Army Workload and Performance System:

Actions Needed to Complete Assessment of Unnecessary Overlap with Logistics Modernization Program

GAO-14-266: Published: Feb 28, 2014. Publicly Released: Feb 28, 2014.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Zina Merritt
(202) 512-5257
merrittz@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

What GAO Found

The Army has not followed certain applicable statutory and regulatory requirements for implementing the Army Workload and Performance System (AWPS). The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002 requires the Secretary of the Army to submit annual progress reports to Congress on the implementation of the AWPS master plan until the Secretary certifies to Congress that AWPS is fully implemented. Although the Secretary has not yet made this certification, the Army has not been submitting progress reports. According to Army officials, the Army does not plan to submit progress reports until a revised master plan for AWPS is completed. However, for many years the Army has been unable to complete an update to the master plan due to a lack of oversight. Additionally, the Army has not validated AWPS as a manpower requirements determination tool. Army regulation states that the U.S. Army Manpower and Analysis Agency (USAMAA) is responsible for reviewing and validating manpower requirements models like AWPS and that major commands—such as the Army Materiel Command (AMC)—are responsible for submitting their models to USAMAA for validation. AMC directs the activities of Army industrial sites and is the primary user of AWPS. USAMAA and AMC officials have discussed the need for AWPS to be validated, but AWPS has not yet been submitted to USAMAA for validation. USAMAA officials initially contacted AMC regarding submitting AWPS for validation; however, at the time, AMC was not prepared to proceed. Later, when ready to seek validation, AWPS officials told GAO they asked for assistance from USAMAA, but additional assistance had not yet been provided. Because USAMAA officials involved in these earlier contacts subsequently left USAMAA, GAO was unable to corroborate that USAMAA did not respond to AWPS officials' request for assistance. Through USAMAA validation, the Army would have greater assurance that AWPS workforce management reports are accurate.

The Army has begun to assess whether unnecessary overlap exists between AWPS and the Logistics Modernization Program (LMP), but its overall progress has been limited. At the direction of AMC leadership, a project team was established and has begun to assess the extent to which AWPS's software functionality can be replaced with existing or future LMP functionality. The team has distributed surveys to AWPS users to collect information on how they use AWPS, and whether they use other tools—such as LMP—to provide similar functionality. Initial responses to this survey indicate the potential for some overlap between AWPS and LMP. Identifying unnecessary overlap among government programs or activities is important because overlap can lead to unnecessary duplication and can result in unnecessary costs and less-efficient and less-effective services. However, the overall progress of the team's assessment has been limited, due primarily to the absence of senior-level leadership attention and involvement and to the lack of a fully developed and documented approach for the assessment. Best practices have shown that sustained leadership attention and involvement can help organizations achieve positive results, and internal control standards call for proper documentation of evaluation processes. The absence of these elements increases the risk that the Army will not make progress in identifying and eliminating unnecessary overlap between AWPS and LMP.

Why GAO Did This Study

AWPS is an information system that produces management reports intended to link the Army's industrial workload demands to workforce requirements. The Army has spent over $90 million on the system through fiscal year 2013 and plans to spend approximately $35.6 million over the next 5 years. AWPS relies on data from LMP, which was implemented after AWPS, and prior GAO reports have noted the potential overlap between AWPS and LMP. Pub. L. No. 111-139 mandates that GAO identify federal programs, agencies, offices, and initiatives that have duplicative goals or activities. This review evaluates the extent to which the Army has (1) followed certain applicable statutory and regulatory requirements for implementing AWPS and (2) assessed whether there is unnecessary overlap between AWPS and LMP. GAO reviewed laws, regulations, and prior GAO reports; analyzed Army documents related to its assessment of unnecessary overlap between AWPS and LMP; and interviewed Army officials.

What GAO Recommends

GAO is making four recommendations to the Army to (1) strengthen oversight for completing the update to the AWPS master plan, (2) direct that AWPS be submitted to USAMAA for validation, (3) identify a specific senior-level AMC manager or committee to provide oversight of the project team's efforts, and (4) establish a fully developed and documented approach for the team's assessment that includes a milestone for completing this effort. GAO requested comments from the Army, but none were provided.

For more information, contact Zina Merritt at (202) 512-5257 or merrittz@gao.gov.

Status Legend:

More Info
  • Review Pending-GAO has not yet assessed implementation status.
  • Open-Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-implemented-Actions that satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.
  • Closed-not implemented-While the intent of the recommendation has not been satisfied, time or circumstances have rendered the recommendation invalid.
    • Review Pending
    • Open
    • Closed - implemented
    • Closed - not implemented

    Recommendations for Executive Action

    Recommendation: To ensure completion of the update to the AWPS master plan, the Secretary of the Army should direct the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) to strengthen oversight of the plan's development, review, and approval.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: To provide greater assurance of the accuracy of manpower requirements reports produced by AWPS for use at Army industrial sites, the Secretary of the Army should direct AMC--with assistance as needed from USAMAA--to submit AWPS to USAMAA for review and validation as a manpower requirements determination tool, in accordance with Army regulations.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: To complete the Army's assessment of unnecessary overlap between AWPS and LMP and to ensure that a sound business decision is made on how to most cost-effectively provide AWPS functionality, the Secretary of the Army should direct the Commanding General, AMC, to identify a specific senior-level AMC manager or committee to provide increased leadership involvement and attention of the project team's efforts, to include ensuring that a strong and stable team exists for managing change.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: To complete the Army's assessment of unnecessary overlap between AWPS and LMP and to ensure that a sound business decision is made on how to most cost-effectively provide AWPS functionality, the Secretary of the Army should direct the Commanding General, AMC, to establish a fully developed and documented approach for the team's assessment, including a milestone for completing it.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

    Status: Open

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Jul 30, 2014

    Jul 28, 2014

    Jul 17, 2014

    Jul 14, 2014

    Jul 11, 2014

    Jul 9, 2014

    Jul 8, 2014

    Looking for more? Browse all our products here