GAO: DoD Should Address Biometric & Forensic Systems Planning, Acquisition Mgmt Challenges

The Government Accountability Office has urged the Defense Department to address gaps in the department’s efforts to institutionalize its biometric and forensic systems.

GAO said in a report published Monday that DoD has taken steps to meet long-term requirements for deployable biometric and forensic platforms but the department continues to face strategic planning and acquisition management challenges.

Auditors found that DoD has established a forensic strategic plan but does not have one for biometric systems since the department has yet to assign an entity to develop such plan.

GAO also found that the U.S. Army did not comply with DoD’s acquisition protocols in the development of a key biometric platform, which may have prevented the service branch from using existing, viable and cheaper alternatives.

The report added DoD’s biometric database that helps the department identify adversaries and terrorists does not have a remotely located backup to support the database’s availability and mitigate threats such as natural hazards.

GAO recommended DoD to refresh its biometric enterprise strategic plan; establish a geographically dispersed biometric database back-up; and improve the management of biometric systems acquisition.

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