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entitled 'Military Pay: Army National Guard Personnel Mobilized to 
Active Duty Experienced Significant Pay Problems' which was released on 
January 28, 2004.

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Testimony :

Before the House Committee on Government Reform, House of 
Representatives:

For Release on Delivery Expected at 10 a.m. EST Wednesday, January 28, 
2004:

MILITARY PAY:

Army National Guard Personnel Mobilized to Active Duty Experienced 
Significant Pay Problems:

Statement of Gregory D. Kutz: 
Director, Financial Management and Assurance: 

Geoffrey B. Frank: Assistant Director, Financial Management and 
Assurance: 

John J. Ryan: Assistant Director, Office of Special Investigations:

GAO-04-413T:

GAO Highlights:

Highlights of GAO-04-413T, a testimony to the Chairman, House 
Committee on Government Reform

Why GAO Did This Study:

In light of the recent mobilizations associated with the war on 
terrorism, GAO was asked to determine if controls used to pay 
mobilized Army Guard personnel provided assurance that such pays were 
accurate and timely. This testimony focuses on the pay experiences of 
Army Guard soldiers at selected case study units and deficiencies with 
respect to controls over processes, human capital, and automated 
systems. 

What GAO Found:

The existing processes and controls used to provide pay and allowances 
to mobilized Army Guard personnel are so cumbersome and complex that 
neither DOD nor, more importantly, the mobilized Army Guard soldiers 
could be reasonably assured of timely and accurate payroll payments. 
Weaknesses in these processes and controls resulted in over- and 
underpayments and late active duty payments and, in some cases, large 
erroneously assessed debts, to mobilized Army Guard personnel. The end 
result of these weaknesses is to severely constrain DOD’s ability to 
provide active duty pay to these personnel, many of whom were risking 
their lives in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition, these pay 
problems have had a profound impact on individual soldiers and their 
families and may adversely impact on decisions to stay in the Army 
Guard. For example, many soldiers and their families were required to 
spend considerable time, sometimes while the soldiers were deployed in 
remote, hostile environments overseas, seeking corrections to active 
duty pays and allowances. 

Pay Problems at Six Case Study Locations: 

Army Guard unit: Colorado Special Forces; 
Soldiers with pay problems: 62 of 62; 
Comments: 34 soldiers were erroneously assessed debts averaging 
$48,000 each.

Army Guard unit: Virginia Special Forces; 
Soldiers with pay problems: 64 of 65; 
Comments: Injured soldiers experienced problems receiving entitled 
active duty pay and related medical benefits.

Army Guard unit: West Virginia Special Forces; 
Soldiers with pay problems: 86 of 94; 
Comments: Sergeant came under enemy fire during 4-day trip to deliver 
pay records to correct errors.

Army Guard unit: California Military Police; 
Soldiers with pay problems: 50 of 51; 
Comments: Majority of soldiers experienced delays in starting active 
duty pays.

Army Guard unit: Maryland Military Police; 
Soldiers with pay problems: 83 of 90; 
Comments: Pays for 13 soldiers continued for 6 weeks after early 
release from active duty.

Army Guard unit: Mississippi Military Police; 
Soldiers with pay problems: 105 of 119; 
Comments: 88 soldiers were mistakenly paid for 2 types of hardship 
duty pay. 

Total; 
Soldiers with pay problems: 450 of 481; 
Comments: 94 percent of soldiers had pay problems

Source: GAO analysis.

[End of table] 

The pay process, involving potentially hundreds of DOD, Army, and Army 
Guard organizations and thousands of personnel, was not well 
understood or consistently applied with respect to determining (1) the 
actions required to make timely, accurate pays to mobilized soldiers, 
and (2) the organization responsible for taking the required actions. 
With respect to human capital, we found weaknesses including (1) 
insufficient resources allocated to pay processing, (2) inadequate 
training related to existing policies and procedures, and (3) poor 
customer service. Several systems issues were also significant factors 
impeding accurate and timely payroll payments to mobilized Army Guard 
soldiers, including (1) nonintegrated systems, (2) limitations in 
system processing capabilities, and (3) ineffective system edits.

What GAO Recommends:

GAO’s related report (GAO-04-89) made 24 recommendations to DOD 
including the following:
* Establish a unified set of policies and procedures as well as 
performance measures in the pay area.

* Evaluate staffing allocation, pay grades, and training at all 54 
Army Guard offices. 

* Identify options for improving customer service.

* Review and resolve GAO identified pay issues at the six case study 
units.

* Evaluate the feasibility of automating manual pays and redesigning 
the leave and earnings statements.

* In developing the new pay system, consider a complete reengineering 
effort to include process and human capital. 

DOD concurred with GAO’s recommendations and described actions 
recently completed, underway, and planned to correct the noted 
deficiencies.

www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-04-413T.

To view the full product, click on the link above. For more 
information, contact Gregory D. Kutz at (202) 512-9095 or 
Kutzg@gao.gov.

[End of section]

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee:

Thank you for the opportunity to discuss controls over payroll payments 
to mobilized Army National Guard (Army Guard) soldiers. Our related 
report[Footnote 1] issued in November 2003 details weaknesses in the 
processes, human capital, and automated systems that impaired prompt 
and accurate Army Guard payroll payments.

In response to the September 11 attacks, many Army Guard soldiers were 
activated to federal duty. A reported 93,000 Army Guard soldiers--
accounting for about a third of all mobilized reserve forces--were 
activated as of March 2003. These forces were deployed on various 
important missions across the United States and overseas in support of 
Operations Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom, including search and 
destroy missions against the Taliban and al Qaeda; guarding al Qaeda 
prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay; providing security at the Pentagon 
and military bases; and carrying out military police functions in Iraq. 
Particularly given the critical and continuing roles Army Guard 
soldiers play in carrying out vital military and security missions, 
effective controls are needed to provide timely and accurate pays and 
allowances to these soldiers. Pay-related problems are not only costly 
and time-consuming to resolve, but result in financial hardship for 
soldiers and their families. In addition, there are indications that 
these pay problems are beginning to have an adverse effect on the 
Army's ability to retain these valuable Army Guard personnel.

Because current DOD operations used to pay mobilized Army Guard 
soldiers relied extensively on error-prone, manual transactions entered 
into multiple, nonintegrated systems, we did not statistically test 
controls in this area. Instead, we audited six Army Guard units as case 
studies to provide a detailed perspective on the nature of payroll 
deficiencies with respect to Army Guard soldiers. As requested, we also 
conducted a limited review of one unit currently deployed in Iraq to 
identify any evidence of continuing pay problems. Further details on 
our scope and methodology and the results of the case studies can be 
found in our related report.[Footnote 2]

Today, I will summarize the results of our work with respect to (1) the 
extent of pay problems we identified at our case study units, (2) 
deficiencies in the three key control areas of processes, people, and 
automated systems, and (3) recommended actions for addressing these 
issues.

Summary:

Internal control weaknesses in the processes, human capital, and 
automated systems resulted in significant pay problems at all six Army 
Guard units we audited. Overall, 450 of the 481 (94 percent) Army Guard 
soldiers from our six case study units had at least one pay problem 
associated with their mobilization. In addition, our limited review of 
the pay experiences of the soldiers in the Colorado Army Guard's 220TH 
Military Police Company, who are currently deployed to Iraq, indicated 
that some of the same types of pay problems that we found in our six 
case study units continued to occur.

Until DOD improves the cumbersome and complex processes used to pay 
mobilized Army Guard personnel, the Army, the Defense Finance and 
Accounting Service (DFAS), and, most importantly, the mobilized Army 
Guard soldiers, cannot be reasonably assured of timely and accurate 
payroll payments. These processes, involving potentially hundreds of 
Department of Defense (DOD), Army, and Army Guard organizations and 
thousands of personnel, were not well understood or consistently 
applied with respect to determining (1) the actions required to make 
timely, accurate pays to mobilized soldiers, and (2) the organization 
responsible for taking the required actions. In addition, we found 
several instances of outdated and conflicting DOD and Army regulations 
and guidance in the pay and allowance area.

With respect to human capital, we found weaknesses including (1) 
insufficient resources allocated to pay processing, (2) inadequate 
training related to existing policies and procedures, and (3) poor 
customer service. The lack of sufficient numbers of well-trained, 
competent military pay professionals can undermine the effectiveness of 
even a world-class integrated pay and personnel system. A sufficient 
number of well-trained military pay staff is particularly crucial given 
the extensive, cumbersome, and labor-intensive process requirements 
that have evolved to support active duty pay to Army Guard soldiers.

Automated systems issues--nonintegrated systems, limitations in system 
processing capabilities, and ineffective system edits--further 
constrained DOD's ability to provide a most basic service to these 
personnel, many of whom were risking their lives in combat. The Defense 
Joint Military Pay System-Reserve Component (DJMS-RC)--originally 
designed to process payroll payments to personnel on weekend drills, on 
short periods of less than 30 days of annual active duty, or for 
training--is now used to pay Army Guard soldiers for up to 2 years. 
Army officials told us that the system is now stretched to the limits 
of its functionality. DFAS has established "workarounds" intended to 
compensate for the DJMS-RC system constraints, which further compound 
the human capital issues. Overall, we found the current stove-piped, 
nonintegrated systems were labor-intensive and require extensive error-
prone manual data entry and reentry. Despite DOD plans to implement 
system improvements in this area, the department will be required to 
operate within existing system constraints for at least several more 
years.

The consequences of inaccurate, late, and, missing pays, and associated 
erroneous debts had a profound financial impact on individual soldiers 
and their families. One soldier's spouse had to obtain a grant to pay 
bills while her husband was in Afghanistan. Soldiers and their families 
were required to spend considerable time, sometimes while the soldiers 
were deployed in remote, hostile environments overseas, continually 
addressing concerns over their pay and allowances. Further, pay-related 
problems can have an adverse effect on the Army's ability to retain 
these valuable personnel.

In our related report, we recommended a series of 24 actions to improve 
the accuracy and timeliness of payroll payments to mobilized Army Guard 
soldiers. In its response to our report, DOD concurred with our 
recommended actions and stated that it is already taking action to 
correct the noted deficiencies.

Case Studies Illustrate Significant Pay Problems:

We found significant pay problems at the six Army Guard units we 
audited related to processes, human capital, and systems. The six units 
we audited, including three special forces and three military police 
units, were:

* Colorado B Company, 5th Battalion, 19th Special Forces:

* Virginia B Company, 3rd Battalion, 20th Special Forces:

* West Virginia C Company, 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces:

* Mississippi 114th Military Police Company:

* California 49th Military Police Headquarters and Headquarters 
Detachment:

* Maryland 200th Military Police Company:

These units were deployed to help perform a variety of critical 
domestic and overseas mission operations, including search and destroy 
missions in Afghanistan against Taliban and al Qaeda forces, guard duty 
for al Qaeda prisoners in Cuba, and providing security at the Pentagon 
shortly after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

For the six units we audited, we found significant pay problems 
involving over $1 million in errors. These problems consisted of 
underpayments, overpayments, and late payments that occurred during all 
three phases of Army Guard mobilization to active duty. For the 18-
month period from October 1, 2001, through March 31, 2003, we 
identified overpayments, underpayments, and late payments at the six 
case study units estimated at $691,000, $67,000, and $245,000, 
respectively.[Footnote 3] In addition, for one unit, these pay problems 
resulted in largely erroneous debts totaling $1.6 million. Overall, we 
found that 450 of the 481 soldiers (94 percent) from our case study 
units had at least one pay problem associated with their mobilization 
to active duty. Table 1 shows the number of soldiers at our case study 
units with at least one pay problem during each of the three phases of 
active duty mobilization.

Table 1: Pay Problems at Six Case Study Units:

Army Guard unit: Colorado Special Forces; 
Soldiers with pay problems: Mobilization: 56 of 62; 
Soldiers with pay problems: Deployment: 61 of 62; 
Soldiers with pay problems: Demobilization: 53 of 62.

Army Guard unit: Virginia Special Forces; 
Soldiers with pay problems: Mobilization: 31 of 65; 
Soldiers with pay problems: Deployment: 63 of 65; 
Soldiers with pay problems: Demobilization: 60 of 65.

Army Guard unit: West Virginia Special Forces; 
Soldiers with pay problems: Mobilization: 36 of 94; 
Soldiers with pay problems: Deployment: 84 of 94; 
Soldiers with pay problems: Demobilization: 66 of 94.

Army Guard unit: California Military Police; 
Soldiers with pay problems: Mobilization: 48 of 51; 
Soldiers with pay problems: Deployment: 41 of 51; 
Soldiers with pay problems: Demobilization: 0 of 51.

Army Guard unit: Maryland Military Police; 
Soldiers with pay problems: Mobilization: 75 of 90; 
Soldiers with pay problems: Deployment: 64 of 90; 
Soldiers with pay problems: Demobilization: 3 of 90.

Army Guard unit: Mississippi Military Police; 
Soldiers with pay problems: Mobilization: 21 of 119; 
Soldiers with pay problems: Deployment: 93 of 119; 
Soldiers with pay problems: Demobilization: 90 of 119. 

Source: GAO analysis.

[End of table]

Some of the pay problems we identified included the following.

* DOD erroneously billed 34 soldiers in a Colorado National Guard 
Special Forces unit an average of $48,000 each in payroll-related debt-
-most of which was erroneous. While we first notified DOD of these 
issues in April and sent a follow-up letter in June 2003, the largely 
erroneous total debt for these soldiers of about $1.6 million remained 
unresolved at the end of our audit in September 2003.

* As a result of confusion over responsibility for entering promotion-
related transactions associated with a Colorado soldier's promotion, 
the soldier's spouse had to obtain a grant from the Colorado National 
Guard to pay bills while her husband was in Afghanistan.

* Some soldiers did not receive payments for up to 6 months after 
mobilization and others still had not received some of their active 
duty pays by the conclusion of our audit.

* Ninety-one of 100 members of a Mississippi National Guard military 
police unit deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, did not receive the 
correct amount of Hardship Duty Pay.

* One soldier from the Mississippi unit was paid $9,400 in active duty 
pay during the 3 months following an early discharge for drug-related 
charges.

* Forty-eight of 51 soldiers in a California National Guard military 
police unit received late payments because the unit armory did not have 
a copy machine available to make copies of needed pay-related 
documents.

* Four Virginia Special forces soldiers injured in Afghanistan, unable 
to resume their civilian jobs, experienced problems in receiving 
entitled active duty pays and related health care.

* Pays for 13 soldiers continued for 6 weeks after early release from 
active duty.

* 88 soldiers were mistakenly paid for 2 types of hardship duty pay.

In some cases, the problems we identified may have distracted these 
professional soldiers from mission requirements, as they spent 
considerable time and effort while deployed attempting to address these 
issues. Further, these problems may adversely affect the Army's ability 
to retain these valuable personnel.

Pay Problems Continue with Unit Currently Deployed to Iraq:

Our limited review of the pay experiences of the soldiers in the 
Colorado Army Guard's 220th Military Police Company, which was 
mobilized to active duty in January 2003, sent to Kuwait in February 
2003, and deployed to Iraq on military convoy security and highway 
patrol duties in April 2003, indicated that some of the same types of 
pay problems that we found in our six case study units continued to 
occur. Of the 152 soldiers mobilized in this unit, our review of 
available records identified 54 soldiers who were either overpaid, 
underpaid, or received entitled active duty pays and allowances over 30 
days late, or for whom erroneous pay-related debts were created. We 
found that these pay problems could be attributed to control breakdowns 
similar to those we found at our case study units, including pay system 
input errors associated with amended orders, delays and errors in 
coding pay and allowance transactions, and slow customer service 
response. For example, available documentation and interviews indicate 
that while several soldiers submitted required supporting documentation 
to start certain pays and allowances at the time of their initial 
mobilization in January 2003, over 20 soldiers were still not receiving 
these pays in August 2003. This unit remained deployed in Iraq as of 
January 2004.

Mobilized Army Guard Pay Process, Human Capital, and Systems 
Deficiencies:

Deficiencies in three key areas--process, human capital, and systems--
were at the heart of the pay problems we identified. Processes were not 
well understood or consistently applied and were outdated in several 
instances. Insufficient resources, inadequate training, and poor 
customer service impaired the human capital operations in this area. 
Further, the automated systems supporting pays to mobilized Army Guard 
soldiers were ineffective because they were (1) not integrated and (2) 
constrained by limited processing capabilities and ineffective system 
edits.

Process Deficiencies:

A substantial number of payment errors we found were caused, at least 
in part, by unclear procedural requirements for processing active duty 
pay and allowance entitlements to mobilized Army Guard soldiers. 
Complex, cumbersome processes, developed in piecemeal fashion over a 
number of years, provide numerous opportunities for control breakdowns. 
The DOD Financial Management Regulation guidance on pay and allowance 
entitlements alone covered 65 chapters. Procedural requirements, 
particularly in light of the numerous organizations issuing guidance 
applicable to this area, and potentially hundreds of organizations and 
thousands of personnel involved in implementing this guidance, were not 
well understood or consistently applied with respect to determining (1) 
the actions required to make timely, accurate active duty pays to 
mobilized Army Guard soldiers and (2) the component responsible, among 
Army Guard, active Army, and DFAS, for taking the required actions. For 
example, within the Army Guard, 54 state-level personnel and another 54 
state-level pay offices--United States Property and Fiscal Offices 
(USPFOs) are integrally involved in the process to pay mobilized Army 
Guard soldiers. Further, we found instances in which existing guidance 
was out of date--some of which still reflected practices in place in 
1991 during Operation Desert Storm.

Procedural Requirements Not Clear:

Unclear procedural requirements for processing active duty pays 
contributed to erroneous and late pay and allowances to mobilized Army 
Guard soldiers. We found existing policies and procedural guidance were 
unclear with respect to amending active duty orders, stopping active 
duty pays for early returning soldiers, and extending active duty pays 
to injured soldiers.

At two of our case study locations, military pay technicians using 
vague guidance made errors in amending existing orders. One of these 
errors resulted in 34 soldiers being billed a largely erroneous total 
debt of about $1.6 million.

Procedural guidance was not clear regarding how to carry out assigned 
responsibilities for soldiers returning from active duty earlier than 
their unit. DFAS-IN guidance provides only that "the supporting USPFO 
will be responsible for validating the status of any soldier who does 
not return to a demobilized status with a unit." The guidance did not 
state how the USPFO should be informed of soldiers not returning with 
their unit, or what means the USPFO should use to validate the status 
of any such soldiers. One USPFO informed us that they became aware that 
a soldier had returned early from a deployment when the soldier 
appeared at a weekend drill while his unit was still deployed. In four 
of six case study units, we found instances in which Army Guard 
soldiers' active duty pays were not stopped at the end of their active 
duty tour when they were released from active duty earlier than their 
units. One Mississippi Army Guard soldier was paid $9,400 in active 
duty pay during the 3 months following an early discharge for drug-
related offenses.

We also found a lack of specific procedures to ensure timely processing 
of active duty medical extensions for injured Army Guard soldiers. Even 
though Army regulations provide that Army Guard soldiers with active 
duty medical extension status are entitled to continue to receive 
active duty pays, allowances, and medical benefits, we found that four 
soldiers from the Virginia 20TH Special Forces, B Company, 3RD 
Battalion in that status experienced significant pay problems and 
related problems in obtaining needed medical services to treat injuries 
or illnesses incurred while on active duty in part as a result of a 
lack of clearly defined implementing procedures in this area.

Individual Case Illustration: Unclear Regulations for Active Duty 
Medical Extension: 

Four soldiers who were injured while mobilized in Afghanistan for 
Operation Enduring Freedom told us that customer service was poor and 
no one was really looking after their interest or even cared about 
them. These problems resulted in numerous personal and financial 
difficulties for these soldiers.

* “Not having this resolved means that my family has had to make 
greater sacrifices and it leaves them in an unstable environment. This 
has caused great stress on my family that may lead to divorce.”

* “My orders ran out while awaiting surgery and the care center tried 
to deny me care. My savings account was reduced to nearly 0 because I 
was also not getting paid while I waited. I called the Inspector 
General at Walter Reed and my congressman. My orders were finally cut. 
In the end, I was discharged 2 weeks before my care should have been 
completed because the second amendment to my orders never came and I 
couldn’t afford to wait for them before I went back to work. The whole 
mess was blamed on the ‘state’ and nothing was ever done to fix it.”

* One sergeant was required to stay at Womack, the medical facility at 
Fort Bragg, North Carolina, while on medical extension. His home was 
in New Jersey. He had not been home for about 20 months, since his 
call to active duty. While he was recovering from his injuries, his 
wife was experiencing a high-risk pregnancy and depended upon her 
husband’s medical coverage, which was available while he remained in 
active duty status. Even though she lived in New Jersey, she scheduled 
her medical appointments near Fort Bragg to be with her husband. The 
sergeant submitted multiple requests to extend his active duty medical 
extension status because the paperwork kept getting lost. Lapses in 
obtaining approvals for continued active duty medical extension status 
caused the sergeant’s military medical benefits and his active duty 
pay to be stopped several times. He told us that because of gaps in 
his medical extension orders, he was denied medical coverage, 
resulting in three delays in scheduling a surgery. He also told us he 
received medical bills associated with his wife’s hospitalization for 
the delivery of their premature baby as a result of these gaps in 
coverage.

Organizational Responsibilities Not Clear:

We also found that existing policies and procedures were vague with 
respect to organizational responsibilities. Confusion centered 
principally on the lack of clear guidance with respect to 
responsibility and accountability for Army Guard personnel as they move 
from state control to federal control and back again. To be effective, 
current processes rely on close coordination and communication between 
state (Army Guard unit and state-level command organizations) and 
federal (active Army finance locations at mobilization/demobilization 
stations and at area servicing finance offices) organizations. However, 
we found a significant number of instances in which critical 
coordination requirements were not clearly defined. For example, at one 
of our case study locations, we found that, in part because of 
confusion over responsibility for starting location-based pays, a 
soldier was required to carry out a dangerous multiday mission to fix 
these pays.

Individual Case Illustration: Difficulty in Starting In-Theatre Pays: 

A sergeant with the West Virginia National Guard Special Forces unit 
was stationed in Uzbekistan with the rest of his unit, which was 
experiencing numerous pay problems. The sergeant told us that the 
local finance office in Uzbekistan did not have the systems up and 
ready, nor available personnel who were familiar with DJMS-RC. 
According to the sergeant, the active Army finance personnel were only 
taking care of the active Army soldiers’ pay issues. When pay 
technicians at the West Virginia USPFO attempted to help take care of 
some of the West Virginia National Guard soldiers’ pay problems, they 
were told by personnel at DFAS-Indianapolis not to get involved 
because the active Army finance offices had primary responsibility for 
correcting the unit’s pay issues. 

Eventually, the sergeant was ordered to travel to the finance office 
at Camp Doha, Kuwait, to get its assistance in fixing the pay 
problems, as illustrated in the following map. This trip, during which 
a soldier had to set aside his in-theatre duties to attempt to resolve 
Army Guard pay issues, proved to be not only a major inconvenience to 
the sergeant, but was also life-threatening. At Camp Doha (an 
established finance office), a reserve pay finance unit was sent from 
the United States to deal with the reserve component soldiers’ pay 
issues. The sergeant left Uzbekistan for the 4-day trip to Kuwait. He 
first flew from Uzbekistan to Oman in a C-130 ambulatory aircraft 
(carrying wounded soldiers). From Oman, he flew to Masirah Island. 
From Masirah Island he flew to Kuwait International Airport, and from 
the airport he had a 45-minute drive to Camp Doha. The total travel 
time was 16 hours. The sergeant delivered a box of supporting 
documents used to input data into the system. He worked with the 
finance office personnel at Camp Doha to enter the pertinent data on 
each member of his battalion into DJMS-RC. After 2 days working at 
Camp Doha, the sergeant returned to the Kuwait International Airport, 
flew to Camp Snoopy in Qatar, and from there to Oman. On his flight 
between Oman and Uzbekistan, the sergeant’s plane took enemy fire and 
was forced to return to Oman. No injuries were reported. The next day, 
he left Oman and returned safely to Uzbekistan. 

[See PDF for image]

Source: GAO.

[End of figure]

Guidance Outdated:

We found several instances in which existing DOD and Army regulations 
and guidance in the pay and allowance area were outdated and conflict 
with more current legislation and DOD regulations. Some existing 
guidance reflected pay policies and procedures dating back to 
Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1991. While we were able 
to associate pay problems with only one of these outdated requirements, 
there is a risk that they may also have caused as yet unidentified pay 
problems. Further, having out-of-date requirements in current 
regulations may contribute to confusion and customer service issues.

Human Capital Issues:

With respect to human capital, we found weaknesses including (1) 
insufficient resources allocated to pay processing, (2) inadequate 
training related to existing policies and procedures, and (3) poor 
customer service. The lack of sufficient numbers of well-trained, 
competent military pay professionals can undermine the effectiveness of 
even a world-class integrated pay and personnel system. A sufficient 
number of well-trained military pay staff is particularly crucial given 
the extensive, cumbersome, and labor-intensive process requirements 
that have evolved to support active duty pay to Army Guard soldiers. 
GAO's Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government state 
that management should take steps to ensure that its organization has 
the appropriate number of employees, and that appropriate human capital 
practices, including hiring, training, and retention, are in place and 
effectively operating.

Insufficient Numbers of Military Pay Processing Personnel:

Our audit identified a lack of knowledgeable personnel dedicated to 
entering and processing active duty pays and allowances to mobilized 
Army Guard soldiers. As discussed previously, both active Army and Army 
Guard military pay personnel play key roles in this area. Army Guard 
operating procedures provide that the primary responsibility for 
administering mobilized Army Guard soldiers' pay rests with the 54 
USPFOs. These USPFOs are responsible for processing pay for drilling 
reservists along with the additional surge of processing required for 
initiating active duty pays for mobilized soldiers.

Our audit work identified concerns with USPFO military pay sections 
operating at less than authorized staffing levels and recruiting and 
retention challenges due to the positions being at a lower pay grade 
level. In addition, few of the military pay technicians on board at the 
six locations we audited had received formal training on pay 
eligibility and pay processing requirements for mobilized Army Guard 
personnel.

Although the Army and DFAS have established an agreement that in part 
seeks to ensure that resources are available to provide appropriately 
skilled pay personnel at mobilization stations to support surge 
processing, no such contingency staffing plan exists for the USPFOs. As 
discussed previously, pay problems at the case study units were caused 
in part by USPFO military pay sections attempting to process large 
numbers of pay transactions without sufficient numbers of knowledgeable 
personnel.

Lacking sufficient numbers of personnel undermines the ability of the 
USPFO pay functions to carry out established control procedures. For 
example, our audits at the six case study units showed that, for the 
most part, proposed pay transactions were not independently reviewed as 
required by DJMS-RC operating procedures before they were submitted for 
processing. USPFO officials told us that because of the limited number 
of available pay technicians, this requirement was often not followed. 
For example, one Chief of Payroll told us that because they were 
understaffed, the current staff worked 12 to 14 hours a day and still 
had backlogs of pay start transactions to be processed.

Training on Pay Entitlements and Processing Requirements Critical:

We identified instances in which the personnel at military pay offices 
at both the USPFOs and the active Army finance offices did not appear 
to be knowledgeable about the various aspects of the extensive pay 
eligibility or payroll processing requirements. There are no DOD or 
Army requirements for military pay personnel to receive training on pay 
entitlements and processing requirements associated with mobilized Army 
Guard soldiers or for monitoring the extent to which personnel have 
taken either of the recently established training courses in the area. 
Such training is critical given that military pay personnel must be 
knowledgeable with respect to the existing extensive and complex pay 
eligibility and processing requirements. We also found that such 
training is particularly important for active Army pay personnel who 
may lack knowledge in the unique procedures and pay transaction entry 
requirements to pay Army Guard soldiers. As a result, we identified 
numerous instances in which military pay technicians at both the USPFOs 
and active Army finance office locations made data coding errors when 
entering transaction codes into the pay systems. Correcting these 
erroneous transactions required additional labor-intensive research 
and data entry by other more skilled pay technicians.

While the Army Guard began offering training for their military pay 
technicians in fiscal year 2002, we found that there was no overall 
monitoring of training the Army Guard pay personnel had taken and no 
requirement for USPFO pay technicians to attend these training courses. 
At several of the case study locations we audited, we found that Army 
Guard pay technicians relied primarily on on-the-job-training and phone 
calls to the Army Guard Financial Services Center in Indianapolis or to 
other military pay technicians at other locations to determine how to 
process active duty pays.

In addition, unit commanders have significant responsibilities for 
establishing and maintaining the accuracy of soldiers' pay records. 
U.S. Army Forces Command Regulation 500-3-3, Reserve Component Unit 
Commander's Handbook (July 15, 1999), requires unit commanders to (1) 
annually review and update pay records for all soldiers under their 
command as part of an annual soldier readiness review and (2) obtain 
and submit supporting documentation needed to start entitled active 
duty pay and allowances based on mobilization orders. However, we saw 
little evidence that commanders for our case study units carried out 
these requirements. We were told that this was primarily because unit 
commanders have many administrative duties and without additional 
training on the importance of these actions, they may not receive 
sufficient priority attention.

The lack of unit commander training on the importance of these 
requirements may have contributed to pay problems we identified at our 
case study units. For example, at our Virginia case study location, we 
found that when the unit was first mobilized, USPFO pay personnel were 
required to spend considerable time and effort to correct hundreds of 
errors in the unit's pay records dating back to 1996. Such errors could 
have been identified and corrected during the preceding years' 
readiness reviews. Further, we observed many cases in which active duty 
pays were not started until more than 30 days after the entitled start 
date because soldiers did not submit the paperwork necessary to start 
these pays.

Customer Service Concerns:

We found indications that many Army Guard soldiers were displeased with 
the customer service they received. None of the DOD, Army, or Army 
Guard policies and procedures we examined addressed the level or 
quality of customer service that mobilized Army Guard soldiers should 
receive concerning questions or problems with their active duty pays. 
We found that not all Army Guard soldiers and their families were 
informed at the beginning of their mobilization of the pays and 
allowances they should receive while on active duty. This information 
is critical to enable soldiers to determine if they were not receiving 
such pays and therefore require customer service. We also found that 
the documentation provided to Army Guard soldiers--primarily in the 
form of leave and earnings statements--concerning the pays and 
allowances they received did not facilitate customer service.

Consistent with the confusion we found among Army Guard and active Army 
finance components concerning responsibility for processing pay 
transactions for mobilized Army Guard soldiers, we found indications 
that the soldiers themselves were similarly confused. Many of the 
complaints we identified concerned confusion over whether mobilized 
Army Guard personnel should be serviced by the USPFO because they were 
Army Guard soldiers or by the active Army because they were mobilized 
to federal service.

Individual Case Illustration: Poor Customer Service: 

 One soldier told us that he submitted documentation on three separate 
occasions to support the housing allowance he should have received as 
of the beginning of his October 2001 mobilization. Each time he was 
told to resubmit the documentation because his previously submitted 
documents were lost. Subsequently, while he was deployed, he made 
additional repeated inquiries as to when he would receive his housing 
allowance pay. He was told that it would be taken care of when he 
returned from his deployment. However, when he returned from his 
deployment, he was told that he should have taken care of this issue 
while he was deployed and that it was now too late to receive this 
allowance. 

Data collected from Army Guard units mobilized to active duty indicated 
that some members of the units had concerns with the pay support 
customer service they received associated with their mobilization--
particularly with respect to pay issues associated with their 
demobilization. Specifically, of the 43 soldiers responding to our 
question on satisfaction with customer support at mobilization, 10 
indicated satisfaction, while 15 reported dissatisfaction.[Footnote 4] 
Similarly, of the 45 soldiers responding to our question on customer 
support following demobilization, 5 indicated satisfaction while 29 
indicated dissatisfaction.[Footnote 5] Of the soldiers who provided 
written comments about customer service, none provided any positive 
comments about the customer service they received, and several had 
negative comments about the customer service they received, including 
such comments as "non-existent," "hostile," or "poor." A company 
commander for one of our case study units characterized the customer 
service his unit received at initial mobilization as time-consuming and 
frustrating.

In addition, procedures used to notify soldiers of large payroll-
related debts did not facilitate customer service. Under current 
procedures, if a soldier is determined to owe the government money 
while on active duty, he is assessed a debt and informed of this 
assessment with a notation for an "Unpaid Debt Balance" in the remarks 
section of his leave and earnings statement. One such assessment 
showing a $39,489.28 debt is shown in figure 1.

Figure 1: Sample Leave and Earnings Statement with Large Debt Balance:

[See PDF for image]

[End of figure]

Systems Problems:

Several systems issues were significant factors impeding accurate and 
timely payroll payments to mobilized Army Guard soldiers, including:

* the lack of an integrated or effectively interfaced pay system with 
both the personnel and order-writing systems;

* limitations in DJMS-RC processing capabilities; and:

* ineffective system edits for large payments and debts.

Our systems findings were consistent with issues raised by DOD in its 
June 2002 report[Footnote 6] to the Congress on its efforts to 
implement an integrated military pay and personnel system. 
Specifically, DOD's report acknowledged that major deficiencies with 
the delivery of military personnel and pay services were the direct 
result of the inability of a myriad of current systems with multiple, 
complex interfaces to fully support current business process 
requirements. DOD has a significant system enhancement project 
underway, but it is likely that the department will operate with many 
of its existing system constraints for a number of years.

Figure 2 provides an overview of the five systems currently involved in 
processing Army Guard pay and personnel information.

Figure 2: Overview of Army Guard Pay and Personnel Systems:

[See PDF for image]

[End of figure]

Lack of Integrated Systems:

The five key DOD systems (see fig. 4) involved in authorizing, 
entering, processing, and paying mobilized Army Guard soldiers were not 
integrated. Lacking either an integrated or effectively interfaced set 
of personnel and pay systems, DOD must rely on manual entry of data 
from the same source documents into multiple systems. This error-prone, 
labor-intensive manual data entry caused various pay problems--
particularly late payments.

In our case studies, we found instances in which mobilization order 
data that were entered into SIDPERS were either not entered into DJMS-
RC for several months after the personnel action or were entered 
inconsistently. Consequently, these soldiers either received active 
duty pays they were not entitled to receive--some for several months--
or did not timely receive active duty pays to which they were entitled.

Individual Case Illustration: Overpayment due to Lack of Integrated 
Pay and Personnel Systems: 

A soldier with the Mississippi Army National Guard was mobilized in 
January 2002 with his unit and traveled to the mobilization station at 
Fort Campbell. The unit stayed at Fort Campbell to perform post 
security duties until June 2002. On June 14, 2002, the E-4 specialist 
received a "general" discharge order from the personnel office at Fort 
Campbell for a drug-related offense. However, he continued to receive 
active duty pay, totaling approximately $9,400, until September 2002. 
Although the discharge information was promptly entered into the 
soldier's personnel records, it was not entered into the pay system 
for almost 4 months. This problem was caused by weaknesses in the 
processes designed to work around the lack of integrated pay and 
personnel systems. Further, the problem was not detected because 
reconciliations of pay and personnel data were not performed timely. 
Specifically, it was not until over 3 months after the soldier's 
discharge, through its September 2002 end-of-month reconciliation, 
that the Mississippi Army National Guard USPFO identified the 
overpayment and took action on October 2, 2002, to stop the 
individual's pay. However, collection efforts on the $9,400 
overpayment did not begin until July 2003, when we pointed out this 
situation to USPFO officials. 

A soldier with the Mississippi Army National Guard was mobilized in 
January 2002 with his unit and traveled to the mobilization station at 
Ft. Campbell. The unit stayed at Ft. Campbell to perform post security 
duties until June 2002. On June 14, 2002, the E-4 specialist received a 
"general" discharge order from the personnel office at Ft. Campbell for 
a drug-related offense. However, he continued to receive active duty 
pay, totaling approximately $9,400, until September 2002. Although the 
discharge information was promptly entered into the soldier's personnel 
records, it was not entered into the pay system for almost 4 months. 
This problem was caused by weaknesses in the processes designed to work 
around the lack of integrated pay and personnel systems. Further, the 
problem was not detected because reconciliations of pay and personnel 
data were not performed timely. Specifically, it was not until over 3 
months after the soldier's discharge, through its September 2002 end-
of-month reconciliation, that the Mississippi Army National Guard USPFO 
identified the overpayment and took action on October 2, 2002, to stop 
the individual's pay. However, collection efforts on the $9,400 
overpayment did not begin until July 2003, when we pointed out this 
situation to USPFO officials.

Pay System Has Limited Active Duty Pay Processing Capabilities:

DOD has acknowledged that DJMS-RC was not designed to process payroll 
payments to mobilized Army Guard soldiers for extended periods of 
active duty. Consequently, it is not surprising that we found a number 
of "workarounds"--procedures intended to compensate for existing DJMS-
RC processing limitations with respect to Army Guard active duty pays. 
Such manual workarounds are inefficient and create additional labor-
intensive, error-prone transaction processing.

Because of limited DJMS-RC processing capabilities, the Army Guard 
USPFO and in-theatre active Army area servicing finance office pay 
technicians are required to manually enter transactions for 
nonautomated pay and allowances every month. DJMS-RC was originally 
designed to process payroll payments to Army Reserve and Army Guard 
personnel on weekend drills, or on short periods of annual active duty 
(periods of less than 30 days in duration) or for training. With Army 
Guard personnel now being paid from DJMS-RC for extended periods of 
active duty (as long as 2 years at a time), DFAS officials told us that 
the COBOL/mainframe-based system was now being stretched to the limits 
of its functionality. In several of the case study units we audited, we 
found a number of instances in which soldiers were underpaid their 
entitled pays that must be entered each month manually (such as foreign 
language proficiency, special duty assignment, or hardship duty pays) 
because pay technicians did not enter the monthly manual transaction 
input required to initiate those pays every month.

In addition, we found a significant number of soldiers were overpaid 
when they were demobilized from active duty before the stop date 
specified in their original mobilization orders. This occurred because 
pay technicians did not update the stop date in DJMS-RC necessary to 
terminate the automated active duty pays when soldiers leave active 
duty early. For example, the military finance office in Kuwait, 
responsible for paying Virginia 20TH Special Forces soldiers in the 
fall of 2002, did not stop hostile fire and hardship duty pays as 
required when these soldiers left Afghanistan in October 2002. We found 
that 55 of 64 soldiers eligible for hostile fire pay were overpaid for 
at least 1 month beyond their departure from Afghanistan.

Further, these month-to-month pays and allowances were not separately 
itemized on the soldiers' leave and earnings statements in a user-
friendly format. Instead, many of these pays appeared as lump sum 
payments under "other credits." In many cases these "other credit" pay 
and allowances appeared with little explanation. As a result, we found 
indications that Army Guard soldiers had difficulty using the leave and 
earnings statements to determine if they received all entitled active 
duty pays and allowances. Without such basic customer service, the 
soldiers cannot readily determine whether they received all entitled 
active duty pays and allowances.

As shown in the example leave and earnings statement extract included 
in figure 3, an Army Guard soldier who received a series of corrections 
to special duty assignment pay along with their current special duty 
assignment payment of $110 is likely to have difficulty discerning 
whether he or she received all and only entitled active duty pays and 
allowances.

Figure 3: Sample Army Guard Leave and Earnings Statement:

[See PDF for image]

[End of figure]

In yet another example, one sergeant, apparently having difficulty 
deciphering his leave and earnings statement, wrote a letter to a 
fellow service member asking, "Are they really fixing pay issues or are 
they putting them off till we return? If they are waiting, then what 
happens to those who (god forbid) don't make it back?" This sergeant 
was killed in action in Afghanistan on April 15, 2002, before he knew 
if his pay problems were resolved.

System Edits Do Not Prevent Large Payments or Debts:

While DJMS-RC has several effective edits to prevent certain 
overpayments, it lacks effective edits to reject large proposed net 
pays over $4,000 at midmonth and over $7,000 at end of month before 
their final processing. We found several instances in our case studies 
where soldiers received large lump sum payments, possibly related to 
previous underpayments or other pay errors, with no explanation. 
Further, the lack of preventive controls over large payments poses an 
increased risk of fraudulent payments.

Similarly, DJMS-RC does not have system edits to prevent large debts 
from being assessed without review and approval prior to being 
processed and does not require the leave and earnings statement to 
include an explanation of pay-related debt assessments. Such was the 
case for the following Army Guard soldier:

[See PDF for image]

[End of figure]

DOD has a system enhancement project underway for which one of the 
major expected benefits is the improvement of military pay accuracy and 
timeliness. However, the effort to replace over 80 legacy personnel, 
pay, training, and manpower systems (including DJMS-RC) has been 
underway for over 5 years and DOD has encountered challenges fielding 
the system. In the nearer term, the department reported that it 
expected to field a system to replace the current DFAS system used to 
process pays to mobilized Army Guard soldiers by March 2005. However, 
given that the pay system is only one of several non-integrated systems 
the department currently relies on to authorize and pay mobilized Army 
Guard soldiers, it is likely that the department will continue to 
operate with many of the existing system constraints for at least 
several more years.

Actions to Improve Accuracy and Timeliness of Army Guard Pay:

While it is likely that DOD will be required to rely on existing 
systems for a number of years, a complete and lasting solution to the 
pay problems we identified will only be achieved through a complete 
reengineering, not only of the automated systems, but also of the 
supporting processes and human capital practices in this area. However, 
our related report ( [Hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/
getrpt?GAO-04-89] GAO-04-89) detailed immediate actions that can be 
taken in these areas to improve the timeliness and accuracy of pay and 
allowance payments to activated Army Guard soldiers. The need for such 
actions is increasingly imperative in light of the current extended 
deployment of Army Guard soldiers in their crucial role in Operation 
Iraqi Freedom and anticipated additional mobilizations in support of 
this operation. To help ensure that the Army Guard can continue to 
successfully fulfill its vital role in our national defense, immediate 
steps are needed to at least mitigate the most serious problems we 
identified.

Accordingly, we made the following short-term recommendations to the 
Secretary of Defense to address the issues we identified with respect 
to the existing processes, human capital, and automated systems relied 
on to pay activated Army Guard personnel.

Process:

* Establish a unified set of policies and procedures for all Army 
Guard, Army, and DFAS personnel to follow for ensuring active duty pays 
for Army Guard personnel mobilized to active duty.

* Establish performance measures for obtaining supporting documentation 
and processing pay transactions (for example, no more than 5 days would 
seem reasonable).

* Establish who is accountable for stopping active duty pays for 
soldiers who return home earlier than their units.

* Clarify the policies and procedures for how to properly amend active 
duty orders, including medical extensions.

* Require Army Guard commands and unit commanders to carry out complete 
monthly pay and personnel records reconciliations and take necessary 
actions to correct any pay and personnel record mismatches found each 
month.

* Update policies and procedures to reflect current legal and DOD 
administrative requirements with respect to active duty pays and 
allowances and transaction processing requirements for mobilized Army 
Guard soldiers.

Human Capital:

* Consider expanding the scope of the existing memorandum of 
understanding between DFAS and the Army concerning the provision of 
resources to support surge processing at mobilization and 
demobilization sites to include providing additional resources to 
support surge processing for pay start and stop transaction 
requirements at Army Guard home stations during initial soldier 
readiness programs.

* Determine whether issues concerning resource allocations for the 
military pay operations identified at our case study units exist at all 
54 USPFOs, and if so, take appropriate actions to address these issues.

* Determine whether issues concerning relatively low-graded military 
pay technicians identified at our case study units exist at all 54 
USPFOs, and if so, take appropriate actions to address these issues.

* Modify existing training policies and procedures to require all USPFO 
and active Army pay and finance personnel responsible for entering pay 
transactions for mobilized Army Guard soldiers to receive appropriate 
training upon assuming such duties.

* Require unit commanders to receive training on the importance of 
adhering to requirements to conduct annual pay support documentation 
reviews and carry out monthly reconciliations.

* Establish an ongoing mechanism to monitor the quality and completion 
of training for both pay and finance personnel and unit commanders.

* Identify and evaluate options for improving customer service provided 
to mobilized Army Guard soldiers by providing improved procedures for 
informing soldiers of their pay and allowance entitlements throughout 
their active duty mobilizations.

* Identify and evaluate options for improving customer service provided 
to mobilized Army Guard soldiers to ensure a single, well-advertised 
source for soldiers and their families to access for customer service 
for any pay problems.

* Review the pay problems we identified at our six case study units to 
identify and resolve any outstanding pay issues for the affected 
soldiers.

Systems:

* Evaluate the feasibility of using the personnel-to-pay interface as a 
means to proactively alert pay personnel of actions needed to start 
entitled active duty pays and allowances.

* Evaluate the feasibility of automating some or all of the current 
manual monthly pays, including special duty assignment pay, foreign 
language proficiency pay, hardship duty pay, and HALO pay.

* Evaluate the feasibility of eliminating the use of the "other 
credits" for processing hardship duty (designated areas), HALO pay, and 
special duty assignment pay, and instead establish a separate component 
of pay for each type of pay.

* Evaluate the feasibility of using the JUSTIS warning screen to help 
eliminate inadvertent omissions of required monthly manual pay inputs.

* Evaluate the feasibility of redesigning Leave and Earnings Statements 
to provide soldiers with a clear explanation of all pay and allowances 
received so that they can readily determine if they received all and 
only entitled pays.

* Evaluate the feasibility of establishing an edit check and requiring 
approval before processing any debt assessments above a specified 
dollar amount.

* Evaluate the feasibility of establishing an edit check and requiring 
approval before processing any payments above a specified dollar 
amount.

With regard to a complete and lasting solution to the pay problems we 
identified, our related report included the following long-term 
recommendations:

* As part of the effort currently under way to reform DOD's pay and 
personnel systems--referred to as DIMHRS--incorporate a complete 
understanding of the Army Guard pay problems as documented in this 
report into the requirements development for this system.

* In developing DIMHRS, consider a complete reengineering of the 
processes and controls and ensure that this reengineering effort deals 
not only with the systems aspect of the problems we identified, but 
also with the human capital and process aspects.

Concluding Comments:

The extensive problems we identified at the case study units vividly 
demonstrate that the controls currently relied on to pay mobilized Army 
Guard personnel are not working and cannot provide reasonable assurance 
that such pays are accurate or timely. The personal toll that these pay 
problems have had on mobilized soldiers and their families cannot be 
readily measured, but at least with two of our case study units there 
are already indications that these pay problems have begun to have an 
adverse effect on reenlistment and retention. It is not surprising that 
cumbersome and complex processes and ineffective human capital 
strategies, combined with the use of a system that was not designed to 
handle the intricacies of active duty pay and allowances, would result 
in significant pay problems. To its credit, DOD concurred with the 
recommendations included in our companion report and outlined some 
actions already taken, others that are underway, and further planned 
actions with respect to our recommendations.

We did not assess the completeness and adequacy of DOD's actions 
directed at improving controls over pays to mobilized Army Guard 
soldiers. However, pays to mobilized Army Reserve soldiers rely on many 
of the same processes and automated systems used to pay mobilized Army 
Guard soldiers. At your request, we will be reviewing the pay 
experiences of mobilized Army Reserve soldiers, and we will be 
assessing the effectiveness of any relevant DOD actions taken as part 
of that review.

Finally, I commend the Chairman and Vice Chairman for holding an 
oversight hearing on this important issue. Your Committee's continuing 
interest and diligence in overseeing efforts to effectively and 
efficiently support our Army Guard and Reserve forces will be essential 
in bringing about comprehensive and lasting improvements to many 
decades-old, entrenched problems. For example, in addition to our 
ongoing review of the pay experiences of mobilized Army Reserve 
soldiers, we now have related engagements ongoing that you requested 
concerning:

* controls over pays and related medical benefits for mobilized Army 
Guard soldiers who elect to have their active duty tours extended to 
address injuries or illnesses incurred while on active duty,

* controls over travel reimbursements to mobilized Army Guard soldiers,

* utilization of Army Guard forces since September 11, 2001, and:

* the impact of deployments on DOD's ability to carry out homeland 
security missions.

We are committed to continuing to work with you and DOD to identify and 
monitor actions needed to bring about comprehensive and lasting 
solutions to long-standing problems in its business and financial 
management operations.

Mr. Chairman, this concludes my statement. I would be pleased to answer 
any questions you or other members of the Committee may have at this 
time.

Contacts and Acknowledgments:

For further information about this testimony, please contact Gregory D. 
Kutz at (202) 512-9095 or [Hyperlink, kutzg@gao.gov] kutzg@gao.gov. 
Individuals making key contributions to this testimony include Paul S. 
Begnaud, Amy C. Chang, Mary Ellen Chervenic, Francine M. DelVecchio, 
Dennis B. Fauber, Geoffrey B. Frank, Jennifer L. Hall, Charles R. 
Hodge, Julia C. Matta, Jonathan T. Meyer, Sheila D. Miller, and John J. 
Ryan, Patrick S. Tobo.

(192113):

FOOTNOTES

[1] U.S. General Accounting Office, Military Pay: Army National Guard 
Personnel Mobilized to Active Duty Experienced Significant Pay 
Problems, GAO-04-89 (Washington, D.C.: Nov. 13, 2003).

[2] GAO-04-89. See appendixes I-VII.

[3] As a result of the lack of supporting documents, we likely did not 
identify all of the pay problems related to the active duty 
mobilizations of our case study units. However, for the pay problems we 
identified, we defined over-and underpayments as those pays or 
allowances for mobilized Army Guard soldiers during the period from 
October 1, 2001, through March 31, 2003, that were in excess 
(overpayment) or less than (underpayment) the entitled payment. We 
considered as late payments any active duty pays or allowances paid to 
the soldier over 30 days after the date on which the soldier was 
entitled to receive such pays or allowances. As such, these payments 
were those that, although late, addressed a previously unpaid 
entitlement. We did not include any erroneous debts associated with 
these payments as pay problems. In addition, we used available data to 
identify about $135,000 in collections against identified overpayments 
through March 31, 2003. We did not attempt to estimate payments 
received against identified underpayments. We have provided 
documentation for the pay problems we identified to cognizant DOD 
officials for further research to determine whether additional amounts 
are owed to the government or the soldier. 

[4] The remaining 18 respondents indicated they were either as 
satisfied as not or had no basis to judge.

[5] The 11 remaining respondents were either as satisfied as not or had 
no basis to judge.

[6] U.S. Department of Defense, Report to Congress: Defense Integrated 
Military Human Resource System (Personnel and Pay), (Washington, D.C. 
June 2002).