Agencies find pros, cons with HR systems
- By Colleen O'Hara
- Sep 04, 2000
The General Accounting Office has found that commercial human resource systems
can deliver much in the way of benefits. However, agencies are struggling
with keeping the programs on schedule and under budget.
In a report released last week, GAO reviewed five agencies that were using
commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) HR systems — the Defense Department, Health
and Human Services' Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Department
of Veterans Affairs, the General Services Administration, and the Labor
These agencies have acquired the services of two primary HR COTS vendors,
Oracle Corp. and PeopleSoft Inc., for the majority of their system requirements.
GAO found that DOD, GSA, Labor and VA have encountered delays, while DOD,
Labor and VA have increased their cost estimates for their systems.
For example, costs for the Defense Civilian Personnel Data System, which
will contain records for about 800,000 employees, has grown by $248 million.
Deployment has been pushed from September 1999 to March 2001 because of
the need for additional testing.
But the effort appears to be worth it. DOD, Labor and VA have reportedly
achieved quantifiable benefits such as needing fewer full-time equivalent
employees as a result of their HR COTS systems or related efforts, according
Labor said it expects to save $226 million by replacing multiple systems
with its single PeoplePower system and by reducing the number of full-time
equivalent employees (FTEs) during 15 years. As of June 30, it had saved
about $3 million because of the elimination of about 30 FTE positions.