Lack of Control and Feedback Hinders Army Manpower Management Improvements

FPCD-80-9: Published: Oct 31, 1979. Publicly Released: Oct 31, 1979.

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Using information and findings from previous reports, GAO evaluated the adequacy of the Army manpower management system to determine effectively its manpower needs, justify its manpower budget, and direct and monitor manpower use. Actions taken by the Army to correct some of its more significant problems were identified.

Although the Army has tried to solve some of its problems by consolidating many headquarters' manpower functions, it needs to establish an integrated and reliable system of controls from Army headquarters and feedback from field offices to correct the weaknesses that were found. Management responsibilities are fragmented and not clearly defined. The Army's decentralized management philosophy gives subordinate commands complete flexibility in managing resources. Because it has no common database for coordinating, budgeting, and evaluating manpower needs, the Army cannot properly prepare a zero-base budget. Total sources of labor, such as contract employees and deployable troops, are not considered in determining manpower requirements. As a result, headquarters cannot monitor the use of its total labor force or compare performance standards.

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