Department of Defense

Improving Management to Meet the Challenges of the 1990s Gao ID: T-NSIAD-90-57 July 25, 1990

GAO discussed opportunities for the Department of Defense (DOD) to improve its management of defense programs and the potential resulting savings. GAO noted that: (1) DOD needs to prepare its 5-year spending plans to reflect fiscal realities and recent world events; (2) the proposed 1991 defense budget reflects a projection totalling $1.5 trillion, but the total planned spending for individual programs exceeds that amount by over $100 billion; (3) DOD needs to more fully test its weapon systems and correct identified problems to ensure that those systems perform as required before procurement; (4) DOD funding for programs with uncertainties represented about $17 billion of its budget request; (5) DOD needs to adopt management philosophies, controls, and organizational structures that place a higher value on economy, efficiency, and accountability; (6) DOD needs to provide decisionmakers with financial systems that provide accurate data on the actual cost of programs, assets and operations; (7) DOD managers need to commit themselves to developing and implementing an effective system of management controls; (8) DOD tended to be reactive rather than proactive in identifying and addressing internal control weaknesses; (9) DOD needs to eliminate or streamline wasteful organizations and systems; and (10) DOD needs to closely look at opportunities for reducing the size of its military forces, which could lead to opportunities to reduce or eliminate weapon system programs that are required by the current force structure.

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