Our overall objective was to evaluate the
Navy’s management of waivers and deferrals
from operational test requirements for
systems. The audit objective evaluated the
process for justifying, reviewing, and
approving waiver and deferral requests for
the Identity Dominance System (IDS) and the
Standard Missile 6 (SM-6) at Naval Sea
Systems Command (NAVSEA).
NAVSEA program managers and system
sponsors within the Office of the Chief of
Naval Operations (CNO) did not fully
implement Navy and Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS)
policy on requesting waivers and deferrals
and certifying program readiness for Initial
Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) on
the IDS and SM-6 programs. Specifically,
program managers did not:
- request waivers when the IDS program did not meet two IOT&E certification criteria; and deferrals from testing 23 requirements, and
- communicate timely with the JCS and obtain concurrence on three testing deferrals to demonstrate primary system requirements for the SM-6.
These conditions occurred because
Navy policy did not clearly state that
program managers must request waivers
whenever their program does not meet all
criteria required before starting IOT&E,
and request deferrals whenever system
requirements testing is delayed. In addition, Navy policy
did not require system sponsors to notify JCS when testing
deferrals impact meeting primary system requirements.
Further, the NAVSEA policy on waivers and deferrals was
outdated and did not reference relevant Navy policy.
As a result, the IDS entered and completed IOT&E with
unresolved deficiencies and reduced mission effectiveness.
The IDS deficiencies slowed the system’s ability to match
fingerprints against terrorists and other persons of interest on
watch lists. Additionally, the SM-6 completed IOT&E without
demonstrating primary system requirements for increased
missile range, launch availability, and interoperability. At final
production decision, the program managers had purchased
32 IDS tactical kits and 16 support kits valued at $1.1 million
and 41 SM-6 missiles valued at $148.3 million. While CNO
staff stated the systems improved existing capability, the
systems had not demonstrated that they could fully perform
their assigned missions.
We recommend the Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, revise
the JCS guidance to require sponsors of Acquisition Category I
programs, or programs of interest to the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
to notify the JCS when deferrals will delay demonstrating
primary system requirements beyond the scheduled date for
initial operational capability.
We recommend the Secretary of the Navy revise Navy policy,
after the Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff revises the
We recommend the Commander, Naval Sea Systems Command
revise NAVSEA policy incorporating updated Navy policy on
managing waivers and deferrals from operational
and Our Response
We added Recommendation 1 to the Vice Chairman,
Joint Chiefs of Staff, and renumbered the remaining
recommendations in response to comments received
on the draft report from the Deputy Department of
the Navy Test and Evaluation Executive.
The Deputy Department of the Navy Test and
Evaluation Executive, responding for the Secretary
of the Navy disagreed with Recommendation 2. We
revised this recommendation and, therefore, request
that the Deputy provide comments on the revised
recommendation. The Deputy, responding for the
Commander, NAVSEA, agreed with Recommendation 3,
and no further comments are required.
This report is a result of Project No. D2015-D000AE-0081.000.