DOD modernization criticized

The Defense Department must define what qualifies as a business system and establish a way to track updates to better manage the ambitious DOD business systems modernization program, according to the General Accounting Office.

At a July 7 hearing of the House Government Reform Committee, GAO officials said the military continues to spend billions without adequate fiscal and management accountability. The lack of accountability prevents DOD officials from making timely decisions on information and accurately reporting inventory, according to congressional auditors.

"DOD does not have an effective management structure for controlling business systems investments and the business domains' roles and responsibilities have not been defined," the 79-page GAO report stated.

For example, GAO evaluated the Defense Logistics Agency's Business Systems Modernization program and the Army's Logistics Modernization Program. Those projects should improve day-to-day operations of DLA and the Army, but implementation problems led to schedule delays, cost increases and insufficient inventory and financial management updates, the report stated.

GAO officials said Congress should more closely scrutinize oversight and funding of the military's business systems modernization program. Committee member Rep. Todd Platts (R-Pa.) said lawmakers should start enforcing a provision in the 2003 Defense Authorization Act requiring the department's comptroller to approve work on business systems costing more than $1 million.

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