Spending for major key enterprise resource planning systems would overall go down, with some notable exceptions, under the Defense Department fiscal 2014 budget proposal. DoD OCIO data shows some ERP budgets would increase substantially should Congress approve the request.
A Government Accountability Office review of Defense Department major information technology systems finds management problems in some key enterprise resource planning systems. The review (.pdf) is of 14 selected major automated information systems: IT projects that meet DoD size thresholds that characterize them as large, even by Defense standards.
The Defense Logistics Agency paid accountants to manually calculate its fiscal 2012 trial balance despite spending more than $2 billion so far on an enterprise resource planning system that should have been able to automatically record transactional data, says the Defense Department office of inspector general.
Auditors also cast doubt on the service's ability to meet the fiscal 2017 deadline for full financial statement audit readiness, noting that full deployment for two systems--the Integrated Personnel and Pay System-Army and the Global Combat Support System-Army--is scheduled for fiscal 2017 itself. In addition, a capability upgrade to a third system, Logistics Modernization Program, isn't scheduled for completion until the end of fiscal 2016.
The Air Force canceled earlier this month its troubled Expeditionary Combat Support System enterprise resourcing planning effort, stating that the program "is no longer a viable option" for meeting the fiscal 2017 congressional deadline for full audit readiness.
In a report (.pdf) dated Oct. 16 not posted online until Nov. 15, auditors say the Defense Department in particular has never publicly assigned to IT projects a rating greater than "medium risk," eschewing an evaluation of "high risk" or even "moderately high risk." The Office of Management and Budget requires agency CIOs to assign risk scores for publication on the IT Dashboard--which the GAO has several times noted has been beset by other inaccuracies.
The system, Defense Enterprise Accounting and Management System, made unauthorized changes to some fields in more than a quarter of the 4,207 general ledger accounts within it, the Defense Department office of inspector general says in a report (.pdf) dated Sept. 28.
The report doesn't only question the execution of ERPs, which have generally run significantly over budget and behind schedule . It questions the ERP strategy itself, calling on the Pentagon to curtail the further deployment of the systems in cases where no significant user base already exists.
The new enterprise resource planning systems the Defense Department is relying on to achieve clean audits in many cases are more difficult for users than legacy systems, said Elizabeth McGrath, the DoD deputy chief management officer, before a Sept. 14 House panel. The military departments face a fiscal 2014 deadline to achieve an auditable statement of budgetary resources financial statement and a fiscal 2017 deadline to achieve full audit readiness.
Unexpected changes in Navy maintenance business practices account for much, but not all, of Navy ERP program cost overruns, concludes a Defense Department-commissioned Rand study. Changes in maintenance processes eventually led program managers to drop maintenance entirely from the enterprise resource planning program's scope.