GAO takes aim at DIMHRS

GAO report: Management of Integrated Military Human Capital Program Needs Additional Improvements

Officials at the Government Accountability Office want Defense Department officials to improve the management of the department's multimillion-dollar Defense Integrated Military Human Resources System (DIMHRS).

GAO officials want the Pentagon to strengthen DIMHRS requirements-management processes and adopt an integrated approach to program management. They issued the recommendations in a Feb. 11 report, "DOD Systems Modernization: Management of Integrated Military Human Capital Program Needs Additional Improvements."

"DOD's requirements definition challenges and shortcomings in program governance can be attributed to a number of causes, including the program's overly schedule-driven approach and DOD's difficulty in overcoming its long-standing cultural resistance to department-wide solutions," said GAO officials in the report.

Military officials can obtain an integrated approach to program management by detailing requirements and making them understandable, GAO auditors wrote. "For example, requirements for the interfaces between DIMHRS and existing systems have not yet been fully defined because DOD has not yet determined how many legacy systems will be partially replaced and thus require modification," said agency officials in the report.

Last month, GAO officials cited the department's business system modernization program as one of 30 government programs susceptible to waste, fraud and mismanagement. In 2003, DOD officials awarded a $281 million contract to officials at Northrop Grumman Corp. to develop and implement the world's largest personnel and pay system using commercial software from PeopleSoft Inc.

In August, DOD and Northrop officials delayed by two months DIMHRS's critical design review to meet with officials and employees in the department's services and agencies to explain how the project works in an attempt to build confidence and system approval. By November, they hope to transition an Army organization to it and use it as a test bed.

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