GAO: DOD's e-commerce strategy at risk

The Defense Department has not completed its e-commerce road map, putting

at risk its vision of using e-commerce to transform the way it does business,

according to a General Accounting Office report released Tuesday.

Key elements of DOD's road map are missing, such as an e-commerce implementation

plan, an e-commerce architecture, a determination on how to manage the e-commerce

program and comprehensive e-commerce security measures, the report said.

"Without these elements," the GAO said, "the department does not have the

unifying direction needed to carry out its electronic commerce program."

GAO recommended that DOD put in place a departmentwide e-commerce plan and

architecture, as well as ensure that realistic time frames and costs are

established.

It also recommended that the members of a proposed e-commerce board of directors

be given authority to promote e-commerce initiatives and that the Joint

Electronic Commerce Program Office be given clear lines of authority and

funding to roll out the program departmentwide.

GAO said that some DOD e-commerce initiatives have been successfully implemented,

such as the Central Contractor Registration system, which provides a central

database of vendors that conduct business with DOD. But other systems, such

as the Defense Travel System, have been delayed by software problems. The

system will overhaul the department's temporary duty travel administration

process.

In response to the report, DOD said it "has a series of ongoing actions

in support of the report's recommendations" and that the DOD chief information

officer is ensuring that those actions are implemented across the department.

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