DOD business systems still under fire

“DOD Business Systems Modernization: Long-standing Weaknesses in Enterprise Architecture Development

The Defense Department needs to fully disclose to Congress the plans for and the progress made on DOD's new business enterprise architecture, according to a Government Accountability Office report.

GAO also wants DOD to provide for effective workforce planning for the business enterprise architecture, which is due by September. The report recommends that DOD implement four previous recommendations related to the enterprise architecture, according to the July 22 GAO report, “DOD Business Systems Modernization: Longstanding Weaknesses in Enterprise Architecture Development Need to be Addressed.”

“To effectively and efficiently modernize its nonintegrated and duplicative business operations and systems, it is essential for DOD to develop and use a well-defined business enterprise architecture,” the GAO report states. “However, it does not have such an architecture, and the products that it has produced do not provide sufficient content and utility to effectively guide and constrain ongoing and planned systems investments.”

GAO previously made four recommendations to improve DOD’s architecture management:

* Establish a governance structure and communications strategy.

* Develop plans to identify goals and outcomes.

* Perform configuration management.

* Devise a well-defined architecture.

Pentagon officials took steps this spring to fix the problem. They changed the strategy to focus more on the capabilities than the systems, and established the Defense Business Systems Management Committee to oversee the department’s business systems update.

The new report is the third that GAO has issued this year pertaining to DOD’s Business Management Modernization Program. The multibillion-dollar initiative aims to streamline the department’s more than 4,000 financial, logistics, personnel and travel systems.

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