IX. Organizing and Storing Arms Control Information

Arms control and nonproliferation information is extensive and complex; rapidly advancing technology has enabled our management of this information to become both more effective and more cost-effective.

Established databases maintained by the Agency include:

ACDA is the U.S. Government repository of data exchange among nations pursuant to arms control treaties. The Arms Control Community On-line Repository of Treaty Data (ACCORD) data-base/repository was established by ACDA in 1993 to automate this function. During 1994, the database was updated with the current verified data of all previous information exchanged as a result of the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty and the Confidence- and Security-Building Measures (CSBM) Agreement. This computer-based federal repository allows exchange of data, notifications, and inspection reports to be archived in a single location. To the extent possible, the information is made available in electronic form so that Federal agencies can have immediate access. The repository consists of both classified and unclassified computer databases, as well as paper copies of data. We are now adding START, Global Exchange of Military Information data, and data resulting from the Open Skies Treaty after it enters into force. We will be adding treaty notifications for the Chemical Weapons Conventions.

Data becomes information when it is organized so that it becomes useful for decision-making. The activities of the Information Management Division have included support for the transformation of raw data into information. Particularly worthy of note are CargoScanTM and the Acceleration Tool which have been developed and used to assist in the verification of treaty compliance.

We are pleased that a major private computer magazine has ranked ACDA as one of the 20 best places to work in the United States; we are the only government agency to qualify for that list. We have earned that compliment through very aggressive and cost-effective modernization. The ACDA local area networks in both the Washington-area offices and Geneva have now been operational for over a year. Most of the old obsolete office automation and computer systems have been retired; the remainder will be retired over the next two years. This connectivity provides excellent e-mail communications and instant distribution of electronic files within ACDA. All ACDA staff now have desktop access to the electronic cable dissemination and retrieval system which replaces the previous costly and time-consuming manual system for acquisition, sorting and distribution of daily cable traffic.

We have established a homepage on the classified Intelink which will make several of the Agency's databases available to the interagency community.

During 1996, we completed the installation of an Agency-wide unclassified LAN which will offer ACDA users Internet connectivity, remote access while on travel, and access to information sources on the World Wide Web.

ACDA's Homepage on the World Wide Web (http://www.acda.gov), is open to the public and contains:

ACDA has added contractor resources to support its Records Management staff in meeting Federal record-keeping regulations governing the creation, maintenance, and disposition of ACDA records to achieve proper documentation of the policies, decisions, and essential transactions of the Agency and ensure effective and economical management of its records.

In addition to greatly improving the Agency's efficiency, the new computer system has permitted a 17 percent cost reduction in office automation expenditures from FY95 to FY96. We expect to achieve further cost reductions in FY97.