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Using EPIC to Find Conflicts, Inconsistencies, and Gaps in Department of Defense Policies

Using EPIC to Find Conflicts, Inconsistencies, and Gaps in Department of Defense Policies

Carolyn Wong
Daniel Gonzales
Chad J. R. Ohlandt
Eric Landree
John Hollywood
Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 86
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  • Book Info
    Using EPIC to Find Conflicts, Inconsistencies, and Gaps in Department of Defense Policies
    Book Description:

    The authors present a framework and methodology to identify the roles and responsibilities of those implementing Department of Defense policies and also potential conflicts, ambiguities, gaps, inconsistencies, and redundancies in those policies. They introduce a new software tool that automates one step of the methodology—EPIC—and demonstrate its use with three case studies to illustrate the technique and also the tool’s flexibility.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-8192-6
    Subjects: Political Science, Technology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Figures
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xi-xvi)

    This report describes a new technique developed by RAND to efficiently analyze multiple policy documents to identify potential conflicts, ambiguities, gaps, and overlaps in the roles and responsibilities (R&R) assigned to Department of Defense (DoD) executives. The technique consists of a framework and methodology. This report describes the framework and methodology as well as a new software tool that automates one step of the methodology.

    In this study, an R&R is defined as an activity, function, task, duty, job, or action assigned to a DoD official by an authoritative source. Authoritative sources of DoD R&R are federal law; Office of...

  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xix-xxii)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)

    This report presents a new technique that can be used by analysts to efficiently and effectively analyze large bodies of policies to identify potential conflicts, gaps, and overlaps in the roles and responsibilities (R&R) assigned to defense executives. This report describes the technique, which is composed of a framework and a methodology. It also describes a software-based tool developed by RAND that automates one step in the methodology. The report presents three case studies conducted using the new approach.

    This study builds on a previous effort that examined the R&R of defense acquisition executives and chief information officers (CIOs).¹


  10. CHAPTER TWO The R&R Policy Analysis Framework and Methodology
    (pp. 5-14)

    Several pieces of information are needed to determine if potential conflicts, inconsistencies, overlaps, and gaps exist in a collection of defense policy instruments. First, we must know which officials are assigned R&R. Second, we must know what the policy directs these officials to do. Third, we must know what output results when the officials execute the directed action. We can then compare who is responsible for what to determine if multiple officials appear to be responsible for the same thing—such a finding would indicate that conflicts may potentially arise as the multiple officials execute their assigned responsibilities. Similarly, if...

    (pp. 15-16)

    Building the searchable R&R files for the body of policy issuances relevant to a particular issue would typically involve carefully examining every sentence in the relevant policies and manually building the database one component at a time. Thus, an analyst would have to identify a passage in a document that contains an actor, action, or product of interest and then enter the actor, action, and product in a searchable medium such as a spreadsheet. Clearly, creating such an R&R spreadsheet is a labor-intensive and time-consuming task. Such a task is also prone to error because the analyst would have to...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR The Program Manager Case Study
    (pp. 17-20)

    The program manager case study has a dual purpose. First, it is used to determine the purview of PM roles and responsibilities, particularly as these R&R apply to the acquisition of weapon systems with NSS or IT elements. To determine R&R purview, we identified and examined pertinent DoD policies, counted the R&R assigned to PMs in each document, and kept track of which documents contained PM R&R. The second purpose is to validate the EPIC tool. Specifically, we sought a concrete indication of how well EPIC finds R&R in terms of accuracy and completeness. For this case study, accuracy means...

  13. CHAPTER FIVE The Interoperability and Standards Case Study
    (pp. 21-32)

    The purpose of this case study is to demonstrate the utility of applying EPIC to a handful of DoD policies across a broad array of topics related to interoperability and standards R&R to identify areas of potential conflict. In this case study, we show how different analysis techniques can be applied to EPIC results to identify potential conflicts, inconsistencies, gaps, and overlaps. We demonstrate the use of filtering, distribution analysis, and classic text mapping techniques on a single set of EPIC output. As will be shown, each of these post-EPIC analytic tools yields a different perspective useful for identifying potential...

  14. CHAPTER SIX The Information Assurance Case Study
    (pp. 33-42)

    The information assurance case study looks at the roles and responsibilities of four specific groups of individuals—program managers, information assurance managers (IAMs), designated approving authorities (DAAs), and security managers (SM). This case study identifies relevant policy statements connected to these four sets of actors to identify potential inconsistencies or conflicts.

    We used EPIC searches to facilitate the identification of R&R relevant to IA. To improve the probability of extracting all relevant statements in a collection of IA-related guidance, the search criteria were designed to include all statements mentioning at least one of the four actors listed above and any...

  15. CHAPTER SEVEN Closing Remarks and Recommendations
    (pp. 43-44)

    We have developed an analytic technique consisting of a framework and methodology to efficiently analyze many defense policies to identify potential conflicts, gaps, and overlaps with respect to the roles and responsibilities that defense policies assign to DoD executives. This capability uses a new automated tool called EPIC, which can be supplemented by various analysis methods carried out by analysts. The flexibility and utility of EPIC has been demonstrated in the three case studies whose results are described in previous chapters. A side from the potential conflicts discovered in the policy documents examined in the case studies, the framework, methodology,...

    (pp. 45-60)
  17. Bibliography
    (pp. 61-64)