"Spaces," "Faces," and "Bucks":

An Overview of the Role of Automated Information Systems in Managing the Enlisted Force

Published: May 1, 1985. Publicly Released: May 1, 1985.

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GAO issued a handbook to assist evaluators involved in audits pertaining to defense force management issues. The military services base force management decisions on three factors, including: (1) manpower necessary to fulfill mission requirements; (2) personnel available to fill necessary positions; and (3) personnel costs. The military services use a wide variety of management information systems to assist in making force management decisions, including systems to project mission needs, catalog biographical information about individual servicemen, forecast attritions and accessions, and estimate training needs. GAO also identified a number of weaknesses common to all three major services' management information systems, including: (1) duplication of effort; (2) lack of systems integration; (3) lack of systems responsiveness; (4) lack of software maintenance; (5) inadequate software documentation; (6) poor data integrity; (7) inadequate training of computer personnel; and (8) use of outmoded computer equipment. GAO noted that many military manpower managers are aware of systems problems and have, in some instances, initiated corrective actions.

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