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GAO: MDA Should Implement Best Practices in Program Scheduling, Transparency

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The Government Accountability Office has found that while the Missile Defense Agency improved acquisition procedures in programs like the Ballistic Missile Defense System, it is yet to address its risky practices and aggressive scheduling.

GAO said in a report published Thursday that MDA has expanded its stakeholder outreach, streamlined BMDS testing, increased progress transparency and improved homeland and regional defense since 2002.

However, the watchdog noted that MDA “can go further to align itself with best practices” and reduce high-risk acquisition procedures.

GAO noted that MDA needs to improve on concurrency matters, citing instances like the Redesigned Kill Vehicle effort where MDA conducted development and production activities at the same time resulting in reduced flight testing.

The agency also said that MDA “continues to struggle” with changes in flight test scheduling and fails to submit reports on how such changes impact costs and funding.

MDA received over $174 billion in funding since 2002 and seeks $9.2 billion next fiscal year. Congress and the defense secretary are “undertaking multiple reviews to determine how to address these concerns and chart a path forward for MDA,” according to GAO.

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