Defense Acquisitions. Many Analyses of Alternatives Have Not Provided a Robust Assessment of Weapon System Options
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE WASHINGTON DC
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Department of Defense DOD weapon programs often experience significant cost and schedule problems because they are allowed to start with too many technical unknowns and not enough knowledge about the development and production risks they entail. GAO was asked to review the departments Analysis of Alternatives AOA process--a key first step in the acquisition process intended to assess the operational effectiveness, costs, and risks of alternative weapon system solutions for addressing a validated warfighting need. This report 1 examines whether AOAs have been effective in identifying the most promising options and providing a sound rationale for weapon program initiation, 2 determines what factors have affected the scope and quality of AOAs, and 3 assesses whether recent DOD policy changes will enhance the effectiveness of AOAs. To meet these objectives, GAO efforts included collecting information on AOAs from 32 major defense acquisition programs, reviewing guidance and other documents, and interviewing subject matter experts. GAO is recommending that DOD establish criteria and guidance for how AOAs should be conducted and ensure AOAs are completed before requirements are set. DOD concurred, and stated that recently revised policies improve AOAs. We believe that the policy revisions do not go far enough to address our recommendations.
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies