GAO: DIA Needs Robust Stakeholder Engagement Plan for Intell Repository Modernization Program

GAO: DIA Needs Robust Stakeholder Engagement Plan for Intell Repository Modernization Program
Defense Intelligence Agency

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has recommended the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) to establish a strategy for coordinating with the intelligence community and other stakeholders on the development of its new data-management system.

GAO said Thursday that DIA is yet to provide a plan for ongoing stakeholder coordination in line with the development of the Machine-assisted Analytic Rapid-repository System (MARS), which is meant to automate procedures handled by DIA’s military intelligence database.

According to GAO, DIA and its stakeholders have identified operational, technical and policy risks related to the MARS effort. The agency has also conducted workshops and town halls to identify initial program requirements and disseminate updates, according to GAO’s report.

However, the watchdog noted that DIA’s initial test and stakeholder engagement plan “lacks key details" on the implementation of leading system development practices as well as GAO’s assessment standards for Agile procedures.

“Without a comprehensive plan to guide stakeholder engagement, MARS capabilities could fall short of stakeholder expectations, and DIA could face greater challenges in mitigating risks to MARS,” the report states.

GAO has also recommended the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and the Department of Defense (DoD) secretary to oversee DIA’s development of a comprehensive plan for MARS stakeholder engagement.

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