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Assessment of the Continuing Operability of Chemical Agent Disposal Facilities and Equipment
potential for interoperability, and other challenges to continued operation.
Recommendation 12. The Chemical Materials Agency should implement a mechanism to coordinate and formally demand consensus in areas of information management where joint operations between the chemical agent stockpile incineration facilities are appropriate. Such mechanisms should be developed, implemented, and reinforced for the remaining life span of the chemical agent stockpile disposal program. (Tier 2)
Finding 13. The server systems at chemical agent stockpile incineration facilities in their present physical state do not constitute a threat to the continuing operability of the facilities as long as budgets and management procedures enable the progressive updating and replacement of systems as needed.
Recommendation 13. Continued vigilant monitoring and maintenance of servers, based on adequate funding and management of core capabilities, is a mandatory element of the continued operability of chemical agent stockpile incineration facilities and should be ensured across sites under guidance from the Chemical Materials Agency. (Tier 3)
Finding 14. While personal computers (PCs) dedicated to typical office applications are generally kept relatively modern and up-to-date at chemical agent stockpile incineration facility sites, certain other PCs in use in laboratories, because of their linkages to dated analytical facilities, are out-of-date to the point that their continued use is problematic.
Recommendation 14. The Chemical Materials Agency (CMA) should devise and implement a life-cycle replacement program for all PCs. Consideration should be given to setting a maximum life span for PCs (e.g., three years) and replacing older machines with current hardware according to a predetermined service cycle. The CMA should specify that when a PC has been retained beyond a reasonable lifecycle expectation because it was required to support dated peripheral devices, software, or other features that are themselves substantially dated, alternatives to those peripheral items, should be identified and if possible acquired so that the overall system can be updated to current standards. (Tier 3)
Finding 15. A wide range of operating systems exist in the chemical agent stockpile incineration facilities, and this variability could pose problems for effective long-term continued operability. At the least, costs and maintenance are complicated by this diversity and apparent lack of integrated planning.
Recommendation 15. The Chemical Materials Agency should conduct an overall evaluation of security requirements, maintenance implications, and impending evolutionary changes in the basic computer operating systems (Windows and Linux) used at chemical agent disposal facilities. A migration path that drives toward a minimally heterogeneous and maximally robust environment should be identified and considered for implementation. (Tier 3)
Finding 16. A variety of data formats are used in different contexts in the chemical agent stockpile incineration facilities, and the prospect of long-term records retention and recovery is complicated by the resulting variability of native data formats.
Recommendation 16. The Chemical Materials Agency (CMA) should consider formally requiring that each copy of an electronic document requiring long-term availability be preserved in an agreed permanent or semipermanent form defined by the CMA (e.g., ASCII or portable document format). (Tier 3)
Finding 17. Service and support capabilities in the information management sector are continually improving.
Recommendation 17. Annually or biennially, the Chemical Materials Agency should survey current information management maintenance options, determine whether costs and benefits in the systems under consideration are consistent with current best practices, and require changes in practice programwide where improvements in reliability or reductions in cost are identified that can secure continued operability. (Tier 3)
The following findings and recommendations are from Chapter 5.
Finding 18. The program manager for chemical stockpile elimination (PMCSE, formerly PMCSD) has a small central staff, which limits the technical expertise that is available within the Chemical Materials Agency (CMA). The PMCSE is responsible to the CMA director for the functioning of the chemical agent stockpile incineration facility sites but has no contracting or other authority to ensure a desired result. The PMCSE must depend on personal persuasion and the responsibility of site contractors, operating under CMA-generated financial incentives, to keep the chemical agent stockpile disposal program functioning safely and effectively.
Recommendation 18. The Chemical Materials Agency (CMA) and Army management of the chemical stockpile elimination program should adjust PMCSE resources and authority, commensurate with CMA responsibility, to manage the program in the interest of the Army and the U.S. citizenry. Adjustments should ensure that an appropriate bal-