Army delays HR system

Data transaction and other technical problems associated with the consolidation of 43 server databases has caused the Army to delay fielding its Web-based "electronic military personnel office" by two months, according to Army Personnel Command officials.

The eMILPO system is designed to provide near real-time visibility on personnel information throughout the Army via a Web-based application. It was originally scheduled to go online early this month.

But that plan was put on hold when an Army fielding team discovered that some data transactions sent to eMILPO failed at a high rate during the final systems test and found other problems associated with migrating 43 super server databases to the eMILPO test database, said Col. Gina Farrisee, the adjutant general of the Army.

Farrisee said the original plan was to turn off in early January the 43 servers currently being used, but "waiting 60 more days...is the right thing to do."

"Our promise is that you will not need to re-enter data that was already resident in super server, and that all soldiers currently slotted against a position in super server will be slotted in eMILPO," Farrisee said in a recent note to personnel leaders.

Division and Army Corps strength managers at several installations are assisting with eMILPO to ensure it provides the query capability needed in the field to incorporate important personnel management information. System integrators are also fine-tuning the system to include the "enlisted records brief" (ERB), which is an abbreviated summary of a soldier's personnel data.

To support the selection board process, the Army's Enlisted Records and Evaluation Center will provide the ERB to soldiers via the Army Knowledge Online portal. The ERB in eMILPO and the selection board ERB are basically the same document and the data is consistent, officials said.

The eMILPO system is an interim step toward the Defense Department's multiservice, integrated personnel and pay management system — known as the Defense Integrated Military Human Resources System.

DIMHRS is being lead by the Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (Spawar) and is expected to cost at least $500 million to build and deploy, according to Federal Sources Inc., a market research firm.

In September, Spawar issued five $1 million firm, fixed-price contracts to five vendors in the first phase of the contract award, which required the companies to formulate system plans and submit them by December 2002. DOD officials said they will choose one vendor based on those proposals.

DIMHRS will use PeopleSoft Inc. software under a 2001 contract award, and officials hope to have it fully operational by the end of fiscal 2006.

The Army will be the first service to implement DIMHRS, which will take place during the fourth quarter of 2004, said Lt. Col. Mark McAlister, head of the service's DIMHRS office.

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