DOD office RIFs HR paper chores

When an employee in the Office of the Secretary of Defense gets an annual performance review, administrators spend a lot of time collecting documents needed to analyze the employee's work.

The paper piles higher when OSD officials prepare an employee's security clearance. Even when the documents are available online, they are dispersed across several systems, so tracking down the information is difficult.

The department needed a better data tracking approach because both processes were confusing and time-consuming, said John Downey, CIO of the Washington Headquarters Service, a Defense Department office that handles some OSD human resources functions.

'It is a tremendous administrative chore,' Downey said. 'I'm a supervisor, and I got tired of handling the paper. There's a lot of different information to use, pulled from different places.'

The service is working with contractors to change the mostly paper process into an electronic one. Defense officials are using Adobe ActivePDF software to scan paper documents and images and convert them into Portable Document Format files.

Downey said his office would roll out its systems prototype by mid-November.

'We're developing a Web-based system that will eventually do away with all of the paper. We are finding out how to make sure signatures can be put on an electronic document and archived,' Downey said.

An office standard

Peter Bagnato, principal systems engineer at Advanced Systems Development Inc. of Mission Viejo, Calif., is integrating the app to help the Washington Headquarters Service standardize its personnel reviews and the tracking of security clearance data.

The system will let the service's administrators compare the job description each Defense employee receives when hired against how well the employee has met those duties in a 12-month period, Downey said.

By creating preformatted forms in HTML and storing them in an Oracle Corp. database, the system will establish a secure, paperless process, he said.

'I think definitely in terms of productivity for supervisors it will save a lot of time and effort,' Downey said.

The service plans to implement a public-key infrastructure to authenticate users, Downey said.

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