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Army has major problems moving to digital management technology, DOD IG reports

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Officials with the U.S. Army's Office of Business Transformation failed to develop a comprehensive implementation stratgy for key management systems, with a result that "Army management may not have the timely, accurate, and complete information it needs for decisionmaking," according to an audit by the Department of Defense Inspector-General.

The OBT is the organization tasked with managing the Army's transtormation of its management systems to digital technologies, which is done via four core Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) programs being developed to oversee financial, logistical, compensation and maintenance functions. The ERPs were first mandated during the Clinton administration, according to the DOD IG.

But the OBT has failed to create the overall implementation strategy in part because Army officials "focused on near-term milestones but did not develop a comprehensive planning milestones and performance measures for all planning periods," the IG said.

"In addition, although OBT officials included 25 implementation tasks in the Strategy with due dates of May 2011 and August 2011, the Army did not complete 16 of these tasks as of March 2012. This occurred because OBT officials did not adequately monitor the development and completion of the implementation tasks," according to the IG.

"Without a comprehensive Strategy guiding the successful implementation of its ERPs, with an estimated life-cycle cost of $10.1 billion, Army management may not have the timely, accurate, and complete information it needs for decisionmaking," the IG said.

One of the four core ERPs, the General Fund Enterprise Business System (GFEBS) "will replace 107 Army legacy accounting, financial and asset management systems and will integrate 50 additional systems--some of which are more than 30 years old," according to Baseline's Samuel Greengard.

The GFEBS became operative in July 2012, after a seven-year gestation period.

"When it fully retires all legacy financial systems in 2016, it expects to save $120 million annually. In fact, GFEBS is projected to slash $950 million in costs over a decade," Greengard said.

Go here for the complete DOD IG report.

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