The DoD Inspector General released the semi-annual required report to Congress on its activities from April through September 2013. There are plenty of reports with bad news and some not-as-bad news (I don’t think IG reports ever are better than the not-as-bad category, hence the need for an IG, I suppose). I focused on the Financial Management section of the report. The first thing I found interesting is that in the introductory narrative, while acknowledging “some” progress towards audit readiness is being made by the Department, there was no mention of the audit readiness shining star, the US Marine Corps. Granted, the report doesn’t cover the period in which the announcement of a clean opinion on the 2012 USMC Statement of Budgetary Resources was made, but they were certainly “breathing heavy” and should have been acknowledged in the report. I guess it will be in the next report to Congress next September, almost a full year after it happened!
Enough of that! The other items mentioned in the financial section related to the Defense Agency Initiative (DAI), Navy Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP) system, Army General Fund Enterprise Business System (GFEBS), excess motor pool vehicles in the DC area, the DISA audit opinion and a few other cats and dogs. It’s interesting that the most significant problems all involve ERP systems: DAI, Navy ERP and GFEBS.
The costs of these three systems alone is pretty staggering: $426 Million for DAI, at least $2.4 Billion for first increment of Navy ERP and $1.4 Billion for GFEBS. That doesn’t count all the false starts, legacy phase-out costs, legacy sustainment costs, and the unknown costs of fixing all the problems being identified by the DoD IG and others. The upcoming audits of the Services Statements of Budgetary Resources (supposedly to be complete by 2014) will identify more problems and throw more costs onto the burgeoning price tag of these expensive systems.
One wonders if DoD will ever see a real return on the investments being made in ERP systems. Why not? I think there a several key reasons:
1. It is taking way too long to implement them. Navy ERP has been in implementation since 2003 and still has a way to go. That sort of snail’s pace exacerbates implementation issues, creates software refresh issues, increases reliance on legacy systems, and tends to make them a continually target for budget reductions. And with long implementation schedules, the systems will become obsolete before they reach FOC.
2. Failure to eliminate legacy systems. We all know they exist and individual fiefdoms throughout the DoD continue to fund them to the detriment of other, needed capabilities.
3. The leadership outside the Financial Management Community doesn’t understand ERPs and they are the ones who make the real budget decisions. Without a full understanding of what ERPs are and how, properly implemented, they will make more money available for people and weapons, the leadership is likely to defer funding, further compounding problem 1.
So what to do?
- Make sure the leadership understands ERPs and what they can do for them. Unified support at the top is essential.
- Don’t use ERPs as bill payers.
- Be ruthless in the elimination of legacy systems, forcing users to rely on ERPs. Do it sooner rather than later. No excuses!
- Put a priority on implementation with deadlines and make program offices accountable.
I admit DoD ERPs are complex. But no more so than those of major US companies. We should learn from them.
20 Replies to “DoD IG Report to Congress”
Asking questions are in fact nice thing if you
are not understanding anything entirely, but this paragraph
gives nice understanding yet.
Ԝhat’s Taking place i aam new tto this, I stumbleԁ upon this I’ve discovered It positively
helpful and it hɑs helped me out loads. I hope to contribute & help
differeոt customers like its aided me. Good job.
I was able to find good information from your blog posts.
I’m more than happy to uncover this web site.
I wanted to thank you for ones time just for this wonderful read!!
I definitely really liked every little bit of it and I have you book-marked to
look at new stuff on your website.
Heya! I know this is somewhat off-topic but I needed to
ask. Does managing a well-established blog like yours take a
lot of work? I am brand new to blogging but I
do write in my journal on a daily basis. I’d like to start a blog so
I will be able to share my own experience and feelings online.
Please let me know if you have any ideas or tips for new aspiring bloggers.
Thanks for the comment. It takes about 2 hours per blog to do the research, get the thoughts organized, and post. I always make an outline before writing so i don’t get lost while typing. I also keep a list of topics on my smart phone using notes. Topics pop into my head all day and if i don’t write them down, they are forgotten.
Hi, I log on to your blogs like every week. Your humoristic
style is awesome, keep doing what you’re doing!
Look into my homepage business mortgages
Hello friends, its wonderful paragraph about tutoringand fully
explained, keep it up all the time.
Very good information. Lucky me I discovered your site by accident (stumbleupon).
I have book marked it for later!
Hello mates, its wonderful piece of writing on the topic of educationand fully defined, keep it up all the time.
We absolutely love your blog and find nearly all of your post’s to be exactly
I’m looking for. Would you offer guest writers to write content for
you? I wouldn’t mind writing a post or elaborating on some of the subjects you write
regarding here. Again, awesome web site!
Thanks. Of course I’m always looking to foster a healthy dialogue. You can send proposed articles to me using the Contact page. Can’t promise I’ll post it, but I can promise i will consider it.
This is a topic that is near to my heart… Cheers! Where are your contact details though?
use the Contact link on the web site.
Hey there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if
that would be ok. I’m undoubtedly enjoying your blog and look forward to new updates.
You can follow me here: @lcren330
Thanks , I have just been looking for info about this subject for
a while and yours is the best I’ve came upon so far.
However, what about the conclusion? Are you sure about the source?
Sure. Look at the ERPs of General Electric, Google and Amazon…All very complex and large.
Have you ever thought about including a little bit more than just your articles?
I mean, what you say is important and all. Nevertheless just imagine if you added
some great visuals or videos to give your posts more,
“pop”! Your content is excellent but with pics and clips, this website could
undeniably be one of the best in its field. Amazing blog!
Thanks for the comment. As time goes on I hope to have more time to add more pics and videos. At least they take up space so I don’t have to write so much!!
Comments are closed.