GAO: DOD must keep Army in the loop on HR modernization

The Army will be the first military service to deploy the Defense Integrated Military Human Resources System (DIMHRS), but the rollout could be in for trouble if the Defense Department doesn't improve its communications, according to the Government Accountability Office.

DOD has planned five deployment dates for the Army. Four were postponed this year, and the deployment is now slated to begin in March 2009.

Although GAO auditors noted that DOD has recently made some moves to improve communications with the Army, that service's officials still worry that Army requirements are not being incorporated into DIMHRS as the service needs them to be.

For example, in September 2007, the Army found that DOD had dropped or changed several requirements between Versions 3.0 and 3.1 of the system requirements document without negotiating with the service or communicating its rationale.

Brenda Farrell, GAO's director of defense capabilities and management, sent GAO's findings to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, the House and Senate Armed Services and Appropriations committees, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the Office of Management and Budget, and the secretaries of the Army, Navy and Air Force.

Paul Brinkley, deputy undersecretary of Defense for business transformation, submitted a written response agreeing with GAO's findings.

About the Author

Technology journalist Michael Hardy is a former FCW editor.

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