GAO: DLA lacks architecture for modernization

GAO: DLA lacks architecture for modernization

BY DAWN S. ONLEY | GCN STAFF

The Defense Logistics Agency is violating Defense Department policy by failing to have an enterprise architecture in place to guide its $900 million Business Systems Modernization, a General Accounting Office report found last month.

DLA also is not investing by increments in its modernization acquisition program, GAO said in a June 29 report on the agency's business practices and effectiveness at meeting customer needs.

Inconsistent ways

'This nonagencywide approach to developing and implementing an enterprise architecture is not consistent with federal guidance, and it increases the risk that DLA will modernize in a way that optimizes an individual business area but does not optimize agencywide logistics management performance and accountability,' the report said.

But David Falvey, program manager for DLA's systems modernization, said his agency is following a proven approach consistent with industry trends. The agency agrees with some of GAO's findings, but Falvey said DLA's approach was cited because it's not the way the government does business.

'We have stayed with our original guiding principle'to use proven business practices each step of the way, even if it does not fit the typical, familiar government model,' Falvey said. 'Our program approach, validated in industry over the past decade, reduces implementation time and allows the benefits of a new business architecture to be realized in the near term.'

Typical procedures

In a typical software development project, an agency will set up an architecture before introducing new technology, Falvey said. But enterprise resource planning projects in industry have shown that architecture and new technology can be introduced simultaneously, he said.

DLA employs 28,000 civilian and military workers at 500 sites in all 50 states and 28 countries. The agency serves as DOD's logistics manager for consumable goods and repair parts supporting about 1,400 weapons systems.

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