a department-wide initiative with the goal of achieving efficiencies and reducing excess overhead costs while reinvesting those savings in sustaining DOD’s force structure and modernizing its weapons portfolio. The Secretary tasked the military departments and SOCOM to find estimated savings of about $100 billion over the period of fiscal years 2012 to 2016. For fiscal years 2013 and 2014, DOD identified additional efficiency initiatives. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 mandated that GAO assess the extent to which DOD has tracked and realized savings proposed pursuant to the initiative to identify $100 billion in efficiencies. As the second report in response to this mandate, this report addresses 1) DOD's progress in adjusting its approach to tracking and reporting on the implementation of its efficiency initiatives since GAO’s December 2012 report, and 2) the extent to which DOD is evaluating the impact of its initiatives. GAO reviewed guidance, and analyzed and discussed information developed after December 2012 with DOD officials.
5/18/2017 7:47 PM
GAO Rpt Re Marine Corps Amphibious Combat Vehicle Program.pdf
  
Auditing; EngineeringDoD; NavyLearning MaterialReports
GAO Letter to Congressional CommitteesApril 2014Status of Efforts to Initiate an Amphibious Combat Vehicle Program
5/18/2017 7:47 PM
GAO Apr 14 Rpt Re Navy Presidential Helicopter Program.pdf
  
Auditing; EngineeringDoD; NavyLearning MaterialReports
GAO Letter to Congressional CommitteesApril 2014Presidential Helicopter Acquisition: Update on Program's Progress toward Development Start
5/18/2017 7:47 PM
GAO Apr 14 Rpt Re KC 46 Tanker Program.pdf
  
Auditing; Earned Value Management; Engineering; Program Management; Test and EvaluationAir Force; Defense Contract Management Agency; DoD; NavyLearning MaterialReports
GAO Report to Congressional CommitteesApril 2014KC-46 Tanker AircraftProgram Generally on Track, but Upcoming Schedule Remains Challenging
5/18/2017 7:47 PM
GAO May 14 Rpt Re DoD Business Systems Process.pdf
  
Auditing; Contracting; Information TechnologyAir Force; Army; Defense Logistics Agency; DoD; NavyLearning MaterialReports
Defense Business Systems - Further Refinements Needed to Guide the Investment Management Process
A Government Accountability Office Report to Congressional Committees dated May 2014
5/18/2017 7:47 PM
GAO May 14 Rpt Re F 22 Cost Schedule.pdf
  
Auditing; Contracting; Engineering; Program ManagementAir Force; Defense Contract Management Agency; DoDLearning MaterialReports
F-22 Modernization - Cost and Schedule Transparency is Improved, Further Visibility into Reliability Efforts is Needed.

GAO Report to the Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces, Committee on Armed Services, House of Representatives.  Dated May 2014.
5/18/2017 7:47 PM
GAO May 14 Rpt Re Enhancing Contracting Competition.pdf
  
Auditing; Contracting; Engineering; Purchasing; Requirements ManagementAir Force; Army; Defense Contract Management Agency; Defense Logistics Agency; DoD; NavyLearning MaterialReports
Defense Contracting - Early Attention in the Acquisition Process Needed to Enhance Competition
GAO Report to Congressional Committees. Dated May 2014
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