DOD test program praised

DOD IG report: Central Test and Evaluation Investment Program

The Defense Inspector General has found that a system the Defense Department uses to acquire technology and rapidly deploy it to troops in the field could be considered a model success.

The Central Test and Evaluation Investment Program is for testing technologies that can be used by more than one service. The inspector general's office, reviewing 59 projects that started between 1990 and 2003 and are worth a total of about $856 million, found that the program has satisfied multiservice needs and transitioned projects into military departments.

The program has three categories:

Joint improvement and modernization projects, which address critically needed investments in major functional areas of test and evaluation. They comprise the majority of the projects.

Resource enhancement program projects, which are intended to develop quick-reaction solutions to operational test problems that require immediate development and funding.

Test technology development and demonstration projects — which are intended to transition mature technologies from laboratories to satisfy test and evaluation needs.

A project has to meet three criteria to be included in the test and evaluation program: the project must be multiservice; funding must be used for developmental purposes; and funding must not be used to procure the developed test asset or capability.

"The program ... has completed 24 capabilities and assets and has 31 ongoing projects that, when completed, should satisfy multiservice test capabilities," the report said. "Only four projects were terminated."

The report was commissioned by the Defense Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, who asked that the IG look into whether the program is sending its time and money wisely.

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