Army Logistics:

Report on Manpower and Workload System Inadequate and System Interface Untested

GAO-03-21: Published: Oct 30, 2002. Publicly Released: Oct 30, 2002.

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At the direction of the House Committee on National Security, the Army began developing the Army Workload and Performance System (AWPS) in 1996. This automated system was intended to address a number of specific weaknesses highlighted in several GAO and Army studies since 1994 regarding the Army's inability to support its civilian personnel requirements by using an analytically based workload forecasting system. Army's May 2002 report on AWPS does not provide Congress with adequate information to assess the Army's progress in implementing the system. Specifically, the 2002 plan does not include (1) a detailed summary of all costs that the Army has incurred, or the expenditures that it anticipates in the future, to develop and implement the system; (2) a list of the milestones that the Army has, or has not, achieved in the previous year and a list of milestones that are projected for the future; and (3) an evaluation of how well the system has performed to date in fulfilling its primary function--that is, of matching manpower needs with depot workloads. Although the Army has begun developing an interface between AWPS and the Logistics Modernization Program, it has not sufficiently tested the interface to ensure that data can be shared between the two systems and that the capability of the workload and performance system will not be adversely affected.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In its response to GAO's draft report, the Department agreed with the recommendation. The AWPS-Logistics Modernization Program interfaces are being developed, tested, and implemented as LMP becomes operational. LMP is being implemented throughout AMC. AWPS is designed to enhance, but not duplicate LMP capability, and will draw input data from LMP as this new SAP-based system is implemented.

    Recommendation: In order to improve the quality of the Army's manual progress reports to Congress on the implementation of AWPS and to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the system, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to undertake a review of the interface between AWPS and the Logistics Modernization Program, once it has been successfully installed at the Army's five maintenance depots, to ensure that it is the most efficient and cost-effective use of these two systems.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department concurred with this recommendation. The most recent AWPS master plan update describes in detail the extent to which the AWPS provides the Army with the capability to match work requirements and manpower levels. The AWPS has been installed and is operational in four AMC mission areas: maintenance, ammunition logistics, base operations and ammunition manufacturing. The AWPS implementation and use in AMC depots has improved and greater user satisfaction has been noted, including increased AMC use of AWPS to test alternative operating scenarios for addressing future workload requirements. AWPS was used effectively in two major Industrial Operations Depots to assist workload restructuring in response to BRAC initiatives,. Additionally, according to Army officials, it is supporting the identification of Lean/6Sigma opportunities through enterprise-level visibility of Input/Output workload performance, including the capability to benchmark across components and industry partners.

    Recommendation: In order to improve the quality of the Army's manual progress reports to Congress on the implementation of AWPS and to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the system, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to ensure that these progress reports contain detailed cost, schedule, and performance information to allow Congress to fully assess the status of the Army's implementation of the workload and performance system and its interface with the Logistics Modernization Program, and the extent to which the system is providing the Army with the capability to match manpower and workload requirements.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department concurred with this recommendation. The Army submitted the initial Army Workload and Performance System Master Plan to Congress in April 1999 and produced follow-up plans in June 8, 2001, and May 2002. While the Army has not submitted the required annual report since 2002, the Department is in the final stages of review of a fourth AWPS master plan update, which Army officials said would be provided to the Congress by November 2007. According to Army officials, this year's master plan progress report will constitute the completion of the original AWPSS program.

    Recommendation: In order to improve the quality of the Army's manual progress reports to Congress on the implementation of AWPS and to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the system, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to submit to Congress annual progress reports on the implementation of AWPS that contain a complete description of any changes to the master plan since the submission of the previous report and a detailed explanation of the status of the AWPS program in relation to the costs, milestones, and performance data contained in the previous report.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In its response to GAO's draft report, the Department agreed with this recommendation. The LMP project office plans to transition from and stop operation of the old information systems that feed AWPS at the same time LMP is turned on. The AWPS team has planned for this transition strategy and has implemented it successfully at the first Army depot that has transitioned--the Tobyhanna Army Depot. While some deficiencies in the initial transition process were identified, the AWPS-LMP interface has been refined to address identified deficiencies.

    Recommendation: In order to improve the quality of the Army's manual progress reports to Congress on the implementation of AWPS and to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the system, the Secretary of Defense should direct the Secretary of the Army to ensure that the data-sharing mechanisms between the Logistics Modernization Program and AWPS are complete and allow for full functionality of AWPS before turning off the information systems that currently support AWPS.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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