Force Structure:

Army's Efforts to Improve Efficiency of Institutional Forces Have Produced Few Results

NSIAD-98-65: Published: Feb 26, 1998. Publicly Released: Feb 26, 1998.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the extent to which the Army has: (1) taken corrective action to resolve its material weakness in determining institutional personnel requirements; and (2) identified opportunities to reduce personnel and realize savings through its Force XXI Institutional Redesign Effort.

GAO noted that: (1) the Army developed a corrective action plan to resolve its material weakness in determining institutional personnel requirements but may have difficulty achieving the plan's completion date; (2) two critical subplans have been developed, one that implements a new costing system and another that develops a new computer-based methodology--the Army Workload Performance System (AWPS); (3) without specific steps and milestones for both of these efforts, the Army lacks the tools it needs to ensure that the plan will be completed by December 1999; (4) milestones for both efforts have slipped from original estimates, and in the case of the computer-based methodology, the Army has missed some of its interim goals; (5) in addition, a plan initiative to ensure that major commands use a 12-step methodology to analyze workload may not be implemented on time unless more personnel are assigned to the office responsible for this effort; (6) the Army's institutional redesign effort has not resulted in a reduction in major command headquarters, and the dollar and position savings identified are overstated; (7) one redesign initiative resulted in the redesignation of a major command as a subcommand; (8) however, the Army also created a new command, resulting in no net decrease in the number of commands; (9) also, the Army transferred a command but did not recognize it to achieve efficiencies; therefore, this effort produced virtually no decrease in the command's 9,000 positions; (10) the Army transferred about 2,800 active Army positions from institutional to operational forces based on two initiatives, but these initiatives did not produce the anticipated savings, and personnel cuts had to be made elsewhere; (11) the Army's efforts to establish workload-based requirements and redesign institutional functions have produced few results; (12) Army personnel trend data from 1992-2003 show that the Army has not been successful in reducing the proportion of institutional to operating forces within the active Army; (13) in addition, the Army does not currently have a workload basis for allocating its personnel resources among institutional organizations and ensuring that the highest priority functions are funded first; (14) as a result, the Army may not have the analysis it needs to efficiently allocate many of the institutional positions that are programmed to be eliminated by fiscal year 2003 or additional reductions mandated by the Quadrennial Defense Review; and (15) without senior leadership attention, the Army's current initiatives may not achieve meaningful and measurable changes.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: In response to the recommendation for corrective action, the Army completed the two subplans, and updated its material weakness plan with more realistic milestones. The Secretary of Defense's FY1998 Federal Manager's Financial Integrity Act (FMFIA) report reflects the revised milestones and cites GAO's follow-up audit as a reason for change.

    Recommendation: To improve the Army's ability to accurately project institutional requirements, allocate institutional personnel, and make informed, analysis-based decisions on risks and tradeoffs, the Secretary of the Army should complete subplans of the material weakness plan, modify milestones to accurately reflect available resources to accomplish corrective actions, and closely monitor results.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Army's Workload Performance System (AWPS) is a computer-based methodology for determining workload-based personnel requirements at the depots, arsenals, and ammunition plants. In GAO's report, Force Structure: Army's Efforts to Improve Efficiency of Institutional Forces Have Produced Few Results (GAO/NSIAD-98-65), GAO found that implementation of AWPS had been more difficult than the Army had estimated and that the Army had not developed specific steps or milestones to achieve program goals. To improve the Army's ability to accurately project institutional requirements derived from AWPS, GAO recommended that the Army develop a long-range master plan to implement AWPS, including milestones and definitions of corporate-level requirements. The Army now has an "AWPS Master Milestone Plan," with executive level AWPS tasks, and has certified that AWPS is fully operational for depot maintenance.

    Recommendation: To improve the Army's ability to accurately project institutional requirements derived from AWPS, the Secretary of the Army should direct the Assistant Secretary for Manpower and Reserve Affairs to develop a long-range master plan to implement AWPS, including milestones and definitions of corporate-level requirements.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Beginning with Total Army Analysis (TAA) 2007, the Army's Strategic Management Plan has a goal of including TDA personnel (Tables of Distribution and Allowances) in the Total Army Analysis process in order for the Army to be more encompassing in its generation of requirements. To ensure an analytical basis for TDA requirements, commands were instructed to assess their organizations using the principles of the 12-step method. This should lead to more efficient organizations, better resourcing decisions in TAA, and opportunities to help the Army return uniform personnel to the operational Army.

    Recommendation: To improve the Army's ability to make informed, analysis-based decisions on benefits, risks, and tradeoffs in realigning major command organizations and functions, the Secretary of the Army should require that workload-based analyses, such as the 12-step methodology, be used to demonstrate the benefits, risks, and tradeoffs of Force XXI institutional redesign decisions.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Last year, GAO noted that while the Army had taken some action, GAO believed that more should be done to implement this recommendation. This year GAO finds that the Army has done more. In addition to publishing a final version of Pamphlet 100-1 (the Army's Redesign "vision" document), the Army's Strategic Management Plan now contain specific performance goals and indicators for redesign initiatives; the Army' Program Analysis and Evaluation organization is responsible for tracking results for the Assistant Vice Chief of Staff; and the Chief of Staff is to validate Plan goals annually.

    Recommendation: To improve the Army's ability to oversee reforms for increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of its institutional force, the Secretary of the Army should assign a single office the responsibility to provide management and oversight of the institutional redesign process to include identifying clear, specific, and measurable goals; publishing these goals in a final version of Pamphlet 100xx; monitoring savings and implementation costs; and periodically reporting results achieved along with the stated goals and projections of the initiatives' savings and implementation costs.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

 

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