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

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Citation Edit

General Accounting Office, The Defense Integrated Data System: Is It Efficient and Effective? (LCD-77-117) (Dec. 20, 1977) (full-text).

Overview Edit

In May 1965, the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) began developing the Defense Integrated Data System (DIDS), 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 over its accuracy, provided a limited capability for immediate and remote access, generally improved the quality and quantity of information available to customers, and eliminated some duplicate files and publications.

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 duplicate files, centralization of publications, and exchange of some data with other logistics systems. Stringent management control might have headed off the agency's problems.

Shortcomings in project management permitted the development of an inadequately sized system based on understated workload projections and permitted the preparation of an overoptimistic economic analysis justifying development of the system, and permitted the premature operation of the system before all major functions were completely implemented and tested and before errors were corrected. To cope with these problems, new hardware was added, and software was refined to augment the original system. This augmentation did not provide the processing capability required to meet demands. There is valid need for this system, but the processing problems have resulted from inadequate system sizing and premature operations.

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