Defense Computers

DOD Y2K Functional End-to-End Testing Progress and Test Event Management Gao ID: AIMD-00-12 October 18, 1999

Complete and thorough Year 2000 testing is essential to ensure that new or modified systems process dates correctly and will not jeopardize an organization's core business operations after the millenium. This is especially true for the Defense Department (DOD), which relies on a complex and broad array of interconnected computer systems--including weapons, command and control, satellite, inventory management, transportation management, health, financial, personnel, and payment systems--to carry out its core business functions and military operations. This report reviews the effectiveness of DOD's efforts to perform Year 2000 end-to-end tests for its major business functions, including health, communications, personnel, and logistics. For each functional area, GAO analyzes reported information on the status and progress of all test events. GAO also reviews a critical test event in each functional area to determine whether it was planned and managed in accordance with GAO's Year 2000 testing guide.

GAO noted that: (1) because year 2000 conversions often involve numerous large interconnecting systems with many external interfaces and extensive supporting technology infrastructures, year 2000 testing should be approached in a structured and disciplined fashion; (2) GAO's year 2000 guidance recommends that in planning and managing end-to-end tests, agencies define test boundaries, secure the commitment of data exchange partners, prepare test procedures and data, define exit criteria and document test results, among other steps; (3) each of the individual test events GAO attended and reviewed within the four functional areas generally satisfied the key processes that GAO's year 2000 test guide defines as necessary to effectively plan, conduct, and report on end-to-end testing; (4) moreover, while the events' respective approaches to implementing the key processes varied, these differences were appropriately based on consideration of the event's scope and complexity; (5) in addition, overall end-to-end test efforts within three of the four functional areas were reported to be largely on schedule and expected to be completed by October 1999; (6) however, at the time GAO briefed the Communications functional area on the results of GAO's review, it could not provide complete progress information; and (7) while information was subsequently provided by Communications, it showed that the functional area had not yet developed plans to test 31 mission-critical systems.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

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