Navy shoots down report on HR system

Navy officials are refuting a Defense Department inspector general's report that recommends the service stop developing its own $470 million human resources system and make plans to move to a DOD-wide system, which is currently under development.

The March 2003 report said the Navy should halt development of its Navy Standard Integrated Personnel System (NSIPS) and support a more comprehensive, DOD-wide system — the Defense Integrated Military Human Resources System (DIMHRS), slated to be online by the end of fiscal 2005.

Navy Capt. Peggy Feldmann, the Navy's NSIPS program manager, said that the Navy disagrees with the IG's recommendation and that its system will provide essential Navy applications that eventually can be included in DIMHRS.

The Navy "requires further development of functionality [that] will not be included in DIMHRS, [such as] in-service record maintenance, training record inputs and additional interfaces," Feldmann said. "Thus, the department must address these Navy unique applications that are not accommodated under the DIMHRS program."

The Navy has been developing NSIPS since 1995. It is designed to be an interim human resources system bridging four Navy legacy HR systems with DIMHRS.

But the program's cost in the past eight years — and additional anticipated expenses until the Navy makes the transition to DIMHRS — does not warrant further development of the program, according to the IG report.

"By the time the Navy system reaches full operating capability in the second quarter of fiscal 2003, the Navy will have spent $265 million on development," according to the report. "Further, the Navy intends to spend an additional $201.8 million on the system after it reaches full operating capability."

Navy officials say NSIPS will smooth the transition to DIMHRS, rather than the service simply eliminating legacy applications and being thrust into the new HR system.

Feldmann argued that NSIPS predates DIMHRS and is already being used by nearly 500,000 sailors and officers ashore and at sea.

"The Defense Science Board Task Force that recommended DIMHRS also recommended that the Navy continue pursuing development and deployment of NSIPS," she said. "It has been used extensively for the mobilization and demobilization of reserves since Sept. 11, 2001."

DIMHRS is "the foundation for cleansing the Navy's personnel and pay data."

Lockheed Martin Corp., the lead systems integrator on the NSIPS project, deferred all questions regarding the report to the Navy. PeopleSoft Inc., which provided the software on which both the NSIPS and DIMHRS applications are built, said the Navy's decision to go forward with PeopleSoft's applications was intended to resolve issues that would later arise with legacy applications.

"Clearly the Navy purchased our software to improve their operations, efficiencies and cost," said Steve Swasey, a PeopleSoft spokesman. "They were running disparate systems, and our software will help them consolidate."

Feldmann said PeopleSoft has helped the Navy get ahead of the game by providing clean, authoritative personnel and pay data.

"No matter how good the system is, if the data is bad, there will be problems," Feldmann said.

The Navy is using PeopleSoft 8, the same version as DIMHRS, and officials say that doing so will better align the service with DIMHRS' eventual deployment.

The goal of NSIPS is to move the Navy from paper to electronic records, putting personnel and pay documents into a format accessible via a portal on the service's intranet. The current version of NSIPS is based on a client-server model, with field-level servers that connect to Navy and DOD servers at several locations. The Web-enabled version is nearly finished, but the completion date for the entire system remains unclear.

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DOD's HR systems

* The Navy Standard Integrated Personnel System: NSIPS is a $470 million interim human resources system that bridges four Navy legacy HR systems with the eventual rollout of the Defense Integrated Military Human Resources System (DIMHRS).

* DIMHRS: A Defense Department military HR and personnel system that will cost at least $500 million, DIMHRS is scheduled to be online in 2005. The Army will be the first service to implement it, followed by the Navy and Marine Corps simultaneously, and then the Air Force.

* Inspector general's finding: "We recommend that the Navy Program Executive Office [for] Information Technology direct the Navy Standard Integrated Personnel System Program Management Office to discontinue further spending for NSIPS development."

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