Defense Relocation Assistance:

Service Information Systems Operating, but Not Yet Interactive

NSIAD-92-186: Published: Jun 5, 1992. Publicly Released: Jun 5, 1992.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) progress in establishing an interactive computer information system for providing relocation assistance to help military service members and their families undergo permanent change-of-station moves.

GAO found that: (1) in fiscal year 1990, DOD approved a software package developed by the Army as the baseline software package for the services' relocation assistance program; (2) the Army has incorporated the software package, called the Relocation Automated Information System, into an existing Army-wide base-level computerized personnel information system, although those upgrades will not make applications compatible with other services' systems; (3) although the Navy and Marine Corps adopted and used the 27 categories of information identified by the Army, they decided not to use the Army's software package because supporting it would be too costly; (4) as an alternative, the Marine Corps translated the programming logic developed by the Army into a Navy and Marine Corps standard application at an estimated cost of $150,000; (5) the Air Force has not adopted either of the software packages and is waiting until DOD decides on an interactive system for all the services; and (6) in January 1992, DOD issued a $58,000 contract to analyze relocation assistance program automation and explore various ways to comply with the congressional mandates, but DOD has not estimated the cost or time frame for developing and fielding an interactive system.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD has selected DMDC (West) as project manager for developing the database system. The new system is well along in development and is to be circulated for comment beginning in November 1993. Training for users will begin in January 1994. Full implementation is expected in March 1994. Defense Manpower Data Center (West) is managing the database system which has now been fully implemented.

    Recommendation: In order to prevent further delay in the full implementation of the automated portion of the relocation assistance program, as required by the law, the Secretary of Defense should, upon receipt of the contractor's report, decide promptly on how best to provide an automated information system that has the capability for each relocation program to interact with all other relocation programs.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DOD agreed to stop further development of individual service systems but will continue to provide relocation assistance through existing systems until the DOD-wide system is in place. This is expected to occur by March 1994. Defense Manpower Data Center (West) is managing the DOD-wide data system which has now been fully implemented.

    Recommendation: In order to prevent further delay in the full implementation of the automated portion of the relocation assistance program, as required by the law, the Secretary of Defense should require the services to implement the automated system developed as a result of that decision and stop other duplicative systems.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

 

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