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Search Tags: Jared Serbu
After 10 years of development and planning, the Defense Logistics Agency, the Defense Department's primary purchaser of almost everything besides weapons systems, is beginning to roll out a new enterprisewide system to automate the writing and management of the thousands of contract actions it processes each day.
The Government Accountability Office said in findings announced to Congress Tuesday that the Nunn-McCurdy amendment, designed to curtail cost growth in Defense programs, has succeeded in bringing an end to only one overly costly military program in the last 14 years.
Ashton Carter, the Defense Department's undersecretary for acquisitions, said the Pentagon can buy things quickly when it truly needs to. But when it comes to supporting overseas contingency operations, he said the country needs a dedicated, permanent "fast lane" that leapfrogs DoD's notoriously slow methods of buying goods and services.
The FBI is beginning to replace its fingerprint identification system with a next-generation version that will dramatically speed up the time it takes to link prints to an identity. The agency says the next generation identification system reached initial operating capability this month at its Clarksburg, West Virginia information services facility. For high-priority prints, it'll be able to find a match in as little as ten minutes - compared to the two hours required for a ten-fingerprint match using the previous generation IAFIS system.
The FAA has been studying whether tablet devices can replace paper aeronautical charts in the cockpits of planes. And for at least one charter jet company, the answer is yes. The agency has given the go-ahead to a large executive aircraft operator to use iPads equipped with a special app to display charts to pilots electronically through all phases of flight. The decision follows three months of testing - including an in-flight decompression test at 50-thousand feet - in which the device held up just fine.
The Army is working on keeping deployed soldiers connected to each other - and to the network using commercial, off the shelf technology in smartphones. The Multi Access Cellular Extension program is developing phones that can operate securely on cellular data networks around the world or on Wi-Fi hotspots. If neither of those are available, the phones will be designed to form their own local network and keep soldiers in a small unit at least connected to each other. The army wants the devices to handle voice, data, and specialized military apps.
The Postal Service will offer $20,000 early retirement incentives to administrative employees, who must make a decision on whether to leave USPS by late April. RIF notices will be issued on May 25 to any affected employees who do not voluntarily retire or move to a lower grade.
A new call center, staffed by professionals trained to handle grieving callers, is among the first technology upgrades the Army has made in the aftermath of a management scandal at Arlington National Cemetery last year. Phase two will involve tackling the massive challenge of digitizing the cemetery's paper records.
The Department of Veterans Affairs, which processed a record one million claims in 2010, is still seeing claims come in faster than it can process them and expects even more new filings in 2011. Despite that, VA hopes to eliminate its backlog of claims by 2015.
The Army and Marine Corps are both in the early phases of deploying logistics accountability systems that will replace a collection of disconnected, stovepiped IT systems and processes that have grown up since the 1960s. Though the systems share the same objective, they were made by different vendors, prompting questions from one member of Congress.
Tags: DoD , Congress , management , Army , Marine Corps , Claire McCaskill , financial management , DoD budget , Enterprise Resource Planning , Drew Dwyer , James Amos , Senate Armed Services Committee , DoD Report