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Defense Networks: Management Information Shortfalls Hinder Defense Efforts to Meet DISN Goals (Letter Report, 07/30/98, GAO/AIMD-98-202).

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of
Defense's (DOD) efforts to implement the Defense Information Systems
Network (DISN), focusing on: (1) those DOD long-haul telecommunications
networks operating outside of the common-user DISN; (2) DOD's progress
in implementing its policies for managing DISN; and (3) DOD's progress
in developing performance measures for DISN, which DOD agreed to do in
response to GAO's previous review of the DISN program.

GAO noted that: (1) although DOD has been implementing the DISN program
for 7 years, numerous networks continue to exist without the Defense
Information Systems Agency's (DISA) knowledge; (2) GAO's survey found
that the military services are operating at least 87 independent
networks that support a variety of long-haul telecommunications
requirements; (3) the services reported costs on 68 of these networks
totalling more than $89 million annually; (4) DOD's inability to
restrict the number of networks operating across the department stems
from its failure to implement basic telecommunications management
policies established at the beginning of the DISN program and its
failure to develop objective performance measures for the program; (5)
DISA has not developed a comprehensive inventory of telecommunications
networks throughout DOD nor have the military services developed
inventories of their own networks; (6) DISA has not reported on
telecommunications acquisitions, trends (volumes and types of traffic)
and costs throughout DOD, and it lacks the data to develop such reports;
(7) DOD has not effectively enforced the use of common-user services,
nor were Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control,
Communications, and Intelligence (ASD/C3I) officials clear on how
enforcement would occur; (8) DOD has only recently begun to implement an
interim waiver process to exempt DOD components from using common-user
networks--a final process has yet to be implemented; (9) DOD has not
developed performance measures for the DISN program even though it
agreed with GAO's previous report that these measures were essential to
ensuring DISN was efficiently and effectively managed; (10) by not
implementing the above, DOD lacks the basic management controls to
ensure that it can achieve its goal for an interoperable and
cost-effective telecommunications environment; (11) specifically, it
lacks a foundation for identifying stovepiped and redundant networks
that are not interoperable and cannot share information, and replacing
them with mandated common-user services; it lacks a basis for maximizing
the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of DISN; it cannot quantify
problems; and it cannot learn from mistakes; and (12) as a result, DOD's
stated goals for DISN are at risk, and DOD cannot ensure that DISN is
the most cost-effective solution to DOD's telecommunications service
requirements.

--------------------------- Indexing Terms -----------------------------

 REPORTNUM:  AIMD-98-202
     TITLE:  Defense Networks: Management Information Shortfalls Hinder 
             Defense Efforts to Meet DISN Goals
      DATE:  07/30/98
   SUBJECT:  Computer networks
             Command/control/communications systems
             Defense cost control
             Defense procurement
             Military communication
             Telecommunication
             Information resources management
             Strategic information systems planning
             Telecommunication equipment
             ADP procurement
IDENTIFIER:  Defense Information System Network
             Federal Telecommunications System 2000
             FTS 2000
             
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Cover
================================================================ COVER


Report to the Ranking Minority Member, Committee on Governmental
Affairs, U.S.  Senate

July 1998

DEFENSE NETWORKS - MANAGEMENT
INFORMATION SHORTFALLS HINDER
DEFENSE EFFORTS TO MEET DISN GOALS

GAO/AIMD-98-202

Defense Networks

(511368)


Abbreviations
=============================================================== ABBREV

  ARNET - Army's Regional Transition Network
  ASD/C3I - Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control,
     Communications, and Intelligence
  DISA - Defense Information Systems Agency
  DISD - Defense Information Systems Database
  DISN - Defense Information Systems Network
  FASA - Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act
  FTS2000 - Federal Telecommunications System
  GSA - General Services Administration
  IP - Internet Protocol
  ITP - Installation Transition Processing
  J-6 - Joint Staff for Command, Control, Communication and Computers
  NAVWAN - Naval Aviation Systems Team Wide Area Network
  NEWNET - Navy Sea Systems Command's Enterprisewide Network
  NIPRNET - (N-Level) IP Router Network
  OASD/C3I - Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for
     Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence

Letter
=============================================================== LETTER


B-276998

July 30, 1998

The Honorable John Glenn
Ranking Minority Member
Committee on Governmental Affairs
United States Senate

Dear Senator Glenn: 

The military services and Defense agencies have long procured and
operated multiple long-haul telecommunications systems to meet their
individual mission needs.  As a result, Defense's communications
environment has been fragmented and redundant.  To eliminate costly
duplication and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of its
communication services, Defense began in 1991 to plan and implement
the Defense Information Systems Network (DISN) as the common-user,
long-haul telecommunications network for all Defense components.\1

To ensure the success of the DISN program, the Assistant Secretary of
Defense for Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence
(ASD/C3I) established policies that (1) directed Defense components
to develop comprehensive inventories of their own long-haul
telecommunications networks and directed the Defense Information
Systems Agency (DISA) to develop a Defense-wide inventory of
long-haul networks, (2) directed DISA to report annually on
telecommunications services acquisitions, trends, and associated
costs, (3) mandated components to use common-user networks--such as
DISN or FTS 2000\2 --for long-haul communications, and (4) directed
DISA to establish a waiver process to let components procure
independent networks when their telecommunications needs could not be
met by common-user networks. 

This report responds to your request that we (1) identify those
Defense long-haul telecommunications networks operating outside of
the common-user DISN, (2) evaluate the Department of Defense's
progress in implementing its policies for managing DISN, and (3)
evaluate Defense's progress in developing performance measures for
DISN, which Defense agreed to do in response to our previous review
of the DISN program.\3


--------------------
\1 A common-user long-haul network is one which provides
long-distance communications service to a large, general population
of users, rather than being dedicated to a small and specialized
community. 

\2 The Federal Telecommunications System (FTS 2000) program provides
long-distance services to the federal government.  It is managed by
the General Services Administration (GSA). 

\3 Defense Communications:  Performance Measures Needed To Ensure
DISN Program Success (GAO/AIMD-97-9, November 27, 1996). 


   RESULTS IN BRIEF
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :1

Although Defense has been implementing the DISN program for 7 years,
numerous networks continue to exist without DISA's knowledge.  Our
own survey found that the military services are operating at least 87
independent networks that support a variety of long-haul
telecommunications requirements.  The Services reported costs on 68
of these networks totaling more than $89 million annually. 

Defense's inability to restrict the number of networks operating
across the department stems from its failure to implement basic
telecommunications management policies established at the beginning
of the DISN program and its failure to develop objective performance
measures for the program.  First, DISA has not developed a
comprehensive inventory of telecommunications networks throughout
Defense nor have the military services developed inventories of their
own networks.  Second, DISA has not reported on telecommunications
acquisitions, trends (volumes and types of traffic) and costs
throughout Defense, and it lacks the data to develop such reports. 
Third, Defense has not effectively enforced the use of common-user
services, such as DISN, nor were ASD/C3I officials clear on how
enforcement would occur.  Fourth, Defense has only recently begun to
implement an interim waiver process to exempt Defense components from
using common-user networks--a final process has yet to be
implemented.  Fifth, Defense has not developed performance measures
for the DISN program even though it agreed with our previous report
that these measures were essential to ensuring DISN was efficiently
and effectively managed. 

By not implementing the above, Defense lacks the basic management
controls to ensure that it can achieve its goal for an interoperable
and cost-effective telecommunications environment.  Specifically, it
lacks a foundation for identifying "stovepiped" and redundant
networks that are not interoperable and cannot share information, and
replacing them with mandated common-user services; it lacks a basis
for maximizing the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of DISN; it
cannot quantify problems; and it cannot learn from mistakes.  As a
result, Defense's stated goals for DISN are at risk, and Defense
cannot ensure that DISN is the most cost-effective solution to
Defense's telecommunications service requirements. 


   OBJECTIVES, SCOPE, AND
   METHODOLOGY
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :2

Our objectives were to (1) identify those Defense long-haul
telecommunications networks operating outside of the common-user
DISN, (2) evaluate the Department of Defense's progress in
implementing its policies for managing telecommunications services,
which include:  developing a comprehensive inventory of
telecommunications equipment and services, reporting on
telecommunications services acquired, trends, and costs, mandating
the use of common-user networks, and developing a waiver process to
grant exceptions from using common-user networks, and (3) evaluate
Defense's progress in developing performance measures for DISN to
ensure effective and efficient use of the department's
telecommunications resources. 

To determine what long-haul telecommunications networks were planned
or operating in Defense, we reviewed applicable Defense directives,
instructions, and memorandums regarding the use of common-user
networks.  We met with officials from DISA and OASD/C3I to assess
Defense's progress in developing a comprehensive inventory of
telecommunications equipment and services.  We met with
representatives of the Joint Staff for Command, Control,
Communication and Computers (J-6); the Department of Defense's Office
of Inspector General; the Army, the Navy, the Marines, the Air Force,
the Defense Logistics Agency, and the Defense Commissary Agency to
assess component efforts to develop inventories.  When we learned
that no comprehensive inventories of networks exist at the department
or component level, we sent a questionnaire to the four military
services requesting that, for every non-DISN long-haul network, they
report:  the name of the network; functional description; types of
telecommunications services supported; estimated annual costs;
whether the network was planned or operational, and if planned, its
status, life-cycle costs, and whether it was scheduled to be replaced
by DISN, and when.  We did not independently verify the information
provided by the Services.  However, we consulted with them to confirm
our understanding of their responses and to discuss and ask questions
we had about information they provided.  Appendix I details the
results of our survey. 

To assess progress in reporting on telecommunications services
acquired, trends, and costs, we reviewed applicable Defense
directives, instructions, and memorandums and discussed Defense's
implementation of these requirements with officials from ASD/C3I and
DISA.  We analyzed information on costs maintained by DISA and
reviewed a recent contractor evaluation of DISA business processes. 

To assess Defense's progress in enforcing its policy mandate that
Defense components acquire services from common-user networks, we
reviewed applicable Defense directives, instructions, and memorandums
and met with officials from ASD/C3I, DISA, and the Defense
components.  During these interviews we asked for documentation
showing that existing policies on telecommunications management and
the use of common-user networks were being implemented and enforced. 
We obtained and analyzed network plans, requirements, and other
acquisition documentation to determine if Defense components were
complying with telecommunications management policies. 

To assess Defense's progress in developing a waiver process to grant
exceptions from using common-user networks, we reviewed applicable
Defense directives, instructions, and memorandums.  We met with
officials from ASD/C3I and DISA to discuss their plans to implement
an interim waiver process and to develop a strategy detailing how and
when independent networks will be replaced by their common-user
counterparts.  Because the interim process began during our review,
we met again with DISA officials in April 1998 to assess the agency's
progress to date in granting waivers. 

To assess Defense's progress in developing performance measures for
DISN, we met with officials from DISA and reviewed DISA's draft
documentation on the issue, which consisted of draft performance
measures for information technology acquisitions.  We reviewed the
Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996, the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act
of 1994, the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990, the Government
Performance and Results Act of 1993, and the Paperwork Reduction Act
of 1995 to determine applicable legislative requirements for
developing performance measures.  We relied on work we performed in
developing our recent guide on performance measurement, Executive
Guide:  Measuring Performance and Demonstrating Results of
Information Technology Investments (GAO/AIMD-98-89, March 1998).  In
addition, we examined network performance measurements used in the
private sector. 

Our review was conducted from December 1996 through April 1998 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.  We
obtained written comments from Defense on a draft of this report. 
These comments are discussed in the "Agency Comments and Our
Evaluation" section of this letter and are reprinted in appendix II. 


   BACKGROUND
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :3

The military services, Defense agencies, and other Defense components
have traditionally acquired and operated many unique
telecommunications networks to support a range of mission
requirements.  As a result, Defense components operate many
stovepiped telecommunications systems that are not interoperable and
cannot share information across functional and organizational
boundaries.  For example, between 1988 and 1992 Defense reported
several interoperability problems including some arising during the
Persian Gulf War.  Defense components were unable to use their
telecommunications networks and information systems to coordinate the
issuance of air tasking orders, the use of air space, and the use of
fire support for joint operations. 

To improve the interoperability of its military communications
services as well as to reduce costs associated with operating
redundant systems, Defense began in 1991 to plan and implement DISN
to serve as the department's primary worldwide telecommunications and
information transfer network.  The DISN strategy focuses on replacing
older data communications systems, using emerging technologies and
cost-effective acquisition strategies that provide secure and
interoperable voice, data, video, and imagery communications
services.  Under the DISN program, the military services and Defense
agencies are still responsible for acquiring telecommunications
services for their local bases and installations as well as deployed
communications networks.  DISA is responsible for acquiring the
long-haul services that will interconnect these base-level and
deployed networks within and between the continental United States,
Europe, and the Pacific. 

Defense issued a number of policies and directives in 1991 aimed at
ensuring that the department could identify and replace redundant
networks with DISN and manage DISN efficiently and effectively. 
These policies

  -- directed components to develop comprehensive inventories of
     their telecommunications equipment and services, and DISA to
     develop a comprehensive Defense-wide inventory;

  -- directed DISA to report annually on telecommunications equipment
     acquisitions, trends, and associated costs;

  -- mandated the use of common-user networks; and

  -- directed DISA to develop a waiver process to grant exceptions
     from using common-user networks when these networks could not
     satisfy Defense components' requirements. 

In a previous review of the DISN program,\4 we found that Defense was
not doing enough to ensure that the program would be managed
efficiently and effectively.  Specifically, the department lacked
performance measures that would help Defense track whether DISA was
meeting its objectives, efficiently allocating resources, and
learning from mistakes.  In response, Defense agreed to establish
measures for the program. 


--------------------
\4 GAO/AIMD-97-9, November 27, 1996. 


   DEFENSE DOES NOT KNOW HOW MANY
   INDEPENDENT NETWORKS IT IS
   OPERATING
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :4

In order for the DISN program to work, Defense needs to know how many
networks are operating in the department and what functions they
support.  This is the foundation for identifying redundant and
stovepiped networks and ensuring that they are replaced by DISN. 
However, Defense lacks the basic information necessary to determine
how many networks are operating in the department, what functions
they support, or what they cost.  In order to estimate the number and
cost of networks that are operating outside of DISN, we conducted our
own survey, which identified 87 such networks operated by the
military services alone.  DISA initiated a similar data call to the
military services and Defense agencies after we began our survey and
identified 153 networks planned or operating throughout Defense.\5
The results of our survey are presented in appendix I and summarized
in table 1. 



                                Table 1
                
                    Independent Networks Reported by
                           Military Services

                        ((Dollars in thousands))

                                         Number of    Annual recurring
                                       independent               costs
Service                          networks reported            reported
------------------------------  ------------------  ------------------
Army                                            37             $25,097
Navy                                            20            $4,987\a
Marine Corps                                     4            $1,800\b
Air Force                                       26           $57,733\c
----------------------------------------------------------------------
\a The Navy provided annual recurring cost information for three
networks. 

\b The Marine Corps provided annual recurring cost information for
three networks. 

\c The Air Force provided annual recurring cost information for 24
networks. 

To manage telecommunications cost effectively, Defense must know what
networks are operating in the department.  In 1991, Defense directed
DISA to establish a central inventory of all long-haul
telecommunications equipment and services in Defense, and directed
the heads of Defense components to do likewise.  However, the central
inventory was never established and DISA staff are still discovering
new networks as they process new telecommunications service requests
from Defense components. 

Defense components have also failed to develop inventories of their
own networks.  During our initial meetings, Army, Navy, and Air Force
officials stated that they could not readily identify all of their
networks or describe what their functions are because they do not
centrally manage their telecommunications resources.  Our experience
with the Navy illustrates the depth of this problem.  The Navy's
initial response to our survey only identified three independent
long-haul networks.\6 Other Navy networks known to exist, such as the
Naval Aviation Systems Team Wide Area Network (NAVWAN), were not
reported in the survey.\7

Navy's headquarters telecommunication staff acknowledged that they
were unable to identify all of the Navy's long-haul networks. 

Careful analysis is needed to determine whether any of the
independent networks identified in our survey can or should be
replaced by DISN common user services.  However, on the basis of our
interviews with the military services and our survey results, we were
able to determine that overlaps exist between telecommunications
services offered by independent networks and services offered by
DISN.  For example: 

  -- NAVWAN offers its users data communications services using
     Internet Protocol (IP); similar services are provided by DISA on
     DISN's Unclassified but Sensitive (N-Level) IP Router Network
     (NIPRNET). 

  -- The Army's Installation Transition Processing (ITP) Network also
     offers IP router services similar to those provided by DISN's
     NIPRNET. 

  -- The Navy Sea Systems Command's Enterprisewide Network (NEWNET,
     now known as Smart Link) relies on asynchronous transfer
     mode-based data communications services; similar services are
     now offered by DISA on a limited basis. 

  -- The Army's planned Regional Transition Network (ARTNET, now
     known as the Circuit Bundling Initiative) also relies on
     asynchronous transfer mode-based data services, similar to
     services offered by DISA. 


--------------------
\5 DISA's list includes networks operated by Defense agencies as well
as those reported by the military services.  According to Defense
officials, DISA discovers independent networks by various means and
has included this information in compiling the list of 153 networks
mentioned here. 

\6 Navy officials subsequently furnished our office with a copy of
their input to DISA's data call, which identified an additional 17
networks. 

\7 Navy officials identified additional networks in the DISA data
call that was conducted after our survey.  However, this particular
network was not reported to either GAO or DISA. 


   DISA DOES NOT HAVE DATA TO
   DEVELOP REQUIRED REPORTS ON
   TELECOMMUNICATIONS
   ACQUISITIONS, TRENDS, AND COSTS
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :5

To ensure that a common-user network is efficiently and effectively
managed, it is essential to closely monitor its acquisitions of
telecommunications services, costs, and trends in usage, that is, the
volumes and types of traffic it carries.  This monitoring helps an
agency ensure that the network is properly sized (i.e., neither
oversized nor undersized) and offers cost-effective services.  Since
1991, DISA has been required to report annually on telecommunications
services acquired, trends (volumes and types of traffic), and
associated costs throughout Defense.  However, it has not done so,
and it lacks the data needed to begin developing such reports. 

For example, as noted previously, DISA lacks a comprehensive
inventory of telecommunications equipment and services across the
department.  Therefore, it cannot effectively report annually on
acquisitions.  In addition, DISA has not collected data that would
help it identify trends in network traffic throughout Defense, which
in turn would help it plan for future growth and identify the need
for new telecommunications services.  This would include data on the
number of anticipated users, the nature of business functions
requiring telecommunications support, and the potential costs and
benefits of new technologies. 

Further, Defense managers lack reliable cost information on their
networks.  For example, senior Defense managers rely on Defense
components to voluntarily report telecommunications resource
requirements during annual budget preparations.  But because
communications resources are embedded in noncommunications budget
items, this process does not allow Defense to identify costs by
network or to identify costs for services obtained by users outside
of DISA channels.  In addition, DISA does not have a cost accounting
system or any other effective means of determining DISN's actual
operating costs. 

Until Defense managers have good data on status and trends in
telecommunications equipment and services, acquisitions, and costs,
they will not have a sound basis for making decisions on reducing
telecommunications costs across the department, improving network
operations, and reliably determining how efficiently and cost
effectively to meet user needs. 


   DEFENSE HAS NOT EFFECTIVELY
   ENFORCED THE USE OF COMMON USER
   NETWORKS
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :6

Under Title 10 of the United States Code, the military services have
wide latitude to expend resources to train and sustain their
forces.\8 Because the mandate to use DISN restricts this latitude,
compliance will only be achieved if Defense institutes an effective
enforcement process.  Since it began the DISN program in 1991,
Defense has never effectively enforced the use of common-user
networks. 

While OASD/C3I staff stated that financial pressure could be brought
to bear in the budget process to enforce the mandate, they were
unable to articulate how this enforcement would occur.  Further, even
though the military services have implemented several major long-haul
networks during the past 5 years, OASD/C3I staff were unable to
identify a single instance in which they formally analyzed the
military services' plans for acquiring long-haul networks and
insisted that common-user networks be used instead. 

In May 1997, ASD/C3I issued a memorandum that reiterated Defense
policy mandating the use of common-user networks for long-haul
telecommunications and reaffirming DISA's role as the manager and
sole provider of long-haul telecommunications.  Defense is now
preparing an update to this memorandum that it states will reflect
the department's changing organization and mission, and changes in
telecommunications technology.  However, unless Defense defines and
implements a process to enforce this policy, it will remain
ineffective. 


--------------------
\8 The Secretaries of the Army, Navy and Air Force are responsible
for and have the authority to conduct all affairs of their respective
services, including organizing, equipping and training their forces. 
10 U.S.C.   3013 (Army), 10 U.S.C.  5013 (Navy), and 10 U.S.C.  
8013 (Air Force). 


   DEFENSE COMPONENTS ARE IGNORING
   DISA'S INTERIM WAIVER PROCESS
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :7

In August 1997, DISA began implementing an interim waiver process
which outlined the steps that Defense components must follow to
operate independent networks: 

  -- First, operators of all independent long-haul networks must, as
     of August 1997, request a waiver to policy mandating common-user
     networks. 

  -- Second, DISA must assess the request and issue a waiver in those
     cases where telecommunications requirements cannot currently be
     technically or economically satisfied by DISN or another
     common-user system such as FTS 2000/2001.\9

Neither of these steps, however, is well-defined.  For example, the
guidance does not describe data that the required justifications
should include or criteria DISA will use in evaluating them.  In
addition, it does not specify how DISA will determine if components'
requirements can be cost effectively satisfied by DISN or FTS
2000/2001. 

To date, the Services and Defense agencies have largely ignored the
interim waiver process.  Only 9 percent of the operators of the 131
non-DISA-managed independent networks that DISA identified in its
survey has requested a waiver from use of DISN services. 


--------------------
\9 FTS 2001 refers to the FTS 2000's successor program, currently in
the procurement phase. 


   DEFENSE STILL LACKS PERFORMANCE
   MEASURES FOR DISN
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :8

Performance measures are central to effectively managing any
significant information system undertaking and are required by
several federal statutes, including the Federal Acquisition
Streamlining Act (FASA) of 1994 and the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996. 
For example, under FASA, the Secretary of Defense is required to
establish and approve the cost, performance, and schedule goals for
major defense acquisition programs and for each phase of the
acquisition cycle.  Under Clinger-Cohen, agencies must define
mission-related performance measures before making information
technology investments, and must determine actual mission-related
benefits achieved from this information technology, to help ensure an
adequate return on investment.  For the DISN program, appropriate
performance measures would be those that facilitate comparisons
between DISN and the independent networks, as well as those that
identify potential problems (for example, network reliability,
network availability, and measures of customer service, including
responsiveness to customer requests for maintenance or for new
services). 

In our 1996 report on the DISN program, we recommended that Defense
establish performance measures for DISN.  Although it agreed to
develop performance measures in response to that review, Defense has
never developed measures for the DISN program.  Until it does so,
Defense will not be able to demonstrate to the Services and other
components that DISN is a better choice than their various
independent networks, nor will it be able to target and direct
management attention to problem areas. 


   CONCLUSIONS
------------------------------------------------------------ Letter :9

In the 7 years that it has been implementing the DISN program and
striving to improve telecommunications management in the department,
Defense has done very little to implement the basic management
controls it believed were needed to ensure success.  Numerous
independent networks continue to exist without DISA's knowledge;
Defense does not have a comprehensive inventory of telecommunications
equipment and services; DISA does not collect data and report on
acquisitions, trends, and costs; Defense does not enforce the use of
common-user networks; Defense has not implemented an effective waiver
process that includes the objective evaluation of alternative
telecommunications solutions; and Defense has not established good
performance measures.  As a result, Defense has not achieved its
goals for an interoperable telecommunications environment, cannot
support any claims that the long-haul networks it operates are
cost-effective, and cannot determine which independent long-haul
networks should be replaced by common user networks such as DISN or
FTS 2000/2001. 


   RECOMMENDATIONS
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :10

We recommend that the Secretary of Defense direct the Assistant
Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications, and
Intelligence to ensure that existing policies are clearly defined,
documented, and enforced.  Specifically, ASD/C3I should

  -- develop and maintain a comprehensive inventory of Defense's
     telecommunications equipment and services;

  -- track acquisitions of telecommunications services throughout
     Defense, the actual costs of those services, and trends in usage
     (that is, the volumes and types of traffic that networks carry);

  -- define and institute an effective process for evaluating the
     cost-effectiveness of Defense networks and mandating the use of
     common-user networks for long-haul telecommunications where
     appropriate.  As part of this process, define the criteria that
     DISA will use to make waiver determinations, including how DISA
     will measure technical, economic, and customer service factors
     in granting waivers. 

In addition, we recommend that the Secretary direct the Assistant
Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications, and
Intelligence to develop and adopt user-based provisioning, pricing,
and performance metrics as minimum performance measures for DISN. 


   AGENCY COMMENTS AND OUR
   EVALUATION
----------------------------------------------------------- Letter :11

The Senior Civilian Official for the Office of the Assistant
Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications, and
Intelligence (ASD/C3I) provided written comments on a draft of this
report.  Defense concurred with all of our recommendations.  However,
Defense expressed concern that the body of the draft report may lead
the reader to believe that Defense has done nothing to implement or
enforce its own long-haul telecommunications policies. 

In its response, the department notes that it has:  (1) established
the Defense Information Systems Database (DISD) as a comprehensive
inventory of long-haul telecommunications networks throughout
Defense, (2) clarified existing policy by issuing an ASD/C3I
memorandum dated May 5, 1997, that reaffirms DISA's role as the sole
manager and provider of long-haul telecommunications systems and
services, (3) developed a process for determining how individual
telecommunications requirements can best be satisfied, (4) developed
a process for granting temporary waivers, and (5) begun the process
of establishing performance metrics for DISN.  We incorporated
additional information in the report to more clearly reflect actions
DISA has initiated. 

However, while these plans are a necessary first step, they must be
effectively implemented to bring about real improvements in
telecommunications management, which is the focus of the body of our
report.  Defense recognizes this in its discussion and expresses its
commitment to effectively implementing our recommendations. 

Defense's comments are presented in appendix II.  Detailed GAO
responses follow in the same appendix. 


--------------------------------------------------------- Letter :11.1

We will send copies of this report to the Chairman of your Committee;
the Chairmen and Ranking Minority Members of the House Committee on
Government Reform and Oversight, the House and Senate Appropriations
Committees, the House National Security Committee, the Senate Armed
Services Committee, and other interested congressional committees;
the Secretary of Defense; and the Director of the Office of
Management and Budget.  Copies will be made available to others upon
request.  Please contact me at (202) 512-6240 if you or your staff
have any questions.  Major contributors to this report are listed in
appendix III. 

Sincerely yours,

Jack L.  Brock, Jr.
Director, Governmentwide and Defense
 Information Systems


RESULTS OF SURVEY
=========================================================== Appendix I



                                    Table I.1
                     
                                U.S. Army Networks

                             ((Dollars in thousands))

Network                                      Type of service     Recurring costs
----------------------------------------  ------------------  ------------------
Army Recruiting Accession Data System                   data                $515
Weather Teletype                                        data                 141
Weather Activities                                      data                  53
Army/Air Force Exchange Service                   voice/data                 604
National Guard Network (NGNET)                          data               1,116
DOD Satellite Education Network                        video                 543
Test and Evaluation Analyses Plan                       data                 106
 (TEAMUP)
Management Information Services                         data                 231
Medical Activities (MEDACT)                             data               1,249
Army CALS (ACALS)                                       data                 120
Command and Control, Misc. (C2)                   voice/data                 321
Intelligence                                            data               7,765
Automated Instructional Management                      data                  50
 System
Installation Transition Processing                      data                 374
 Network
Worldwide Military C2 System (WWMCCS)                   data                 226
Engineer Information Systems Network                    data                  33
Defense Intelligence Agency                             data                 499
 Communications
Defense Technical Information Center                    data                  14
Digital Storage & Retrieval Engineering                 data                  80
 Documents (DSRDS)
UASREUR Community Automation System                     data                  75
Automatic System for Transportation Data                data                 353
Army Interoperability Network (AIN)                     data                 859
Admin. Activities-Misc. (not true                 voice/data                 346
 network)
CC Reserve Forces                                       data                  16
Developmental Readiness & Mobilization                  data                 123
 System
Remote Alarm Intrusion System                           data                  27
Armed Forces Radio/TV Service                     voice/data                 761
Army Training Requirements & Resources                  data                 100
 System (ATRRS)
Reserve Component Automation System               voice/data                 987
 (RCAS)
Army Supercomputer Network                              data               4,802
Streamlining Information Services                       data                 106
 Operations Consolidation (SISOCS)
Department of Army Standard Systems for                 data                 149
 Depots (DASSD)
Scientific and Engineering                              data                  68
TRADOC Decision Support System (TDSS)                   data                  89
USAREUR Data Network                                    data                 369
Army Standard Information Management                    data                 398
 System
Video Teleconferencing Network                         video               1,428
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                    Table I.2
                     
                                U.S. Navy Networks

                             ((Dollars in thousands))

Network                                  Type of service         Recurring costs
--------------------------------  ----------------------  ----------------------
Naval Education & Training                          data                    $643
 Management Systems Network
 (NETMSN)
Naval Reserve Network                               data                     750
 (NAVRESNET)
NAVSEA Enterprise Wide Area             voice/data/video                   3,590
 Network (NEWNET/Smart Link)
Puget Sound Metropolitan Area           voice/data/video                      \a
 Network (MAN)
Tidewater Metropolitan Area             voice/data/video                      \a
 Network (MAN)
Naval Facilities Engineering                  data/video                      \a
 Command Wide Area Network
 (NAVFAC WAN)
NAVCOM TELCOM Video                                video                      \a
 Teleconferencing
NCTS Pensacola Video                               video                      \a
 Teleconferencing
Pensacola Metropolitan Area             voice/data/video                      \a
 Network (MAN)
Corpus Christi Video                               video                      \a
 Teleconferencing
Corpus Christi Metropolitan Area        voice/data/video                      \a
 Network (MAN)
NCTAMS LANT Det. Video                        video/data                      \a
 Teleconferencing
NCTAMS LANT Det. Advanced               voice/data/video                      \a
 Digital Multiplexer System
 (ADMS)
NCTAMS LANT Det. U.S. Atlantic                      data                      \a
 Command Net (USACONNET)
NCTAMS LANT Det. Navy C2 System                     data                      \a
 (NCCS)
NCTS NOVA System                                 message                      \a
NCTS Micronet 8                                  message                      \a
Guam Unclassified Metropolitan                      data                      \a
 Area Network (MAN)
Guam Administrative Telephone                      voice                      \a
 Switching System
Planned --San Diego Metropolitan        voice/data/video                      \a
 Area Network (MAN)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\a Information on these networks came from DISA's survey which does
not include cost data. 



                                    Table I.3
                     
                            U.S. Marine Corps Networks

                             ((Dollars in thousands))

Network                                  Type of service         Recurring costs
--------------------------------  ----------------------  ----------------------
Defense Megacenter Network                          data                    $800
 Connectivity
Marine Corps Data Network (MCDN)                    data                     500
DISN/Banyan Vines Network                           data                     500
Marine Corps Reserve Network                        data                      \a
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\a The Marine Corps did not provide this information or provided
insufficient information to determine costs by fiscal year. 



                                    Table I.4
                     
                             U.S. Air Force Networks

                             ((Dollars in thousands))

Network                                  Type of service         Recurring costs
--------------------------------  ----------------------  ----------------------
AFPC Wide Area Network                              data                  $4,571
Air Weather Network (AWN)                           data                  12,301
NEXRAD                                              data                   2,109
Mystic Star Network Management                      data                   1,560
 System
Strategic Operations Conference               voice/data                     568
 Network
Robust ACC Virtual Network             voice/data/video/                   1,979
 (RAVN)                                            other
Virtual Circuit Switch (VCS)                        data                   1,136
Mission Operations Support                    voice/data                     250
 Center (MOSC)
AFMC Classified Network (ACN)                       data                     750
Comp Eng Management System                          data                     228
 (CEMS)
Internet Access                                     data                      \a
Global Positioning System (GPS)                     data                     378
Defense Satellite Program (DSP)                     data                     259
Granite Sentry Air Defense                          data                   1,082
Threat Warning/Attack Assessment                    data                   1,675
 (ITW/AA)
Launch and Range                                    data                   3,026
Missile Alert Facility                        voice/data                   1,453
 Communications
Strategic Automated Command and                     data                     328
 Control (SACCS)
Space Surveillance                                  data                     683
Air Force Satellite Control                         data                   6,261
 Network (AFSCN)
Space Air Weather Network (AWN)                     data                   2,125
JCS Alerting Network                               voice                     850
Wheelhouse                                         voice                     228
Mystic Star                                   voice/data                      22
Northstar                                     voice/data                  13,911
Contingency Airborne                          voice/data                      \a
 Reconnaissance System (CARS)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\a The Air Force did not provide this information or provided
insufficient information to determine costs by fiscal year. 




(See figure in printed edition.)Appendix II
COMMENTS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF
DEFENSE
=========================================================== Appendix I



(See figure in printed edition.)



(See figure in printed edition.)



(See figure in printed edition.)



(See figure in printed edition.)



(See figure in printed edition.)



(See figure in printed edition.)


The following are GAO's comments on the Department of Defense letter
dated July 16, 1998. 

GAO COMMENTS

1.  We acknowledge in this report that ASD/C3I has clarified existing
long-haul telecommunications policy by issuing a May 5, 1997,
memorandum.  We have added information regarding Defense's update of
1991 policy that will reflect changes in technology, organization,
and mission.  Nevertheless, Defense's actions remain preliminary, and
unless that policy is properly implemented and enforced it will
remain ineffective. 

2.  As indicated in the reply, Defense does not maintain a
comprehensive inventory of independent long-haul telecommunications
networks, and therefore does not know how many networks are operating
throughout the department or what functions they support.  As Defense
notes in its comments, additional guidance and procedures are needed
to ensure that all requirements for long-haul telecommunications
equipment and services are identified and placed in the Defense
Information Systems Database. 

3.  Defense affirms in its comment what we state in this report, that
DISA currently lacks well-defined steps for determining whether a
long-haul telecommunications requirement can be most effectively
satisfied by a common-user network.  We note Defense's plan to
develop and employ a standard requirements evaluation model.  This
model, if properly developed and implemented, could assist Defense in
making cost-effective decisions on individual telecommunications
requirements.  However, the model may not be effective without the
cooperation of Defense components, which may choose not to submit
their requirements through DISA.  The model may also not be effective
if other steps mentioned in this report, such as adequate data
gathering on telecommunications trends and costs, and use of
performance measures, are not taken. 

4.  Two years ago we highlighted the need for DISN performance
measures in a report on the DISN program (GAO/AIMD-97-9, November 27,
1996).  We recognize that Defense now intends to take action on our
recommendation that it implement user-based performance measures for
DISN, and we agree that such metrics should be applied to all
long-haul telecommunications.  We are unable to make further comment,
however, until Defense takes concrete steps to implement these
performance measures. 


MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS REPORT
========================================================= Appendix III

ACCOUNTING AND INFORMATION
MANAGEMENT DIVISION, WASHINGTON,
D.C. 

Franklin W.  Deffer, Assistant Director
Kevin E.  Conway, Assistant Director
Mary T.  Marshall, Senior Information Systems Analyst
Cristina T.  Chaplain, Communications Analyst


*** End of document. ***