DOD Systems Modernization: Management of Integrated Military Human Capital Program Needs Additional Improvements: GAO-05-189

Hite, Randolph C.; Wilshusen, Gregory C.
February 2005
GAO Reports;2/11/2005, p1
Government Document
The Department of Defense (DOD) has long-standing problems with its information technology (IT) systems supporting military personnel and pay. To address these problems, DOD initiated the Defense Integrated Military Human Resources System (DIMHRS) program, which is to provide a joint, integrated, standardized military personnel and pay system across all military components. In November 2004, DOD accepted the design for the first of three phases, DIMHRS (Personnel/Pay). GAO reviewed DOD's management of the requirements definition for the system as well as the program's management structure. DOD faces significant management challenges with DIMHRS, a major system acquisition program that is expected to lead to major changes in the processing of military personnel and pay. To its credit, DOD has begun taking steps to ensure that the requirements and the design for the first phase of the program are consistent with each other by tracing backward and forward between the detailed requirements and the system design, and it did obtain formal user acceptance of the DIMHRS (Personnel/Pay) high-level requirements. However, it has not obtained user acceptance of the detailed requirements. Furthermore, it has not ensured that the detailed requirements are complete and understandable. For example, requirements for the interfaces between DIMHRS (Personnel/Pay) and existing systems have not yet been fully defined because DOD has not yet determined how many legacy systems will be partially replaced and thus require modification. Furthermore, DOD is still determining whether the data requirements provided to the contractor for system design are complete. Finally, an estimated 77 percent of the detailed requirements are difficult to understand, based on GAO's review of a random sample of the requirements documentation. These challenges increase the risk that the delivered system capabilities will not fully meet the users' needs. Moreover, although DIMHRS (Personnel/Pay) is to be an integrated system, its development is not being governed by integrated tools and approaches, such as an integrated program management structure, enterprise architecture, and master schedule. Furthermore, while DOD is appropriately attempting to maximize the use of commercial, off-the shelf (COTS) products in building the new system, it has not adequately followed some important best practices associated with COTS-based system acquisitions. For example, DOD's program plan/schedule does not adequately recognize the needs of end-user organizations for the time and resources to integrate DIMHRS (Personnel/Pay) with their respective legacy systems and to prepare their workforces for the organizational changes that the system will introduce. DOD's requirements definition challenges and shortcomings in program governance can be attributed to a number of causes, including the program's overly schedule-driven approach and DOD's difficulty in overcoming its long-standing cultural resistance to departmentwide solutions. Unless these challenges are addressed, the risk is increased that the system will not provide expected capabilities and benefits on time and within budget. Given the limitations in some DOD components' ability to accurately pay military personnel, it is vital that these risks be addressed swiftly and effectively.


Related Articles

  • Business Systems Modernization: Strategy for Evolving DOD's Business Enterprise Architecture Offers a Conceptual Approach, but Execution Details Are Needed: GAO-07-451.  // GAO Reports;4/16/2007, p1 

    In 1995, we first designated the Department of Defense's (DOD) business systems modernization program as "high risk," and we continue to designate it as such today. To assist in addressing this high-risk area, Congress passed legislation consistent with prior GAO recommendations for Defense to...

  • Reports & Testimonies.  // GAO Reports;4/24/2008, p1 

    The Department of Defense (DOD) manages and operates about 577,000 structures worldwide, valued at about $712 billion. DOD has worked for several years to develop models that can reliably estimate the installation support funds needed to sustain these facilities, and plans to spend over $55...

  • Defense Management: Key Elements Needed to Successfully Transform DOD Business Operations: GAO-05-629T. Walker, David M. // GAO Reports;4/28/2005, p1 

    In addition to external security threats, our nation is threatened from within by growing fiscal imbalances. The combination of additional demands for national and homeland security resources, the long-term rate of growth of entitlement programs, and rising health care costs create the need to...

  • DoD Needs To Assess requirement For Critical Technologies List, Report Says. Roosevelt, Ann // Defense Daily;1/23/2013, Vol. 257 Issue 15, p4 

    The article offers information on a report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), which urges the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to assess its list of critical technologies. It states that according to GAO, DoD spends billions of dollars on its weapons and technologies to maintain...

  • Pentagon Workforce Cuts May Not Achieve Savings, GAO Warns. Clark, Charles S. // Government Executive;1/4/2016, p1 

    The article reports that the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has said that Defense Department couldn't document budgetary savings associated with cuts in its civilian and contractor workforces.

  • Assessments of Selected Weapon Programs. Dodaro, Gene L. // GAO Reports;3/30/2010, preceding p1 

    The article presents a study conducted by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) that evaluates the Department of Defense's (DOD's) weapon acquisition programs. GAO examines issues that pertains to the Appropriations Act of 2009 of DOD including its effort to manage its portfolio and...

  • Depot Maintenance: DOD Needs Plan to Ensure Compliance with Public- and Private-Sector Funding Allocation: GAO-04-871. Solis, William M. // GAO Reports;9/29/2004, p1 

    Under 10 U.S.C. 2466, the military departments and defense agencies can use no more than 50 percent of annual depot maintenance funding for work performed by private-sector contractors. DOD also must submit two reports to the Congress annually on the division of depot maintenance funding between...

  • Export Controls: GAO-08-710T. Barr, Ann Calvaresi // GAO Reports;4/24/2008, p1 

    In controlling the transfer of weapons and related technologies overseas, the U.S. government must limit the possibility of sensitive items falling into the wrong hands while allowing legitimate trade to occur. Achieving this balance has become more challenging due to redefined security...

  • DOD Needs to Periodically Review Support Standards and Costs at Joint Bases and Better Inform Congress of Facility Sustainment Funding Uses.  // GAO Reports;3/30/2009, preceding p1 

    The article assesses the efforts of the Department of Defense (DOD) to deliver installation support at joint bases by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). It was found that the DOD has made a comprehensive effort to ensure that delivery of installation support is consistent. It is...


Read the Article

Other Topics