Decision on Navy pay system expected next week

Deputy Defense Department Secretary Gordon England is expected to make a much-anticipated announcement next week on what pay and personnel system the Navy should use, defense officials say.

Zack Gaddy, director of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, said a briefing on the decision is on the agenda for a Sept. 25 meeting of the Defense Business Systems Management Committee. Gaddy, who spoke with Federal Computer Week following his speech at an industry conference in Alexandria, Va., today, represents DFAS on the panel. England is the group’s chairman.

At issue is whether the sea service should migrate from its current mix of disparate systems to its sister service’s Marine Corps Total Force System (MCTFS) or the future Defense Integrated Military Human Resources System (DIMHRS), a DOD-wide system being developed by the Business Transformation Agency. A third option under consideration entails migrating to MCTFS first and deploying DIMHRS after it is deemed stable in the Army and the Air Force.

The Army plans to deploy DIMHRS next fall. The Air Force is scheduled to follow suit in early 2009.

Navy officials are reluctant to embrace DIMHRS because they say the transition could be risky. Many in the service prefer moving to MCTFS, which proponents say is sufficiently tested and reliable.

Earlier this month, England met with Navy Secretary Donald Winter to discuss the issue. Officials are tight-lipped about the outcome of the meeting, which one source described as “contentious.”

Navy Capt. Kevin Wensing, a spokesman for England, did not return a reporter’s phone call requesting a comment by press time.

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