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Data Management: DOD Should Redirect Its Efforts To Automate Technical Data Repositories

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Citation Edit

General Accounting Office, Data Management: DOD Should Redirect Its Efforts To Automate Technical Data Repositories (IMTEC-86-7; B-220908) (Mar. 13, 1986) (full-text).

Overview Edit

Pursuant to a congressional request, the GAO reviewed: (1) certain aspects of the Department of Defense's (DOD) technical data repository automation efforts; and (2) how technology sharing between DOD and the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) relates to these automation efforts.

The GAO found that: (1) the five DOD efforts have resulted in duplicative and nonstandard approaches to automating data repositories; (2) although the military departments each developed one or more economic analyses for technical data automation, these analyses were incomplete, outdated, or contained invalid assumptions; (3) the Army and Navy did not obtain the required procurement authority to buy computer hardware and software for automating their repositories; (4) although DOD and PTO have similar needs for storing large amounts of data, they did not consider joint studies or testing, which might have eliminated a duplication of effort; and (5) separate military efforts present high risks in achieving standardization and interoperability of technical data repositories.

The GAO also found that: (1) DOD did not use a centralized approach to planning, coordinating, and reviewing budgets to ensure effective and efficient automation of the technical data repositories; (2) DOD implemented a management strategy for achieving repository interoperability, but the strategy did not include the necessary oversight control; and (3) although DOD has provided general direction to defense agencies on standardizing repository automation, the services have not adequately implemented specific policies and, therefore, military departments have individually implemented nonstandard approaches in automating technical data repositories.

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