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FAS Project on Intelligence Reform

Production Oversight Tracking System [POTS]

The National Security Agency Production Oversight Tracking System [POTS] allows managers to track NSA's success in meeting SIGINT requirements established in the National Signal Intelligence Requirements List. But POTS but does not track the requirements through the entire production process, and the DOD OIG concluded that customer feedback needs to be improved to better gauge product and service effectiveness. The NSA has not established a standardized customer feedback process throught POTS.

The NSA has not fully completed its customer satisfaction feedback procedures to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of SlGINT-generated products. The Agency solicits comments from its customers but the solicitation is neither part of a standardized customer feedback format nor is it frequently used. The agency has planned but not fully implemented the following customer satisfaction improvements:

The NSA implemented an Automated Production Reporting and Tracking System. Managers are now able to measure timeliness and progress in completing their collection requirement "askings. The tracking mechanism also provides a clear link between analytical efforts and collection requirements.

The production-tracking system provides management with a top-down review of its SIGINT collection requirements and production cycle. This automated system connects and interrelates collection, processing, analysis, and reporting throughout the entice production cycle. The system provides management with a tool that identifies and tracks requirement's taskings from the front end (collections) to the back end {reporting). Consequently, NSA now has a system that provides effective visibility over actions in the SIGINT process to allow managers to respond to inquiries.

The NSA has also established mechanisms to ensure that its analytical capability keeps pace with the collection requirements. Analytical capability has been enhanced by the introduction of powerful new networked desktop computers to assist in analytical efforts against virtually every SIGINT target. The desktop computers allow the analyst to network with other analysts as well as interface with the customer to optimize collection and analytical functions.

Sources and Methods

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Created by John Pike
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Updated Thursday, July 03, 1997 7:29:52 PM