Defense Logistics:

Army Should Assess Cost and Benefits of the Workload Performance System Expansion

NSIAD-00-16: Published: Nov 12, 1999. Publicly Released: Nov 12, 1999.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the Army's study of its master plan for implementing its Workload Performance System, focusing on the: (1) Army's progress in developing and implementing the workload performance system; and (2) extent to which the Army's April 1999 report to the House Committee on National Security addresses an overall master plan for implementing the system, including the system's future applications and funding requirements.

GAO noted that: (1) the Army has implemented and certified a basic automated workload and performance system to evaluate personnel requirements in its five maintenance depots; (2) while the system appears to be adequate for this purpose, additional work is under way or planned to achieve improved performance; (3) these additional improvements include applications to identify the number of personnel excesses or shortages by type of skill, the ability to assign personnel based on skill qualifications to the most appropriate jobs, and the impact of material shortages on planned work; (4) additionally, development work is under way or planned to apply the workload performance system to several other functional areas, even though some questions exist about how cost-effective the system may be in some instances; (5) the Army's report on its congressionally required master plan provided limited and incomplete information on future development plans and did not provide requested funding information; and (6) thus far, the Army has used working capital funds for system development, even though the Committee's report language directed that Army working capital funds not be used for this purpose.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD concurred with the recommendation to assess the cost-effectiveness of the workload and performance system for nondepot maintenance applications. In June 2001 the Army sent an updated master plan to the House and Senate Committee on Armed Services. The master plan states that cost benefit studies were completed to support implementation of the workload and performance system for AMC's maintenance depots, ammunition storage facilities and base operation activities. The report states that the Army plans to perform additional cost benefit studies as the system is being designed and tested for other functional areas.

    Recommendation: To improve program management and provide a baseline for future program evaluation, the Secretary of Defense should require the Secretary of the Army to assess the cost-effectiveness of using the Army Workload Performance System for nondepot maintenance applications before proceeding with development and implementation.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD concurred with the recommendation to develop a more substantive master plan for planned workload and performance system applications at depot maintenance facilities, ammunition storage sites, and base operation activities. House Report 106-616 for the fiscal year 2001 Defense Authorization Act specifically required the Army to respond to GAO's recommendation. By letter dated June 8, 2001, the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs forwarded an updated master plan to the Congress. The plan included an explanation of the maintenance depots, base operations, ammunition, and manufacturing arsenals, along with key milestones for completion of design specs, prototype testing, initial deployment and full operational capability. In January 2001, the Army briefed Committee staff on cost benefits and funding requirements for each module.

    Recommendation: Based on the completed assessment, the Secretary of the Army should develop a more substantive master plan that incorporates all applications for which the system is to be implemented. This master plan should include priorities, cost and benefits, and proposed schedules.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD concurred with the recommendation to assess the adequacy of the existing program management and oversight for development and implementation of the workload and performance system. The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs completed the review and issued a policy memorandum dated January 19, 2001 designating the Army Workload and Performance System as the standard "Army-wide" manpower tool. The Assistant Secretary commended the Army Materiel Command (AMC) for their work in fielding the system within its industrial facilities. To facilitate fielding and management oversight/control in non-AMC managed industrial and logistics activities, the Assistant Secretary appointed the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Force Development) as Chairman of an AWPS Coordinating Group to guide future development and fielding of the manpower tool across command lines. The coordinating group includes members from various Army headquarters offices, and major field commands having responsibility for industrial and logistics operations.

    Recommendation: Based on the completed assessment, the Secretary of the Army should assess the adequacy of existing program management and oversight structures in light of: (1) additional functional applications and overall funding requirements; and (2) the potential for extending the workload and performance system to users outside the Army Materiel Command.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

 

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