Army Workload and Performance System: Actions Needed to Complete Assessment of Unnecessary Overlap with Logistics Modernization Program
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.
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.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of the Army||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.||
In commenting on the final report, the Army concurred and stated that the Secretary of the Army will direct the Under Secretary of the Army, in his role as the Chief Management Officer, to strengthen the development, review, approval, and oversight of the AWPS master plan, because AWPS has implications across the Army's business domains. In December 2014, the Under Secretary of the Army approved the revised AWPS master plan for implementation, and in May 2015 the Secretary of the Army certified to Congress that AWPS had been fully implemented across the Army's organic industrial base.
|Department of the Army||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.||
In commenting on the final report, the Army concurred and stated that AWPS was developed to address deficiencies in the Army's manpower requirements determination process by capturing and using the actual hours of the work performed in previous periods to project future requirements. The Army also stated that an integrated AWPS/LMP solution may result in a different manpower predictive tool that must be validated through USAMAA, and that it is important the Army focus on developing a business case analysis to include AWPS functionality into the Army's enterprise resource planning systems. In December 2014, the Under Secretary of the Army directed the Commanding General, AMC, to complete the overlap assessment between AWPS and LMP and to submit the approved manpower requirements determination approach to USAMAA for validation. In November 2015, the Army reported that AMC will not submit AWPS to USAMAA for review and validation because additional funding would be needed to modify AWPS to meet USAMAA requirements for a manpower requirements determination tool, and AMC decided not to make those modifications. Furthermore, the Army also reported that, based on its overlap assessment of AWPS and LMP, it plans to integrate AWPS functionality into LMP. Specifically, the Army plans to migrate all AWPS functions related to the collection and reporting of manpower resources executed in support of approved work at the AMC industrial base sites. As of January 2018, Army officials confirmed that the Army will not submit AWPS to USAMAA for review and validation, and that preparations for integrating AWPS functionality into LMP are ongoing.
|Department of the Army||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.||
In commenting on the final report, the Army concurred with the recommendation. In a December 2014 memorandum, the Under Secretary of the Army directed the Commanding General, AMC, to lead the assessment of overlap between AWPS and LMP in coordination with the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology) and the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-4. Furthermore, the Under Secretary of the Army directed that two senior-level AMC governance bodies--the Logistics Enterprise Steering Committee and the Logistics Executive Management Review--oversee the assessment. According to officials, a team within AMC's integration and synchronization directorate was responsible for managing the overlap assessment. The head of this team had briefed the two AMC governance bodies on the assessment's progress and plans. Upon completion of the assessment, the Commanding General, AMC, is to recommend to the Under Secretary of the Army whether or not to transfer AWPS to LMP.
|Department of the Army||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.||
In commenting on the final report, the Army concurred with the recommendation. The Army developed and documented an approach--including a milestone for completion--for assessing unnecessary overlap between AWPS and LMP. AMC developed a plan with a set of actions for completing the assessment, such as determining what AWPS functionality the Army requires to determine whether the Army is maintaining an acceptable level of government-owned and government-operated depot-level maintenance and repair capability.