District of Columbia:

The District Has Not Adequately Planned for and Managed Its New Personnel and Payroll System

AIMD-00-19: Published: Dec 17, 1999. Publicly Released: Dec 17, 1999.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the District of Columbia's management of the development of the Comprehensive Automated Personnel and Payroll System (CAPPS), focusing on whether the District has effectively planned and managed CAPPS.

GAO noted that: (1) the District did not effectively plan for CAPPS; (2) since beginning the CAPPS initiative in 1991, the District did not develop a project management plan and a risk management plan; (3) it did not redesign personnel and payroll business processes; (4) it did not obtain agreement from the acquisition team, system users, and the contractor on detailed requirements for CAPPS; (5) it did not establish a configuration control process to control the changes that were made to data tables connected to the software package that the District acquired for CAPPS; (6) by not implementing these critical management processes, the District lacked the means to establish realistic timeframes for CAPPS, track development along these timeframes, and ensure that changes being made to CAPPS were consistent and in line with business requirements; (7) in fact, the District has had to continually revise its CAPPS implementation deadline and, in view of these delays, has had to perform year 2000 renovations on its legacy personnel and payroll system as a contingency measure; (8) furthermore, the District has not been able to prevent individual District agencies from requesting that the contractor modify the system without knowledge of the CAPPS program office, to meet their own unique requirements; (9) the District also does not have the tools essential for maintaining, operating, and protecting CAPPS after its implementation; (10) in particular, the District has not estimated the cost of maintaining CAPPS or even decided how the system will be maintained; (11) it also does not have a centralized file for contract-related documents or a documented history of CAPPS-related decisions-both of which are needed to maintain and modify the system and provide information for reviews and investigations; and (12) furthermore, the District has not developed a security plan for CAPPS even though the system will contain sensitive privacy data.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Given the magnitude of technical and management deficiencies experienced in planning and developing the Comprehensive Automated Personnel and Payroll System, including those identified and reported on by the DC Inspector General and two GAO reports, the DC Chief Financial Officer decided to terminate any further development of the system in August 2000.

    Recommendation: So that the District implements effective processes and controls for maintaining, operating, and protecting CAPPS, the Chief Financial Officer should direct the CAPPS program office to develop and implement a security plan based on a realistic risk assessment of CAPPS security vulnerabilities.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia: Office of the Chief Financial Officer

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Given the magnitude of technical and management deficiencies experienced in planning and developing the Comprehensive Automated Personnel and Payroll System, including those identified and reported on by the DC Inspector General and two GAO reports, the DC Chief Financial Officer decided to terminate any further development of the system in August 2000.

    Recommendation: So that the District implements effective processes and controls for maintaining, operating, and protecting CAPPS, the Chief Financial Officer should direct the CAPPS program office to develop and implement a life cycle support plan, assign responsibility for life-cycle maintenance, and develop an estimate of maintenance and operation costs for CAPPS.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia: Office of the Chief Financial Officer

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Given the magnitude of technical and management deficiencies experienced in planning and developing the Comprehensive Automated Personnel and Payroll System, including those identified and reported on by the DC Inspector General and two GAO reports, the DC Chief Financial Officer decided to terminate any further development of the system in August 2000.

    Recommendation: So that the District implements effective processes and controls for maintaining, operating, and protecting CAPPS, the Chief Financial Officer should direct the CAPPS program office to implement a configuration control process to control and document further modifications being made to CAPPS. The process should: (1) clearly define and assess the effects of modifications on future product upgrades before the modification is approved; (2) clearly document the software products that are placed under configuration management; and (3) maintaining the integrity and traceability of the configuration throughout the system life cycle.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia: Office of the Chief Financial Officer

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Given the magnitude of technical and management deficiencies experienced in planning and developing the Comprehensive Automated Personnel and Payroll System, including those identified and reported on by the DC Inspector General and two GAO reports, the DC Chief Financial Officer decided to terminate any further development of the system in August 2000.

    Recommendation: So that the District implements effective processes and controls for maintaining, operating, and protecting CAPPS, the Chief Financial Officer should direct the CAPPS program office to develop a requirements baseline and obtain agreement between the program office and the system users.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia: Office of the Chief Financial Officer

  5. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Given the magnitude of technical and management deficiencies experienced in planning and developing the Comprehensive Automated Personnel and Payroll System, including those identified and reported on by the DC Inspector General and two GAO reports, the DC Chief Financial Officer decided to terminate any further development of the system in August 2000.

    Recommendation: So that the District implements effective processes and controls for maintaining, operating, and protecting CAPPS, the Chief Financial Officer should direct the CAPPS program office to develop and maintain a risk management plan.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia: Office of the Chief Financial Officer

  6. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Given the magnitude of technical and management deficiencies experienced in planning and developing the Comprehensive Automated Personnel and Payroll System, including those identified and reported on by the DC Inspector General and two GAO reports, the DC Chief Financial Officer decided to terminate any further development of the system in August 2000.

    Recommendation: So that the District implements effective processes and controls for maintaining, operating, and protecting CAPPS, the Chief Financial Officer should direct the CAPPS program office to develop a centralized file for contract task orders and other contract documentation related to CAPPS.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia: Office of the Chief Financial Officer

 

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