Pentagon Spends Billions on Cost-Overruns Just Trying to Track Its Spending

Thursday, July 26, 2012
The Department of Defense is trying to fix what may be the biggest, ugliest accounting system ever.
So far, the Pentagon’s long-running effort to modernize its bookkeeping has incurred $8 billion in cost overruns, and is anywhere from two years to eight years behind schedule, depending on the armed service branch.
The U.S. Army was supposed to launch its new accounting system in 2004. It still hasn’t, but hopes to by 2016. The U.S. Air Force is now three years behind schedule, and is going on eight, due to its new deadline of 2017. The U.S. Navy had planned to install its new system in 2011, but didn’t. August 2013 is now the goal.
The most important date, though, is 2017. That’s the year Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has set to complete the Pentagon’s entire accounting overhaul.
This deadline, alas, may not be met, according to the Defense Department’s inspector general, based on all the problems the branches are having at bringing their accounting methods up to modern standards.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Enterprise Resource Planning Systems (Department of Defense Inspector General) (pdf)


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