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1997-08-20 12:28:15


Critical System Not Yet Fixed


DFAS is the Defense Finance and Accounting System.

Date: 97-08-18 23:41:06 EDT

FYI. Results of a recently released GAO report.

Following the dotted line below is a summary of GAO's 11 Aug 97 #AIMD-97-117, report "Defense Computers: DFAS Faces Challenges in Solving the Year 2000 Problem".

The PDF version of the entire report (36 pages long) is attached to this message for your convenience; you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the file; you may also print the report with the Adobe Acrobat Reader.


Defense Computers: DFAS Faces Challenges in Solving the Year 2000 Problem (Letter Report, 08/11/97, GAO/AIMD-97-117).

GAO reviewed the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) program for solving the year 2000 computer systems problem, focusing on the:

(1) status of DFAS' efforts to identify and correct its year 2000 systems problems; and (2) appropriateness of DFAS' strategy and actions for ensuring that problems will be successfully addressed.

GAO noted that: (1) DFAS managers have recognized the importance of solving the year 2000 problem; (2) if not successfully addressed it could potentially impact DFAS' mission; (3) to help ensure that services are not disrupted, DFAS has developed a year 2000 strategy which is based on the generally accepted five-phased government methodology for addressing the year 2000 problem; (4) this approach is also consistent with GAO's guidelines for planning, managing, and evaluating year 2000 programs; (5) in carrying out its year 2000 strategy, DFAS has assigned accountability for ensuring that year 2000 efforts are completed, established a year 2000 systems inventory, implemented a quarterly tracking process to report the status of individual systems, estimated the cost of renovating systems, begun assessing its systems to determine the extent of the problems, and started to renovate and test some applications; (6) DFAS also established a year 2000 certification program that defines the conditions that must be met for automated systems to be considered year 2000 compliant; (7) while initial progress has been made, there are several critical issues facing DFAS, that if left unaddressed, may well result in the failure of its systems to successfully operate in 2000: (a) DFAS has not identified in its year 2000 plan all critical tasks for achieving its objectives or established milestones for completing all tasks; (b) DFAS has not performed formal risk assessments of all systems to be renovated or ensured that contingency plans are in place; (c) DFAS has not identified all system interfaces and has completed written interface agreements with only 230 of 904 interface partners; and (d) DFAS has not adequately ensured that testing resources will be available when needed to determine if all operational systems are compliant before the year 2000; (8) DFAS' risk of failure in these areas is increased due to its reliance on other DOD components; (9) DFAS is also dependent on military services and DOD components to ensure that their systems are Year 2000 compliant; and (10) it is essential that DFAS take every possible measure to ensure that it is well-positioned as it approaches 2000 to mitigate these risks and ensure that Defense finance and accounting operations are not disrupted.

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