oversight

Military Pay: Army National Guard Personnel Mobilized to Active Duty Experienced Significant Pay Problems

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 2003-11-13.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                United States General Accounting Office

GAO             Report to the Chairman, Subcommittee
                on National Security, Emerging Threats,
                and International Relations, Committee
                on Government Reform, House of
                Representatives
November 2003
                MILITARY PAY
                Army National Guard
                Personnel Mobilized
                to Active Duty
                Experienced
                Significant Pay
                Problems




GAO-04-89
                a
                                                November 2003


                                                MILITARY PAY

                                                Army National Guard Personnel Mobilized
Highlights of GAO-04-89, a report to the        to Active Duty Experienced Significant
Chairman, Subcommittee on National
Security, Emerging Threats, and                 Pay Problems
International Relations, Committee on
Government Reform, House of
Representatives




In light of the recent mobilizations            The existing processes and controls used to provide pay and allowances to
associated with the war on                      mobilized Army Guard personnel are so cumbersome and complex that
terrorism and homeland security,                neither DOD nor, more importantly, the mobilized Army Guard soldiers
GAO was asked to determine if                   could be reasonably assured of timely and accurate payroll payments.
controls used to pay mobilized                  Weaknesses in these processes and controls resulted in over- and
Army Guard personnel provided
assurance that such pays were
                                                underpayments and late active duty payments and, in some cases, largely
accurate and timely. GAO’s audit                erroneous debt assessments to mobilized Army Guard personnel. The end
used a case study approach to                   result of these pay problems is to severely constrain DOD’s ability to provide
focus on controls over three key                active duty pay to these personnel, many of whom were risking their lives in
areas: processes, people (human                 combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition, these pay problems have had a
capital), and systems.                          profound financial impact on individual soldiers and their families. For
                                                example, many soldiers and their families were required to spend
                                                considerable time, sometimes while the soldiers were deployed in remote,
                                                combat environments overseas, seeking corrections to active duty pays and
GAO makes a series of
recommendations directed at                     allowances.
immediate actions needed to                     Pay Problems at Six Case Study Locations
address weaknesses in the                        Army Guard                     Soldiers with pay problems
processes, human capital, and                    unit                   Mobilization   Deployment Demobilization        Comments
systems currently relied on to                   Colorado                  56 of 62        61 of 62    53 of 62         34 soldiers were erroneously
provide active duty pay and                      Special Forces                                                         assessed debts averaging
allowances to mobilized Army                                                                                            $48,000 each
                                                 Virginia Special           31 of 65      63 of 65           60 of 65   Injured soldiers denied active
Guard soldiers. In addition, GAO                 Forces                                                                 duty pay and medical benefits
recommends action, as part of the                                                                                       when orders not processed
Department of Defense’s (DOD)                    West Virginia              36 of 94      84 of 94           66 of 94   Sergeant came under enemy
longer-term system improvement                   Special Forces                                                         fire during 4-day trip to deliver
initiatives, to ensure that                                                                                             pay records to correct errors
                                                 California                 48 of 51      41 of 51            0 of 51   Majority of soldiers
reengineering efforts include the                Military Police                                                        experienced delays in starting
process, human capital, and                                                                                             active duty pays
systems issues identified in this                Maryland                   75 of 90      64 of 90            3 of 90   Pays for 13 soldiers
report.                                          Military Police                                                        continued for 6 weeks after
                                                                                                                        early release from active duty
DOD concurred with GAO’s                         Mississippi               21 of 119     93 of 119       90 of 119      88 soldiers mistakenly paid
                                                 Military Police                                                        for two types of hardship duty
recommendations and described                                                                                           pay
actions recently completed,
                                                Source: GAO analysis.
underway, and planned to correct
the noted deficiences.                          The pay process, involving potentially hundreds of DOD, Army, and Army
                                                Guard organizations and thousands of personnel, was not well understood or
                                                consistently applied with respect to determining (1) the actions required to
                                                make timely, accurate pays to mobilized soldiers, and (2) the organization
                                                responsible for taking the required actions. With respect to human capital,
                                                we found weaknesses including (1) insufficient resources allocated to pay
                                                processing, (2) inadequate training related to existing policies and
                                                procedures, and (3) poor customer service. Several systems issues were
www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-04-89.           also a significant factor impeding accurate and timely payroll payments to
                                                mobilized Army Guard soldiers, including (1) non-integrated systems,
To view the full product, including the scope   (2) limitations in system processing capabilities, and (3) ineffective system
and methodology, click on the link above.
For more information, contact Gregory D.        edits.
Kutz at (202) 512-9505 or Kutzg@gao.gov.
Contents



Letter                                                                                                1
                             Results in Brief                                                         3
                             Background                                                               6
                             Case Studies Illustrate Significant Pay Problems                        15
                             Significant Weaknesses in Processes over Mobilized Army Guard
                                Pay                                                                  20
                             Human Capital Issues Affect Ability to Pay Mobilized Army Guard
                                Soldiers Promptly and Accurately                                     37
                             Systems Problems Hamper Prompt and Accurate Army Guard Pay
                                                                                                     44
                             Army Guard Active Duty Pay Problems Continue with Current
                               Deployments to Iraq                                                   57
                             Conclusions                                                             57
                             Recommendations for Executive Action                                    58
                             Agency Comments and our Evaluation                                      61


Appendixes
              Appendix I:    Colorado Army National Guard B Company, 5th Battalion, 19th
                             Special Forces                                                          62
                             Mobilization Pay Problems                                               64
                             Deployment Pay Problems                                                 66
                             Pay Problems Associated with Demobilization and Release from
                               Active Duty                                                           67
                                                                           rd                th
             Appendix II:    Virginia Army National Guard B Company, 3 Battalion, 20
                             Special Forces                                                          71
                             Mobilization Pay Problems                                               73
                             Deployment Pay Problems                                                 75
                             Pay Problems Associated with Demobilization and Release from
                               Active Duty                                                           79
             Appendix III:   C Company, 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group, West
                             Virginia                                                                81
                             Mobilization Pay Problems                                               82
                             Deployment Pay Problems                                                 84
                             Demobilization and Release from Active Duty Pay Problems                88
             Appendix IV:    Mississippi 114th Military Police Company                               89
                             Mobilization Pay Problems                                               90
                             Deployment Pay Problems                                                 92
                             Pay Problems Associated with Demobilization and Release from
                               Active Duty                                                           94



                             Page i                                             GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
                          Contents




           Appendix V:    Maryland 200th Military Police Company                                97
                          Mobilization Pay Problems                                             99
                          Deployment Pay Problems                                              102
                          Demobilization and Release from Active Duty Pay Problems             103
          Appendix VI:    California 49th Military Police Headquarters and
                          Headquarters Detachment                                              105
                          Mobilization Pay Problems                                            106
                          Deployment Pay Problems                                              108
                          Pay Problems Associated with Demobilization and Release from
                            Active Duty                                                        110
         Appendix VII:    Scope and Methodology                                                111
         Appendix VIII:   Comments from the Department of Defense                              115
          Appendix IX:    GAO Contacts and Staff Acknowledgments                               125
                          GAO Contacts                                                         125
                          Acknowledgments                                                      125


Tables                    Table 1: Basic Pays and Allowances Associated with Case Study
                                    Units                                                        9
                          Table 2: Pay Problems at Six Case Study Units                         18
                          Table 3: Summary of Identified Pay Problems by Phase                  63
                          Table 4: Identified Mobilization Pay Problems                         64
                          Table 5: Identified Deployment Pay Problems                           66
                          Table 6: Identified Demobilization Pay Problems                       68
                          Table 7: Timetable of Colorado B Company’s Unresolved
                                    Pay-Related Debts                                           70
                          Table 8: Summary of Identified Pay Problems by Phase                  72
                          Table 9: Identified Mobilization Pay Problems                         73
                          Table 10: Identified Deployment Pay Problems                          75
                          Table 11: Identified Demobilization Pay Problems                      79
                          Table 12: Summary of Identified Pay Problems by Phase                 82
                          Table 13: Identified Mobilization Pay Problems                        82
                          Table 14: Identified Deployment Pay Problems                          85
                          Table 15: Identified Pay Demobilization Problems                      88
                          Table 16: Summary of Identified Pay Problems by Phase                 90
                          Table 17: Identified Mobilization Pay Problems                        91
                          Table 18: Identified Deployment Pay Problems                          93
                          Table 19: Identified Demobilization Pay Problems                      95
                          Table 20: Summary of Identified Pay Problems by Phase                 98
                          Table 21: Identified Mobilization Pay Problems                       100
                          Table 22: Identified Deployment Pay Problems                         102



                          Page ii                                          GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
          Contents




          Table 23: Identified Demobilization Pay Problems                       104
          Table 24: Summary of Identified Pay Problems by Phase                  106
          Table 25: Identified Mobilization Pay Problems                         107
          Table 26: Identified Deployment Pay Problems                           109


Figures   Figure 1: Three Key Phases for Active Duty Pays to Army Guard
                     Soldiers                                                     11
          Figure 2: Units and Deployment Locations                                17
          Figure 3: Initial Mobilization Phase Process                            21
          Figure 4: Deployed Phase Process                                        22
          Figure 5: Demobilization Phase Process                                  23
          Figure 6: Overview of Army Guard Pay and Personnel Systems              45
          Figure 7: Sample Army Guard Leave and Earnings Statement                51
          Figure 8: Sample Leave and Earnings Statement with Large Debt
                     Balance                                                      55
          Figure 9: Timeline Showing Key Actions Associated with Colorado
                     National Guard Special Forces Unit’s Mobilization            62
          Figure 10: Timeline Showing Key Actions Associated with Virginia
                     Army National Guard Special Forces Unit’s
                     Mobilization                                                 71
          Figure 11: Itinerary of Two B Company Soldiers’ Efforts to Start
                     Location-Based Pays for the Unit                             77
          Figure 12: Timeline Showing Key Actions Associated with West
                     Virginia National Guard Special Forces Unit’s
                     Mobilization                                                 81
          Figure 13: Timeline Showing Key Actions Associated with the
                     Mississippi Army National Guard Military Police Unit’s
                     Mobilization                                                 89
          Figure 14: Timeline Showing Key Actions Associated with the
                     Maryland National Guard Military Police Unit’s
                     Mobilization                                                 98
          Figure 15: Timeline Showing Key Actions Associated with the
                     California Army National Guard Military Police Unit’s
                     Mobilization                                                105




          Page iii                                           GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Contents




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Page iv                                                        GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
A
United States General Accounting Office
Washington, D.C. 20548



                                    November 13, 2003                                                                    Leter




                                    The Honorable Christopher Shays
                                    Chairman, Subcommittee on National Security,
                                      Emerging Threats, and International Relations
                                    Committee on Government Reform
                                    House of Representatives

                                    Dear Mr. Chairman:

                                    In response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the Army National
                                    Guard (Army Guard) mobilized and deployed soldiers in support of
                                    Operations Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom. When mobilized for up to
                                    2 years at a time, these Army Guard soldiers performed search and destroy
                                    missions against Taliban and al Qaeda members throughout Asia and
                                    Africa; fought on the front lines in Afghanistan and Iraq; guarded al Qaeda
                                    prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; provided security at the
                                    Pentagon; and are now assisting in peace-keeping operations in Iraq.

                                    In 1993, we reported1 on millions of dollars of overpayments and other
                                    problems associated with payroll payments to Army military personnel
                                    during 1992 as soldiers returned from Operations Desert Shield and Desert
                                    Storm. A significant factor contributing to the improper payments
                                    discovered as part of that audit was the large number of Army Guard
                                    personnel mobilized to active duty and paid from the Army’s active duty
                                    payroll system. Because many of the current missions, particularly those
                                    associated with the global war on terrorism, are expected to persist, Army
                                    Guard personnel are likely to continue to experience additional
                                    mobilizations. Given the critical roles these mobilized Army Guard soldiers
                                    play in carrying out vital military missions both in the United States and
                                    overseas, effective internal controls are needed not only to provide timely
                                    and accurate pay to these soldiers, but also to prevent any such problems
                                    from adversely affecting the Army’s ability to retain these valuable
                                    personnel.

                                    In light of the recent mobilizations and growing importance of the Army
                                    Guard in fighting the war on terrorism and providing domestic security, you
                                    asked us to determine if controls used to pay mobilized Army Guard


                                    1
                                    U.S. General Accounting Office, Financial Management: Defense’s System for Army
                                    Military Payroll Is Unreliable, GAO/AIMD-93-32 (Washington, D.C.: Sept. 30, 1993).




                                    Page 1                                                       GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
personnel using the Army’s reserve pay system provided reasonable
assurance that such payments were accurate and timely.

Because our preliminary assessment determined that current operations
used to pay mobilized Army Guard soldiers relied extensively on error-
prone manual transactions entry into multiple, nonintegrated systems, we
did not statistically test current processes and controls. Instead, we used a
case study approach to provide more detailed perspective on the nature of
pay deficiencies in the three key areas of processes, people (human
capital), and systems. Specifically, we gathered available data and analyzed
the pay experiences of Army Guard special forces and military police units
mobilized to active duty in support of Operations Noble Eagle and
Enduring Freedom during the period from October 2001 through March
2003. (See apps. I-VI for detailed summaries of our six case study units.)
Finally, you asked us to identify any evidence that pay problems were
continuing with Army Guard personnel in more recently mobilized units
deployed to support missions in Iraq. We conducted a limited review of the
initial mobilization and deployment pay records of one unit currently
participating in that operation.

We performed our work from November 2002 through September 2003 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.
Further details on our scope and methodology are included in appendix
VII. We requested comments on a draft of this report from the Secretary of
Defense or his designee. We received written comments from the Under
Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), which are reprinted in appendix VIII.




Page 2                                                GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Results in Brief   The existing processes and controls used to provide basic and special
                   active duty pays to mobilized Army Guard personnel are so cumbersome
                   and complex that the Army; the Defense Finance and Accounting Service
                   (DFAS); and, most importantly, the mobilized Army Guard soldiers cannot
                   be reasonably assured of timely and accurate payroll payments.
                   Weaknesses in the current processes and controls resulted in a substantial
                   number of over- and underpayments and late active duty payments2 to
                   mobilized Army Guard personnel at our case study units. For example, 450
                   of the 481 soldiers from our six case study units had at least one pay
                   problem associated with their mobilization. These pay problems severely
                   constrain the Army’s and the Department of Defense’s (DOD) ability to
                   provide a most basic service to these personnel, many of whom were
                   risking their lives in combat. In addition, resulting inaccurate, late, and, or
                   missing pays, and associated erroneous debts also had a profound financial
                   impact on individual soldiers and their families. Soldiers and their families
                   were required to spend considerable time, sometimes while the soldiers
                   were deployed in remote, combat environments overseas, continually
                   addressing concerns over their pay and allowances.

                   One of the primary causes for these pay problems is rooted in the complex,
                   cumbersome processes used to pay soldiers from their initial mobilization
                   through active duty deployment to demobilization. While not designed as
                   such, these pay operations have evolved over time to the point that few, if
                   any, in the department fully understand their breadth, scope, and inherent
                   weaknesses. Army Guard pay process requirements, particularly in light of
                   the potentially hundreds of organizations and estimated thousands of
                   personnel involved, were not well understood or consistently applied with


                   2
                     As a result of the lack of supporting documents, we likely did not identify all of the pay
                   problems related to the active duty mobilizations of our case study units. However, for the
                   pay problems we identified, we defined over- and underpayments as those pays or
                   allowances for mobilized Army Guard soldiers during the period from October 1, 2001,
                   through March 31, 2003, that were in excess of (overpayment) or less than (underpayment)
                   the entitled payment. We considered as late payments any active duty pays or allowances
                   paid to the soldier over 30 days after the date on which the soldier was entitled to receive
                   such pays or allowances. As such, these payments were those that, although late, addressed
                   a previously unpaid entitlement. In addition, we used available data to identify about
                   $135,000 in collections against identified overpayments through March 31, 2003. We did not
                   attempt to estimate payments received against identified underpayments. In addition, we
                   did not include any erroneous debts associated with these payments as pay problems. We
                   have provided documentation for the pay problems we identified to cognizant DOD officials
                   for further research to determine whether additional amounts are owed to the government
                   or the soldier.




                   Page 3                                                          GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
respect to determining (1) the actions required to pay mobilized Army
Guard soldiers timely and accurately, and (2) the components responsible,
among Army Guard, active Army, and DFAS, for taking the required
actions. Further, we found several instances in which existing regulations
were out of date—some of which still reflected practices in place in 1991
during Operation Desert Storm. As a result, we found numerous errors in
key pay transactions at our case study locations.

For example, procedures relating to amending active duty orders were
problematic. For the Colorado Special Forces unit, we found that actions
taken by the Army Guard military pay officials in an attempt to amend 34
soldiers’ orders resulted in reversing the active duty pays and allowances
the soldiers received for 11 of the 12 months they were deployed on active
duty in Afghanistan. Instead, the system recorded these pays and
allowances as debts. These 34 soldiers received notice on their Leave and
Earnings Statements that they owed the government an average of $48,000
per soldier, for a largely erroneous total debt of $1.6 million. In another
case, after exhausting all in-theatre processes to initiate pays without
success, a sergeant with an Army Guard unit stationed in Uzbekistan had to
make a time-consuming trip to Kuwait and back in order to personally
deliver pay information from his unit to a finance office that could process
Army Guard data. The trip proved to be not only a major inconvenience
but was also life threatening, as the sergeant’s aircraft came under enemy
fire during the course of his journey.

With respect to human capital at our case study units, we found
weaknesses, including (1) insufficient resources allocated to pay
processing, (2) inadequate training related to existing policies and
procedures, and (3) poor customer service. A sufficient number of well-
trained military pay staff is particularly crucial given the extensive,
cumbersome, and labor-intensive process requirements that have evolved
to support active duty pay to Army Guard soldiers. During our work at the
case study locations we audited, we identified instances in which military
pay technicians with the Army Guard and active Army finance office
locations made data coding errors when entering pay transactions into the
pay systems. We were told that these errors occurred because military pay
personnel—particularly those at the active Army finance office locations—
were unfamiliar with the system’s pay processing requirements for active
duty pays to mobilized Army Guard personnel.

A related human capital issue—customer support for active duty pay
issues—was a recurring concern at our six case study locations. None of



Page 4                                               GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
the DOD, Army, or Army Guard policies and procedures we examined
addressed the level or quality of customer service that mobilized Army
Guard soldiers should be provided for questions or problems with their
active duty pays. For example, one soldier told us that he submitted
documentation on three separate occasions to support the housing
allowance he should have received as of the beginning of his October 2001
mobilization. Each time he was told to resubmit the documentation
because his previously submitted documents were lost. Subsequently,
while he was deployed, he made additional repeated inquiries concerning
when he would receive his housing allowance pay. He was told that it
would be taken care of when he returned from his deployment. However,
when he returned from his deployment, he was told that he should have
taken care of this issue while he was deployed and that it was now too late
to receive this allowance.

Several systems issues were also a significant factor impeding accurate and
timely payroll payments to mobilized Army Guard soldiers. The system
relied on to pay mobilized Army Guard soldiers—the Defense Joint Military
Pay System-Reserve Component (DJMS-RC)—was originally designed to
process payroll payments to Army Reserve and Army Guard personnel on
weekend drills, on short periods of annual active duty (periods of less than
30 days in duration), or for training. With Army Guard personnel now being
paid from DJMS-RC for extended periods of active duty (as long as 2 years
at a time), DFAS officials told us that the system is now stretched to the
limits of its functionality. DFAS has established “workarounds” to
compensate for the DJMS-RC system constraints. Overall, we found the
current stove-piped, nonintegrated systems were labor-intensive and
require extensive error-prone manual data entry and reentry. As a result, it
was often difficult to ensure that mobilized soldiers received only and all
the pays and allowances to which they were entitled, as illustrated in
appendixes I-VI by our six case studies. While DOD has plans to implement
system improvements in this area, it is likely that the department will be
required to operate within existing system constraints for at least several
more years.

Finally, our limited review of pays to one more recently activated Army
Guard military police unit deployed to Iraq in April 2003 to provide military
convoy security and carry out highway patrols indicated that some of the
same types of pay problems that we found in our six case study units
continued to occur. Of the 152 soldiers mobilized in this unit, we identified
54 soldiers who were either overpaid, underpaid, received entitled active
duty pays and allowances over 30 days late, or for whom erroneous pay-



Page 5                                                GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
             related debts were created. We found that these pay problems could be
             attributed to control breakdowns similar to those we found at our case
             study units, including input errors related to amended orders, delays and
             errors in coding pay and allowance transactions, and slow or nonexistent
             customer service response.

             We are making a series of recommendations to address the Army Guard
             active duty pay weaknesses we identified in the areas of process, human
             capital, and systems. While DOD should take a number of immediate
             actions to address these problems, we are also recommending that DOD
             ensure that its longer-term reengineering and system improvement efforts
             in this area include complete and lasting solutions to the weaknesses
             identified. In its comments on a draft of this report, DOD agreed with our
             recommendations and outlined its actions to address the deficiencies noted
             in our report.



Background   The Army Guard is the oldest component of any of the uniformed services.
             It traces its roots to the colonial militia, and claims a “birth”of 1636. Today,
             the Army Guard exists in 54 locations that include all 50 states, the District
             of Columbia, and three territories: Guam, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto
             Rico. There are about 2,300 Army Guard units within these locations and
             over 350,000 Army Guard members. During peacetime, Army Guard units
             report to the adjutant generals of their states or territories, or in the case of
             the District of Columbia, to the Commanding General. Each adjutant
             general reports to the governor of the state, or in the case of the District of
             Columbia, the mayor.

             At the state level, the governors have the ability, under the Constitution of
             the United States, to call up members of the Army Guard in times of
             domestic emergency or need. The Army Guard’s state mission is perhaps
             the most visible and well known. Army Guard units battle fires or help
             communities deal with floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, snowstorms, or other
             emergency situations. In times of civil unrest, the citizens of a state rely on
             the Army Guard to respond, if needed. During national emergencies,
             however, the President has the authority to mobilize the Army Guard,
             putting them in federal duty status. While federalized, the units answer to
             the Combatant Commander of the theatre in which they are operating and,
             ultimately, to the President. Even when not federalized, the Army Guard
             has a federal mission to maintain properly trained and equipped units,
             available for prompt mobilization for war, national emergency, or as
             otherwise needed. Nonfederalized Army Guard members’ pay and



             Page 6                                                   GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
allowances are paid with state funds while federalized Army Guard
members’ pay and allowances are paid with federal funds.

Typically, Army Guard members enlist for 8 years and are entitled to a
number of benefits while serving in the Army Guard, including those for
health care, life insurance, and other state-specific benefits. After their
enlistment periods, former Army Guard members are entitled to veterans’
benefits, such as veterans’ health care and burial benefits.

Army Guard members are required to attend one drill weekend each month
and one annual training period (usually 2 weeks in the summer) each year.
Initially, all nonprior service personnel are required to attend initial entry
training, also known as Basic Training. After Basic Training, soldiers go to
their Advanced Individual Training, which teaches them the special skills
they will need for their jobs in the Army Guard. This training can usually be
scheduled to accommodate civilian job or school constraints. The Army
Guard has armories and training facilities in more than 2,800 communities.

The Army Guard is a partner with the active Army and the Army Reserves
in fulfilling the country's military needs. The National Guard Bureau
(NGB) assists the Army Guard in this partnership. NGB is a joint bureau of
the Departments of the Army and the Air Force and is charged with
overseeing the federal functions of the Army Guard and the Air Guard. In
this capacity, NGB helps the Army Guard and the Air Guard procure
funding and administer policies. NGB also acts as a liaison between the
Departments of the Army and Air Force and the states.

All Army forces are integrated under DOD’s “total force” concept. DOD’s
total force concept is based on the premise that it is not practically feasible
to maintain active duty forces sufficient to meet all possible war
contingencies. Under this concept, DOD’s active and reserve components
are to be blended into a cohesive total force to meet a given mission.




Page 7                                                 GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
On September 14, 2001, the President declared a national emergency as a
result of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon
and the continuing and immediate threat of further attacks on the United
States. Concurrent with this declaration, the President authorized the
Secretary of Defense to call troops to active duty pursuant to 10 U.S.C.
Section 12302. The Secretary of Defense delegated to the Secretary of the
Army the authority to order Army Guard soldiers to active duty as part of
the overall mobilization effort. Approximately 93,000 Army Guard soldiers
were activated as of March 2003. At that time, Army Guard soldiers
accounted for 34 percent of the total reserve components3 mobilized in
response to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

The active duty federal missions established in response to the September
2001 national emergency were categorized into two operations: Operation
Enduring Freedom and Operation Noble Eagle. In general, missions to
fight terrorism outside the United States were categorized under Operation
Enduring Freedom, while missions to provide domestic defense were
categorized as Operation Noble Eagle. For example, Army Guard soldiers
participated in direct combat in Afghanistan under Operation Enduring
Freedom. U.S. homeland security missions, such as guarding the Pentagon,
airports, nuclear power plants, domestic water supplies, bridges, tunnels,
and other military assets were conducted under Operation Noble Eagle.
The Army Guard also supported federal peacekeeping operations in
Southwest Asia with Operation Desert Spring and in Kosovo with
Operation Joint Guardian under various other military operations.




3
Reserve components include the Army National Guard, Army Reserves, Air National Guard,
Air Force Reserves, Naval Reserves, Marine Corps Reserves, and Coast Guard Reserves.




Page 8                                                      GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
While on active duty, all Army Guard soldiers earn various statutorily
authorized pays and allowances. The types of pay and allowances Army
Guard soldiers are eligible to receive vary depending upon rank and length
of service, dependency status, skills and certifications acquired, duty
location, and the difficulty of the assignment. While Army Guard soldiers
mobilized to active duty may be entitled to receive additional pays and
allowances, we focused on 14 basic types of pays and allowances
applicable to the Army Guard units we selected for case studies. As shown
in table 1, we categorized these 14 pay and allowance types into two
groups: (1) pays, including basic pay, special duty assignment pay,
parachute jumping and foreign language proficiency skill-based pays, and
location-based hostile fire and hardship duty pays and (2) allowances,
including allowances for housing, subsistence, family separation, and cost
of living for the continental United States.4



Table 1: Basic Pays and Allowances Associated with Case Study Units

Pays                        Description                      Dollar amount
Basic pay                   Salary                           Varies depending on rank and
                                                             years of service
Hazardous duty pay -        Pay for parachute jumping        $150 per month
jump pay
Hazardous duty pay –        Pay for parachute jumping at     $225 per month
jump pay - high altitude    high altitude without use of a
low opening pay             static line
Special duty assignment     Pay to enlisted soldiers         Varies from $55 to $375 per
pay                         performing duties that are       month
                            particularly difficult or
                            requiring an unusual degree
                            of responsibility




4
 The law makes a distinction between the terms “pays” and “allowances” which together
make up a service member’s overall compensation package. Generally, the term pay
includes basic pay, special pay, retainer pay, incentive pay, retired pay, and equivalent pay,
but does not include allowances. 37 U.S.C. Section 101(21). DOD defines an allowance as “a
monetary amount paid to an individual in lieu of furnished quarters, subsistence, or the
like.” Department of Defense Financial Management Regulation, vol. 7A, Definitions, para.
15 (February 2001). While generally items considered as “pay” are taxable for federal
income tax purposes, except for the cost of living

allowance for the continental United States, most allowances, such as those for housing,
subsistence, and family separation, are not.




Page 9                                                            GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
(Continued From Previous Page)
Pays                       Description                        Dollar amount
Foreign language           Pay for specialized foreign        Varies depending on
proficiency pay            language skills                    proficiency but may not
                                                              exceed $300 per month
Diving duty pay            Pay for diving duty or the         Varies according to service
                           requirement to maintain            branch and proficiency but
                           proficiency as a diver             may not exceed $240 per
                                                              month for officers and $340
                                                              per month for enlisted
                                                              members
Hardship duty location     Pay when assigned to duty in       $50, $100, or $150 per month
pay for designated areas   specified locations                (depending on duty location)
Hardship duty location     Pay to enlisted soldiers when      Varies from $8 to $22.50 per
pay for certain places     assigned to duty in specified      month depending on rank
(phase out began on        locations
January 1, 2002)
Hostile fire/imminent      Full pay for any portion of        $150 per month through
danger pay                 month assigned to a location       September 30, 2002; $225
                           subject to or in close proximity   per month effective October
                           to hostile fire or assigned to     1, 2002 though September
                           duty in a designated imminent      30, 2003
                           danger location
Allowances
Basic allowance for        Meant to offset the cost of        Varies depending on location,
housing                    housing when member does           rank, and whether member
                           not receive government-            has dependents
                           provided housing
Cost of living allowance in Meant to provide                  Varies depending on location,
the continental United      compensation for variations in    rank, years of service, and
States                      costs (other than housing) in     whether member has
                            the continental United States     dependents
Basic allowance for        Meant to offset costs for a        Varies depending on whether
subsistence                member’s meals                     member is officer or enlisted
Family separation          Meant to offset added housing      Equivalent to monthly basic
allowance I                expenses resulting from            allowance for housing for
                           forced separation from             member of same rank without
                           dependents                         dependents
Family separation          Meant to offset certain            $100 per month from January
“allowance II              expenses resulting from            1, 1998, through September
                           forced separation from             30, 2002; $250 per month
                           dependents                         effective October 1, 2002,
                                                              through September 30, 2003
Source: GAO analysis.


In addition, Army Guard soldiers may be eligible for tax advantages
associated with their mobilization to active duty. That is, mobilized Army
Guard soldiers assigned to or working in a combat zone are entitled to




Page 10                                                           GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
exclude from taxable income certain military pay that would otherwise be
taxable.5

As shown in figure 1, there are three key phases associated with starting
and stopping relevant pays and allowances for mobilized Army Guard
soldiers: (1) initial mobilization (primarily through the Soldier Readiness
Processing), (2) deployment, which includes carrying out assigned mission
operations while on active duty, and (3) demobilization.



Figure 1: Three Key Phases for Active Duty Pays to Army Guard Soldiers

               Mobilization               Deployed                 Demobilization


        Receive Mobilization               Arrives at                 Arrives at
         Orders and review                active Army                active Army
         pay records as part              duty station              demobilization
        of Soldier Readiness                                           station
        Processing (SRP) at
         Army Guard home                   Performs
               station                    active duty              Receive Release
                                           mission                   from Active
                                                                     Duty Orders
           2nd pay record
         review done as part
           of SRP at active                Leaves                     Return to
          Army mobilization              active army                 Army Guard
               station                   duty station                home station




                                           DFAS
                                     • Pays soldiers
                                     • Issues Leave and Earnings Statements
                                       and wage garnishments
Source: GAO.



Army Guard units and state-level command support components, as well as
active Army finance components and DFAS, have key roles in this process.
In addition, there are five key computer systems involved in authorizing,


5
 There is no limit on the military pay exemption for enlisted Army Guard members, but there
is an annual limit of about $70,000 for officers.




Page 11                                                         GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
                             entering, and processing active duty pays to mobilized Army Guard soldiers
                             through the three key phases of their mobilization:

                             • Army’s standard order writing system, Automated Fund Control Order
                               System (AFCOS);

                             • Army Guard’s personnel system, Standard Installation Division
                               Personnel Reporting System (SIDPERS);

                             • Army Guard’s pay input system, JUMPS Standard Terminal Input System
                               (JUSTIS);

                             • active Army’s pay input system, Defense Military Pay Office System
                               (DMO); and

                             • DFAS’ Army Guard and Reserve pay system, DJMS-RC.



Initial Mobilization Phase   During the initial mobilization, units receive an alert order and begin a
                             mobilization preparation program, Soldier Readiness Processing (SRP).
                             The financial portion of the SRP is conducted by one of the 54 United
                             States Property and Fiscal Offices (USPFO) to verify the accuracy of pay
                             records for each soldier and to make changes to pay records based on
                             appropriate supporting documentation for the pays and allowances that the
                             soldiers will be entitled to receive when initially mobilized. If
                             documentation, such as birth certificates for dependents or parachute
                             jumping certifications, is missing, soldiers have a few days to obtain the
                             necessary documents. The unit commander is responsible for ensuring that
                             all personnel data for each soldier under their command are current.

                             When the unit receives a mobilization order, USPFO pay technicians are
                             responsible for initiating basic pay and allowances by manually entering
                             the start and stop dates into DJMS-RC6 for the active duty tour that appears
                             on each soldier’s mobilization order. Army Guard pay technicians use
                             JUSTIS to access and record data in DJMS-RC. By entering the soldier’s
                             Social Security number and mobilization order number into JUSTIS, the
                             pay technician can view the pay data in DJMS-RC, ensure that they are


                             6
                               In November 1988, the Under Secretary of the Army approved the use of the Air Force
                             military pay system to pay the Army active and reserve component soldiers (including Army
                             Guard soldiers).




                             Page 12                                                       GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
                 complete, and enter any missing data supported by documentation
                 provided by the soldier. If done correctly, soldiers will start to receive
                 basic pay, basic allowances for housing, basic allowances for subsistence,
                 and jump pay automatically based on the start date entered into DJMS-RC.

                 After soldiers complete their initial SRP and receive individual mobilization
                 orders, they travel as a unit to a mobilization station. At the mobilization
                 station, mobilized Army Guard personnel undergo a second SRP review. In
                 this second SRP, mobilization station personnel are responsible for
                 confirming or correcting the results of the first SRP, including making
                 necessary reviews to ensure that each soldier’s records are current.
                 Mobilization pay technicians are required to promptly initiate pays that
                 were not initiated during the first SRP and enter appropriate pay changes
                 into DJMS-RC. The mobilization station commander is required to certify
                 that the unit is ready for mobilization, including ensuring that all authorized
                 active duty pays are in place for the soldiers in the unit, at the end of this
                 process.

                 DJMS-RC will generate certain pays and allowances automatically for each
                 2-week pay period until the stop date entered in DJMS-RC. If entered
                 correctly, the stop date in DJMS-RC will be the end of active duty tour date
                 documented on the soldier’s mobilization orders. This automated feature is
                 intended to prevent erroneous payments to soldiers beyond their
                 authorized active duty status. However, human intervention is required
                 when a pay or allowance error is detected or an event occurs that requires
                 a change in the soldier’s pay and personnel file. For example, a change in
                 dependent status, such as marriage or divorce, a promotion, jump pay
                 disqualification, or being demobilized before an active duty tour ends
                 would change or eliminate some of the pays and allowances a soldier
                 would be entitled to receive. All pays and allowances and subsequent
                 changes are documented in the Master Military Pay Account (MMPA)—the
                 central pay record repository in DJMS-RC for each soldier.



Deployed Phase   While deployed on active duty, there are several Army Guard (USPFO),
                 active Army, and DFAS components involved in paying mobilized Army
                 Guard personnel. The active Army servicing finance office, which may be
                 within the United States or in a foreign country, is responsible for initiating
                 pays earned while the soldier is deployed, such as hostile fire pay and
                 hardship duty pay. Pay technicians start hostile fire pay for each soldier
                 listed on a battle roster or flight manifest. Thereafter, hostile fire pay is
                 automatically generated each pay period. Other location-based pays, such



                 Page 13                                                GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
                       as hardship duty, require pay transactions each month. The servicing
                       finance office for the deployed phase is under the jurisdiction of the active
                       Army. Active Army servicing finance offices use DMO to enter pay
                       transactions into DJMS-RC. Under certain conditions, either active Army
                       pay servicing offices or USPFOs can process applicable pay-altering
                       transactions, such as those related to a soldier’s early separation from
                       active duty or a soldier’s death.



Demobilization Phase   Upon completion of an active duty tour, soldiers normally return to the
                       same Army locations from which they were mobilized for demobilization
                       out-processing before returning to their home units. Demobilization
                       personnel, employed by the active Army or Army Guard, are required to
                       provide each soldier with a Release from Active Duty (REFRAD) order and
                       a Form DD 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. The
                       demobilization station pay technicians are to use these documents as a
                       basis for deactivating the soldier’s active duty pay and allowances as of the
                       date of release from active duty. At this time, the supporting USPFO is
                       responsible for discontinuing monthly input of all nonautomated pays and
                       allowances. If the demobilization station did not take action to return a
                       soldier to a demobilized status, the state USPFO has this responsibility.



Military Pay Systems   In 1995, the Army decided to process pays to mobilized Army Guard
Environment            soldiers from the DJMS-RC system rather than the active Army payroll
                       system used to pay mobilized Army Guard soldiers previously. According
                       to the then Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Financial Operations),
                       this decision was made as an interim measure (pending the conversion to a
                       single system to pay both active and reserve component soldiers) based on
                       the belief that DJMS-RC provides the best service to the reserve component
                       soldiers. DJMS-RC is a large, complex, and sensitive payroll computer
                       application used to pay Army and Air National Guard and Army and Air
                       Force Reserve personnel. DFAS has primary responsibility for developing
                       guidance and managing operations of the system. DFAS Indianapolis is the
                       central site for all Army military pay and is responsible for maintaining over
                       1 million MMPAs for the Army. Each MMPA contains a soldier’s pay-related
                       personnel, entitlement, and performance data. All pay-related transactions
                       that are entered into DJMS-RC, through JUSTIS and DMO, update the
                       MMPA. Personnel data contained in the MMPA are generated from
                       SIDPERS—a personnel database maintained and used by the Army Guard
                       at the 54 state-level personnel offices to capture data on personnel-related




                       Page 14                                                GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
                          actions (e.g. discharge, promotion, demotion actions that impact soldiers’
                          pay).

                          DFAS Denver is responsible for designing, developing, and maintaining
                          customer requirements for the Military and Civilian Pay Services business
                          line, and its Technical Support Office designs and maintains the DJMS-RC
                          core pay software. DFAS-Indianapolis serves as a “gatekeeper” in that it
                          monitors the daily status of data uploaded to DJMS-RC to ensure that all
                          transactions are received and processed in DJMS-RC. Users can sign on to
                          DJMS-RC directly through online interactive software used for file transfer
                          transactions, online queries of MMPAs, and downloads of data files and
                          various DJMS-RC reports.

                          JUSTIS is the pay input subsystem used by the 54 state-level Army Guard
                          commands, including the USPFOs, to update DJMS-RC. Database
                          management of JUSTIS is decentralized in that each of the 54 sites owns
                          and maintains its own JUSTIS database. This subsystem processes
                          transactions for submission to DJMS-RC to create payments for Army
                          National Guard soldiers. JUSTIS receives certain pay-affecting personnel
                          data from SIDPERS.

                          JUSTIS receives a limited amount of mobilization order data directly from
                          AFCOS. These systems share the same operating system platform and
                          certain database tables. However, additional data needed to create pay
                          transactions associated with active duty pay and allowances must be
                          entered manually into JUSTIS from hard copies of mobilization orders.
                          DMO is the pay input subsystem used by active Army finance offices and
                          the DOD military pay offices, including those in overseas locations such as
                          Europe, Korea, and Iraq, to update DJMS-RC. This pay input subsystem
                          can be used by active Army finance offices to create transactions for
                          military pay and allowances that are not reported at the time of
                          mobilization for upload to DJMS-RC and for active Army finance offices to
                          use to enter location-based pays, such as hostile fire and hardship duty
                          pays and combat zone tax exclusion transactions.



Case Studies Illustrate   We found significant pay problems at the six Army Guard units we audited.
                          These problems related to processes, human capital, and systems. The six
Significant Pay           units we audited, including three special forces and three military police
Problems                  units, were as follows:

                          Special forces units



                          Page 15                                             GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
• Colorado B Company, 5th Battalion, 19th Special Forces

• Virginia B Company, 3rd Battalion, 20th Special Forces

• West Virginia C Company, 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces

Military police units

• Mississippi 114th Military Police Company

• California 49th Military Police Headquarters and Headquarters
  Detachment

• Maryland 200th Military Police Company

In addition, we conducted a limited review of the pay experiences of a
seventh unit mobilized more recently and deployed to Iraq in April 2003—
the Colorado Army Guard’s 220th Military Police Company—to determine
the extent to which the pay problems we found in our six case study units
persisted. As shown in figure 2, these units were deployed to various
locations in the United States and overseas in support of Operations Noble
Eagle and Enduring Freedom.




Page 16                                             GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Figure 2: Units and Deployment Locations




                                            5
                                       6           3


               2
                              4
                                       7
                        1




                                           Deployments
                                            1 Mississippi, 114th Military Police Company - deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

                                            2 California, 49th Military Police Detachment - deployed to Fort Lewis, Washington

                                            3 Virginia, 20th Special Forces, 3rd Battalion, B Company - deployed to Afghanistan

                                            4 Maryland, 200th Military Police Company - deployed to Pentagon, Virginia

                                            5 Colorado, 19th Special Forces, 5th Battalion, B Company - deployed to Afghanistan

                                            6 West Virginia, 19th Special Forces, 2nd Battalion, C Company - deployed to Afghanistan

                                            7 Colorado, 220th Military Police Company - deployed to Iraq

Source: GAO.




                                           These units were deployed to help perform a variety of critical mission
                                           operations, including search and destroy missions in Afghanistan against
                                           Taliban and al Qaeda forces, guard duty for al Qaeda prisoners in Cuba,
                                           providing security at the Pentagon shortly after the September 11, 2001,
                                           terrorist attacks, and military convoy security and highway patrols in Iraq.




                                           Page 17                                                                       GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
For the six units we audited, we found significant pay problems involving
over one million dollars in errors. These problems consisted of
underpayments, overpayments, and late payments that occurred during all
three phases of Army Guard mobilization to active duty. Overall, for the 18-
month period from October 1, 2001, through March 31, 2003, we identified
overpayments,7 underpayments, and late payments at the six case study
units estimated at $691,000, $67,000, and $245,000, respectively. In
addition, for one unit, these pay problems resulted in largely erroneous
debts totaling $1.6 million. Overall, we found that 450 of the 481 soldiers
from our case study units had at least one pay problem associated with
their mobilization to active duty. Table 2 shows the number of soldiers
with at least one pay problem during each of the three phases of active duty
mobilization.



Table 2: Pay Problems at Six Case Study Units

                                              Soldiers with pay problems
Army Guard unit                      Mobilization       Deployment         Demobilization
Colorado Special Forces                   56 of 62           61 of 62            53 of 62
Virginia Special Forces                   31 of 65           63 of 65            60 of 65
West Virginia Special Forces              36 of 94           84 of 94            66 of 94
California Military Police                48 of 51           41 of 51             0 of 51
Maryland Military Police                  75 of 90           64 of 90             3 of 90
Mississippi Military Police              21 of 119          93 of 119           90 of 119
Source: GAO analysis.




7
 We identified about $135,000 in collections against these overpayments.




Page 18                                                         GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Due to the lack of supporting documents at the state, unit, and battalion
levels, we may not have identified all of the pay problems related to the
active duty mobilizations of these units. We have provided documentation
for the pay problems we identified to appropriate DOD officials for further
research to determine whether additional amounts are owed to the
government or the soldiers. The payment problems we identified at the six
case study units did not include instances of fraudulent payments, which
were a major finding resulting from the further investigation of improper
payments found in our 1993 audit of Army military payroll.8 Nonetheless,
we found the inaccurate, late, and missing pays and associated erroneous
debts found during our current audit had a profound financial impact on
individual soldiers and their families. Some of the pay problems we
identified included the following.

• DOD erroneously billed 34 soldiers in a Colorado National Guard
  Special Forces unit an average of $48,000 each. Though we first notified
  DOD of these issues in April and sent a follow-up letter in June 2003, the
  largely erroneous total debt for these soldiers of about $1.6 million
  remained unresolved at the end of our audit in September 2003.

• As a result of confusion over responsibility for entering transactions
  associated with a Colorado soldier’s promotion, the soldier’s spouse had
  to obtain a grant from the Colorado National Guard to pay bills while
  her husband was in Afghanistan.

• Some soldiers did not receive payments for up to 6 months after
  mobilization and others still had not received certain payments by the
  conclusion of our audit work.

• Ninety-one of 100 members of a Mississippi National Guard military
  police unit that was deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, did not receive
  the correct amount of Hardship Duty Pay.




8
 GAO/AIMD-93-32. As discussed in that report, at that time, Army Guard soldiers mobilized
to active duty were paid using the Army active duty pay system. In addition, as discussed in
our April 1994 testimony, (U.S. General Accounting Office, Financial Management:
Financial Control and System Weaknesses Continue to Waste DOD Resources and
Undermine Operations, GAO/T-AIMD/NSIAD-94-154, Washington, D.C.: Apr. 12, 1994),
further investigation of the improper payroll payments identified in our 1993 report revealed
instances of fraudulent payments to “ghost soldiers.”




Page 19                                                          GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
                           • One soldier from the Mississippi unit was paid $9,400 in active duty pay
                             during the 3 months following an early discharge for drug-related
                             charges.

                           • Forty-eight of 51 soldiers in a California National Guard military police
                             unit received late payments because the unit armory did not have a copy
                             machine available to make copies of needed pay-related documents.

                           • Four Virginia Special Forces soldiers who were injured in Afghanistan
                             and unable to resume their civilian jobs experienced problems in
                             receiving entitled active duty pays and related health care.

                           In some cases, the problems we identified may have distracted these
                           professional soldiers from mission requirements, as they spent
                           considerable time and effort while deployed attempting to address these
                           issues. Further, these problems may adversely affect the Army’s ability to
                           retain these valuable personnel. Appendixes I–VI provide details of the pay
                           experiences of the soldiers at the case study units we audited.



Significant Weaknesses     Procedural requirements, particularly in light of the potentially hundreds of
                           organizations and thousands of personnel involved, were not well
in Processes over          understood or consistently applied with respect to determining (1) the
Mobilized Army Guard       actions required to make timely, accurate active duty pays to mobilized
                           Army Guard soldiers and (2) the component responsible, among Army
Pay                        Guard, active Army, and DFAS, for taking the required actions. Further, we
                           found instances in which existing guidance was out of date—some of
                           which still reflected practices in place in 1991 during Operation Desert
                           Storm. These complex, cumbersome processes, which were developed in
                           piecemeal fashion over a number of years, provide numerous opportunities
                           for control breakdowns. We found that a substantial number of payment
                           errors were caused, at least in part, by unclear procedural requirements for
                           processing active duty pay and allowance entitlements to mobilized Army
                           Guard soldiers.



Complex, Cumbersome, and   Overall, as shown in figures 3, 4 and 5, we found that an extensive,
Evolving Processes         cumbersome, and labor-intensive process has evolved to pay mobilized
                           Army Guard soldiers for their active duty service.




                           Page 20                                               GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Figure 3: Initial Mobilization Phase Process



                        1                              2                          3

              Process for initiating     Process for pay changes       Process for stopping
              active duty pay when           while deployed            active duty pay when
                 first mobilized                                            demobilized

                                                                                                                                              to
                                                                                                                                            duty
                                                                                                                                           station


                                                                      Monthly personnel
                                                                      on-board vs. paid
                 Home unit              Mobilization                    reconciliation                     Mobilization station
        Soldiers under state control         orders                                                       2nd SRP opportunity to
        receive federal active duty                                Army Order                            update/correct active duty
       mobilization orders, and their                             Writing System                           pay support based on
          active duty pay support                                     AFCOS                                 mobilization orders.
       documentation is validated as
       part of the Soldier Readiness
             Processing (SRP).                                                                  Unit
                                                                                             Commander



                        Mobilization                                          Mobilization
                             orders                                           orders

       Army Guard - State Personnel                            Army Guard - State U.S.                   Active Army - Mobilization
                 Office                                       Property and Fiscal Office                      Station DMPO or
                                                                      (USPFO)                              Army Finance Office              See
                                                                                                                                            part
       Personnel clerks update pay                              Payroll clerks review                    2nd SRP pay transactions            2
        impacting soldier data in                            supporting documentation,                    entered into DMO after
         SIDPERS for mobilized                                pass system edit checks,                    review and edit checks.
                                                             and input payroll start and
                soldiers.                                     stop date for automated
                                                                 active duty pay and
                                                             allowances into JUSTIS.
                                           Monthly data
                                           reconciliation


                                                                     monthly listing               Monthly Unit
                                        Start active duty           of soldiers paid               Commander Pay
                                        pay transactions             for active duty               Management
                                                                                                   Report
                                                                                                          Start pay transactions
                                                                      DFAS - IN                           updated/corrected into
                                                                                                                DJMS-RC.
                                                              Process pay transactions
                                                            entered into DJMS-RC. Up
                                                            to 8 to 10 active duty payroll
                                                             payments to soldiers each
                                                                       month.




                                                       Pay and allowances,1 wage garnishment
   Source: GAO.                                                 and LESs to soldiers




                                                             Page 21                                                                  GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Figure 4: Deployed Phase Process



            1                            2                       3

   Process for initiating   Process for pay changes      Process for stopping
   active duty pay when         while deployed           active duty pay when
      first mobilized                                         demobilized

        from                                                                                                                                              to
     mobilization                                                                                                                                   demobilization
       station                                                                                                                                         station


                                                                                                Monthly personnel
                                                                                                on-board vs. paid
                              Army Guard - State Personnel             Active army duty station   reconciliation
                                        Office                            Soldiers eligible for
                                                                        additional types of pay
                                  Personnel transactions                based on duty location.
                                  entered into SIDPERS.

                                                                                                                       Unit
                                                                 Soldier sends special orders and pay               Commander
                                                                         impacting transaction
                                                                    with supporting documentation
                                                                       to one of three locations.
                               Monthly data
                               reconciliation


                                  Army Guard - State U.S.               Active Army - DMPO or             Active Army - Area Servicing
                                 Property and Fiscal Office              Army Finance Office                     Finance Office
         From                            (USPFO)                                                                                                         See
         part                                                                                                                                            part
           1                      Payroll clerks review                   Payroll clerks review               Payroll clerks review                       3
                               supporting documentation,              supporting documentation,            supporting documentation,
                                pass system edit checks                pass system edit checks,             pass system edit checks,
                               and input monthly manual                and input pay impacting             and input monthly manual
                               pay impacting transactions               transactions into DMO.             pay impacting transactions
                                     into JUSTIS.2                                                                 into DMO.3




                             monthly listing                                    DFAS - IN
                             of soldiers paid                                                           Monthly Unit Commander
                             for active duty                         Pay transactions entered to        Pay Management Report
                                                                       DJMS-RC. Up to 8 to 10
                                                                     active duty payroll payments
                                                                       to soldiers each month.




                                                                Pay and allowances, wage garnishment
  Source: GAO.                                                           and LESs to soldiers




                                                           Page 22                                                                       GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Figure 5: Demobilization Phase Process



                 1                         2                         3

        Process for initiating   Process for pay changes    Process for stopping
        active duty pay when         while deployed         active duty pay when
           first mobilized                                       demobilized

                             from
                             duty
                            station




                                                  Demobilization station                                    Monthly personnel               Home unit
                                                Receive Release from Active                                 on-board vs. paid        Soldiers return to home
                                                 Duty Order (REFRAD) and                  Army Order          reconciliation         station and state control.
                                                  Certificate of Release or              Writing System
                                                Discharge from Active Duty                   AFCOS                                                      Debt
                                                      (Form DD 214).                                                                               assessed and
                                                                                                                                                        wage
                                                                                                                                                    garnishment
                                                                                                                                     Monthly Unit to soldier for any
                                                                                                                              Unit  Commander Pay overpayments
                                                                                                                           Commander Management
                                                                                                      REFRAD,
                                                                                                     revoked, or                       Report
                                                                                                    amended order

                                                 Active Army - Demobilization      Army Guard - State Personnel                      Army Guard - State U.S.
                                                       Station DMPO or                       Office                                 Property and Fiscal Office
                            From                     Army Finance Office                                                                    (USPFO)
                            part
                              2                  Transactions pass review of         Soldier is removed from                       Transactions pass review of
                                                 documentation and system             active duty status in                        documentation and system
                                                  edit checks to stop active               SIDPERS.                                 edit checks to stop active
                                                   duty pay through DMO.                                                            duty pay through JUSTIS.


                                                                                                                    Monthly
                                                                                                                      data
                                                                                                                  reconciliation


                                                                                                                monthly listing
                                                                                                               of soldiers paid                  Stop pay
                                                                                                                for active duty              transactions


                                                                                                                                            DFAS - IN
                                                Stop pay transactions entered                                                       Process pay transactions 4
                                                       into DJMS-RC                                                                  entered into DJMS-RC.




                                                                                                                            Pay and allowances, wage garnishment
                                                                                                                                     and LESs to soldiers
Source: GAO.




                                                           Page 23                                                                          GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
While figures 3, 4 and 5 provide an overview of the process, particularly of
the types of DOD organizations involved, they do not fully capture the
numbers of different DOD components involved. Specifically, thousands of
Army Guard (individual units and state-level organizations), active Army,
and DFAS components may be involved in authorizing, processing, and
paying mobilized Army Guard soldiers, including

• an estimated 2,300 local Army Guard home units, unit commanders, and
  unit administrators that are involved in maintaining up-to-date soldier
  personnel and related pay records;

• 54 state-level Army Guard commands, including both USPFOs and state-
  level personnel offices involved in authorizing and starting active duty
  pay transactions;

• active Army finance offices or DOD Military Pay Offices at over 15
  mobilization stations across the United States that are involved in
  processing Army Guard personnel to and from their active duty
  locations;

• 28 active Army area servicing finance offices at over 50 locations
  worldwide that are involved in servicing Army Guard soldiers’ location-
  based active duty pays;

• DFAS-Indianapolis—the central site for processing Army Guard
  soldiers’ active duty pays;

• DFAS-Denver—the central site for maintaining the pay system used to
  pay Army Guard soldiers;

• DFAS-Cleveland—the central site for handling soldier military pay
  inquiries; and

• The Army National Guard Financial Services Center—the Army Guard
  organization responsible for providing guidance, training, and oversight
  and coordination for active duty pays to Army Guard personnel.

Several of these organizations with key roles in payroll payments to
mobilized Army Guard soldiers, including DOD, DFAS, Army, and the Army
Guard, have issued their own implementing regulations, policies, and
procedures. In addition, we found unwritten practices in place at some of
the case study locations we audited. Existing written policies and



Page 24                                              GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
                          procedures are voluminous—the DOD Financial Management Regulations
                          (FMR) guidance on pay and allowance entitlements alone covers 65
                          chapters. As a result of their size and continually evolving nature as legal,
                          procedural, and system requirements change, we found that policies and
                          procedures were not well understood or consistently applied across the
                          potentially hundreds of organizations and thousands of personnel involved
                          in paying mobilized Army Guard personnel. These processes have been
                          developed in piecemeal fashion over a number of years to accommodate
                          changing legislative requirements, DOD policies, and the unique operating
                          practices of different DOD organizations and systems involved in these
                          processes.

                          As discussed in the following sections, these extensive and evolving
                          policies and procedures were confusing both across various organizations
                          and personnel involved in their implementation and, more importantly, to
                          the Army Guard soldiers who are the intended beneficiaries. In addition,
                          these cumbersome policies and procedures contributed to the pay errors
                          we identified.



Procedural Requirements   We found instances in which unclear procedural requirements for
Not Clear                 processing active duty pays contributed to erroneous and late pays and
                          allowances to mobilized Army Guard soldiers. For example, we found
                          existing policies and procedural guidance were unclear with respect to the
                          following issues.

                          Amending active duty orders. A significant problem we found at the
                          case study locations we audited concerned procedures that should be
                          followed for amending active duty orders. We found instances at two of
                          our case study locations in which military pay technicians at either a
                          USPFO or an active Army finance office made errors in amending existing
                          orders. These errors resulted in establishing virtually all prior pays made
                          under the original orders as debts. A major contributor to the pay errors
                          we found in this area was that existing procedures did not clearly state how
                          USPFO and active Army finance personnel should modify existing order
                          tour start and stop information in the pay system when necessary without
                          also unintentionally adversely affecting previous pays and allowances.
                          Also, these procedures did not warn USPFO and active Army personnel
                          that using alternative methods will automatically result in an erroneous
                          debt assessment and garnishment of up to two-thirds of the soldier’s pay.




                          Page 25                                               GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
We identified over $1 million in largely erroneous debt transactions as a
result of breakdowns in this area. At the Colorado Special Forces unit, we
found that actions taken by the Colorado USPFO in an attempt to amend 34
soldiers’ orders resulted in reversing the active pay and allowances the
soldiers received for 11 of the 12 months they were deployed on active duty
in Afghanistan and instead establishing these payments as debts. These 34
soldiers received notice on their Leave and Earnings Statements that they
owed the government an average of approximately $48,000 per soldier, for
a total largely erroneous debt of $1.6 million. Although we informed DOD
of this problem in April 2003, as of the end of our audit fieldwork in
September 2003, the problems at the Colorado Special Forces unit had not
been resolved. DOD officials did advise us that, as a result of our work,
they implemented a software change on September 18, 2003, intended to
help avoid such problems in the future. Specifically, we were told new
warning messages have been added to JUSTIS that will appear when a
transaction is entered to cancel or amend a tour of duty. The new warnings
will advise that the transaction will or could result in a collection action
and will ask the pay technician to confirm that is their intent. While we did
not verify the effectiveness of this change, it has the potential to reduce pay
problems associated with errors made in amending orders.

Required time frames for processing pay transactions. Written
requirements did not exist with respect to the maximum amount of time
that should elapse between the receipt by the responsible Army Guard or
Army pay office of proper documentation and processing the related pay
transaction through the pay system. While some of the locations we
audited had established informal processing targets, for example, 3 days,
we also found numerous instances in which available documentation
indicated lengthy delays in processing pay transactions after pay offices
received supporting documentation. These lengthy processing delays
resulted in late payroll payments to deployed soldiers.

Required monthly reconciliations of pay and personnel data. The
case study units lacked specific written requirements for conducting and
documenting monthly reconciliations of pay and personnel mismatch
reports and unit commanders’ finance reports. Available documentation
showed that these controls were either not done or were not done
consistently or timely. Because, as discussed later in this report, the
processing of Army Guard pay relies on systems that are not integrated or
effectively interfaced, these after-the-fact detective controls are critical to
detecting and correcting erroneous or fraudulent pays.




Page 26                                                 GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
To be effective, the 54 state-level Army Guard commands must individually
reconcile common data elements in all 54 state-operated personnel
databases for Army Guard personnel with corresponding DJMS-RC pay
records at least monthly. Because of the lack of clarity in existing
procedural requirements in this area, we found that several of the locations
we visited had established standard but undocumented reconciliation
practices. However, at the six case study locations we audited, we found
that although all the USPFOs told us they received monthly SIDPERS and
DJMS-RC mismatch reports, they did not always fully reconcile and make
all necessary system corrections each month. Lacking specific written
policies and procedural requirements for such reconciliations, several of
the case study locations we audited established a standard, but
undocumented, practice of reconciling roughly a third of the common data
elements every month, so that all elements were to be reconciled and all
necessary corrective actions taken over a 3-month period. However,
documentation was not always retained to determine the extent to which
these reconciliations were done and if they were done consistently.

Our findings are similar to those in reports from Army Guard operational
reviews. For example, the results of the most recent reviews at three of the
six case study locations we audited showed that state Army Guard
personnel were not performing effective reconciliations of pay and
personnel record discrepancies each month. One such report9 concluded,
“Failure to reconcile the Personnel/Pay Mismatch listing monthly provides
a perfect opportunity to establish fraudulent personnel or pay accounts.”

Several of the instances we identified in which soldiers received pay and
allowances for many months after their release from active duty likely
would have been identified sooner had USPFO military pay personnel
investigated the personnel/pay mismatch report discrepancies more
frequently. For example, at one case study unit, 34 soldiers received pay
for several months past their official discharge dates. Although records
were not available to confirm that these overpayments were reported as
discrepancies on monthly mismatch reports, the USPFO military pay
supervisor told us that at the time the mismatch reports were not being
used to identify and correct pay-affecting errors.




9
 May 9, 2002, memorandum on the results of an April 15-19, 2002, National Guard Bureau
operational review of Colorado’s USPFO.




Page 27                                                       GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
As discussed later, at another case study unit, a mobilized soldier was
released from active duty and discharged from the Army in June 2002,
earlier than his planned release date due to alleged involvement in drug-
related activities. But, the soldier continuied to receive active duty pay. The
soldier’s SIDPERS personnel record on July 2, 2002, to reflect the
discharge. According to pay records, the soldier’s pay continued until the
USPFO military pay supervisor identified the discrepancy on the
September 25, 2002, personnel/pay mismatch report and initiated action
that stopped the soldier’s pay effective September 30, 2002. However,
because this discrepancy was not identified until late September, the
soldier received $9,400 in extra pay following his discharge from the Army.

In addition, while as discussed previously, we found a number of instances
in which Army Guard soldiers’ active duty pays continued after their
demobilization, available documentation showed only one instance in the
six case study units we visited in which a reconciliation of the unit
commander’s finance report resulted in action to stop improper active duty
pay and allowances. Specifically, available documentation shows that an
administrative clerk’s review of this report while the unit was mobilized in
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, resulted in action to stop active duty pay and
allowances to a soldier who was previously demobilized. However, it is
also important to note that while these reconciliations are an important
after-the-fact detective control, they are limited because they can only
detect situations in which payroll and personnel records do not agree. A
number of pay errors we identified resulted from the fact that neither
personnel nor pay records were updated.

Soldiers returning from deployments earlier than their units. For
four of our case study units, we found instances in which Army Guard
soldiers’ active duty pays were not stopped at the end of their active duty
tours when they were released from active duty earlier than their units. We
found procedural guidance did not clearly specify how to carry out
assigned responsibilities for soldiers who return from active duty earlier
than their units. DFAS-Indianapolis guidance provides only that “the
supporting USPFO will be responsible for validating the status of any
soldier who does not return to a demobilized status with a unit.” The
guidance did not state how the USPFO should be informed that a soldier
did not return with his or her unit, or how the USPFO was to take action to
validate the status of such soldiers. At one of our case study locations,
officials at the USPFO informed us that they became aware that a soldier
had returned early from a deployment when the soldier appeared at a
weekend drill while his unit was still deployed.



Page 28                                                GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
                             Data input and eligibility requirements for housing and family
                             separation allowances. Our audit work at two of our case study
                             locations indicated that procedural guidance was not clear with respect to
                             transaction entry and eligibility requirements for the basic allowance for
                             housing and the family separation allowance, respectively. For example,
                             during our audit work at one of our case study locations, we determined
                             that because of inconsistent interpretations of existing guidance for
                             “dependents” in entering transactions to start paying soldiers’ basic
                             allowance for housing, a number of Maryland soldiers were not paid the
                             correct amount. At another case study location, we found that existing
                             guidance on eligibility determination was misinterpreted so that soldiers
                             were erroneously refused the “single parent soldiers family separation
                             allowance” to which they were entitled.



Organizational               We also found that existing policies and procedures were unclear with
Responsibilities Not Clear   respect to organizational responsibilities. Confusion centered principally
                             around pay processing responsibility for Army Guard soldiers as they move
                             from state control to federal control and back again. To be effective,
                             current processes rely on close coordination and communication between
                             state (Army Guard unit and state-level command organizations) and federal
                             (active Army finance locations at mobilization/demobilization stations and
                             at area servicing finance offices). However, we found a significant number
                             of instances in which critical coordination requirements were not clearly
                             defined.


                              Individual Case Illustration: Confusion over Responsibility for Entering Pay
                              Transactions Results in Family Obtaining a Grant to Pay Bills

                              A sergeant incurred pay problems during his mobilization and deployment to Afghanistan
                              in support of Operation Enduring Freedom that caused financial hardship for his family
                              while he was deployed. In this case, the active Army and his state's USPFO were
                              confused as to responsibility for processing pay input transactions associated with a
                              promotion. Specifically, pay input transactions were required for his promotion from a
                              sergeant first class (E-7) to master sergeant (E-8), his demotion back to an E-7, and a
                              second promotion back to an E-8. The end result was the soldier was overpaid during
                              the period of his demotion. DFAS garnished his wages and collected approximately
                              $1,100 of the soldier's salary. These garnishments reduced the soldier's net pay to less
                              than 50 percent of the amount he had been receiving. As a result, the soldier's wife had
                              to obtain a grant of $500 from the Colorado National Guard's Family Support Group to
                              pay bills.




                             Page 29                                                        GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
DFAS Indianapolis mobilization procedures authorize the Army Guard’s
USPFOs and the active Army’s mobilization station and in-theater finance
offices to enter transactions for deployed soldiers. However, we found
existing guidance did not provide for clear responsibility and
accountability between USPFOs and active Army mobilization stations and
in-theater servicing finance offices with respect to responsibility for
entering transactions while in-theater and terminating payments for
soldiers who separate early or who are absent without leave or are
confined. For example, at one of our case study locations, we found that
this broad authority for entering changes to soldiers’ pay records enabled
almost simultaneous attempts by two different pay offices to enter pay
transactions into DJMS-RC for the same soldier.

As shown in the following illustration, at another case study location we
found that, in part because of confusion over responsibility for starting
location-based pays, a soldier was required to carry out a dangerous
multiday mission to correct these payments.




Page 30                                              GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
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Page 31                                            GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
 Individual Case Illustration: Difficulty in Starting In-Theatre Pays

 A sergeant with the West Virginia National Guard Special Forces unit was stationed in
 Uzbekistan with the rest of his unit, which was experiencing numerous pay problems.
 The sergeant told us that the local finance office in Uzbekistan did not have the systems
 up and ready, nor available personnel who were familiar with DJMS-RC. According to the
 sergeant, the active Army finance personnel were only taking care of the active Army
 soldiers’ pay issues. When pay technicians at the West Virginia USPFO attempted to
 help take care of some of the West Virginia National Guard soldiers’ pay problems, they
 were told by personnel at DFAS-Indianapolis not to get involved because the active Army
 finance offices had primary responsibility for correcting the unit’s pay issues.

 Eventually, the sergeant was ordered to travel to the finance office at Camp Doha,
 Kuwait, to get its assistance in fixing the pay problems. As illustrated in the following
 map. This trip, during which a soldier had to set aside his in-theatre duties to attempt to
 resolve Army Guard pay issues, proved to be not only a major inconvenience to the
 sergeant, but was also life-threatening. At Camp Doha (an established finance office), a
 reserve pay finance unit was sent from the United States to deal with the reserve
 component soldiers’ pay issues. The sergeant left Uzbekistan for the 4-day trip to Kuwait.
 He first flew from Uzbekistan to Oman in a C-130 ambulatory aircraft (carrying wounded
 soldiers). From Oman, he flew to Masirah Island. From Masirah Island he flew to Kuwait
 International Airport, and from the airport he had a 45-minute drive to Camp Doha. The
 total travel time was 16 hours. The sergeant delivered a box of supporting documents
 used to input data into the system. He worked with the finance office personnel at Camp
 Doha to enter the pertinent data on each member of his battalion into DJMS-RC. After 2
 days working at Camp Doha, the sergeant returned to the Kuwait International Airport,
 flew to Camp Snoopy in Qatar, and from there to Oman. On his flight between Oman and
 Uzbekistan, the sergeant’s plane took enemy fire and was forced to return to Oman. No
 injuries were reported. The next day, he left Oman and returned safely to Uzbekistan.




Page 32                                                         GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Page 33   GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
While guidance that permits both Army Guard and active Army military pay
personnel to enter transactions for mobilized Army Guard soldiers
provides flexibility in serving the soldiers, we found indications that it also
contributed to soldiers being passed between the active Army and Army
Guard servicing locations. For example, at another of our case study
locations, we were told that several mobilized soldiers sought help in
resolving active duty pay problems from the active Army’s mobilization
station finance office at Fort Knox and later the finance office at Fort
Campbell. However, officials at those active Army locations directed the
soldiers back to the USPFO because they were Army Guard soldiers.

We also found procedures were not clear on how to ensure timely
processing of active duty medical extensions for injured Army Guard
soldiers. Army Regulation 135-381 provides that Army Guard soldiers who
are incapacited as a result of injury, illness, or disease that occured while
on active duty for more than 30 consecutive days are eligible for continued
health benefits. That is, with medical extension status, soldiers are entitled
to continue to receive active duty pays, allowances, and medical benefits
while under a physician’s care.

At the Virginia 20th Special Forces, B Company, 3rd Battalion, we found that
four soldiers were eligible for continued active duty pay and associated
medical benefits due to injuries incurred as a result of their involvement in
Operation Enduring Freedom. Although these injuries precluded them
from resuming their civilian jobs, they experienced significant pay
problems as well as problems in receiving needed medical care, in part, as a
result of the lack of clearly defined implementing procedures in this area.
All four soldiers experienced pay disruptions because existing guidance
was not clear on actions needed to ensure that these soldiers were retained
on active duty medical extensions. One of the soldiers told us, “People did
not know who was responsible for what. No one knew who to contact or
what paperwork was needed….” As a result, all four have experienced
gaps in receiving active duty pay and associated medical benefits while
they remained under a physician’s care for injuries received while on their
original active duty tour.




Page 34                                                GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
                     Individual Case Illustration: Unclear Regulations for Active Duty Medical
                     Extension

                     Four soldiers who were injured while mobilized in Afghanistan for Operation Enduring
                     Freedom told us that customer service was poor and no one was really looking after
                     their interest or even cared about them. These problems resulted in numerous personal
                     and financial difficulties for these soldiers.
                     · “Not having this resolved means that my family has had to make greater sacrifices and
                       it leaves them in an unstable environment. This has caused great stress on my family
                       that may lead to divorce.”
                     · “My orders ran out while awaiting surgery and the care center tried to deny me care.
                       My savings account was reduced to nearly 0 because I was also not getting paid while
                       I waited. I called the Inspector General at Walter Reed and my congressman. My
                       orders were finally cut. In the end, I was discharged 2 weeks before my care should
                       have been completed because the second amendment to my orders never came and I
                       couldn’t afford to wait for them before I went back to work. The whole mess was
                       blamed on the ‘state’ and nothing was ever done to fix it.”
                     · One sergeant was required to stay at Womack, the medical facility at Fort Bragg,
                       North Carolina, while on medical extension. His home was in New Jersey. He had not
                       been home for about 20 months, since his call to active duty. While he was recovering
                       from his injuries, his wife was experiencing a high-risk pregnancy and depended upon
                       her husband’s medical coverage, which was available while he remained in active duty
                       status. Even though she lived in New Jersey, she scheduled her medical appointments
                       near Fort Bragg to be with her husband. The sergeant submitted multiple requests to
                       extend his active duty medical extension status because the paperwork kept getting
                       lost. Lapses in obtaining approvals for continued active duty medical extension status
                       caused the sergeant’s military medical benefits and his active duty pay to be stopped
                       several times. He told us that because of gaps in his medical extension orders, he was
                       denied medical coverage, resulting in three delays in scheduling a surgery. He also
                       told us he received medical bills associated with his wife’s hospitalization for the
                       delivery of their premature baby as a result of these gaps in coverage.




Guidance Outdated   We found several instances in which existing DOD and Army regulations
                    and guidance in the pay and allowance area are outdated and conflict with
                    more current legislative and DOD guidance. Some existing guidance
                    reflected pay policies and procedures dating back to Operations Desert
                    Shield and Desert Storm in 1991. While we were able to associate pay
                    problems with only one of these outdated requirements, there is a risk that
                    they may also have caused as yet unidentified pay problems. Further,
                    having out-of-date requirements in current regulations may contribute to
                    confusion and customer service issues.




                    Page 35                                                       GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
For example, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1998
replaced the basic allowance for quarters and the variable housing
allowance with the basic allowance for housing.10 However, volume 7A,
chapter 27 of the DOD FMR, dated February 2002, still refers to the basic
allowance for quarters and the variable housing allowance. The act also
replaced foreign duty pay with hardship duty pay.11 Yet, chapter 8 of Army
Regulation 37-104-4 (Military Pay and Allowances Policy and Procedures –
Active Component) still refers to foreign duty pay.

Further, current DFAS and Army mobilization procedural guidance directs
active Army finance units to use transaction codes to start soldiers’
hardship duty pays that are incorrect. Effective December 2001, DOD
amended FMR, Volume 7A, chapter 17, to establish a new “designated area”
hardship duty pay with rates of $50, $100, or $150 per month, depending on
the area. However, DFAS guidance dated December 19, 2002, directed
mobilization site finance offices to use transaction codes that resulted in
soldiers receiving a prior type of hardship duty pay that was eliminated in
the December 2001 revisions. At one of our case study locations, we found
that because the active Army finance office followed the outdated DFAS
guidance for starting hardship duty pays, 91 of 100 Mississippi military
police unit soldiers deployed to Cuba to guard al Qaeda prisoners were
paid incorrect amounts of hardship duty pay.

In addition, Army Regulation 37-104-4, dated September 1994, which was
still in effect at the end of our audit work, provides that mobilized Army
Guard soldiers are to be paid through the active Army pay system—the
Defense Joint Military Pay System-Active Component (DJMS-AC). This
procedure, in effect during the mobilizations to support Operations Desert
Shield and Desert Storm, was changed in 1995. Specifically, in 1995, it was
agreed that Army Guard personnel would no longer be moved to the active
duty pay system, DJMS-AC, when mobilized to active duty, but would
remain on the DJMS-RC system. Maintaining such outdated references in
current policies may have contributed to confusion by USPFO and active
Army finance personnel regarding required actions, particularly in light of
the extensive set of policies and procedures now in effect in this area.




10
     Pub. L. No. 105-85, Div. A, Title VI, Subtitle A, Section 603, 111 Stat. 1629, 1775 (1997).
11
     Id. at Section 619, 111 Stat. 1629, 1789.




Page 36                                                                 GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Human Capital Issues      With respect to human capital, we found weaknesses, including
                          (1) insufficient resources allocated to pay processing, (2) inadequate
Affect Ability to Pay     training related to existing policies and procedures, and (3) poor customer
Mobilized Army Guard      service. The lack of sufficient numbers of well-trained, competent military
                          pay professionals can undermine the effectiveness of even a world-class
Soldiers Promptly and     integrated pay and personnel system. A sufficient number of well-trained
Accurately                military pay staff is particularly crucial given the extensive, cumbersome,
                          and labor-intensive process requirements that have evolved to support
                          active duty pay to Army Guard soldiers. GAO’s Standards for Internal
                          Control in the Federal Government states that effective human capital
                          practices are critical to establishing and maintaining a strong internal
                          control environment. Specifically, management should take steps to
                          ensure that its organization has the appropriate number of employees, and
                          that appropriate human capital practices, including hiring, training, and
                          retention, are in place and effectively operating.



Insufficient Numbers of   Our audit identified concerns with the numbers of knowledgeable
Military Pay Processing   personnel dedicated to entering and processing active duty pays and
                          allowances to mobilized Army Guard soldiers. As discussed previously,
Personnel                 both active Army and Army Guard military pay personnel play key roles in
                          this area. Army Guard operating procedures provide that the primary
                          responsibility for administering Army Guard soldiers’ pay as they are
                          mobilized to active duty rests with the 54 USPFOs. These USPFOs are
                          responsible for processing pay for drilling reservists along with the
                          additional surge of processing required for initiating active duty pays for
                          mobilized soldiers.

                          Our audit work identified concerns with the human capital resources
                          allocated to this area, primarily with respect to the Army Guard military
                          pay processing at the state-level USPFOs. Specifically, we identified
                          concerns with (1) the number of staff on board in the military pay sections
                          of the USPFOs, (2) the relatively lower grade structure for nonsupervisory
                          personnel in the USPFOs’ military pay sections in comparison with the
                          grades for similar positions in other sections of the USPFO which led to
                          difficulty in recruiting and retaining military pay processing personnel, and
                          (3) as discussed in the following section, few of the military pay
                          technicians on board at the six locations we audited had received formal
                          training on pay eligibility and pay processing requirements for mobilized
                          Army Guard personnel.




                          Page 37                                               GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
NGB provides annual authorization for the overall staffing levels for each
state. Within these overall staffing authorizations, each state allocates
positions to each of the sections within a USPFO, including the military pay
section and other sections such as vendor and contract pay. We compared
the actual number of personnel on board to the NGB-authorized staffing
level for the military pay sections at the case study locations we audited.
During our audit period, two of the six case study locations had fewer
military pay technicians on board than they were authorized.

Officials at several of the six case study units also stated that restrictions
on rank/grade at which USPFOs are allowed to hire personnel for their
military pay sections made it difficult to recruit and retain employees. For
example, a USPFO official told us that retaining personnel in the military
pay section of the USPFOs was particularly difficult because similar
administrative positions in other sections of the USPFO were typically
higher paying and provided better benefits than the positions in the military
pay section. The highest pay grade of the nonsupervisory pay technicians
at the six case study units was a GS-7, and the majority of personnel were
in the GS-6 pay grade.

Although the Army and DFAS have established an agreement that in part
seeks to ensure that resources are available to provide appropriately
skilled pay personnel at mobilization stations to support surge processing,
no such contingency staffing plan exists for the USPFOs. Specifically, a
November 2002 memorandum of understanding between the Army and
DFAS states that the active Army has primary responsibility to provide
trained military or civilian resources to execute active duty pay and
allowance surge processing requirements. However, this memorandum
does not address the resources needed for surge processing at USPFOs. As
discussed previously, pay problems at the case study units were caused in
part by USPFO military pay sections attempting to process large numbers
of pay transactions without sufficient numbers of knowledgeable
personnel.

Lacking sufficient numbers of personnel undermines the ability of the
USPFO pay functions to carry out established control procedures. For
example, our audits at several of the six case study units showed that there
were no independent reviews of proposed pay transactions before they
were submitted to DJMS-RC for processing. Such independent supervisory
reviews are required by DJMS-RC operating procedures. However, a
USPFO official told us that because of the limited number of pay
technicians available to process pay transactions—particularly when



Page 38                                                GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
                              processing massive numbers of transactions to start active duty pays at the
                              same time—this requirement was often not followed.

                              The Chief of Payroll at one of our case study locations told us that because
                              they were currently understaffed, staff members worked 12 to 14 hours a
                              day and still had backlogs of pay start transactions to be entered into the
                              pay system. We were also told that two of our other case study locations
                              experienced backlogs and errors in entering pay start transactions when
                              they were processing large numbers of Army Guard soldiers during initial
                              mobilizations. Military pay personnel told us that they were able to avoid
                              backlogs in processing pay start transactions during mobilization
                              processing by conscripting personnel from other USPFO sections to help in
                              assembling and organizing the extensive paperwork associated with
                              activating appropriate basic pays, entitlements, and special incentive pays
                              for their mobilized Army Guard soldiers.



Training on Pay Entitlement   In addition to concerns about the numbers of personnel onboard at the
and Processing                USPFO military pay offices involved in processing pay transactions for our
                              case study units, we identified instances in which the personnel at military
Requirements Critical         pay offices at both the USPFOs and the active Army finance offices did not
                              appear to know the different aspects of the extensive pay eligibility or
                              payroll processing requirements used to provide accurate and timely pays
                              to Army Guard soldiers. There are no DOD or Army requirements for
                              military pay personnel to receive training on pay entitlements and
                              processing requirements associated with mobilized Army Guard soldiers or
                              for monitoring the extent to which personnel have taken either of the
                              recently established training courses in the area. Such training is critical
                              given that military pay personnel must be knowledgeable about the
                              extensive and complex pay eligibility and processing requirements. We
                              also found that such training is particularly important for active Army pay
                              personnel who may have extensive experience and knowledge of pay
                              processing requirements for regular Army soldiers, but may not be well
                              versed in the unique procedures and pay transaction entry requirements for
                              Army Guard soldiers.

                              During our work at the case study units, we identified numerous instances
                              in which military pay technicians at both the USPFOs and active Army
                              finance office locations made data coding errors when entering transaction
                              codes into the pay systems. We were told that these errors occurred
                              because military pay personnel—particularly those at the active Army
                              finance office locations—were unfamiliar with the system’s pay processing



                              Page 39                                              GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
requirements for active duty pays to mobilized Army Guard personnel.
Correcting these erroneous transactions required additional labor-intensive
research and data entry by other more skilled pay technicians. As
discussed previously, we also found that pay technicians did not
understand how to properly code data on the soldiers’ dependents status,
which is used to determine housing allowances, into the pay system. As a
result, we identified cases in which soldiers were underpaid housing
allowances to which they were entitled.

Personnel at active Army finance offices told us that while they are readily
familiar with the pay processing requirements for active Army personnel
(using DJMS-AC), they had little experience with, or training in, the policies
and procedures to be followed in entering pay transactions into DJMS-RC.
An Army finance office official told us that handling two sets of pay
transaction processing procedures is often confusing because they are
often required to process a large number of both active Army personnel
and Army Guard and other reserve personnel using different processes and
systems at the same time.

While the Army Guard offers training for their military pay technicians, we
found that there was no overall monitoring of Army Guard pay personnel
training. At several of the case study locations we audited, we found that
Army Guard pay technicians relied primarily on on-the-job-training and
phone calls to the Army Guard Financial Services Center in Indianapolis or
to other military pay technicians at other locations to determine how to
process active duty pays to activated Army Guard personnel.

Beginning in fiscal year 2002, the Army Guard began offering training on
mobilization pays and transaction processing to the USPFO military pay
technicians. However, there is no requirement for USPFO pay technicians
to attend these training courses. In addition, available documentation
showed that two of the five scheduled courses for fiscal year 2003 were
canceled—one because of low registration and one because of schedule
conflicts.

Only two of the six case study locations we audited tracked the extent to
which pay technicians have taken training in this area. We were told that
few of the military pay technicians at the state Army Guard USPFOs we
audited had formal training on JUSTIS, DJMS-RC, or mobilization pay
processing requirements and procedures. Throughout our case studies, we
found numerous errors that involved some element of human capital. One
payroll clerk told us that she had not received any formal training on how



Page 40                                                GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
                            to operate JUSTIS when she was assigned to the job. Instead, she stated,
                            she has learned how to operate the system through on-the-job training and
                            many phone calls to system support personnel in Indianapolis. She
                            estimated that she was not fully comfortable with all the required
                            transaction processing procedures until she had been on the job for about 7
                            years.

                            In addition, unit commanders have significant responsibilities for
                            establishing and maintaining the accuracy of solders’ pay records. U.S.
                            Army Forces Command Regulation 500-3-3, Reserve Component Unit
                            Commander’s Handbook (July 15, 1999) requires unit commanders to (1)
                            annually review and update pay records for all soldiers under their
                            command as part of an annual soldier readiness review and (2) obtain and
                            submit supporting documentation needed to start entitled active duty pay
                            and allowances based on mobilization orders. However, we saw little
                            evidence the commanders of our case study units carried out these
                            requirements. Further, neither Army Guard unit commanders nor active
                            Army commanders were required to receive training on the importance of
                            the pay to on-board personnel reconciliations, discussed previously, as an
                            after-the-fact detective control to proactively identify Army Guard soldiers
                            who should no longer receive active duty pays. We were told that this was
                            primarily because unit commanders have many such administrative duties,
                            and without additional training on the importance of these actions, they
                            may not receive sufficient priority attention.

                            The lack of unit commander training on the importance of these
                            requirements may have contributed to the pay problems we identified at
                            our case study units. For example, at our Virginia case study location, we
                            found that when the unit was first mobilized, USPFO pay personnel were
                            required to spend considerable time and effort to correct hundreds of
                            errors in the unit’s pay records dating back to 1996. Such errors could have
                            been identified and corrected during the preceding years’ readiness
                            reviews. Further, we observed many cases in which active duty pays were
                            not started until more than 30 days after the entitled start dates because
                            soldiers did not submit the paperwork necessary to start these pays.



Customer Service Concerns   Through data collected directly from selected soldiers and work at our six
                            case study locations, we identified a recurring soldier concern with the
                            level and quality of customer service they received associated with their
                            pays and allowances when mobilized to active duty. None of the DOD,
                            Army, or Army Guard policies and procedures we examined addressed the



                            Page 41                                              GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
level or quality of customer service that mobilized Army Guard soldiers
should be provided concerning questions or problems with their active
duty pays. However, we identified several sources that soldiers may go to
for customer service or information on any such issues. These include

• their home unit,

• the military pay section of the USPFO of their home state’s Army Guard,

• the designated active Army area servicing finance office, and

• a toll free number, 1-888-729-2769 (Pay Army).

While soldiers had multiple sources from which they could obtain service,
we found indications that many Army Guard soldiers were displeased with
the customer service they received. We found that not all Army Guard
soldiers and their families were informed at the beginning of their
mobilization of the pays and allowances they should receive while on
active duty. This information is critical for enabling soldiers to identify if
they were not receiving such pays and therefore require customer service.
In addition, as discussed later in this report, we found that the
documentation provided to Army Guard soldiers—primarily in the form of
leave and earnings statements—concerning the pays and allowances they
received did not facilitate customer service. Our audit identified customer
service concerns at all three phases of the active duty tours and involving
DFAS, active Army, and Army Guard servicing components.

Consistent with the confusion we found among Army Guard and active
Army finance components concerning responsibility for processing pay
transactions for mobilized Army Guard soldiers, we found indications that
the soldiers themselves were similarly confused. Many of the complaints
we identified concerned confusion over whether Army Guard personnel
mobilized to active duty should be served by the USPFO because they were
Army Guard soldiers or by the active Army because they were mobilized to
federal service.




Page 42                                                GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
     Individual Case Illustration: Poor Customer Service
     One soldier told us that he submitted documentation on three separate occasions to
     support the housing allowance he should have received as of the beginning of his
     October 2001 mobilization. Each time he was told to resubmit the documentation
     because his previously submitted documents were lost. Subsequently, while he was
     deployed, he made additional repeated inquiries as to when he would receive his
     housing allowance pay. He was told that it would be taken care of when he returned
     from his deployment. However, when he returned from his deployment, he was told that
     he should have taken care of this issue while he was deployed and that it was now too
     late to receive this allowance.


Data collected from Army Guard units mobilized to active duty indicated
that some members of the units had concerns with the pay support
customer service they received associated with their mobilization—
particularly with respect to pay issues associated with their demobilization.
Specifically, of the 43 soldiers responding to our question on satisfaction
with customer support during the mobilization phase, 10 indicated
satisfaction, while 15 reported dissatisfaction.12 In addition, of the 45
soldiers responding to our question on customer support following
demobilization, 5 indicated satisfaction while 29 indicated dissatisfaction.13
Of the soldiers who provided written comments about customer service,
none provided any positive comments about the customer service they
received, and several had negative comments about the customer service
they received, including such comments as “nonexistent,” “hostile,” or
“poor.” For example, a company commander for one of our case study units
told us that he was frustrated with the level of customer support his unit
received during the initial mobilization process. Only two knowledgeable
military pay officials were present to support active duty pay transaction
processing for the 51 soldiers mobilized for his unit. He characterized the
customer service his unit received at initial mobilization as time consuming
and frustrating.

Personnel we talked with at the Colorado special forces unit we audited
were particularly critical of the customer service they received both while
deployed in Afghanistan and when they were demobilized from active duty.
Specifically, unit officials expressed frustration with being routed from one
office to another in their attempts to resolve problems with their active

12
     The remaining 18 respondents were either as satisfied as not or had no basis to judge.
13
     The 11 remaining respondents were either as satisfied as not or had no basis to judge.




Page 43                                                             GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
                      duty pays and allowances. For example, the unit administrator told us he
                      contacted the servicing area active Army finance office for the 101st
                      Airborne in West Virginia because his unit was attached to the 101st when
                      they were deployed. The finance office instructed him to contact the
                      USPFO in West Virginia because, although he was from a Colorado unit, his
                      unit was assigned to a West Virginia Army Guard unit. However, when he
                      contacted the West Virginia USPFO for service, officials from that office
                      instructed him to contact the USPFO in his home state of Colorado to
                      provide service for his pay problems.



Systems Problems      Several systems issues were significant factors impeding accurate and
                      timely payroll payments to mobilized Army Guard soldiers, including
Hamper Prompt and
Accurate Army Guard   • the lack of an integrated or effectively interfaced pay system with both
                        the personnel and order-writing systems,
Pay
                      • limitations in DJMS-RC processing capabilities, and

                      • ineffective system edits of payments and debts.

                      DOD has a significant system enhancement project under way to improve
                      military pay. However, given that the effort has been under way for about 5
                      years and DOD has encountered challenges fielding the system, it is likely
                      that the department will continue to operate with existing system
                      constraints for at least several more years.

                      Our findings related to weaknesses in the systems environment were
                      consistent with issues raised by DOD in its June 2002 report14 to the
                      Congress on its efforts to implement an integrated military pay and
                      personnel system. Specifically, DOD’s report acknowledged that major
                      deficiencies in the delivery of military personnel and pay services to ensure
                      soldiers receive timely and accurate personnel and pay support must be
                      addressed by the envisioned system. Further, the report indicated these
                      deficiencies were the direct result of the inability of a myriad of current
                      systems with multiple, complex interfaces to fully support current business
                      process requirements.


                      14
                       U.S. Department of Defense, Report to Congress: Defense Integrated Military Human
                      Resource System (Personnel and Pay), (Washington, D.C. June 2002).




                      Page 44                                                    GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
                             Figure 6 provides an overview of the five systems currently involved in
                             processing Army Guard pay and personnel information.



                             Figure 6: Overview of Army Guard Pay and Personnel Systems

                                            Army National Guard




                                                                  AFCOS

                                            Hard copy of                        Hard copy of              Hard copy of
                                            Mobilization orders           Mobilization orders           Mobilization orders

                                                                                                       Army



                                                              Reconciliation
                                             SIDPERS                                  JUSTIS                  DMO


                                                                               DFAS




                                                                                    DJMS-RC


                                                                                Active duty payments
                                                                                  to soldiers, LESs,
                                                                               and wage garnishments

                             Source: GAO.




Lack of Integrated Systems   The five key DOD systems involved in authorizing, entering, processing,
                             and paying mobilized Army Guard soldiers were not integrated. Lacking
                             either an integrated or effectively interfaced set of personnel and pay
                             systems, DOD must rely on error-prone, manual entry of data from the
                             same source documents into multiple systems. With an effectively
                             integrated system, changes to personnel records automatically update
                             related payroll records from a single source of data input. While not as
                             efficient as an integrated system, an automatic personnel-to-payroll system
                             interface can also reduce errors caused by independent, manual entry of
                             data from the same source documents into both pay and personnel
                             systems. Without an effective interface between the personnel and pay



                             Page 45                                                                   GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
systems, we found instances in which pay-affecting information did not get
entered into both the personnel and pay systems, thus causing various pay
problems—particularly late payments.

We found that an existing interface could be used to help alert military pay
personnel to take action when mobilization transactions are entered into
the personnel system. Specifically, Army Guard state personnel offices
used an existing interface between SIDPERS and JUSTIS to transmit data
on certain personnel transactions (i.e., transfers, promotions, demotions,
and address changes) to the 54 USPFOs to update the soldier’s pay records.
However, this personnel-to-pay interface (1) requires manual review and
acceptance by USPFO pay personnel of the transactions created in
SIDPERS and (2) does not create pay and allowance transactions to update
a soldier’s pay records. For example, when Army Guard soldiers change
from inactive drilling status to active duty status, state personnel offices
create personnel-related transactions in SIDPERS, but associated pay-
related transactions to update the soldier’s pay records are not
automatically created in JUSTIS. USPFO pay personnel are not aware that
a pay-related transaction is needed until they receive documentation from
the soldier, the soldier’s unit commander, or the monthly personnel/pay
mismatch report. Automated improvements, such as an administrative
action transmitted through the personnel-to-payroll interface, could be
used to proactively alert USPFOs of certain pay-impacting transactions that
are created in SIDPERS as a means to help ensure timely and accurate pay.

In our case studies, we found instances in which mobilization order data
that were entered into SIDPERS were either not entered into DJMS-RC for
several months after the personnel action or were entered inconsistently.
At the case study locations we audited, we found several instances in
which Army Guard soldiers received amended or revoked orders that were
entered into SIDPERS but were not entered into DJMS-RC. We also found
instances in which personnel pay-affecting changes such as changes in
family separation allowance, basic allowance for housing, and active duty
pay increases from promotions, were not entered into the pay system
promptly. Consequently, these soldiers either received active duty pays
they were not entitled to receive—some for several months—or did not
timely receive active duty pays to which they were entitled.




Page 46                                              GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
 Individual Case Illustration: Overpayment due to Lack of Integrated Pay and
 Personnel Systems
 A soldier with the Mississippi Army National Guard was mobilized in January 2002 with
 his unit and traveled to the mobilization station at Fort Campbell. The unit stayed at Fort
 Campbell to perform post security duties until June 2002. On June 14, 2002, the E-4
 specialist received a "general" discharge order from the personnel office at Fort
 Campbell for a drug-related offense. However, he continued to receive active duty pay,
 totaling approximately $9,400, until September 2002. Although the discharge
 information was promptly entered into the soldier's personnel records, it was not entered
 into the pay system for almost 4 months. This problem was caused by weaknesses in
 the processes designed to work around the lack of integrated pay and personnel
 systems. Further, the problem was not detected because reconciliations of pay and
 personnel data were not performed timely. Specifically, it was not until over 3 months
 after the soldier's discharge, through its September 2002 end-of-month reconciliation,
 that the Mississippi Army National Guard USPFO identified the overpayment and took
 action on October 2, 2002, to stop the individual's pay. However, collection efforts on the
 $9,400 overpayment did not begin until July 2003, when we pointed out this situation to
 USPFO officials.



The lack of an integrated set of systems was also apparent in the
relationship between JUSTIS and the order writing system—AFCOS.
Currently, certain personnel and order information entered and stored in
the AFCOS database is automatically filled in the JUSTIS input screens
pertaining to active duty tours for state missions upon entry of the soldier’s
Social Security Number and order number. This auto-fill functionality
eliminates the need for some error-prone, manual reentry of data into
JUSTIS. However, currently, manual entry of data from a hard copy of the
soldier’s orders and other documentation is required to initiate the soldier’s
pay and allowances—a procedure that defeats the purpose of an effective
interface. For example, at one of the case study units we audited, USPFO
pay personnel had to manually enter the soldier’s active duty tour start and
stop dates into JUSTIS from a hard copy of the actual mobilization order.

When we brought this to the attention of NGB officials, they stated that
providing the auto-fill functionality to the mobilization input screens would
require minimal programming changes. NGB officials stated that they
planned to release a programming software change to all 54 USPFOs that
would allow the start and stop dates to be automatically filled into the
mobilization screens to reduce the need for reentry of some mobilization
information. Because this software change was scheduled to occur after
the conclusion of our fieldwork, we did not verify its effectiveness. In any
case, while this proposed programming change may be beneficial, it does



Page 47                                                          GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
                             not eliminate the need for manual entry and review of certain other
                             mobilization data needed to initiate a soldier’s basic pay and allowances.



Pay System Has Limited       DOD has acknowledged that DJMS-RC is an aging, COBOL/mainframe-
Active Duty Pay Processing   based system. Consequently, it is not surprising that we found DFAS
                             established a number of “workarounds”—procedures to compensate for
Capabilities                 existing DJMS-RC processing limitations with respect to processing active
                             duty pays and allowances to mobilized Army guard soldiers. Such manual
                             workarounds are inefficient and create additional labor-intensive, error-
                             prone transaction processing. We observed a number of such system
                             workaround procedures at the case study units we audited.

                             For example, for the special forces units we audited, our analysis disclosed
                             a workaround used to exclude soldiers’ pay from federal taxes while in
                             combat. Specifically, DJMS-RC was not designed to make active duty pays
                             and exclude federal taxes applicable to those pays in a single pay
                             transaction. To compensate for this system constraint, DFAS established a
                             workaround that requires two payment transactions over a 2-month payroll
                             cycle to properly exempt soldiers’ pay for the combat zone tax exclusion.
                             That is, for those soldiers entitled to this exclusion, DJMS-RC withholds
                             federal taxes the first month, identifies the taxes to be refunded during end-
                             of-month pay processing, and then makes a separate payment during the
                             first pay update the following month to refund the taxes that should not
                             have been withheld. Soldiers’ taxes could not be refunded the same month
                             because the DJMS-RC refund process occurs only one time a month.

                             In addition, because of limited DJMS-RC processing capabilities, the Army
                             Guard USPFO and in-theatre active Army area servicing finance office pay
                             technicians are required to manually enter transactions for nonautomated
                             pay and allowances every month. DJMS-RC was originally designed to
                             process payroll payments to Army Reserve and Army Guard personnel on
                             weekend drills or on short periods of annual active duty (periods of less
                             than 30 days in duration) or for training. With Army Guard personnel now
                             being paid from DJMS-RC for extended periods of active duty (as long as 2
                             years at a time), DFAS officials told us that the system is now stretched
                             because it is being used to make payments and allowances that it was not
                             structured or designed to make, such as hostile fire pay and the combat
                             zone tax exclusion. Many of these active duty pay and allowances require
                             manual, monthly verification and reentry into DJMS-RC because, while
                             some pays, such as basic active duty pay and jump pay, can be generated




                             Page 48                                               GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
automatically, DJMS-RC is not programmed to generate automatic payment
of certain other types of pay and allowances.

For example, each month USPFO pay personnel are responsible for
entering into JUSTIS special duty assignment pay, foreign language
proficiency pay, and high altitude low opening (HALO) pay, and Army area
servicing finance offices are responsible for entering into DMO hardship
duty pay, for deployed soldiers entitled to these types of pays and for which
a performance certification is received from the respective unit
commanders. However, because pay transactions must be manually
entered every month soldiers are entitled to receive these pays, it is often
difficult to ensure that mobilized soldiers receive their entitled
nonautomated pays and allowances. For example, we found a number of
instances in which soldiers were underpaid their entitled jump, foreign
language proficiency, special duty assignment, or hardship duty pays
because pay technicians inadvertently omitted the monthly manual input
required to initiate these types of pays every month.

At one of the case study units, we found USPFO pay personnel had a
procedure in place to help prevent inadvertently omitting month-to-month
entry of nonautomated pays for entitled soldiers. Specifically, pay
personnel at the USPFO in Maryland used a warning screen within JUSTIS
as a mechanism to alert them that soldiers were eligible to receive that
particular pay component that month. Although this does not alleviate the
problem of month-to-month manual entry, the warning screen could be
used to help preclude some of the pay problems we found resulting from
failures to enter transactions for nonautomated, month-to-month pay and
allowance entitlements.

Further, these month-to-month pays and allowances were not separately
itemized on the soldiers’ leave and earnings statements in a user-friendly
format.

In contrast, at four of our six case study units, we found that a significant
number of soldiers were overpaid their entitled automated pays when they
were demobilized from active duty before the stop date specified in their
original mobilization orders. This occurred because pay technicians did
not update the stop date in DJMS-RC, which is necessary to terminate the
automated active duty pays when soldiers leave active duty early. For
example, the military finance office in Kuwait, which was responsible for
paying Virginia 20th Special Forces soldiers in the fall of 2002, did not stop
hostile fire and hardship duty pays as required when these soldiers left



Page 49                                                GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Afghanistan in October 2002. We found that 55 of 64 soldiers eligible for
hostile fire pay were overpaid for at least 1 month beyond their departure
from Afghanistan.


Individual Case Illustration: Problems in Deciphering a Leave and Earnings
Statement
An Army National Guard Special Forces sergeant believed that he was not receiving
certain active duty pays and allowances during his mobilization to active duty in support
of Operation Enduring Freedom. On March 23, 2002, the sergeant wrote a letter from
Afghanistan to a fellow battalion soldier back in his home state, discussing his pay
problems. The sergeant stated that he was not receiving his special duty assignment pay
from November 2001 to March 2002. The sergeant’s letter also stated he was not
receiving his hostile fire pay and combat zone tax exclusion. His letter concluded, “Are
they really fixing pay issues or are they putting them off till we return? If they are waiting,
then what happens to those who (god forbid) don’t make it back?” The sergeant was
killed in action in Afghanistan on April 15, 2002, before he knew if his pay problems were
resolved. Our review determined that some of the sergeant’s pays were started up to 2
months late, but others had actually been paid properly. The sergeant apparently was not
aware of receiving these payments because of the way they were combined.



Soldiers’ pays may appear as lump sum payments under “other credits” on
their leave and earnings statements. In many cases these other credit pay
and allowances appeared on their leave and earning statements without
adequate explanation. As a result, we found indications that Army Guard
soldiers had difficulty using the leave and earnings statements to determine
if they received all entitled active duty pays and allowances. In addition,
several Army Guard soldiers told us that they had difficulty discerning from
their leave and earnings statements whether lump sum catch-up payments
fully compensated them for previously underpaid active duty pay and
allowance entitlements. Without such basic customer service, the soldiers
cannot readily verify that they received all the active duty pays and
allowances to which they were entitled.

As shown in the example leave and earnings statement extract included in
figure 7, an Army Guard soldier who received a series of corrections to
special duty assignment pay along with a current special duty assignment
payment of $110 is likely to have difficulty discerning whether he or she
received all and only entitled active duty pays and allowances.




Page 50                                                              GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Figure 7: Sample Army Guard Leave and Earnings Statement




Source: Individual Leave and Earnings Statement.




                                                   Page 51   GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
System Edits Do Not         While DJMS-RC has several effective edits to prevent certain
Prevent Large Payments or   overpayments, it lacks effective edits to reject large proposed net pays over
                            $4,000 at midmonth and over $7,000 at end-of-month before their final
Debts                       processing. DOD established these thresholds to monitor and detect
                            abnormally large payments. As a result of the weaknesses we identified,
                            we found several instances in our case studies in which soldiers received
                            large lump sum payments, probably related to previous underpayments or
                            other pay errors, with no explanation. Further, the lack of preventive
                            controls over large payments poses an increased risk of fraudulent
                            payments. DJMS-RC does have edits that prevent soldiers from (1) being
                            paid for pay and allowances beyond the stop date for the active duty tour,
                            (2) being paid for more than one tour with overlapping dates, or (3) being
                            paid twice during a pay period.

                            Each month, DFAS Indianapolis pay personnel receive an Electronic Fund
                            Transfer Excess Dollar Listing after the electronic fund transfer payment
                            has been processed in DJMS-RC and deposited to the soldier’s bank
                            account. DJMS-RC does not contain edit checks to reject payments over
                            the threshold amounts or to require review and approval of payments over
                            these amounts prior to their final processing. For example, at one of the
                            case study units we audited, DJMS-RC did not have edit checks to prevent
                            one soldier from receiving an erroneous electronic payment totaling
                            $20,110 without prior approval (see the individual case illustration below
                            for details). In addition, our analysis showed 76 other payroll-related
                            payments during the period October 1, 2001, through March 31, 2003, of
                            over $7,000 (net) each that were paid by DJMS-RC. Because the Electronic
                            Fund Transfer Excess Dollar Listing is printed after the payment is made,
                            timely detection of errors is critical to help ensure that erroneous payments
                            are recovered and that fraud does not occur.

                            Similarly, DJMS-RC does not have system edits to prevent large debts from
                            being assessed without review and approval prior to being processed and
                            does not provide adequate explanations for pay-related debt assessments.
                            Our case studies identified individuals who received debt notices in excess
                            of $30,000 with no explanation. At five of the 6 units audited, we identified
                            86 individuals who had total pay and allowance debts of approximately
                            $300,000 as of March 31, 2003.




                            Page 52                                               GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
 Individual Case Illustration: System Edits Do Not Prevent Large Payments and
 Debts
 A sergeant with the Colorado Army National Guard, Special Forces, encountered
 numerous severe pay problems associated with his mobilization to active duty, including
 his deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The
 sergeant’s active duty pay and other pay and allowances should have been stopped on
 December 4, 2002, when he was released from active duty. However, because the
 sergeant’s mobilization orders called him to active duty for 730 days and not the 365
 days that he was actually mobilized, and the Army area servicing finance office at the
 demobilization station, Fort Campbell, did not enter the release from active duty date
 into DJMS-RC, the sergeant continued to improperly receive payments, as if he were still
 on active duty, for 2 and a half months after he was released from active duty totaling
 over $8,000. The sergeant was one of 34 soldiers in the company whose pay continued
 after their release from active duty. In an attempt to stop the erroneous payments, in
 February 2003, pay personnel at the Colorado USPFO created a transaction to cancel
 the tour instead of processing an adjustment to amend the stop date consistent with the
 date on the Release from Active Duty Order. When this occurred, DJMS-RC
 automatically processed a reversal of 11 months of the sergeant’s pay and allowances
 that he earned while mobilized from March 1, 2002, through February 4, 2003, which
 created a debt in the amount of $39,699 on the soldier’s pay record; however, the
 reversal should have only been from December 5, 2002, through February 4, 2003. In
 April 2003, at our request, DFAS-Indianapolis personnel intervened in an attempt to
 correct the large debt and to determine the actual amount the sergeant owed. In May
 2003, DFAS-Indianapolis erroneously processed a payment transaction instead of a debt
 correction transaction in DJMS-RC. This created a payment of $20,111, which was
 electronically deposited to the sergeant’s bank account without explanation, while a debt
 of $30,454 still appeared on his Leave and Earnings Statement. About 9 months after
 his demobilization, the sergeant’s unpaid debt balance was reportedly $26,559, but the
 actual amount of his debt had not yet been determined as of September 2003.




In addition, we found that current procedures used to notify soldiers of
large payroll-related debts did not facilitate customer service. Under
current procedures, if a soldier is determined to owe the government
money while on active duty, he is assessed a debt and informed of this
assessment with a notation of an “Unpaid Debt Balance” in the remarks
section of his Leave and Earnings Statement. A soldier at one of our case
study units told us that he was not notified in advance of his receipt of his
Leave and Earnings Statement that he had a debt assessment and that two-
thirds of his pay would be garnished. As a result, he was not able to plan his
financial affairs to avoid late payments on his car and other loans.

This debt assessment notification procedure is even more egregious when
debts, particularly large debts, are assessed in error and up to two-thirds of



Page 53                                                          GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
the soldier’s pay may be garnished to begin repaying the erroneous debt.
For example, at our case study units, we found that the only notice several
soldiers received when they were erroneously assessed payroll debts was
an “Unpaid Debt Balance” buried in the remarks section of their Leave and
Earnings Statements. One such assessment showing a $39,489.28 debt is
shown in figure 8.




Page 54                                             GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Figure 8: Sample Leave and Earnings Statement with Large Debt Balance




Source: Individual Leave and Earnings Statement.




                                                   Page 55              GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Status of System Redesign   DOD has a major system enhancement effort under way in this area
Efforts                     described as the largest personnel and pay system in the world in both
                            scope and number of people served—the Defense Integrated Military
                            Human Resources System (DIMHRS). One of the major benefits expected
                            with DIMHRS is “service members receiving accurate and timely pay and
                            benefits.” Begun in 1998, DIMHRS is ultimately intended to replace more
                            than 80 legacy systems (including DJMS-RC) and integrate all pay,
                            personnel, training, and manpower functions across the department by
                            2007.

                            By the end of fiscal year 2003, DOD reporting shows that it will have
                            invested over 5 years and about $360 million in conceptualizing and
                            planning the system. In 2002, DOD estimated that integrated personnel and
                            pay functions of DIMHRS would be fully deployed by fiscal year 2007. It
                            also reported a development cost of about $427 million. However, our
                            review of the fiscal year 2004 DOD Information Technology budget request
                            shows that DOD is requesting $122 million and $95 million, respectively, for
                            fiscal years 2004 and 2005. In addition, the department reported that the
                            original DIMHRS project completion milestone date has slipped about 15
                            months.

                            Part of the requested funding for fiscal year 2004 was to acquire a payroll
                            module, Forward Compatible Payroll. According to program officials, this
                            module, in conjunction with a translation module and a Web services
                            component, is to replace DJMS-RC and DJMS-AC systems by March 2006,
                            with the first deployment to the Army Reserve and Army Guard in March
                            2005.

                            In assessing the risks associated with DIMHRS implementation as part of
                            its fiscal year 2004 budget package, DOD highlighted 20 such risks. For
                            example, DOD reported a 60 percent risk associated with “Service issues
                            with business process reengineering and data migration.” The
                            department’s ability to effectively mitigate such risks is of particular
                            concern given its poor track record in successfully designing and
                            implementing major systems in the past.15 Consequently, given the
                            schedule slippages that have already occurred combined with the many
                            risks associated with DIMHRS implementation, Army Guard soldiers will

                            15
                             See, for example, U.S. General Accounting Office, DOD Business Systems Modernization:
                            Continued Investment in Key Accounting Systems Needs to Be Justified, GAO-03-465
                            (Washington, D.C.: Mar. 28, 2003).




                            Page 56                                                     GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
                        likely be required to rely on existing pay systems for at least several more
                        years.



Army Guard Active       Our limited review of the pay experiences of the soldiers in the Colorado
                        Army Guard’s 220th Military Police Company, which was mobilized to active
Duty Pay Problems       duty in January 2003, sent to Kuwait in February 2003, and deployed to Iraq
Continue with Current   on military convoy security and highway patrol duties in April 2003,
                        indicated that some of the same types of pay problems that we found in our
Deployments to Iraq     six case study units continued to occur. Of the 152 soldiers mobilized in
                        this unit, we identified 54 soldiers who our review of available records
                        indicated were either overpaid, underpaid, or received entitled active duty
                        pays and allowances over 30 days late, or for whom erroneous pay-related
                        debts were created. We found that these pay problems could be attributed
                        to control breakdowns similar to those we found at our case study units,
                        including pay system input errors associated with amended orders, delays
                        and errors in coding pay and allowance transactions, and slow customer
                        service response. For example, available documentation and interviews
                        indicate that while several soldiers submitted required supporting
                        documentation to start certain pays and allowances at the time of their
                        initial mobilization in January 2003, over 20 soldiers were still not receiving
                        these pays in August 2003. Colorado USPFO military pay-processing
                        personnel told us they are reviewing pay records for all deployed soldiers
                        from this unit to ensure that they are receiving all entitled active duty pays
                        and allowances.



Conclusions             The extensive problems we identified at the case study units vividly
                        demonstrate that the controls currently relied on to pay mobilized Army
                        Guard personnel are not working and cannot provide reasonable assurance
                        that such pays are accurate or timely. The personal toll that these pay
                        problems have had on mobilized soldiers and their families cannot be
                        readily measured, but clearly may have a profound effect on reenlistment
                        and retention. It is not surprising that cumbersome and complex processes
                        and ineffective human capital strategies, combined with the use of an
                        outdated system that was not designed to handle the intricacies of active
                        duty pay and allowances, would result in significant pay problems. While it
                        is likely that DOD will be required to rely on existing systems for a number
                        of years, a complete and lasting solution to the pay problems we identified
                        will only be achieved through a complete reengineering, not only of the
                        automated systems, but also of the supporting processes and human



                        Page 57                                                GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
                      capital practices in this area. However, immediate actions can be taken in
                      these areas to improve the timeliness and accuracy of pay and allowance
                      payments to activated Army Guard soldiers. The need for such actions is
                      increasingly imperative in light of the current extended deployment of
                      Army Guard soldiers in their crucial role in Operation Iraqi Freedom and
                      anticipated additional mobilizations in support of this operation and the
                      global war on terrorism. Immediate steps to at least mitigate the most
                      serious of the problems we identified are needed to help ensure that the
                      Army Guard can continue to successfully fulfill its vital role in our national
                      defense.



Recommendations for   We recommend that the Secretary of Defense direct the Secretary of the
                      Army, in conjunction with the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller),
Executive Action      to take the following actions to address the issues we found with respect to
                      the existing processes, human capital, and automated systems relied on to
                      pay activated Army Guard personnel.



Process               • Establish a unified set of policies and procedures for all Army Guard,
                        Army, and DFAS personnel to follow for ensuring active duty pays for
                        Army Guard personnel mobilized to active duty.

                      • Establish performance measures for obtaining supporting
                        documentation and processing pay transactions (for example, no more
                        than 5 days would seem reasonable).

                      • Establish who is accountable for stopping active duty pays for soldiers
                        who return home earlier than their units.

                      • Clarify the policies and procedures for how to properly amend active
                        duty orders, including medical extensions.

                      • Require Army Guard commands and unit commanders to carry out
                        complete monthly pay and personnel records reconciliations and take
                        necessary actions to correct any pay and personnel record mismatches
                        found each month.

                      • Update policies and procedures to reflect current legal and DOD
                        administrative requirements with respect to active duty pays and




                      Page 58                                                GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
                   allowances and transaction processing requirements for mobilized
                   Army Guard soldiers.



Human Capital   • Consider expanding the scope of the existing memorandum of
                  understanding between DFAS and the Army concerning the provision of
                  resources to support surge processing at mobilization and
                  demobilization sites to include providing additional resources to
                  support surge processing for pay start and stop transaction
                  requirements at Army Guard home stations during initial soldier
                  readiness programs.

                • Determine whether issues concerning resource allocations for the
                  military pay operations identified at our case study units exist at all 54
                  USPFOs, and if so, take appropriate actions to address these issues.

                • Determine whether issues concerning relatively low-graded military pay
                  technicians identified at our case study units exist at all 54 USPFOs, and
                  if so, take appropriate actions to address these issues.

                • Modify existing training policies and procedures to require all USPFO
                  and active Army pay and finance personnel responsible for entering pay
                  transactions for mobilized Army Guard soldiers to receive appropriate
                  training upon assuming such duties.

                • Require unit commanders to receive training on the importance of
                  adhering to requirements to conduct annual pay support documentation
                  reviews and carry out monthly reconciliations.

                • Establish an ongoing mechanism to monitor the quality and completion
                  of training for both pay and finance personnel and unit commanders.

                • Identify and evaluate options for improving customer service provided
                  to mobilized Army Guard soldiers by providing improved procedures for
                  informing soldiers of their pay and allowance entitlements throughout
                  their active duty mobilizations.

                • Identify and evaluate options for improving customer service provided
                  to mobilized Army Guard soldiers to ensure a single, well-advertised
                  source for soldiers and their families to access for customer service for
                  any pay problems.




                Page 59                                               GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
                               • Review the pay problems we identified at our six case study units to
                                 identify and resolve any outstanding pay issues for the affected soldiers.



Systems

Interim Improvements to        • Evaluate the feasibility of using the personnel-to-pay interface as a
Current Automated Pay System     means to proactively alert pay personnel of actions needed to start
Structure                        entitled active duty pays and allowances.

                               • Evaluate the feasibility of automating some or all of the current manual
                                 monthly pays, including special duty assignment pay, foreign language
                                 proficiency pay, hardship duty pay, and HALO pay.

                               • Evaluate the feasibility of eliminating the use of the “other credits” for
                                 processing hardship duty (designated areas), HALO pay, and special
                                 duty assignment pay, and instead establish a separate component of pay
                                 for each type of pay.

                               • Evaluate the feasibility of using the JUSTIS warning screen to help
                                 eliminate inadvertent omissions of required monthly manual pay inputs.

                               • Evaluate the feasibility of redesigning Leave and Earnings Statements to
                                 provide soldiers with a clear explanation of all pay and allowances
                                 received so that they can readily determine if they received all and only
                                 entitled pays.

                               • Evaluate the feasibility of establishing an edit check and requiring
                                 approval before processing any debt assessments above a specified
                                 dollar amount.

                               • Evaluate the feasibility of establishing an edit check and requiring
                                 approval before processing any payments above a specified dollar
                                 amount.

Longer-Term System             • As part of the effort currently under way to reform DOD’s pay and
Improvements                     personnel systems—referred to as DIMHRS—incorporate a complete
                                 understanding of the Army Guard pay problems as documented in this
                                 report into the requirements development for this system.




                               Page 60                                              GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
                      • In developing DIMHRS, consider a complete reengineering of the
                        processes and controls and ensure that this reengineering effort deals
                        not only with the systems aspect of the problems we identified, but also
                        with the human capital and process aspects.



Agency Comments and   In its written comments, DOD concurred with our recommendations and
                      identified actions to address the identified deficiencies. Speciifically, DOD’s
our Evaluation        response outlined some actions already taken, others that are underway,
                      and further planned actions with respect to our recommendations. If
                      effectively implemented, these actions should substantially resolve the
                      deficiencies pointed out in our report. DOD’s comments are reprinted in
                      appendix VIII.


                      As agreed with your office, unless you publicly announce its contents
                      earlier, we plan no further distribution of this report until 30 days from its
                      date. At that time, we will send copies of the report to interested
                      congressional committees. We will also send copies of this report to the
                      Secretary of Defense, the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), the
                      Secretary of the Army, the Director of the Defense Finance and Accounting
                      Service, the Director of the Army National Guard, and the Chief of the
                      National Guard Bureau. We will make copies available to others upon
                      request. In addition, the report will be available at no charge on the GAO
                      Web site at http://www.gao.gov. If you or your staff have any questions
                      regarding this report, please contact me at (202) 512-9505 or
                      kutzg@gao.gov or Geoffrey Frank, Assistant Director, at (202) 512-9518 or
                      frankg@gao.gov.

                      Sincerely yours,




                      Gregory D. Kutz
                      Director, Financial Management and Assurance




                      Page 61                                                GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Appendix I

Colorado Army National Guard B Company,                                                                               Appendx
                                                                                                                            ies




5th Battalion, 19th Special Forces                                                                                     Append
                                                                                                                            x
                                                                                                                            Ii




              On December 5, 2001, the Colorado Army National Guard’s B Company, 5th
              Battalion, 19th Special Forces, was mobilized to active duty on orders for a
              2-year period—through December 4, 2003. The unit was mobilized at Fort
              Knox and subsequently deployed in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and
              surrounding areas to search for Taliban and al Qaeda terrorists as part of
              Operation Enduring Freedom. The unit returned to Fort Campbell for
              demobilization and was released from active duty on December 4, 2002—1
              year before the end of the unit’s original mobilization orders. A timeline of
              the unit’s actions associated to its mobilization under Operation Enduring
              Freedom is shown in figure 9.



              Figure 9: Timeline Showing Key Actions Associated with Colorado National Guard
              Special Forces Unit’s Mobilization

                   Soldiers in-process
                   at Pueblo, CO home station.
                   12/5/01
                      Travel to
                      Ft. Knox, KY.
                      12/15/01
                       Travel to                                                            Active duty tour
                       Ft. Campbell, KY.                                                     officially ends.
                       12/20/01     Travel to               Soldiers demobilize at                   12/4/02
                                    Uzbekistan/Afghanistan.      Ft. Campbell, KY.
                                    2/15/02                          7/02 through
                                                                             10/02
                                      Arrival in
                                      Uzbekistan/Afghanistan.
                                      2/22/02
                   Dec 01 Jan 02 Feb    Mar     Apr    May    Jun     Jul    Aug     Sept     Oct    Nov        Dec



                             12/20/01 through
                             2/15/02
                             Preparing for
                             overseas                               2/22/02 through
                             deployment.                            10/02
                                                                    Deployed in
                                                                    Uzbekistan/Afghanistan.
              Source: GAO



              As summarized in table 3, the majority of soldiers from Colorado’s B
              Company experienced some sort of pay problem during one or more of the
              three phases of their active duty mobilization. Overall, all 62 soldiers with
              the company had at least one pay problem associated with their
              mobilization. These pay problems included not receiving entitled pays and
              allowances at all; not receiving some entitled pays and allowances within
              30 days; and for some, overpayments of pays and allowances. Specifically,



              Page 62                                                                 GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Appendix I
Colorado Army National Guard B Company,
5th Battalion, 19th Special Forces




we found (1) 56 soldiers did not receive certain pay and allowance
entitlements at all, or within 30 days of their initial mobilization, (2) 61
soldiers either did not receive, or did not receive within 30 days, the hostile
fire pay or other “high-risk location” pays they were entitled to receive
based on their deployment in Uzbekistan and Afghanistan, and (3) 53
soldiers either improperly continued to receive hostile fire pay after leaving
high-risk locations overseas or continued to receive paychecks, as if they
were still on active duty status, for over 2 months beyond their release from
active duty.



Table 3: Summary of Identified Pay Problems by Phase

Phase                                      Number of soldiers with pay problems
Mobilization                                                            56 of 62
Deployed                                                                61 of 62
Demobilization                                                          53 of 62
Source: GAO analysis.


In total, we identified estimated overpayments of $494,000, underpayments
of $28,000, and late payments of $64,000, associated with the pay problems
we found. Of the estimated $494,000 in overpayments, we identified about
$88,000 that was subsequently collected from the soldiers of Colorado’s B
Company. In addition, in trying to correct overpayments associated with
Colorado B Company’s departure from high-risk locations and release from
active duty, the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) billed 34
of the unit’s soldiers an average of $48,000 each, for a largely erroneous
total debt of over $1.6 million.

Many soldiers with the company characterized the service they received
from the state United States Property and Fiscal Office (USPFO) and the
active Army finance offices while deployed in Afghanistan and surrounding
areas as “poor” or “openly hostile.” Some of the soldiers in the unit
expressed significant dissatisfaction with the time and effort they, or their
spouses were required to spend attempting to identify and correct their
pay.

These pay problems had a variety of adverse effects. The labor-intensive
efforts by the special forces soldiers to address pay problems, in some
cases, distracted them from important mission operations. In addition,
several soldiers told us that the numerous pay problems they encountered



Page 63                                                GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
                   Appendix I
                   Colorado Army National Guard B Company,
                   5th Battalion, 19th Special Forces




                   would play a major role in their decision whether to reenlist. According to
                   several soldiers from Colorado’s B Company, the combined effect of
                   (1) recurring pay problems, (2) having two-thirds of their monthly training
                   paychecks garnished to pay off often erroneous payroll-related debts, and
                   (3) receiving poor payroll customer service during their active duty tours
                   adversely affects morale and may have an adverse effect on a soldier’s
                   willingness to continue his or her service with the Army Guard. For
                   example, a unit official advised us that as of September 30, 2003, three
                   soldiers had left B Company primarily due to frustration over pay
                   problems. The unit official indicated that he expected additional soldiers
                   would depart as a result of the current debt problems.



Mobilization Pay   As summarized in table 4, we identified a number of pay problems
                   associated with eight different types of active duty pays and allowances
Problems           related to the unit’s mobilization to active duty. These problems resulted
                   from failure to enter data, data entry errors, or late entry of data needed by
                   Army Guard USPFO military pay personnel and by active Army military pay
                   personnel at the unit’s mobilization station to start active duty pays. We
                   also found that these pay problems were exacerbated by breakdowns in
                   customer service.



                   Table 4: Identified Mobilization Pay Problems

                                                          Number of
                                                   soldiers who did
                                                  not receive pay or
                                                   allowance within         Number of       Number of
                                                          30 days of      soldiers who    soldiers who
                   Type of pay or allowance              entitlement    were underpaid   were overpaid
                   Basic pay                                       5                2               0
                   Basic allowance for housing                     5                3               0
                   Basic allowance for
                   subsistence                                     6                4               0
                   Family separation allowance                     7                7               1
                   Jump pay                                        11               2               0
                   HALO pay                                        10               2               8
                   Foreign language proficiency
                   pay                                             4                0               0
                   Special duty assignment pay                     44              41               2
                   Source: GAO analysis.




                   Page 64                                                    GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Appendix I
Colorado Army National Guard B Company,
5th Battalion, 19th Special Forces




In total, 56 out of 62 soldiers did not receive certain pays and allowances at
all, or in a timely manner, after being activated on December 5, 2001. As
illustrated in table 4, 11 soldiers did not receive entitled Jump pay within 30
days of entitlement,1 10 did not receive HALO pay within 30 days of
entitlement,2 and 41 soldiers did not receive at least 1 month of their special
duty assignment pay.3

According to DFAS procedures, the unit’s Army Guard USPFO should have
initiated these pays. In addition, these problems could have been
minimized if they were identified and corrected by the Army mobilization
station finance office at Fort Knox during the soldier readiness processing
at that location. According to Army regulations, the active Army
mobilization station is required to conduct a soldier readiness program to
review every mobilizing soldier’s pay account for accuracy. In essence,
under Department of Defense (DOD) guidance, the active Army
mobilization stations are to act as a “safety net” to catch and correct any
errors in soldiers’ active duty pays and allowances before they are
deployed on their active duty missions.

The underpayments and late payments resulted in adverse financial
repercussions for a number of the unit’s members and their families. We
were told that many of the unit members’ spouses tried to contact the
soldiers while they were deployed to find out why they were not receiving
the anticipated funds. We were told that neither the spouses nor the
soldiers received clear guidance on whom to contact to address their pay
concerns. For example, some soldiers sought help from the active Army’s
finance offices at Fort Knox and Fort Campbell. However, upon contacting
officials at those locations, soldiers were told that the active Army could
not help them because they were Army Guard soldiers and should
therefore contact their home state Army Guard USPFO. According to
DFAS officials, the active Army finance offices have the capability to
service Army Guard soldiers. Fort Knox and Fort Campbell finance
personnel were either unaware of their capability or unwilling to take the
actions needed to address the unit’s active duty pay concerns.




1
 U.S. Department of Defense, Financial Management Regulation (FMR), vol. 7A, ch. 24.
2
 DOD FMR, vol. 7A, ch. 24.
3
 DOD FMR, vol. 7A, ch. 8.




Page 65                                                       GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
                 Appendix I
                 Colorado Army National Guard B Company,
                 5th Battalion, 19th Special Forces




                 Colorado’s B Company soldiers turned back to the USPFO for assistance.
                 Although the USPFO did process a number of transactions to start entitled
                 active duty pays and allowances for the unit’s soldiers, such pays were
                 started more than 30 days after the date they were entitled to receive such
                 pays. In one case, a soldier’s spouse had to obtain a $500 grant from the
                 Colorado National Guard in order to pay bills while her husband was on
                 active duty.



Deployment Pay   Colorado’s B Company was deployed to Uzbekistan and Afghanistan in
                 February 2002. As summarized in table 5, we identified pay problems
Problems         associated with the hostile fire pay, combat zone tax exclusion, and
                 hardship duty pay that unit soldiers were entitled to receive based on their
                 deployment to Afghanistan and surrounding areas.



                 Table 5: Identified Deployment Pay Problems

                                          Number of soldiers who
                                           did not receive pays or     Number of       Number of
                 Type of pay or              allowances within 30    soldiers who    soldiers who
                 allowance                     days of entitlement were underpaid   were overpaid
                 Hostile fire pay                              51              2               2
                 Combat zone tax
                 exclusion                                     56              7               0
                 Hardship duty pay                             59             33              14
                 Source: GAO analysis.


                 Specifically, after arriving in Afghanistan, some soldiers in Colorado’s B
                 Company received these pays sporadically, were not paid at all, were paid
                 but for inexplicable dollar amounts, or were overpaid their entitled active
                 duty pays and allowances while deployed. For example, 16 of the 62
                 soldiers in B Company received the wrong type of hardship duty pay,
                 formerly called Foreign Duty Pay, in addition to the correct hardship duty
                 location pay while they were deployed in Afghanistan.

                 We found that these pay problems could be attributed, in part, to the active
                 Army servicing finance office’s lack of knowledge about how to process
                 transactions through the Defense Joint Military Pay System-Reserve
                 Component system (DJMS-RC) to start location-based pays and allowances
                 for the unit’s soldiers. For example, we were told that because active Army
                 in-theater finance personnel were unfamiliar with the required procedures



                 Page 66                                                 GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
                      Appendix I
                      Colorado Army National Guard B Company,
                      5th Battalion, 19th Special Forces




                      to follow in starting hardship duty pays, they entered transactions that
                      resulted in soldiers receiving two different location-based types of hardship
                      duty pay for the same duty. Further, Army Guard soldiers told us the active
                      Army finance office could not effectively answer questions concerning
                      their pay entitlements or transaction processing documentation
                      requirements. After not receiving any pay support from the active Army
                      servicing finance location, the unit’s soldiers told us they contacted their
                      Army Guard USPFO in Colorado for assistance. However, Colorado
                      USPFO officials informed them that they did not have the capability to start
                      location-based pays and allowances for Army Guard soldiers.

                      A frequent complaint we received from Colorado’s B Company soldiers
                      concerned the circular nature of any attempts to get assistance on pay
                      issues while deployed overseas. B Company’s soldiers told us they spent
                      significant amounts of time and effort trying to correct the pay problems
                      while deployed on critical mission operations in Afghanistan and
                      surrounding areas—time and focus away from the mission at hand. For
                      example, as discussed in greater detail in our West Virginia case study
                      summary, a soldier from that unit took several days away from his unit to
                      get location-based pay started for both the West Virginia and Colorado
                      special forces units. We were also told that some members of the unit used
                      their satellite radios to attempt to resolve their pay problems while
                      deployed in Afghanistan. In addition, several of the unit’s soldiers told us
                      their ability to identify and correct pay problems while deployed was
                      impaired by limited access to telephones, faxes, e-mail, and their current
                      Leave and Earnings Statements.



Pay Problems          In the late summer to early fall of 2002, soldiers from Colorado’s B
                      Company began returning from Afghanistan and surrounding areas to Fort
Associated with       Campbell to begin their demobilization from active duty. However, the
Demobilization and    active Army’s finance office at Fort Campbell failed to properly stop
                      soldiers’ pay as of their demobilization dates, which for most of the unit’s
Release from Active   soldiers was December 4, 2002. As summarized in table 6, 39 of the unit’s
Duty                  62 soldiers continued to receive active duty pay and allowances, some
                      until February 14, 2003—2 and a half months after the date of their release
                      from active duty.




                      Page 67                                               GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Appendix I
Colorado Army National Guard B Company,
5th Battalion, 19th Special Forces




Table 6: Identified Demobilization Pay Problems

Type of pay or allowance continued in error         Number of soldiers overpaid
Basic pay                                                                   39
Hostile fire pay                                                            41
Combat zone tax exclusion                                                   39
Hardship duty pay                                                            1
Source: GAO analysis.


We found that both the active Army servicing finance location for the unit
while it was in Afghanistan and at Fort Campbell upon its return to the
United States did not take action to stop active duty pays and allowances.
According to DFAS procedures, the finance office at the servicing
demobilization station is to conduct a finance out-processing, which would
include identifying and stopping any active duty pays that soldiers were no
longer entitled to receive. According to DFAS-Indianapolis Reserve
Component mobilization procedures, the local servicing active Army
finance office also has primary responsibility for entering transactions to
stop hardship duty pay, hostile fire pay, and the combat zone tax exclusion
when soldiers leave an authorized hostile fire/combat zone. However, in
this case, that office did not take action to stop these types of pay and
allowances for many of the unit’s soldiers. For example, military pay
personnel at Fort Campbell failed to deactivate hostile fire pay for 41 out of
62 B Company soldiers. With regard to customer service, some soldiers in
the unit told us that upon their return from overseas deployments, they
were informed that they should have corrected these problems while in-
theater, despite the fact that these problems were not detected until the
demobilization phase.

Colorado’s B Company demobilization was complicated by the fact that the
unit did not demobilize through the same active Army location used to
mobilize the unit. DFAS procedures provide that Army Guard soldiers are
to demobilize and have their active duty pays stopped by the installation
from which they originally mobilized. However, the unit received orders to
demobilize at Fort Campbell rather than Fort Knox where they originally
mobilized. According to Fort Campbell personnel, Colorado’s B Company
out-processed through the required sections, including finance, during their
demobilization. Nonetheless, the finance office at that active Army
location failed to stop all active duty pays and allowances when the unit
was demobilized from active duty. Fort Campbell finance office personnel
we interviewed were not present during B Company’s demobilization and



Page 68                                                GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Appendix I
Colorado Army National Guard B Company,
5th Battalion, 19th Special Forces




had no knowledge of why pay was not stopped during the demobilization
process.

Failure to stop location-based and other active duty pays and allowances
for the unit’s soldiers resulted in overpayments. As a result of the Colorado
USPFO’s errors made in attempting to amend the unit’s orders to reflect an
earlier release date than the date reflected in the unit’s original mobilization
orders, large debts were created for many soldiers in the unit. Specifically,
largely erroneous soldier debts were created when personnel at the
Colorado USPFO inadvertently revoked the soldiers’ original mobilization
orders when attempting to amend the orders to reflect the unit’s actual
release date of December 4, 2002—1 year before the end of the unit’s
original orders. As a result, 34 soldiers received notice on their Leave and
Earnings Statements that rather than a debt for the 2 and a half months of
active duty pay and allowances they received after their entitlement had
ended, they owed debts for the 11 months of their active duty tour—an
average of $48,000 per soldier, for a total debt of $1.6 million.

Several of the soldiers in the company noticed the erroneous debt and
called their unit commander. Some of the soldiers wanted to settle the debt
by writing a check to DFAS. However, they were told not to because the
exact amount of each soldier’s debt could not be readily determined and
tracking such a payment against an as-yet undetermined amount of debt
could confuse matters. Meanwhile, some soldiers now returned from
active duty, resumed participation in monthly training, and began having
two-thirds of their drill pay withheld and applied to offset their largely
erroneous debt balances. We were told that it would take approximately 4
to 5 years for the soldiers to pay off these debts using this approach.

On April 17, 2003, and in a subsequent June 20, 2003, letter, we brought this
matter to the attention of DFAS and the DOD Comptroller, respectively.
Table 7 provides an overview of the actions leading to the creation of
largely erroneous payroll-related debts for many of the unit’s soldiers and
DOD’s actions to address these largely erroneous debts.




Page 69                                                 GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Appendix I
Colorado Army National Guard B Company,
5th Battalion, 19th Special Forces




Table 7: Timetable of Colorado B Company’s Unresolved Pay-Related Debts

Date                    Action
December 5, 2001        B Company begins active duty tour in support of Operation
                        Enduring Freedom.
July to October 2002    Soldiers demobilize through Fort Campbell. Active duty pay
                        and other location-based pays are not stopped by finance
                        office.
December 4, 2002        Active duty tour officially ends (1 year before the end of the
                        unit’s original 2-year orders). Pay is stopped for 28 of 62
                        soldiers; pay erroneously continues for 34 others.
February 14, 2003       Thirty-four soldiers’ pay was not stopped until more than 70
                        days after tour officially ended. In attempting to amend orders
                        to stop active duty pay and allowances and correct the length of
                        the unit’s original 2-year orders, the state USPFO pay chief
                        revokes the original orders. This action triggers a systemic
                        reversal of pay already earned from March 2002 through
                        February 15, 2003, and establishes debts for these soldiers
                        from $34,000 to $68,000. The soldiers were first notified of
                        these large debts by notations in the “Remarks” section of their
                        Leave and Earnings Statements.
April 17, 2003          GAO alerts DFAS Indianapolis of B Company’s continuing pay
                        problem.
June 20, 2003           GAO sends the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) a
                        letter requesting assistance on correcting pay issues and
                        making soldiers whole, including any tax consequences of
                        errors. DFAS-Indianapolis suspends 24 soldiers’ pay-related
                        debts from collection activity.
July 19, 2003           DFAS-Indianapolis sends representative to B Company
                        monthly unit training to discuss debt computations. Debt
                        computations did not reflect underpayments due soldiers for
                        location-based pays.
July 31, 2003           DFAS Indianapolis agrees to again visit B Company after
                        completion of audit of soldiers’ entire active duty tour in order to
                        make soldiers financially whole.
Source: GAO analysis.


Despite considerable time and effort of DFAS and others across the Army
Guard and Army, as of the end of our fieldwork in September 2003,
Colorado’s B Company debt problems had not been resolved. In fact, for
one sergeant, his pay problems were further complicated by these efforts.
For example, in attempting to reduce the soldier’s recorded $30,454 debt by
$20,111, DFAS instead sent the soldier a payment of $20,111. As of
September 2003, about 9 months after his demobilization, the sergeant’s
reported unpaid debt balance was $26,806, but the actual amount of his
debt remained unresolved.



Page 70                                                         GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Appendix II

Virginia Army National Guard B Company, 3rd
Battalion, 20th Special Forces                                                                                          Appendx
                                                                                                                              Ii




              On January 2, 2002, the Virginia Army National Guard’s B Company, 3rd
              Battalion, 20th Special Forces, was called to active duty in support of
              Operation Enduring Freedom for a 1-year tour. The unit in-processed at
              Fort Pickett, Virginia, and departed for Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The
              unit mobilized at Fort Bragg and for the next several months performed
              various duties on base until May 2002. In early May 2002, Virginia’s B
              Company deployed to Afghanistan to perform search and destroy missions
              against al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists. Although several of B Company’s
              soldiers returned from Afghanistan during August and September 2002,
              most of the unit’s members returned to Fort Bragg for demobilization
              during October 2002 and were released from active duty on January 2, 2003.
              A timeline of the unit’s actions associated with its mobilization under
              Operation Enduring Freedom is shown in figure 10.



              Figure 10: Timeline Showing Key Actions Associated with Virginia Army National
              Guard Special Forces Unit’s Mobilization

                                                       Soldiers leave Fort
                    Soldiers in-process                Bragg for
                    at Fort Pickett, VA.               In-Theater location.
                    12/15/01                           5/3/02                                 Demobilization
                                                                                              through Ft. Bragg.
                                                        Arrival in                            9/02 through
                                                        Afghanistan.                          11/02
                                                        5/10/02

                Dec 01 Jan 02 Feb          Mar   Apr    May    Jun     Jul    Aug    Sept    Oct   Nov     Dec Jan 03

                                                                                                          1/02/03
                                                                              5/10/02 through Active duty tour
                                                        5/3/02 through        10/02               officially ends.
                                                        5/10/02               Deployed in and
                                                        En route              around Afghanistan.
                                                        to Afghanistan.
                                      1/02 through 4/02
                                      Training at Fort
                                      Bragg, NC.
              Source: GAO.



              As summarized in table 8, the majority of soldiers from Virginia’s B
              Company experienced some sort of pay problem during one or more of the
              three phases of their active duty mobilization. Overall, 64 of the 65 soldiers
              with the company experienced at least one pay problem associated with
              their mobilization. These pay problems included not receiving entitled
              pays and allowances at all; not receiving some entitled pays and allowances
              within 30 days; and for some, overpayments of pays and allowances.
              Specifically, we found (1) 31 soldiers did not receive certain pay and



              Page 71                                                                       GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Appendix II
Virginia Army National Guard B Company, 3rd
Battalion, 20th Special Forces




allowance entitlements at all, or within 30 days of their initial mobilization
entitlement, or were overpaid, (2) 63 soldiers either did not receive, or did
not receive within 30 days, the hardship duty pay or other high-risk location
pays they were entitled to receive based on their deployment to
Afghanistan, and (3) 60 soldiers improperly continued to receive hardship
duty pay or hostile fire pay after leaving high-risk locations overseas.



Table 8: Summary of Identified Pay Problems by Phase

Process stage                                 Number of soldiers with pay problems
Mobilization                                                              31 of 65
Deployed                                                                  63 of 65
Demobilization                                                            60 of 65
Source: GAO analysis.


In total, we identified estimated overpayments of $25,000, underpayments
of $12,000, and late payments of $28,000 associated with the pay problems
we found. Of the estimated $25,000 in overpayments, we identified about
$2,000 that was subsequently collected from the soldiers.

Our audit showed that the pay problems experienced by Virginia’s B
Company were the result of a number of factors, including late submission
of required pay support documents, incorrect pay inputs by Army
personnel, and an active Army in-theater finance office’s lack of knowledge
about the unit’s presence in Afghanistan.

These pay problems had a number of adverse effects. Several B Company
soldiers we interviewed expressed dissatisfaction with the time and effort
they, or their spouses, were required to spend attempting to identify and
correct problems with their pay. Another complaint concerned the circular
nature of any attempts to get assistance. For example, we were told the
USPFO referred soldiers to the active Army finance office and that office
referred them back to the USPFO. Virginia USPFO officials informed us
that the circular nature of giving assistance to soldiers was sometimes
unavoidable. For example, they said that once soldiers left their home unit
and the Fort Bragg and in-theater finance offices assumed pay
responsibilities, the USPFO informed soldiers and their spouses to contact
these active Army finance offices to discuss active duty payment problems.
USPFO officials acknowledged that in instances in which the active Army




Page 72                                                   GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
                   Appendix II
                   Virginia Army National Guard B Company, 3rd
                   Battalion, 20th Special Forces




                   finance office did not resolve soldiers’ pay problems, USPFO staff would
                   try to fix the problems.

                   According to several soldiers, the combined effect of recurring pay
                   problems and receiving poor payroll customer service during their active
                   duty tours adversely affects morale and may have a negative effect on the
                   soldiers’ willingness to continue serving with the Army National Guard.
                   Several soldiers told us that the numerous pay problems they encountered
                   would play a major role in their decisions whether to reenlist.



Mobilization Pay   As summarized in table 9, we identified a number of pay problems
                   associated with the unit’s mobilization to active duty. These problems
Problems           resulted from failures by unit soldiers to provide necessary documentation
                   to initiate certain pays, and data entry errors or late entry of data needed to
                   start active duty pays by Army Guard USPFO military pay personnel and/or
                   by active Army military pay personnel at the unit’s mobilization station.



                   Table 9: Identified Mobilization Pay Problems

                                                    Number of soldiers
                                                   who did not receive      Number of       Number of
                                                  pay within 30 days of   soldiers who    soldiers who
                   Type of pay                              entitlement were underpaid   were overpaid
                   Jump pay                                         3               8               0
                   Foreign language
                   proficiency pay                                  0              10               0
                   HALO pay                                         0               0              10
                   Basic pay                                       13               0               0
                   Source: GAO analysis.


                   We identified 31 out of 65 soldiers from Virginia’s B Company who did not
                   receive certain types of pay at all, were not paid in a timely manner, or were
                   overpaid after being activated on January 2, 2002. The types of pay for
                   which most problems occurred during mobilization were parachute jump
                   pay, foreign language proficiency pay, HALO pay, and basic pay. As shown
                   in table 9, we identified 8 soldiers who were underpaid for jump pay, 10
                   soldiers who were underpaid for foreign language pay, and 10 soldiers who
                   were overpaid for HALO pay.




                   Page 73                                                    GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Appendix II
Virginia Army National Guard B Company, 3rd
Battalion, 20th Special Forces




Prior to being mobilized, the soldiers in Virginia’s B Company attended a
soldier readiness program at the USPFO at Fort Pickett, Virginia. Part of
this program was intended to ensure that soldiers had proper
administrative paperwork and financial documents necessary to start all
entitled active duty pays at mobilization. Virginia USPFO personnel who
conducted the finance portion of B Company’s soldier readiness program
verified soldiers’ supporting financial documentation and updated, if
necessary, each soldier’s Master Military Pay Accounts (MMPA).

This verification process disclosed that many soldiers had unresolved pay
errors that had occurred as far back as 1996. According to U.S. Army
Forces Command Regulation 500-3-3, these problems should have been
corrected during required annual soldier readiness reviews conducted at
the unit’s home station. As part of our analysis of the unit’s pay, we
determined that some of these long-standing pay problems had been
resolved. For example, over $22,500 was processed for 52 B Company
soldiers’ and included in soldiers’ pay distributions from October 2001 to
March 2003. USPFO officials told us that they have been working with a
sergeant from Virginia’s B Company who performed a detailed analysis of
soldiers’ long-standing pay problems in addition to pay problems that
occurred subsequent to January 2002 for the majority of their mobilization.1
This sergeant performed these pay-related tasks in addition to his mission-
related duties as a professional engineer.

After leaving the unit’s home station, B Company traveled to Fort Bragg, its
active Army mobilization station. Fort Bragg personnel conducted a
second soldier readiness program that was intended to identify and fix any
pay issues not resolved at the home station. According to USPFO officials
and active Army finance office officials at Fort Bragg, problems with jump
pay and foreign language pay occurred at mobilization because the
necessary documentation to support jump pay eligibility or language
proficiency for a number of soldiers was not always provided to the USPFO
or the mobilization station. For example, of the 8 soldiers in the unit who
were underpaid for jump pay, 4 did not receive jump pay until mid-
February 2002 and 1 did not begin to receive jump pay until mid-March. In
another instance, we identified 10 soldiers who were eligible to receive
foreign language proficiency pay in January 2002, but did not receive
payments for 1 or more months after they became eligible.



1
    Our audit findings were consistent with those of the sergeant.




Page 74                                                              GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
                 Appendix II
                 Virginia Army National Guard B Company, 3rd
                 Battalion, 20th Special Forces




                 Further, nine soldiers in the unit were eligible for HALO pay in January
                 2002. However, again, in part because of the lack of proper documentation
                 from the unit’s soldiers, but also because of pay input errors at the active
                 Army finance unit at Fort Bragg, pay problems occurred for seven of the
                 nine soldiers during January 2002, the initial month of their mobilization.
                 The seven soldiers eligible for HALO pay received both jump pay as well as
                 HALO pay during January 2002, which resulted in overpayments to these
                 soldiers. These overpayments occurred because Fort Bragg, unaware that
                 the USPFO had previously processed HALO pay for these soldiers,
                 processed HALO pay a second time, based on supporting documentation
                 received from the unit. Also, we found that two soldiers, who were not
                 eligible to receive HALO pay, received HALO pay for 3 months and another
                 soldier received HALO pay starting in January but did not become eligible
                 for this pay until mid-April 2002. Documentation was not available to
                 explain these errors.



Deployment Pay   In May 2002, Virginia’s B Company left Fort Bragg and traveled to
                 Afghanistan to assist in missions against al Qaeda and Taliban forces.
Problems         While in Afghanistan, the soldiers encountered additional pay problems
                 related to hardship duty pay, special duty assignment pay, and, to a lesser
                 extent, hostile fire pay and basic pay. Also, the soldiers experienced
                 problems in receiving the full amounts of their entitled HALO pay. Table 10
                 summarizes the pay problems we identified for the unit while it was
                 deployed.



                 Table 10: Identified Deployment Pay Problems

                                               Number of soldiers
                                               who did not receive
                                               pays or allowances        Number of       Number of
                 Type of pay or                  within 30 days of     soldiers who    soldiers who
                 allowance                             entitlement   were underpaid   were overpaid
                 Hardship duty pay                             63                0               0
                 Special duty
                 assignment pay                                 0               10              24
                 HALO pay                                       0               11               0
                 Hostile Fire pay                               0                2               0
                 Basic pay                                      3                0               0
                 Source: GAO analysis.




                 Page 75                                                   GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Appendix II
Virginia Army National Guard B Company, 3rd
Battalion, 20th Special Forces




Once the soldiers arrive in-theater, an active Army finance office assigned
to the unit is responsible for initiating assignment and location-based pays
for the unit’s soldiers in DJMS-RC. However, we found that the active Army
in-theater finance offices did not always know which units they were
responsible for servicing or their location. The in- theater finance office for
Virginia’s B Company, located in Kuwait, did not start these pays as
required. We were told that this occurred because finance personnel in
Kuwait did not know that B Company had arrived in Afghanistan. Virginia’s
B Company soldiers, who were not regularly receiving their leave and
earnings statements while in Afghanistan, told us they became concerned
that they were not receiving pays they were entitled to while deployed
based on conversations with their spouses.

After attempts to initiate location-based pays at the battalion finance unit in
Afghanistan were unsuccessful because finance personnel at that location
were not familiar with DJMS-RC’s transaction processing requirements for
starting these types of pay, two soldiers were ordered to travel to Camp
Snoopy, Qatar, where another Army finance office was located. Attempts
to start assignment and location-based pays for the unit’s soldiers at Camp
Snoopy were also unsuccessful. One of the soldiers told us that they flew
to Kuwait because they were advised that the finance unit at that active
Army finance office was more knowledgeable about how to enter the
necessary transactions into DJMS-RC to pay the unit’s soldiers. The soldier
told us he took an annotated battle roster listing the names of all Virginia’s
B Company soldiers deployed in and around Afghanistan at that time and
the dates they arrived in country with him as support for starting the unit’s
in theater-based pays.2 Finally, at Kuwait the appropriate in-theater pays
were activated and the two soldiers returned to Afghanistan. As shown in
figure 11, the entire trip required interim stops at eight locations because of
limited air transportation and took about a week.




2
 A sergeant who was tracking pay-related issues in addition to his mission-related duties as
an engineer prepared the roster. He could not make the trip to initiate the location-based
pays because he received another mission-related assignment that superseded his
administrative tasks.




Page 76                                                          GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
                                                               Appendix II
                                                               Virginia Army National Guard B Company, 3rd
                                                               Battalion, 20th Special Forces




Figure 11: Itinerary of Two B Company Soldiers’ Efforts to Start Location-Based Pays for the Unit

                  Russia                                                                       Kazakhstan                    Sgt. and SFC fly from Bagram AFB,
        Georgia                                                                 Uzbekistan
                                                                                                                         1   Afghanistan, to Dushanbe, Tajikistan.


                                                                                                                             Sgt. and SFC fly from Dushanbe to Camp
               Armenia Azerbaijan
                                                                                               Dushanbe     Tajikistan   2   Snoopy, Qatar, and are informed of inability to
                                                                                                                             make pay changes from Camp Snoopy.
                                                               Turkmenistan
                                                                                                                             Sgt. and SFC spend the weekend in Qatar due
                                     Caspian
                                      Sea                                                                       1            to limited flight availablilty.

                                                                                                                             Sgt. and SFC fly from Camp Snoopy to
                                                                                               Bagram AFB                3   Jacobabad, Pakistan.


                                                                                                                             Sgt. and SFC fly from Jacobabad, Pakistan
                                                                   2             Afghanistan
                                                                                                    8                    4   to Kuwait International Airport.


       Iraq                                                                                                                  Sgt. and SFC travel 45 minutes to Camp
                                             Iran                                   Kandahar AFB                         5   Doha, Kuwait, and uses Camp Doha
                                                                                                                             finance office to input name, SSN, rank,
                                                                                                                             arrival date, and other pertinent information
                                                                   4                                                         for each battalion member. Sgt. and SFC
          Kuwait Intl Airport/                                                                                 Shabaz        return to Kuwait International Airport.
          Camp Doha
                           5                                                                                   AFB

                     Kuwait                                                3                       Pakistan
                                                                                                                         6
                                                                                                                             Sgt. and SFC fly from Kuwait
                                                                                                                             International Airport to Seeb AFB, Oman.
                                                    6
                                                                                                                             Sgt. and SFC fly from Seeb

                                 Camp
                                                                                         7                               7   AFB to Kandahar AFB, Afghanistan.
                                                    Persian
                                 Snoopy              Gulf                Gulf of Oman
                                          Qatar
                                                                                                                             Sgt. and SFC fly from Kandahar AFB,
                                                                                                                         8   returning to Bagram AFB, Afghanistan.
                                                    U. A. E.
          Saudi Arabia                                                     Seeb AFB
                                                                 Oman
                                                                                         Arabian Sea




                                                                                             Indian Ocean

                           Yemen




Source: GAO.



                                                               Despite this costly, time-consuming, and risky procedure to start location-
                                                               based pays for the unit, 63 of Virginia’s B Company soldiers, who became




                                                               Page 77                                                                      GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Appendix II
Virginia Army National Guard B Company, 3rd
Battalion, 20th Special Forces




eligible for hardship duty pay in May 2002, not receive their location-based
pay entitlements until July 2002.

Problems with special duty assignment pay also occurred during the unit’s
deployment. We found that both underpayments and overpayments of this
type of pay were made as a result of confusion about who was responsible
for making the manual monthly transactions necessary for entitled soldiers
in the unit to receive these pays.. For example, 10 soldiers in B Company
did not receive at least 1 month of entitled special duty assignment pay.
Conversely, overpayments of this type of pay were made when B Company
left Afghanistan and returned to Fort Bragg to demobilize in October 2002,
and both the active Army finance office at Fort Bragg and the Virginia
USPFO entered special duty assignment pay transactions for the unit’s
eligible soldiers. Fort Bragg processed October and November 2002
special duty assignment duty payments for 24 of the unit’s soldiers in
December 2002. Virginia’s USPFO, unaware that Fort Bragg had made
these payments in December 2002, also paid all 24 eligible soldiers special
duty assignment pay for October and November 2002 several months later.
USPFO officials explained that their military pay office processed the
payments because B Company submitted the necessary documentation
certifying that the unit’s soldiers were entitled to receive back pay for
missed special assignment duty pays. The officials told us that special duty
assignment pay was processed because, having received this certification
from the unit, they assumed that payments had not yet been made.

Virginia’s B Company soldiers also experienced problems with HALO pay
during deployment. We identified 11 B Company soldiers eligible for HALO
pay who did not receive 1 or more months of this pay as of March 31, 2003.
We determined that these problems occurred because such pays require
manual monthly input, and the pay technicians inadvertently did not make
the required entries each month. In addition, 2 of the unit’s soldiers did not
receive all hostile fire payments to which they were entitled. One soldier
did not receive the first month of entitled hostile fire pay for May 2002, and
the other soldier received hostile fire pay for May 2002 but not for the
remaining months of his deployment.




Page 78                                                GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
                      Appendix II
                      Virginia Army National Guard B Company, 3rd
                      Battalion, 20th Special Forces




Pay Problems          Although some soldiers in B Company left Afghanistan during August and
                      September 2002, most of the unit returned to Fort Bragg in October 2002 to
Associated with       begin the demobilization process. As summarized in table 11, 57 soldiers
Demobilization and    continued to receive pays to which they were no longer entitled because
                      they left Afghanistan, including either hostile fire pay, hardship duty pay, or
Release from Active   both.
Duty

                      Table 11: Identified Demobilization Pay Problems

                      Type of pay or allowance          Number of soldiers who Number of soldiers having
                      continued in error                        were overpaid an overpayment collected
                      Hostile fire pay                                     55                         0
                      Hardship duty pay                                    57                        23
                      Source: GAO analysis.


                      According to DOD mobilization procedures, the finance office at the
                      servicing demobilization station is to conduct a finance out-processing.
                      The finance office is responsible for inputting transactions to stop certain
                      location-based pays, such as hardship duty pay and hostile fire pay. In
                      addition, according to DOD’s Financial Management Regulation (FMR),
                      Volume 7A, chapters 10 and 17, location-based pays must be terminated
                      when the soldier leaves the hostile fire/combat zone.

                      Overpayments to B Company soldiers occurred during demobilization
                      because the in-theater finance office continued to make hostile fire and
                      hardship duty pays after soldiers left Afghanistan in October 2002, and the
                      Fort Bragg active Army finance office did not enter transactions into DJMS-
                      RC to stop these payments as required. We found that 55 of 64 soldiers
                      eligible for hostile fire pay were overpaid for at least 1 month beyond their
                      departure from Afghanistan. Also, we found that 57 of 64 soldiers eligible
                      for hardship duty pay were overpaid at least part of 1 month. A Fort Bragg
                      official explained that the Army finance office personnel at Fort Bragg
                      were not aware that these payments were still being made after the soldiers
                      had returned to the United States, but, subsequently determined that
                      hostile fire and hardship duty overpayments were occurring and took
                      action to terminate the payments.

                      Also, four members of Virginia’s B Company, who were injured while
                      deployed in Afghanistan, returned to Fort Bragg and requested medical
                      extensions to their active duty tours so they could continue to receive



                      Page 79                                                   GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Appendix II
Virginia Army National Guard B Company, 3rd
Battalion, 20th Special Forces




active duty pay and medical benefits until they recovered. One of the
soldiers told us, “People did not know who was responsible for what. No
one knew who to contact or what paperwork was needed ….” To support
themselves and their families, these four soldiers needed the active duty
military pay they were entitled to receive while obtaining medical
treatment and recovering from their injuries. However, after risking their
lives for their country, all four have had gaps in receiving active duty pay
while they remained under a physician’s care after their demobilization
date and have experienced financial difficulties. In addition, when active
duty pay was stopped, the soldiers’ medical benefits were discontinued. As
discussed earlier in this report, these pay-related problems for wounded
soldiers caused significant hardship for them and their families.




Page 80                                              GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Appendix III

C Company, 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces
Group, West Virginia                                                                                                Appendx
                                                                                                                          iI




               On December 5, 2001, West Virginia’s 19th Special Forces Group, 2nd
               Battalion, C Company, was called to active duty in support of Operation
               Enduring Freedom for a 1-year tour. The unit was mobilized at Fort Knox
               and subsequently deployed in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and surrounding
               areas to search for possible Taliban and al Qaeda terrorists. The unit
               returned to Fort Campbell for demobilization and was released from active
               duty on December 4, 2002. A timeline of the unit’s actions associated with
               its mobilization under Operation Enduring Freedom is summarized in
               figure 12.



               Figure 12: Timeline Showing Key Actions Associated with West Virginia National
               Guard Special Forces Unit’s Mobilization

                       Soldiers in-process
                       at Fort Knox, KY.
                       12/10/01
                        Travel to
                        Ft. Campbell, KY.
                        12/14/01                                                          Active duty tour
                           Travel to                                                       officially ends.
                           Afghanistan.                                                            12/4/02
                           12/25/01                                            Arrival at
                           Arrival in                                   Ft. Campbell, KY.
                           Afghanistan.                                         10/3/02
                           12/27/01

                     Dec 01 Jan 02 Feb       Mar   Apr   May   Jun   Jul     Aug   Sept     Oct    Nov        Dec



                         12/14/01 through                 12/27/01 through                  10/3/02 through
                         12/25/01                         10/01/02                          10/18/02
                         Preparing for                    Deployed in                       Demobilization at
                         overseas deployment.             Afghanistan.                      Ft. Campbell, KY.




                Source: GAO




               As summarized in table 12, the majority of soldiers from C Company
               experienced some sort of pay problem during one or more of the three
               phases of their active duty mobilization. Overall, 86 of the 94 soldiers with
               the company experienced at least one pay problem associated with its
               mobilization. Specifically, we identified (1) 36 soldiers who were either
               overpaid, did not receive certain pay and allowance entitlements at all, or
               did not receive pay within 30 days of their initial mobilization entitlement,
               (2) 84 soldiers who were either overpaid, did not receive, or did not receive
               within 30 days, the hostile fire pay or other high-risk location pays they



               Page 81                                                              GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
                   Appendix III
                   C Company, 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces
                   Group, West Virginia




                   were entitled to receive based on their deployment in Uzbekistan and
                   Afghanistan, and (3) 66 soldiers who did not receive, or did not receive
                   within 30 days, their special duty assignment pay during their
                   demobilization.



                   Table 12: Summary of Identified Pay Problems by Phase

                   Process stage                                   Number of soldiers with pay problems
                   Mobilization                                                                36 of 94
                   Deployed                                                                    84 of 94
                   Demobilization                                                              66 of 94
                   Source: GAO analysis.


                   In total, we identified estimated overpayments of $31,000, underpayments
                   of $9,000, and late payments of $61,000 associated with the identified pay
                   problems. We did not identify any collections related to overpayments for
                   this unit.



Mobilization Pay   As summarized in table 13, several soldiers from C Company did not
                   receive the correct pay or allowance when called to active duty. We found
Problems           that some soldiers received payments over 5 months late and other soldiers
                   had been overpaid. Seven soldiers did not receive their $225 per month
                   HALO pay until over a month after mobilization, and 18 other soldiers
                   received combat diver pay and HALO pay to which they were not entitled.



                   Table 13: Identified Mobilization Pay Problems

                                               Number of soldiers who
                                                did not receive pay or       Number of       Number of
                   Type of pay or                 allowance within 30      soldiers who    soldiers who
                   allowance                       days of entitlement   were underpaid   were overpaid
                   HALO pay                                          7                0             10
                   Combat diver pay                                  0                0              8
                   Jump pay                                          0                7              0
                   Special duty assignment
                   pay                                               4                0              0
                   Foreign language
                   proficiency pay                                   3                3              0




                   Page 82                                                     GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Appendix III
C Company, 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces
Group, West Virginia




(Continued From Previous Page)
                            Number of soldiers who
                             did not receive pay or       Number of       Number of
Type of pay or                 allowance within 30      soldiers who    soldiers who
allowance                       days of entitlement   were underpaid   were overpaid
Family separation
allowance                                        2                 0              0
All entitled pays and
allowances                                       0                 0              1
Source: GAO analysis.


Prior to being mobilized, the soldiers in C Company attended a soldier
readiness program at their unit armory. This program was intended to
ensure that all soldiers had proper administrative paperwork and financial
documents and were physically fit for the ensuing mobilization. West
Virginia USPFO personnel who conducted the finance portion of C
Company’s soldier readiness program were required to verify soldiers’
supporting financial documentation, and update, if necessary, soldiers’ pay
records in DJMS-RC. Soldiers not submitting the correct paperwork at the
time of the Soldier Readiness Program caused some payments to be late.
For example, according to the USPFO, one soldier did not submit the
proper paperwork for his family separation allowance. The delay in
submission caused his first payment to be over 3 months late.

Another problem with the unit’s mobilization related to 17 soldiers who had
significant problems with their HALO pay. According to USPFO personnel,
the unit commander for C Company did not provide the USPFO a list of the
unit members who were eligible to receive HALO pay. Therefore, the
USPFO paid all the unit members who were parachute qualified the regular
parachute pay. Once the USPFO received a list of the unit’s 17 HALO-
qualified soldiers, pay personnel attempted to recoup the regular jump pay
and pay the HALO team the increased HALO pay amount. USPFO
personnel told us they did not know how to initiate a payment for the
difference between regular jump and HALO pay. Consequently, they
entered transactions to recoup the entire amount of jump pay and then
initiated a separate transaction to pay the correct amount of HALO pay.

According to the DOD FMR, volume 7A, chapter 24, soldiers who are
eligible to receive regular parachute pay and HALO pay are paid the higher
of the two amounts, but not both. In this case, the 17 members of C
Company’s HALO team should have received a $225 per month payment
from the beginning of their mobilization. Pay records indicate that this
correction initiated by the USPFO occurred about 2 months after the unit



Page 83                                                     GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
                 Appendix III
                 C Company, 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces
                 Group, West Virginia




                 mobilized. When the USPFO personnel attempted to collect the soldiers’
                 regular parachute pay, they inadvertently collected a large amount of the
                 soldiers’ basic active duty pay for the first month of their mobilization.
                 Personnel at the USPFO stated that the error caused debts on soldiers’
                 accounts but was corrected immediately after a pay supervisor at the
                 USPFO detected the error in February. Even after the soldiers’ pay was
                 corrected, USPFO personnel did not stop the regular parachute pay for the
                 HALO team members, but instead let it continue, then collected the $150
                 per month parachute pay manually, and then paid the correct $225 per
                 month HALO pay. This error-prone, labor- intensive manual collection and
                 subsequent payment method used by the USPFO personnel to pay C
                 Company’s HALO team the higher HALO rate of pay was not consistently
                 applied each month and resulted in 7 soldiers being overpaid when their
                 regular parachute pay was not collected.

                 In addition to the 7 soldiers who were actually on the HALO team, 10 other
                 soldiers were on the initial list given to the USPFO but were actually not on
                 the HALO team. The unit commander for C Company provided a more
                 accurate list to the USPFO some time after the first list, and only members
                 on the more accurate list continued to receive HALO pay. However,
                 USPFO pay personnel did not attempt to collect the HALO pay from unit
                 members on the first list who had incorrectly received HALO pay. As a
                 result of this complex collection and payment process, the unit’s soldiers
                 were confused about whether they were receiving all their entitled active
                 duty pays while mobilized.

                 After leaving the unit’s home station, C Company traveled to Fort Knox, its
                 active Army mobilization station. As required by Army guidance, Fort
                 Knox personnel conducted a second soldier readiness program to identify
                 and fix unresolved pay issues associated with the unit’s mobilization.
                 Based on our findings that the pay problems continued after this review, it
                 does not appear that the active Army finance office at Fort Knox carried
                 out its responsibility to review and validate all of C Company soldiers’
                 active duty pays and allowance support records. Problems with HALO and
                 family separation pay were not resolved for several months after the
                 mobilization. As a result, the soldiers’ pay problems persisted into their
                 deployment overseas.



Deployment Pay   As summarized in table 14, we identified a number of pay problems
                 associated with three different types of active duty pays related to the unit’s
Problems         deployment.



                 Page 84                                                GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Appendix III
C Company, 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces
Group, West Virginia




Table 14: Identified Deployment Pay Problems

                               Number of soldiers
                               who did not receive
                                 pay or allowance        Number of       Number of
                                 within 30 days of     soldiers who    soldiers who
Type of pay or allowance               entitlement   were underpaid   were overpaid
Hostile fire pay                                45               18              40
Hardship duty pay
(designated areas)                              75                5              12
Hardship duty pay (certain
places)                                         0                 0              29
Source: GAO analysis.


After going through initial in-processing at Fort Knox, C Company soldiers
traveled to Fort Campbell where they prepared to deploy overseas.
Starting in December 2001, members of C Company traveled to Uzbekistan
and Afghanistan to perform special forces missions. During their
deployment overseas, C Company soldiers consistently experienced
problems related to specific location-based payments such as hostile fire
pay and hardship duty pay. In 78 cases, the payments were not started
within 30 days from when the soldiers were entitled to the payments. In 22
other cases, we determined that soldiers had not received all location-
based pays as of March 31, 2003. In 60 cases, the soldiers were overpaid or
payments were not stopped when they left the combat zones. Due to the
lack of supporting documents at the state, unit, and battalion-levels, dates
for when each soldier entered and left combat zones were not always
available. Consequently, there may have been other deployment-related
pay problems for C Company that we were not able to identify.

According to DFAS policy, when soldiers from C Company arrived in
Uzbekistan the in-theater finance office in Uzbekistan was responsible for
initiating location-based payments for the unit. Unit personnel stated that
the staff in the finance office in Uzbekistan were not adequately trained in
how to input pays into DJMS-RC. Initially, we were told the Uzbekistan
finance office incorrectly believed it was the West Virginia USPFO’s
responsibility to start location-based pays for the deployed soldiers from C
Company. The active Army finance office in Uzbekistan instructed the unit
to contact the West Virginia USPFO to start location-based pays. However,
DFAS policy clearly states that it is the active Army in-theater finance
office’s responsibility to start and maintain monthly location-based
payments.



Page 85                                                     GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Appendix III
C Company, 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces
Group, West Virginia




After attempts by the unit administrator and the Uzbekistan finance office
failed to initiate the payments, a sergeant in C Company was ordered to
travel to Camp Doha, Kuwait, to have the unit’s location-based pays started.
The soldier stated that he traveled to Camp Doha because he was told that
the finance unit at that active Army finance location was more
knowledgeable in how to enter transactions into DJMS-RC to initiate
location-based pays for the unit’s soldiers. The soldier took with him all the
necessary paperwork to have the pays started for all the companies under
the battalion, including C Company. On the return flight from the
sergeant’s mission in Kuwait, his plane encountered enemy fire and was
forced to return to a safe airport until the next day. The failure by active
Army personnel at the finance office in Uzbekistan to enter the
transactions necessary to start location-based pays for the unit delayed
payments to some soldiers for up to 9 months and put one soldier in harm’s
way.

Per DOD FMR, volume 7A, chapter 10, soldiers who perform duty in hostile
fire zones are entitled to hostile fire pay as soon as they enter the zone.
However, we found that 45 soldiers in C Company did not have their hostile
fire pay started until over 30 days after they were entitled to receive it.
Some of C Company’s soldiers received retroactive payments over 2
months after they should have received their pay. In addition, as of March
31, 2003, we determined that 18 soldiers from the unit were not yet paid for
1 or more months that they were in the hostile fire zone. We also identified
40 soldiers who received hostile fire pay after they had left the country and
were no longer entitled to receive such pays. These overpayments
occurred primarily because hostile fire pay is an automatic recurring
payment based on the start and stop date for the soldier’s mobilization
entered into DJMS-RC. However, in this case, the active Army finance
office in Uzbekistan did not amend the stop dates for automated active
duty pays in DJMS-RC to reflect that C Company left the designated area
before the stop date entered into DJMS-RC. The active Army finance
office’s failure to follow prescribed procedures resulted in overpayment of
this pay to 40 soldiers.

Per DOD FMR, volume 7A, chapter 17, soldiers who perform duties in
designated areas for over 30 days are entitled to the hardship duty pay
incentive. The FMR provides for two mutually exclusive types of hardship
duty pay for identified locations—one according to specified “designated
areas” and the other for specified “certain places.” Effective December 31,
2001, the regulation no longer permitted soldiers newly assigned to
locations specified as “certain places” to begin receiving hardship duty pay.



Page 86                                                GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Appendix III
C Company, 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces
Group, West Virginia




However, the regulation specified Afghanistan and Uzbekistan as
designated areas and provided for paying $100 a month to each soldier
serving there.

While deployed to Afghanistan and Uzbekistan, 29 soldiers in C Company
were mistakenly provided both types of hardship duty pay. The local
finance office in Uzbekistan correctly entered transactions to start C
Company’s hardship duty pay for designated areas into the DJMS-RC pay
system. Due to limitations in DJMS-RC, the local finance office was
required to manually enter the designated area payments for each soldier
every month the unit was in a designated area. However, DFAS
documentation shows that finance personnel at Fort Bragg incorrectly
initiated a recurring certain places hardship duty payment for soldiers in C
Company.1 For some soldiers, payments continued until May 31, 2002 and
for others the payments continued until the end of their tour of active duty
on December 4, 2002. These erroneous certain places hardship duty pays
resulted in overpayments.

In addition, because DJMS-RC processing capability limitations required
the designated areas payment to be manually entered every month the unit
was in the designated area, the in-theater finance office in Uzbekistan
failed to consistently enter the monthly designated area payments for all
entitled soldiers. Throughout the time C Company was in Uzbekistan and
Afghanistan, we identified a total of 5 soldiers who missed one or more
monthly payments of entitled hardship duty designated area pay. Other
soldiers received entitled payments over 9 months late. Still others were
paid more than once for the same month or paid after leaving the
designated area, resulting in overpayments to 12 soldiers. The mix of
erroneous certain places hardship duty payments along with sporadic
payments of the correct type of designated area hardship duty pay caused
confusion for the soldiers of C Company and their families regarding what
types of pay they were entitled to receive and whether they received all
active duty entitlements.




1
 In DJMS-RC, the hardship duty (certain places) payment is identified as a separate
component of pay, while designated areas payments require using a miscellaneous
component of pay.




Page 87                                                         GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
                      Appendix III
                      C Company, 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces
                      Group, West Virginia




Demobilization and    C Company returned to Fort Campbell during the fall of 2002 to begin the
                      demobilization process. By October 2002, all of the unit had returned from
Release from Active   overseas and was demobilized on December 4, 2002. As shown in table 15,
Duty Pay Problems     66 of C Company’s 94 soldiers experienced pay problems associated with
                      their demobilization from active duty.



                      Table 15: Identified Pay Demobilization Problems

                                                           Number of soldiers who did not        Number of
                                                          receive pay or allowances within     soldiers who
                      Type of Pay or Allowance                      30 days of entitlement   were underpaid
                      Special duty assignment pay                                      63                3
                      Source: GAO analysis.


                      In October 2002, eligible soldiers in the unit were entitled to a special duty
                      assignment pay increase from $110 per month to $220 per month. To
                      initiate this higher pay rate, the West Virginia Army National Guard military
                      personnel office was required to cut new special duty assignment pay
                      orders for all eligible C Company soldiers. USPFO officials stated that they
                      could not pay the increased amount until they received a copy of the new
                      orders. The USPFO personnel did not continue to pay the $110 a month to
                      the soldiers because they did not want to have to recoup the old amount
                      and then pay the correct amount when orders were received. However, the
                      orders for the soldiers were not received by the USPFO for several months,
                      which created a delay in the payment of the soldiers’ special duty
                      assignment pay. Supporting documents showed that a delay in the
                      production of the orders by the West Virginia Army National Guard military
                      personnel office caused the late payments. For C Company, 63 soldiers
                      received their last 3 months of special duty assignment pay over 30 days
                      late. Another 3 soldiers did not receive their last 3 months of special duty
                      assignment pay because the USPFO inadvertently overlooked the manual
                      transaction entries required to process special duty assignment pay for
                      those soldiers.




                      Page 88                                                      GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Appendix IV

Mississippi 114th Military Police Company                                                                       Appendx
                                                                                                                      iIV




               On December 27, 2001, the Mississippi Army National Guard’s 114th
               Military Police Company was called to active duty in support of Operation
               Noble Eagle for a 1-year tour—through January 5, 2003. The unit
               mobilized in Clinton, Mississippi, and departed for Fort Campbell,
               Kentucky, on January 6, 2002. The unit in-processed at Fort Campbell and
               for the next 5 months performed military police duties at Fort Campbell
               until early June. On June 10, 2002, the 114th Military Police Company
               deployed to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to perform base security and guard
               duties for Taliban and al Qaeda prisoners. After guarding detainees in Cuba
               for approximately 6 months, the unit returned to Fort Campbell in late
               November 2002. At Fort Campbell the unit out-processed and returned to
               Clinton, Mississippi, and was released from active duty on January 5, 2003.
               A time line of actions associated with the unit’s active duty mobilization is
               shown in figure 13.



               Figure 13: Timeline Showing Key Actions Associated with the Mississippi Army
               National Guard Military Police Unit’s Mobilization

                     Soldiers mobilize at                                                    Release from
                     Clinton, MS home station.                                                 active duty.
                                                         To Guantanamo                             1/05/03
                     1/6/02                              Bay, Cuba.                   Return to
                                                         6/10/02               Ft. Campbell, KY.
                                                                                      11/23/02

                    Jan 02   Feb    Mar      Apr   May   Jun   Jul   Aug      Sept   Oct    Nov    Dec Jan 03


                                        1/6/02 through                                          12/02
                                        6/10/02                                             Return to
                                        Guard duty at      6/10/02 through                Clinton, MS
                     approx. 1/7/02     Fort Campbell, KY.         11/23/02             home station.
                     Soldiers go to                             Deployed in
                     Ft. Campbell, KY                Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
                     Mobilization station.

               Source: GAO



               As summarized in table 16, at every stage of the unit’s 1-year tour of active
               duty, soldiers experienced various pay problems. Of the 119 soldiers of the
               Mississippi Army National Guard’s 114th Military Police Company, 105
               experienced at least one pay problem associated with mobilization in
               support of Operation Noble Eagle. Specifically, we found that (1) 21
               soldiers experienced underpayments, overpayments, or late payments, or a
               combination of these, during their initial mobilization, including some
               soldiers who did not receive payments for up to 7 months after their
               mobilization dates, and others who still have not received certain



               Page 89                                                               GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
                   Appendix IV
                   Mississippi 114th Military Police Company




                   payments, (2) 93 soldiers experienced underpayments, overpayments, late
                   payments, or some combination, during their tour of active duty at Fort
                   Campbell and in Cuba, including in-theater incentives such as hardship
                   duty pay, and (3) 90 soldiers experienced underpayments, overpayments,
                   late payments, or a combination of these, during their demobilization at
                   Fort Campbell, including problems related to the continuation of in-theater
                   incentives and overpayment of active duty pay after demobilization.



                   Table 16: Summary of Identified Pay Problems by Phase

                   Phase                                       Number of soldiers with pay problems
                   Mobilization                                                           21 of 119
                   Deployed                                                               93 of 119
                   Demobilization                                                         90 of 119
                   Source: GAO analysis.


                   In total, we identified estimated overpayments of $50,000, underpayments
                   of $6,000, and late payments of $15,000 associated with the pay problems
                   we found. Of the estimated $50,000 in overpayments, we identified about
                   $13,000 that was subsequently collected from the unit’s soldiers.



Mobilization Pay   As summarized in table 17, we found that 21 soldiers from the 114th Military
                   Police Company experienced underpayments, overpayments, late
Problems           payments, or some combination related to pay and allowance entitlements
                   when called to active duty. For example, several soldiers did not receive
                   their entitled $100 per month family separation allowance until 7 months
                   after mobilization, and several other soldiers did not receive the correct
                   type of basic allowance for housing as specified in the DOD FMR, Volume
                   7A, chapter 26.




                   Page 90                                                 GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Appendix IV
Mississippi 114th Military Police Company




Table 17: Identified Mobilization Pay Problems

                          Number of soldiers who
                            did not receive pay or        Number of       Number of
Type of pay or               allowances within 30       soldiers who    soldiers who
allowance                      days of entitlement    were underpaid   were overpaid
Basic pay                                         2               1               5
Family separation
allowance                                        11               1               0
Basic allowance for
housing                                           2               3               0
Jump pay                                          0               0               1
Source: GAO analysis.


Prior to being mobilized, the soldiers in the 114th Military Police Company
attended a soldier readiness program at their unit armory. The purpose of
this review was to ensure that all soldiers had proper administrative
paperwork and financial documents and were physically fit for the ensuing
mobilization. Mississippi USPFO personnel, who conducted the finance
portion of the 114th Military Police unit’s soldier readiness program, were
required to verify soldiers’ supporting financial documentation, and update,
if necessary, soldiers’ MMPAs. Not submitting the complete and current
paperwork at the time of the soldier readiness program contributed to
some of the late payments we identified. For example, some soldiers did
not receive their family separation allowance because they did not provide
documentation supporting custody arrangements. However, we also found
that confusion at the USPFO over the eligibility of single parents
contributed to these late pays. It was later in the unit’s active duty tour that
finance officers initiated action for 11 of the 114th Military Police unit’s
soldiers to receive retroactive payments, some for as much as 7-months of
back pay. In another case, a former Special Forces soldier improperly
received jump pay even though his assignment to this military police unit
did not require that special skill.

Five soldiers improperly received active duty pay and allowances even
though they did not mobilize with the unit. Because these five soldiers
were not deployable for a variety of reasons, they were transferred to
another unit that was not subject to the current mobilization. However, the
delay in entering the transfer and stopping pay caused each of these
soldiers to receive active duty pay for 10 days. Several other soldiers
received promotions at the time of their mobilization, but state military pay
personnel at the USPFO did not enter transactions for the promotions until



Page 91                                                     GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
                 Appendix IV
                 Mississippi 114th Military Police Company




                 several months later, resulting in late promotion pay to the affected
                 soldiers. Delays by the unit in submitting the promotion paperwork or by
                 the state personnel office in entering the promotion paperwork into the
                 personnel system caused these problems. However, supporting documents
                 were not available to enable us to determine the specific cause of the
                 delays.

                 After leaving the unit’s home station, the 114th Military Police Company
                 traveled to Fort Campbell, its active Army mobilization station. As required
                 by Army guidance, Fort Campbell personnel conducted a second soldier
                 readiness program intended, in part, to verify the accuracy of soldiers’ pay
                 records. However, instead of conducting a thorough review of each
                 soldier’s pay record, Fort Campbell finance personnel performed only a
                 perfunctory review by asking the soldiers if they were experiencing pay
                 problems. At this point, because the soldiers had only recently mobilized
                 and had not received their first paychecks, they were unaware of pay
                 problems. Failure to follow requirements for finance verification at Fort
                 Campbell of each soldier’s pay account caused pay problems to persist past
                 the mobilization stage. In addition, we were unable to determine specific
                 causes for certain pay problems associated with the unit’s mobilization
                 because the unit remobilized in February 2003, and unit administrative
                 personnel did not retain payroll source documents relating to the prior
                 mobilization.



Deployment Pay   As summarized in table 18, we identified a number of pay problems
                 associated with four types of active duty pays and allowances associated
Problems         with the unit’s deployment while on active duty.




                 Page 92                                              GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Appendix IV
Mississippi 114th Military Police Company




Table 18: Identified Deployment Pay Problems

                            Number of soldiers who
                              did not receive pay or     Number of       Number of
Type of pay or                 allowances within 30    soldiers who    soldiers who
allowance                        days of entitlement were underpaid   were overpaid
Basic pay                                       10               0               0
Family separation
allowance                                        3               0               3
Basic allowance for
housing                                          1               0               0
Hardship duty pay                                0              11              88
Source: GAO analysis.


While at Fort Campbell, eight soldiers experienced problems resulting from
delays in entering changes in the family separation allowance, basic
allowance for housing, and active duty pay increases from promotions. For
example, one soldier was promoted to the rank of Private First Class at the
end of May, but the pay system did not reflect the promotion until October.
Although the soldier eventually received retroactive promotion pay, the
delay caused the soldier to be paid at her old rank for 5 months. According
to DFAS guidance, when a change occurs in a soldier’s pay, the on-site
Army finance office should input the change. In cases where personnel
changes occurred that affected pay, either the soldiers failed to submit
documents or personnel at Fort Campbell failed to input the changes. Due
to the lack of documentation, we could not determine the origin of the
delays.

During the unit’s deployment to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the soldiers
encountered additional pay problems related to hardship duty pay, a
location-based payment for soldiers located at designated hardship duty
locations. Some soldiers received extra hardship duty payments, while
others were only paid sporadically. In total, only 9 of the 100 soldiers who
deployed to Guantanamo Bay with the 114th Military Police Company
received the correctly computed hardship duty pay.

Per DOD FMR, Volume 7A, chapter 17, soldiers who perform duties in
designated areas for over 30 days are entitled to the hardship duty pay
incentive. The FMR provides for two mutually exclusive types of hardship
duty pay for identified locations; one according to specified “designated
areas” and the other for specified “certain places.” Effective December
2001, the regulation no longer permitted soldiers newly assigned to



Page 93                                                   GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
                      Appendix IV
                      Mississippi 114th Military Police Company




                      locations specified as certain places to begin receiving hardship duty pay.
                      However, the regulation specified Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as a designated
                      area and provided for paying $50 a month to each soldier serving there.

                      Most of the 114th Military Police unit’s soldiers were mistakenly provided
                      both types of hardship duty pay while deployed to Cuba. Upon arrival in
                      Cuba, the local Guantanamo Bay finance office correctly entered
                      transactions to start hardship duty pay for designated areas for the 114th
                      Military Police unit’s soldiers into DJMS-RC. However, unknown to
                      Guantanamo finance personnel, Fort Campbell finance personnel, upon the
                      unit’s departure to Cuba, incorrectly initiated recurring certain places
                      hardship duty payments for the soldiers of the 114th Military Police unit.
                      These payments of both types of hardship duty pay resulted in
                      overpayments to 88 enlisted soldiers of the 114th Military Police Company
                      during the time the soldiers were stationed in Cuba.

                      In addition, as a result of personnel turnover and heavy workload in the
                      active Army’s Guantanamo Bay finance office and limitations in DJMS-RC,
                      the Guantanamo Bay finance office did not make all the required monthly
                      manual transaction entries required to pay hardship duty pays to the 114th
                      Military Police Company’s soldiers. As a result, several soldiers in the unit
                      did not receive one or more monthly hardship duty payments. Limitations
                      in DJMS-RC required the local finance office to manually enter the
                      designated area payments for each soldier on a monthly basis. For 11
                      soldiers, the finance office inadvertently overlooked entering one or more
                      monthly hardship duty payments. The combination of erroneous certain
                      places payments, along with sporadic payments of hardship duty
                      designated area pays caused confusion for the soldiers who were
                      performing a stressful mission in Cuba regarding whether they were
                      receiving all their active duty pay entitlements.



Pay Problems          The 114th Military Police Company returned to Fort Campbell on November
                      23, 2002, to begin the demobilization process. During demobilization,
Associated with       soldiers continued to experience pay problems. As summarized in table 19,
Demobilization and    overpayment problems consisted of improper continuation of hardship
                      duty pay following the unit’s return from Cuba and failure to stop active
Release from Active   duty pay and allowances to soldiers who were discharged or returned from
Duty                  active duty early.




                      Page 94                                               GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Appendix IV
Mississippi 114th Military Police Company




Table 19: Identified Demobilization Pay Problems

Type of pay or allowance                          Number of soldiers who were overpaid
Basic pay                                                                                      5
Family separation allowance                                                                    5
Basic allowance for subsistence                                                                5
Basic allowance for housing                                                                    5
Hardship duty pay                                                                          85
Source: GAO analysis.


According to the DOD FMR, Volume 7A, chapter 17, soldiers are entitled to
receive hardship duty pay only while they are stationed in a hardship duty
location. While the active Army’s Guantanamo Bay finance office stopped
monthly designated area payments upon the unit’s departure from Cuba,
the Fort Campbell finance office did not discontinue the incorrect certain
places payments that its finance office had initiated months earlier.
Consequently, 85 of 88 soldiers of the 114th Military Police unit’s soldiers
continued receiving the incorrect certain places payments through their
last day of active duty.

In addition, five soldiers continued to receive active duty pay and
allowances after being discharged or returned from active duty. Instead of
demobilizing on schedule with their unit, these five soldiers demobilized
individually earlier due to various reasons. According to DFAS guidance,
Fort Campbell, the designated demobilization station for the 114th Military
Police Company, was responsible for stopping active duty pay for the unit’s
demobilizing soldiers. However, when these individual soldiers were
released from active duty, Fort Campbell processed discharge orders but
Fort Campbell’s finance office failed to stop their pay. Further, in at least
one case in which documentation was available, state USPFO military pay
personnel did not immediately detect the overpayments in monthly pay
system mismatch reports.1 For these five soldiers, overpayments
continued for up to 3 months.


1
 The National Guard Bureau’s Financial Services Center provides monthly computerized
matches between common military pay-related-data in DJMS-RC and the SIDPERS
personnel system. The purpose of this after-the-fact detective internal control is to ensure
the propriety and accuracy of military pay and entitlements to authorized recipients. The
monthly products that are provided to each state USPFO are commonly called mismatch
reports.




Page 95                                                          GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Appendix IV
Mississippi 114th Military Police Company




One of these soldiers was discharged early because of drug-related
charges. However, his pay continued for 3 months past his discharge date.
By the time the USPFO stopped the active duty pay, the former soldier had
received overpayments of about $9,400. Although the state USPFO military
pay personnel stopped the active duty pay in September 2002, no attempt
to collect the overpayment was made until we identified the problem. In
July 2003, state military pay personnel initiated collection for the
overpayment.

Another soldier was discharged on July 8, 2002, for family hardship
reasons, but his active duty pay was not stopped until August 15, resulting
in an overpayment. Another 114th Military Police soldier was returned from
active duty on September 11, 2002, for family hardship reasons, but his
active duty pay was not stopped until November 30, resulting in an
overpayment of about $8,600. Another soldier, facing disciplinary
proceedings related to a domestic violence incident, agreed to an early
discharge on May 22, 2002. However, the soldier’s active duty pay was not
stopped until the unit administrative officer, while deployed in Cuba,
reviewed the unit commander’s finance report and discovered the soldier
still on company pay records and reported the error. Following his
discharge, this soldier continued to receive active duty pay until August 31,
resulting in an overpayment.




Page 96                                               GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Appendix V

Maryland 200th Military Police Company                                                                       Append
                                                                                                                  x
                                                                                                                  iV




              The 200th Military Police Company was called to active duty in support of
              Operation Noble Eagle on October 1, 2001, for a period not to exceed 365
              days. The unit, including 90 soldiers who received orders to mobilize with
              the 200th Military Police Company, reported to its home station, Salisbury,
              Maryland, on October 1, 2001, and then proceeded to Camp Fretterd
              located in Reisterstown, Maryland, for the soldier readiness program (SRP)
              in- processing. On October 13, 2001, they arrived at their designated
              mobilization station at Fort Stewart, Georgia, where they remained for the
              next 2 weeks undergoing additional in-processing.1 The unit performed
              general military police guard duties at Fort Stewart until December 15,
              2001, when 87 of the soldiers in the unit were deployed to guard the
              Pentagon. The company arrived at Ft. Eustis, Virginia, in late August 2002
              and was released from active duty on September 30, 2002. In addition, 3 of
              the 90 soldiers who received orders from the 200th Military Police Company
              were deployed in January 2002 to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to perform base
              security and guard duties with Maryland’s 115th Military Police Company.
              These soldiers demobilized at Fort Stewart, Georgia, where they were
              released from active duty on July 10, 2002. A time line of key actions
              associated with the unit’s mobilization under Operation Noble Eagle is
              shown in figure 14.




              1
                In early November 2001, soldiers from the unit were moved off base to live in local hotels
              because Fort Stewart could not accommodate the large number of soldiers arriving to
              mobilize.




              Page 97                                                          GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Appendix V
Maryland 200th Military Police Company




Figure 14: Timeline Showing Key Actions Associated with the Maryland National
Guard Military Police Unit’s Mobilization

     Unit called to
     active duty
     10/1/01                                                                     Active duty
         Unit travels to Fort Stewart, GA                                    officially ends.
         mobilization station                                                        9/30/02
         10/13/01
                         Deployed to Ft. Myer, VA                  Demobilized at
                         to perform Pentagon guard duty            Fort Eustis, VA
                         12/15/01                               Late August 2002

       Oct      Nov     Dec Jan 02 Feb     Mar    Apr     May   Jun    Jul    Aug     Sept      Oct



                 10/13/01 through                   12/15/01 through
                 12/14/01                           late August 2002
                 In processing and guard duty       Performed Pentagon
                 at Fort Stewart, GA.               guard duty

Source: GAO



As summarized in table 20, the majority of soldiers from the company
experienced some sort of pay problem during one or more phases of the
three phases of their active duty mobilization. Overall, 83 of the company’s
90 soldiers experienced at least one pay problem associated with their
mobilization in support of Operation Noble Eagle. Pay problems included
overpayments, underpayments, and late payments of entitlements, such as
basic pay, basic allowance for housing, basic allowance for subsistence,
family separation allowance and hardship duty pay associated with their
initial mobilization, deployment to Fort Stewart, the Pentagon, and Cuba;
and demobilization from active duty status.



Table 20: Summary of Identified Pay Problems by Phase

Phase                                                     Number of soldiers with pay problems
Mobilization                                                                                    75 of 90
Deployed                                                                                        64 of 90
Demobilization                                                                                   3 of 90
Source: GAO analysis.


In total, we identified estimated overpayments of $74,000, underpayments
of $11,000, and late payments of $10,000, associated with the pay problems



Page 98                                                                GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
                   Appendix V
                   Maryland 200th Military Police Company




                   we identified. Of the estimated $74,000 in identified overpayments, we
                   identified about $32,000 that was subsequently collected from the unit’s
                   soldiers. Specifically, we determined that

                   • 75 soldiers were overpaid, underpaid, and/or paid late during the period
                     of mobilization, including a soldier who did not receive correct
                     payments for up to 7 months after the mobilization date;

                   • 64 soldiers experienced pay problems during their tour of active duty
                     related to the proper payment of basic pay, basic allowance for
                     subsistence, basic allowance for housing, family separation allowance,
                     and location-based pays such as hardship duty pay; and

                   • 3 soldiers experienced pay problems during their demobilization from
                     Fort Stewart related to continuation of active duty pay entitlements
                     after they were released early from active duty.

                   We identified a number of causes associated with these pay problems,
                   including delays in submitting documents, incorrect data entry, and limited
                   personnel to process the mass mobilizations. Maryland’s USPFO officials
                   told us they had not experienced a large-scale mobilization to active duty in
                   more than 10 years.



Mobilization Pay   As summarized in table 21, we identified a number of pay problems
                   associated with eight different types of active duty pays and allowances
Problems           associated with the unit’s mobilization to active duty. Seventy-five of 90
                   soldiers from the 200thth Military Police Company did not receive the
                   correct or timely entitlements related to basic pay, basic allowance for
                   housing, basic allowance for subsistence, or family separation allowance
                   when called to active duty.




                   Page 99                                               GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Appendix V
Maryland 200th Military Police Company




Table 21: Identified Mobilization Pay Problems

                             Number of soldiers
                             who did not receive
                              pay or allowances          Number of       Number of
Type of pay or                 within 30 days of       soldiers who    soldiers who
allowance                            entitlement     were underpaid   were overpaid
Basic pay                                        4               0              13
Basic allowance for
housing                                          4              24              16
Basic allowance for
subsistence                                      3               1              21
Family separation
allowance                                    11                 42               2
Source: GAO analysis.


Thirteen soldiers received overpayments because they continued to receive
pay after they were released early from active duty. These soldiers
mobilized on October 1, 2001, and then received amended orders to be
released from active duty around October 13, 2001. However, many
continued to receive basic pay, basic allowance for subsistence, basic
allowance for housing, and family separation allowance payments through
the end of November 2001. The unit administrator stated that many of
these soldiers received amended orders after their initial mobilization
when it was determined that they were not deployable for a variety of
reasons, such as health or family problems. The overpayments occurred
because the Maryland Army Guard command was not informed by either
unit personnel or the active component that individuals (1) did not deploy
or (2) were released from active duty early. The Maryland Army Guard
command initiated amendment orders to stop the active duty pays when it
became aware of the problem; however, the orders were not generated in
time for the USPFO to stop active duty pays in the system. Specifically, in
order for pay to be stopped by October 13, 2001, the USPFO must have
received and processed the amended orders by October 8, 2001. However,
the Maryland Army Guard command did not generate many of the amended
orders until November 14, 2001, at which time they would have been sent to
the unit and then forwarded to the USPFO too late to meet the pay cutoff.

An additional soldier was issued an amended order to release him from
active duty on October 13, 2001. Upon our review of his pay account, we
determined that he continued to receive active duty pay and allowances for
an entire year. We spoke with the unit administrator about this soldier and



Page 100                                                   GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Appendix V
Maryland 200th Military Police Company




determined that he mobilized with the unit and was deployed for the entire
year that he was paid. The unit administrator and Maryland Army Guard
command, along with the USPFO pay officials, were not sure why the
amendment order was never processed. They believe that the amendment
fell through the cracks due to the general confusion and the limited
personnel processing the mass mobilizations after September 11, 2001.
Based on our inquiries, the Maryland Army Guard command generated an
amendment on August 21, 2003, to reinstate the original order to avoid
future questions regarding the soldier’s tour of duty.

Further, 42 soldiers from the unit were underpaid their entitled family
separation allowance when they mobilized. Soldiers are entitled to receive
a family separation allowance after they have been deployed away from
home for more than 30 days. We found that these underpayments occurred
as a result of Maryland USPFO military pay officials’ errors in calculating
the start and stop dates for this allowance.

Several soldiers did not receive the correct type of basic allowance for
housing after being mobilized as specified in the DOD FMR, Volume 7A,
chapter 26. We were unable to determine specific causes and amounts of
all the unit’s problems associated with the basic allowance for housing
because the unit had remobilized in July 2003 and some of the historical
records relating to housing entitlements applicable to the prior
mobilization could not be located. Furthermore, the original unit
administrator had retired, leaving limited records of the prior mobilization
for the current unit administrator. Based on our inquiries, we determined
that some soldiers were underpaid their housing allowance because the
Maryland USPFO military pay officials entered the incorrect date for the
tour and therefore shortened the unit’s soldiers’ allowance by 1 day. Other
soldiers did not receive the correct amount for this allowance as a result of
different interpretations of how to enter “dependent” information provided
on housing allowance application forms (Form 5960). According to
personnel officials, married soldiers are required to write in their spouses’
names as dependents on Form 5960 in order to receive the higher housing
allowance amount. However, guidance did not clearly specify that simply
checking the box indicating that they are married is not sufficient support
to receive the higher housing allowance (with dependents) rate. As a
result, several soldiers’ dependent information was not loaded into the
personnel system correctly, and they were paid a single rate housing
allowance instead of the higher married rate allowance.




Page 101                                              GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
                 Appendix V
                 Maryland 200th Military Police Company




                 Other soldiers did not receive the correct housing allowance because they
                 did not turn in complete forms and documentation to initiate the correct
                 allowance rate or were late in turning in documents. For example, one
                 soldier, who appeared to have submitted his lease agreement 6 days after
                 being called to active duty, did not receive the correct housing allowance
                 amount for the first 2 months of active duty. During his entire deployment,
                 the soldier attempted to get various unit and military pay officials to take
                 action to initiate back pay for these housing allowance underpayments,
                 including forwarding copies of the lease agreement as proof for payment
                 on three different occasions. As of March 30, 2003, the soldier had not
                 received the correct housing allowance for October and November 2001.
                 Another soldier did not receive the correct amount of housing allowance
                 after his mobilization and complained to the unit administrator. Seven
                 months after his initial mobilization to active duty, finance officials at the
                 active duty station in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, who were attempting to correct
                 the soldier’s housing allowance instead inadvertently entered a transaction
                 to collect the entire amount of the housing allowance previously paid to the
                 soldier. Finance officials at Fort Belvoir subsequently entered a
                 transaction to reverse the error and pay the soldier a “catch-up” housing
                 allowance payment.



Deployment Pay   As summarized in table 22, we identified a number of pay problems
                 associated with five different types of active duty pays and allowances
Problems         associated with the unit’s deployment.



                 Table 22: Identified Deployment Pay Problems

                                           Number of soldiers who
                                              did not receive pay or     Number of       Number of
                 Type of pay or           allowance within 30 days     soldiers who    soldiers who
                 allowance                            of entitlement were underpaid   were overpaid
                 Basic pay                                       1               0               1
                 Basic allowance for
                 housing                                         0               0               1
                 Basic allowance for
                 subsistence                                     0               1              62
                 Family separation
                 allowance                                       0               1               1
                 Hardship duty pay                               3               3               0
                 Source: GAO analysis.




                 Page 102                                                  GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
                      Appendix V
                      Maryland 200th Military Police Company




                      Sixty-two soldiers from the unit were overpaid their entitled subsistence
                      allowance by active Army finance personnel while stationed at the
                      Pentagon during the period of December 15, 2001, through December 31,
                      2001. Prior to this period, the soldiers were stationed at Fort Stewart and
                      were not provided lodging or mess and properly received the full
                      subsistence allowance. When the unit was redeployed to the Pentagon,
                      mess facilities became available. However, active Army finance personnel
                      did not reduce the unit’s subsistence allowance rate to reflect the available
                      mess facilities. According to DOD FMR, Volume 7A, chapter 25, enlisted
                      soldiers are not entitled to the full subsistence allowance when mess
                      facilities are provided.

                      In January 2002, three soldiers who received mobilization orders from the
                      200th MP Company left Fort Stewart and traveled with the 115th Military
                      Police Company to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to assist with base security and
                      guard duties. While in Cuba, the soldiers were either underpaid, or were
                      late in receiving their entitled hardship duty pays. In accordance with DOD
                      FMR Volume 7A, chapter 17, soldiers who perform duties in “designated
                      areas” for over 30 days are entitled to hardship duty pay. The FMR
                      specifies Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as a designated area and provides
                      payment of $50 a month to soldiers serving there. While deployed to Cuba,
                      the three soldiers were mistakenly paid the old type of hardship duty pay.
                      Since hardship duty pay is not an automated pay, the active Army finance
                      office at Guantanamo Bay was required to manually enter the “designated
                      areas” payment each month for each soldier. While they were in Cuba, the
                      three soldiers did not receive all their entitled hardship duty pays.
                      Furthermore, the hardship duty pays they did receive were more than 30
                      days late.



Demobilization and    The 200th Military Police Company returned to Fort Eustis around the end
                      of August 2002 to begin the demobilization process. We did not identify any
Release from Active   pay issues associated with the unit’s soldiers who were released from
Duty Pay Problems     active duty on September 30, 2002 (the original date for the unit’s
                      demobilization, designated on the mobilization orders). However, as
                      shown in table 23, we did identify three soldiers who continued to receive
                      active duty pay after their early release from active duty.




                      Page 103                                              GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Appendix V
Maryland 200th Military Police Company




Table 23: Identified Demobilization Pay Problems

Type of pay or allowance                    Number of soldiers who were overpaid
Basic pay                                                                     3
Basic allowance for housing                                                   3
Basic allowance for subsistence                                               3
Family separation allowance                                                   3
Hardship duty pay                                                             2
Source: GAO analysis.


Specifically, the three soldiers from the unit returned from Cuba,
demobilized at Fort Stewart, and were released from active duty on July 10,
2002, while their original orders showed a September 30, 2002, release date.
They continued to receive active duty pay and allowances through July 15,
2002. Fort Stewart did not provide the amended orders with the earlier
release date to the Maryland USPFO office in time to stop the pay.




Page 104                                                GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Appendix VI

California 49th Military Police Headquarters
and Headquarters Detachment                                                                                        Appendx
                                                                                                                         iVI




               On October 2, 2001, California’s 49th Military Police Headquarters and
               Headquarters Detachment (HHD) was mobilized to active duty for a period
               not to exceed 24 months. The 49 th MP HHD mobilized at its home station,
               Pittsburg, California, and then proceeded to its designated mobilization
               station, Fort Lewis, Washington, on October 12, 2001. The unit performed
               its active duty mission at Fort Lewis, where it provided base security as
               part of Operation Noble Eagle. The unit was demobilized from active duty
               at Fort Lewis on July 28, 2002. A time line of the unit’s actions with respect
               to its mobilization under Operation Noble Eagle is shown in figure 15.



               Figure 15: Timeline Showing Key Actions Associated with the California Army
               National Guard Military Police Unit’s Mobilization

                      Soldiers depart Pittsburg, CA
                      home station                                                       Active duty tour
                      10/9/01                                                             officially ends
                                                                                                 10/8/02
                      Arrival at Fort Lewis, WA                    Unit demobilizes at
                      for in-process                                  Fort Lewis, WA.
                      10/12/01                                                7/28/02

                     Oct     Nov    Dec Jan 02 Feb    Mar    Apr   May   Jun     Jul     Aug    Sept    Oct



                                                      10/12/01 through                         7/29/02 through
                                                      7/28/02                                  10/8/02
                                                      Deployed at                              Soldiers continue
                                                      Fort Lewis, WA.                          to demobilize
                                                                                               individually
               Source: GAO




               Almost all soldiers from the 49th Military Police Company experienced
               some sort of pay problem during one or more phases of the three phases of
               the active duty mobilization. Overall, 50 of the 51 soldiers with the unit had
               at least one pay problem associated with their mobilization to active duty in
               support of Operation Noble Eagle. These pay problems included not
               receiving pays and allowances at all (underpayments), receiving some pays
               and allowances over 30 days after entitlement (late payments), and the
               overpayment of allowances. Specifically, as summarized in table 24, we
               found that (1) 48 soldiers did not receive certain pay and allowances within
               30 days of their initial mobilization entitlement and (2) 41 soldiers did not
               receive, or did not receive within 30 days, the pay and allowances they
               were entitled to receive during their deployment.




               Page 105                                                           GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
                   Appendix VI
                   California 49th Military Police Headquarters
                   and Headquarters Detachment




                   Table 24: Summary of Identified Pay Problems by Phase

                   Phase                                          Number of Soldiers with pay problems
                   Mobilization                                                               48 of 51
                   Deployed                                                                   41 of 51
                   Demobilization                                                              0 of 51
                   Source: GAO analysis.


                   In total, we identified estimated overpayments of $17,000, underpayments
                   of $1,300, and late payments of $67,000 associated with the pay problems
                   we found. In addition, of the $17,000 in overpayments, we found that less
                   than $100 was subsequently collected from the soldiers.

                   We determined a number of causes for these pay problems. First, we found
                   a lack of sufficient numbers of knowledgeable staff. In addition, after-the-
                   fact detective controls were not in place, including a reconciliation of pay
                   and personnel records and the reconciliation of pay records with the unit
                   commander’s records of personnel actually onboard. Currently, as a matter
                   of practice, pay and personnel representatives from the USPFO conduct a
                   manual reconciliation between the pay and personnel system records
                   approximately every 2 months. The purpose of the reconciliation is to
                   ensure that for common data elements, the pay and personnel systems
                   contain the same data. A USPFO official told us that while it is the
                   USPFO’s goal to carry out such reconciliations each month, it currently
                   does not have the resources required to do so.



Mobilization Pay   As summarized in table 25, we identified a number of pay problems
                   associated with the unit’s mobilization to active duty. Failures to enter
Problems           transactions or late entry of transactions needed to start active duty pays
                   by Army Guard USPFO military pay personnel and by active Army military
                   pay personnel at the unit’s mobilization station were the initial cause of the
                   pay problems. We also found that the underlying cause of the pay problems
                   was a lack of sufficient numbers of knowledgeable personnel at the
                   California USPFO and the Fort Lewis Finance Office. In addition,
                   according to Army Guard and active Army officials, neither organization
                   was prepared for the sheer volume of pay transactions associated with
                   mobilizing soldiers to active duty.




                   Page 106                                                   GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Appendix VI
California 49th Military Police Headquarters
and Headquarters Detachment




Table 25: Identified Mobilization Pay Problems

                                         Number of soldiers who did not receive pay or
Type of pay or allowance                      allowance within 30 days of entitlement
Basic pay                                                                          17
Basic allowance for housing                                                        18
Basic allowance for subsistence                                                    18
Family separation allowance                                                        39
Cost of living allowance                                                           36
Source: GAO analysis.


In total, 48 out of 51 soldiers of the 49th Military Police Company did not
receive certain pay and allowances and incentive pays at all, or did not
receive them within 30 days after being mobilized on October 2, 2001. The
types of pay entitlements either not paid at all or paid late associated with
the unit’s initial mobilization included basic pay, basic allowance for
subsistence, basic allowance for housing, family separation allowance, and
the continental United States cost of living allowance.

The late payments during the mobilization phase primarily resulted from
California USPFO military pay personnel’s lack of understanding of their
responsibility for initiating active duty pays. According to DFAS reserve
component mobilization procedures; the California USPFO was
responsible for initiating these pays. However, a USPFO military pay
official mistakenly instructed the unit to take its pay data to the
mobilization station to enter transactions to start active duty pays. The
USPFO official stated that the USPFO did not start the active duty pay and
allowances at that time because a copy machine was not available to make
copies of relevant active duty pay support documentation (such as a lease
agreement needed to support a housing allowance entitlement). As a
result, the responsibility for initiating this allowance was improperly
passed to the active Army finance office at the Fort Lewis mobilization
station.

The Fort Lewis finance office lacked sufficient numbers of knowledgeable
military pay staff to expeditiously enter the large volume of transactions
necessary to start active duty pay entitlements for the 49th Military Police
Company’s soldiers. DFAS guidance requires finance personnel at the
mobilization station to review each soldier’s pay account to identify any
errors and input the necessary correcting transactions into DJMS-RC.
Initially, the mobilization station finance office assigned an insufficient



Page 107                                                     GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
                 Appendix VI
                 California 49th Military Police Headquarters
                 and Headquarters Detachment




                 number of personnel to the task of starting active duty pays for the unit’s 51
                 mobilizing soldiers. Moreover, one of the assigned pay technicians was not
                 familiar with DJMS-RC and consequently entered data incorrectly for some
                 of the unit’s soldiers. Also, the assigned pay technician initially failed to
                 enter transactions to start pay and allowances for a significant number of
                 the unit’s soldiers because the supporting documentation was misplaced.
                 These documents were later found under a desk in the finance office.

                 Recognizing this shortage of staff knowledgeable about DJMS-RC
                 processing procedures, the Fort Lewis finance office asked the California
                 USPFO to supply additional personnel and also temporarily reassigned
                 soldiers from other units stationed at Fort Lewis to assist in the pay
                 processing. Working together over a 2-month period after the unit was
                 mobilized to active duty, these personnel were able to enter the omitted
                 transactions needed to start active duty pays and correct the previous
                 erroneous entries.

                 In addition, the USPFO did not enter the required data to DJMS-RC to begin
                 cost of living allowance pays for 36 of the unit’s soldiers. DFAS reserve
                 component mobilization procedures state that the USPFO has the initial
                 responsibility for initiating these pays. However, as discussed previously,
                 the USPFO mistakenly sent the 49th Military Police Company to Fort Lewis
                 with their pay documentation, and as a result, it was not until more than 2
                 months after the unit’s mobilization date that the Fort Lewis finance office
                 pay technicians began to enter these transactions into DJMS-RC.

                 The company commander for the unit told us that he was frustrated with
                 the level of customer support his unit received as it moved through the
                 initial mobilization process. Only two knowledgeable military pay officials
                 were present to support active duty pay transaction processing for the 51
                 soldiers mobilized for his unit. He characterized the customer service his
                 unit received at initial mobilization as very time-consuming and frustrating.



Deployment Pay   As summarized in table 26, we identified a number of pay problems
                 associated with six different types of active duty pays and allowances
Problems         associated with the unit’s deployment while on active duty. These
                 problems primarily resulted from a data entry error and inadequate
                 document retention practices.




                 Page 108                                               GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Appendix VI
California 49th Military Police Headquarters
and Headquarters Detachment




Table 26: Identified Deployment Pay Problems

                            Number of soldiers who
                              did not receive pay or       Number of       Number of
Type of pay or                 allowances within 30      soldiers who    soldiers who
allowance                        days of entitlement   were underpaid   were overpaid
Basic pay                                         1                 0              5
Basic allowance for
subsistence                                       1                 0              5
Basic allowance for
housing                                           1                 0              5
Family separation
allowance                                         0                 0              6
Foreign language
proficiency pay                                   4                 2              1
Cost of living allowance                         37                 4              0
Source: GAO analysis.


For example, the USPFO paid one soldier her basic pay, basic allowance
for subsistence, and basic allowance for housing nearly 4 months late. A
USPFO official told us these late payments were caused when a USPFO pay
technician entered an incorrect stop date for the soldier’s active duty tour
into DJMS-RC. The pay technician, after being notified of the error by the
soldier, corrected the data in DJMS-RC, which resulted in the soldier
receiving her pay nearly 4 months late. Additionally, USPFO officials were
unable to provide support explaining why five other soldiers continued to
receive basic pay, the basic allowance for subsistence, and the basic
allowance for housing after the date available records show their active
duty tours had ended. Consequently, we identified the payments made to
these five soldiers as overpayments.

Overpayments of family separation allowances to soldiers in the unit
resulted from a data entry error and inadequate USPFO document
retention practices. A USPFO pay technician incorrectly coded a soldier’s
account to receive a family separation allowance when the soldier had only
been on active duty for 2 weeks. According to the DOD FMR, Volume 7A,
chapter 27, soldiers are only eligible for this allowance after they have been
separated more than 30 days from their families on a continuous active
duty assignment. This overpayment problem had not been resolved as of
March 31, 2003. Additionally, USPFO officials were unable to provide
supporting documentation explaining why five soldiers continued to
receive a family separation allowance after available documentation



Page 109                                                     GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
                      Appendix VI
                      California 49th Military Police Headquarters
                      and Headquarters Detachment




                      showed that these soldiers’ active duty tours had officially ended. We
                      identified these family separation allowance payments for the five soldiers
                      as overpayments.

                      Late, under- and overpayments of foreign language proficiency pays to the
                      unit’s soldiers primarily resulted from delayed or inadequate data entry.
                      For example, our audit showed that USPFO pay technicians failed to enter
                      transactions into DJMS-RC in a timely manner for four soldiers resulting in
                      late foreign language proficiency payments. In addition, USPFO pay
                      technicians failed to enter any foreign language proficiency payment
                      transactions for 1 month for one soldier and for 3 months for another
                      soldier resulting in those soldiers being underpaid. This underpayment
                      issue had not been resolved as of March 31, 2003. In another instance, a
                      soldier received an overpayment of his entitled foreign language
                      proficiency payment when a USPFO pay technician entered the wrong
                      code. Approximately 3 months later, the USPFO pay technician identified
                      the error and recovered the overpayment.

                      Late payment, underpayment, and overpayment of cost of living allowances
                      resulted from the inability of DJMS-RC to pay certain active duty pays and
                      allowances automatically, inaccurate data entry, and inadequate
                      documentation retention practices. For example, our audit discovered that
                      USPFO pay technicians failed to manually enter cost of living allowance
                      transactions into DJMS-RC in a timely manner for 37 soldiers, resulting in
                      late payments to the soldiers. In addition, USPFO officials were unable to
                      provide sufficient documentation to explain why 3 soldiers appeared not to
                      have received cost of living allowance payments due them for a 2-month
                      period. We considered these pay omissions to be underpayments. An
                      Army pay technician at the Fort Lewis finance office entered the incorrect
                      code, thereby paying a soldier the wrong type of allowance, which resulted
                      in an underpayment.



Pay Problems          California’s 49th Military Police Company demobilized at Fort Lewis on
                      July 28, 2002, and returned to its home station in Pittsburg, California. We
Associated with       did not identify any pay problems for this unit in the demobilization phase.
Demobilization and
Release from Active
Duty



                      Page 110                                             GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Appendix VII

Scope and Methodology                                                                                    Append
                                                                                                              x
                                                                                                              iI
                                                                                                              V




               To obtain an understanding and assess the processes, personnel (human
               capital), and systems used to provide assurance that mobilized Army Guard
               soldiers were paid accurately and timely, we reviewed applicable policies,
               procedures, and program guidance; observed pay processing operations;
               and interviewed cognizant agency officials. With respect to applicable
               policies and procedures, we obtained and reviewed 10 U.S.C. Section
               12302, DOD Directive Number 1235.10, “Activation, Mobilization &
               Demobilization of the Ready Reserve;” DOD FMR, Volume 7A, “Military Pay
               Policy and Procedures Active Duty and Reserve Pay”; and the Army Forces
               Command Regulations 500-3-3, Reserve Component Unit Commander
               Handbook, 500-3-4, Installation Commander Handbook, and 500-3-5,
               Demobilization Plan. We also reviewed various Under Secretary of
               Defense memorandums, a memorandum of agreement between Army and
               DFAS, DFAS, Army, Army Forces Command, and Army National Guard
               guidance applicable to pay for mobilized reserve component soldiers. We
               also used the internal controls standards provided in the Standards for
               Internal Control in Federal Government.1

               We applied the policies and procedures prescribed in these documents to
               the observed and documented procedures and practices followed by the
               various DOD components involved in providing active duty pays to Army
               Guard soldiers. We also interviewed officials from the National Guard
               Bureau, State USPFOs, Army and DOD military pay offices, as well as unit
               commanders to obtain an understanding of their experiences in applying
               these policies and procedures.

               In addition, as part of our audit, we performed a review of certain edit and
               validation checks in DJMS-RC. Specifically, we obtained documentation
               and performed walk-throughs associated with DJMS-RC edits performed
               on pay status/active duty change transactions, such as those to ensure that
               tour start and stop dates match MMPA dates and that the soldier cannot be
               paid basic pay and allowances beyond the stop date that was entered into
               DJMS-RC. We also obtained documentation on and walk-throughs of the
               personnel-to-pay system interface process, the order writing-to-pay system
               interface process, and on the process for entering mobilization information
               into the pay system. We held interviews with officials from the Army

               1
                 U.S. General Accounting Office, Standards for Internal Control in Federal Government,
               GAO/AIMD-00-21.3.1 (Washington D.C.: November 1999). These standards provide the
               overall framework for establishing and maintaining effective internal control and for
               identifying and addressing areas of greatest risk of fraud, waste, abuse, and
               mismanagement.




               Page 111                                                      GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Appendix VII
Scope and Methodology




National Guard Readiness Center, the National Guard Bureau, and DFAS
Indianapolis and Denver to augment our documentation and walkthroughs.

Because our preliminary assessment determined that current operations
used to pay mobilized Army Guard soldiers relied extensively on error-
prone manual transactions entry into multiple, nonintegrated systems, we
did not statistically test current processes and controls. Instead, we used a
case study approach to provide a more detailed perspective of the nature of
pay deficiencies in the three key areas of processes, people (human
capital), and systems. Specifically, we gathered available data and analyzed
the pay experiences of Army Guard special forces and military police units
mobilized to active duty in support of Operations Noble Eagle and
Enduring Freedom during the period from October 2001 through March
2003. We audited six Army Guard units as case studies of the effectiveness
of the controls over active duty pays in place for soldiers assigned to those
units:

• Colorado B Company, 5th Battalion, 19th Special Forces;

• Virginia B Company, 3rd Battalion, 20th Special Forces;

• West Virginia C Company, 2nd Battalion, 19th Special Forces;

• Mississippi 114th Military Police Company;

• California 49th Military Police Headquarters and Headquarters
  Detachment; and

• Maryland 200th Military Police Company.

In selecting these six units for our case studies, we sought to obtain the pay
experiences of units assigned to either Operation Enduring Freedom or
Operation Noble Eagle. We further limited our case study selection to
those units both mobilized to active duty and demobilized from active duty
during the period from October 1, 2001 through March 31, 2003. From the
population of all Army Guard units mobilized and demobilized during this
period, we selected three special forces units and three military police
units. These case studies are presented to provide a more detailed view of
the types and causes of pay problems and the pay experiences of these
units as well as the financial impact of pay problems on individual soldiers
and their families.




Page 112                                               GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Appendix VII
Scope and Methodology




We used mobilization data supplied by the Army Operations Center to
assist us in selecting the six units we used as our case studies. We did not
independently verify the reliability of the Army Operations Center
database. We used the Army Operations Center data to select six states that
had a large number of special forces or military police units that had been
mobilized, deployed, and returned from at least one tour of active duty in
support of Operations Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom. We chose
California, Colorado, Maryland, Mississippi, Virginia, and West Virginia.
From these six states, we selected three special forces and three military
police units that had a variety of deployment locations and missions. We
also identified and performed a limited review of the pay experiences of a
unit still deployed during the period of our review; Colorado’s 220th
Military Police Company. The purpose of our limited review was to
determine if there were any pay problems experienced by a more recently
mobilized unit.

We also obtained in-depth information from soldiers at four of the six case
study units. Using a data collection instrument, we asked for soldier views
on pay problems and customer service experiences before, during, and
after mobilization. Unit commanders distributed the instrument to soldiers
in their units. There were 325 soldiers in these units; in total, we received
87 responses. The information we received from these data collection
instruments is not representative of the views of the Army Guard members
in these units nor of those of Army Guard members overall. The
information provides further insight into some of the pay experiences of
selected Army Guard soldiers who were mobilized under Operations Noble
Eagle and Enduring Freedom.

We used DJMS-RC pay transaction extracts to identify pay problems
associated with our case study units. However, we did not perform an exact
calculation of the net pay soldiers should have received in comparison with
what DJMS-RC records show they received. Rather, we used available
documentation and follow-up inquiries with cognizant USPFO personnel to
identify if (1) soldiers’ entitled active duty pays and allowances were
received within 30 days of initial mobilization date, (2) soldiers were paid
within 30 days of the date they became eligible for active duty pays and
allowances associated with their deployment locations, and (3) soldiers
stopped receiving active duty pays and allowances as of the date of their
demobilization from active duty. As such, our audit results only reflect
problems we identified. Soldiers in our case study units may have
experienced additional pay problems that we did not identify. In addition,




Page 113                                              GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Appendix VII
Scope and Methodology




our work was not designed to identify, and we did not identify, any
fraudulent pay and allowances to any Army Guard soldiers.

As a result of the lack of supporting documents, we likely did not identify
all of the pay problems related to the active duty mobilizations of our case
study units. However, for the pay problems we identified, we counted
soldiers’ pay problems as a problem only in the phase in which they first
occurred even if the problems persisted into other phases. For purposes of
characterizing pay problems for this report, we defined over- and
underpayments as those pays or allowances for mobilized Army Guard
soldiers during the period from October 1, 2001, through March 31, 2003,
that were in excess of (overpayment) or less than (underpayment) the
entitled payment. We considered as late payments any active duty pays or
allowances paid to the soldier over 30 days after the date on which the
soldier was entitled to receive such pays or allowances. As such, these
payments were those that, although late, addressed a previously unpaid
entitlement.

We did not include any erroneous debts associated with these payments as
pay problems. In addition, we used available data to estimate collections
against identified overpayments through March 31, 2003. We did not
attempt to estimate payments received against identified underpayments.
We provided the support for the pay problems we identified to appropriate
officials, at each of our case study locations so that they could fully develop
and resolve any additional amounts owed to the government or to the Army
Guard soldiers.

We briefed DOD and Army officials, National Guard Bureau officials, DFAS
officials, and USPFO officials in the selected states on the details of our
audit, including our findings and their implications. On October 10, 2003,
we requested comments on a draft of this report. We received comments
on November 5, 2003, and have summarized those comments in the
“Agency Comments and Our Evaluation” section of this report. DOD’s
comments are reprinted in appendix VIII. We conducted our audit work
from November 2002 through September 2003 in accordance with U.S.
generally accepted government auditing standards.




Page 114                                               GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Appendix VIII

Comments from the Department of Defense                 Appendx
                                                              iI
                                                              V




                Page 115         GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
     Appendix VIII
     Comments from the Department of Defense




                    GAO DRAFT REPORT DATED OCTOBER 10, 2003
                          GAO-04-89 (GAO CODE 192080)

              “MILITARY PAY: ARMY NATIONAL GUARD PERSONNEL
                   MOBILIZED TO ACTIVE DUTY EXPERIENCED
                         SIGNIFICANT PAY PROBLEMS”

                         DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE COMMENTS
                           TO THE GAO RECOMMENDATIONS


RECOMMENDATION 1: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense direct the
Director of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), in conjunction with the Under
Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), to establish a unified set of policies and procedures for all
Army Guard, Army, and DFAS personnel to follow for servicing active duty pays for Army
Guard personnel mobilized to active duty. (p. 74/GAO Draft Report)

DoD RESPONSE: Concur. DFAS and the Army are jointly building on the existing guidance
procedures as published in FORSCOM REG 500-3-3, (FORSCOM Mobilization and
Deployment Planning System Form Deps, Volume 3, Reserve Component Commanders’
Handbook dated July 15,1999); the National Guard Standard Operating Procedure Contingency
Operations; and DFAS AIG Message dated December 19, 2002, Subject: Reserve Component-
Mobilization Procedures, to clearly define the roles and responsibilities between
mobilization/demobilization stations, United States Property and Fiscal Offices (USPFOs), and
deployed Army finance elements. A joint task force has been established to review existing
procedural guidance, lessons learned to date, and available metrics. As a first step, expanded
central guidance will be published within the next 30 days, which will further articulate the
specific responsibilities of the servicing finance activities. This breakout of responsibilities will
also be provided in a simple matrix form to visually reinforce this guidance. Within
approximately 60 days, the Army and DFAS will begin compliance reviews of the
mobilization/demobilization stations to ensure adherence to published guidance and to provide
any further assistance these offices may require. Within the next 3 to 6 months, the task force
will build upon the existing guidance to provide comprehensive procedures and related
standards, down to the individual technician level, for all offices and units responsible for pay
input support of mobilized soldiers.


RECOMMENDATION 2: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense direct the
Secretary of the Army, in conjunction with the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), to
establish performance measures for obtaining supporting documentation and processing pay
transactions. (p. 75/Draft Report)

DoD RESPONSE: Concur. Standards for the timeliness of processing pay transactions are
currently in place for units, finance offices, and central site. However, these standards are
focused on the full range of transactions and associated unit level data is generated based on the
normal permanent/home station relationship with a Reserve Component Pay Support Office.

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Within the next 6 months, DFAS and the Army will jointly review how these existing
mechanisms can be used to more succinctly capture data specifically related to mobilized
soldiers and units.


RECOMMENDATION 3: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense direct the
Secretary of the Army, in conjunction with the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), to
establish who is accountable for stopping active duty pays for soldiers who return home separate
from their units. (p. 75/Draft Report)

DoD RESPONSE: Concur. Within the next 30 days, DFAS, in cooperation with the Army, will
reinforce existing procedures on responsibilities for stopping active duty pays for soldiers who
return home separate from their units. This will be part of the revised guidance identified in
response to recommendation one. In addition, mechanisms have been established to perform
automated comparisons of personnel demobilization records and the Defense Joint Military Pay
System - Reserve Component (DJMS-RC) to identify any demobilizing soldiers whose tours in
the pay system were not adjusted to coincide with the demobilization date.


RECOMMENDATION 4: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense direct the
Secretary of the Army, in conjunction with the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), to
clarify the policies and procedures for how to properly amend active duty orders, including
medical extensions. (p. 75/Draft Report)

DoD RESPONSE: Concur. For medical extensions, the Army published revised guidance on
June 10, 2003, reinforcing procedures on this process. Included were the requirements for
publishing orders prior to the end date of the current active duty tour. Concerning the specific
case in Colorado cited by the GAO, DFAS and the Army have implemented changes to the input
systems to warn the operator processing a tour cancellation when the correct input should be a
tour curtailment. Action is complete.


RECOMMENDATION 5: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense direct the
Secretary of the Army, in conjunction with the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), to
require Army Guard commands and unit commanders to carry out complete monthly pay and
personnel records reconciliations and take necessary actions to correct any pay and personnel
record mismatches found each month. (p. 75/Draft Report)

DoD RESPONSE: Concur. Within 60 days, the Army will reinforce to all reserve commands
the importance of this requirement. As noted by the GAO, this requirement is already included
in US Army Forces Command Regulation 500-3-3, Unit Commander’s Handbook.


RECOMMENDATION 6: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense direct the
Secretary of the Army, in conjunction with the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), to
update policies and procedures to reflect current legal and DoD administrative requirements with

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respect to active duty pays and allowances and transaction processing requirements for mobilized
Army Guard soldiers. (p. 75/Draft Report)

DoD RESPONSE: Concur. In Fiscal Year 2004, DFAS, the Army, and National Guard will
respectively update the cited regulations under their cognizance to the most current and accurate
requirements.


RECOMMENDATION 7: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense direct the
Secretary of the Army, in conjunction with the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), to
consider expanding the scope of the existing memorandum of understanding between DFAS and
the Army concerning the provisions of resources to support surge processing at mobilization and
demobilization sites to include providing additional resources to support surge processing for pay
start and stop transactions requirements at Army Guard home stations during initial soldier
readiness programs. (p. 75/Draft Report)

DoD RESPONSE: Concur. The Army will work with the National Guard on resourcing the
USPFOs for mobilization/demobilization surges. However, the memorandum of understanding
between DFAS and the Army pertains only to the management and resourcing of Defense
Military Pay Offices, to include their role in support of mobilization/ demobilization stations. As
such, it is not the appropriate vehicle to address staffing of USPFO under the National Guard.


RECOMMENDATION 8: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense direct the
Secretary of the Army, in conjunction with the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), to
determine whether issues concerning resource allocations for the military pay operations
identified at our case study units exist at all 54 USPFOs, and, if so, take appropriate actions to
address these issues. (p. 76/Draft Report)

DoD RESPONSE: Concur. To support surge requirements, the National Guard could use
additional National Guard soldiers being brought on active duty in a Temporary Tour of Active
Duty status to augment the USPFO staff based on mobilization workload requirements. The
additional requirement and funding will need to be addressed by the supplemental provided to
Army. Normal manning at the USPFO, Military Pay Section is based on Full Time Support
authorized state strength levels.


RECOMMENDATION 9: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense direct the
Secretary of the Army, in conjunction with the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), to
determine whether concerns over relatively low graded military pay technicians identified at our
case study units exist at all 54 USPFOs, and, if so, take appropriate actions to address these
issues. (p. 76/Draft Report)

DoD RESPONSE: Concur. Higher grades would provide a more stable and experienced
workforce at the USPFO. However, grade structure is established based on guidance from the
Office of Personnel Management (OPM). The National Guard recently completed a review of

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    Comments from the Department of Defense




grade levels in the USPFOs’ Comptroller sections and the current grade levels for military pay
technicians were validated as correct under OPM standards. Action is complete.


RECOMMENDATION 10: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense direct the
Secretary of the Army, in conjunction with the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), to
modify existing training policies and procedures to require all USPFO and active Army pay and
or finance personnel responsible for entering pay transactions for mobilized Army Guard soldiers
to receive appropriate training upon assuming such duties. (p. 76/Draft Report)

DoD RESPONSE: Concur. The National Guard has instituted mobilization specific training for
pay technicians. The National Guard Financial Services Center quality assurance program is
currently used to monitor completion of JUMPS Standard Terminal Input System (JUSTIS)
training for USPFO military pay technicians. The US Army Reserve Command (USARC) has
expanded training programs on DJMS-RC to help support the immediate training needs of
deploying units and mobilization/demobilization stations. Over 35 training events have occurred
since February 2002 in support of deploying units and mobilization/demobilization sites. The
Army finance school is working with USARC to develop an exportable training package on
DJMS-RC, which should be available within the next 6 months. Additionally, DFAS and the
Army are sending a joint training team to Kuwait and Iraq in November 2003 to specifically
address reserve component support. For the midterm (6 months to 2 years), the training on
reserve component pay input for soldiers in finance battalions and garrison support units will be
evaluated to determine how best to expand the training within the Army total training
infrastructure, particularly in light of the planned integration of reserve and active component
pay processing into a single system. The Army finance school is already evaluating the
expansion of the current instruction on mobilized reserve component pay in the training
curriculum for the finance advanced individual training course.


RECOMMENDATION 11: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense direct the
Secretary of the Army, in conjunction with the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), to
require unit commanders to receive training on the importance of adhering to requirements to
conduct annual pay support documentation reviews and carry out monthly reconciliations.
(p. 76/Draft Report)

DoD RESPONSE: Concur. The importance of conducting annual pay support documentation
reviews and monthly reconciliations will be incorporated into precommand courses at the
company level for the National Guard by the end of Fiscal Year 2004.


RECOMMENDATION 12: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense direct the
Secretary of the Army, in conjunction with the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), to
establish an ongoing mechanism to monitor the quality and completion of training for both pay
and finance personnel and unit commanders. (p. 76/Draft Report)

DoD RESPONSE: Concur. The National Guard currently reviews the training status of
military pay technicians at the USPFOs as part of the ongoing quality assurance review program.
                                               4
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     Comments from the Department of Defense




The appropriate mechanism for monitoring the training of unit commanders and finance battalion
personnel is dependent on the location of that training in the overall Army training infrastructure
(i.e. unit training is assessed as part of the annual External Evaluation-ExEval) and, as such will
be considered as part of the overall evaluation of the reserve pay training addressed in response
to recommendation 10.


RECOMMENDATION 13: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense direct the
Secretary of the Army, in conjunction with the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), to
identify and evaluate options for improving customer service provided to mobilized Army Guard
soldiers by providing improved procedures for informing soldiers of their pay and allowance
entitlements throughout their active duty mobilization. (p. 76/Draft Report)

DoD RESPONSE: Concur. Within the next 30 days, the Army will prepare a standard
information flyer to be given to all mobilizing reservists. The flyer will address entitlements as
well as sources of pay support. The flyer will be published via Army Knowledge Online and
incorporated into the overall revision to procedural guidance addressed in response to
recommendation one.


RECOMMENDATION 14: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense direct the
Secretary of the Army, in conjunction with the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), to
identify and evaluate options for improving customer service provided to mobilized Army Guard
soldiers with respect to providing a single, well-advertised, source for soldiers and their families
to access for customer service for any pay problems. (p. 77/Draft Report)

DoD RESPONSE: Concur. The existing centralized information sources on individual soldiers
pay will be expanded. Specifically, DFAS will continue to add functionality to myPay for input
of discretionary actions. Additionally, DFAS is developing a separate view-only Personal
Identification Number capability which soldiers will be able to give their dependents so they can
see the Leave and Earning Statement without being able to change anything on the pay record.
This enhancement is scheduled for August 2004. The DFAS also operates a central customer
service center for pay inquiries for all Services. The toll free number for this center as well as
the myPay internet address will be incorporated in the flyer discussed in response to
recommendation 13 as well as continue being advertised in locations such as Army Knowledge
Online. Until the implementation of DIMHRS, with full integration of pay and personnel, the
processing of pay transactions will still require the movement of some entitlement
information/authorization from units and personnel to finance via paper. As such, a network of
finance support activities is required to geographically align with deployed combat and
supporting personnel units. As always, pay remains essentially a command responsibility. For
the individual soldier, the single source of pay support is his or her unit, which in-turn interfaces
with the appropriate finance and personnel activities. For dependents of deployed soldiers, the
single source for finance, or any administrative issues, is either the rear detachment of the
soldiers’ deployed unit or, for the National Guard, the applicable State Family Assistance
Coordinator.



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     Comments from the Department of Defense




RECOMMENDATION 15: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense direct the
Secretary of the Army, in conjunction with the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), to
review the pay problems we identified at our six case study units to identify and resolve any
outstanding pay issues for the affected soldiers. (p. 77/Draft Report)

DoD RESPONSE: Concur. The National Guard Financial Services Center is working with
each of the identified units and supporting USPFOs to ensure all pay issues are resolved. The
Army and DFAS will continue to work the correction of any specific cases identified as still
open for these units. As noted by the GAO, many of the cases identified have already been
resolved or involved a delay in payment over 30 days from entitlement rather than an actual
unresolved discrepancy.


RECOMMENDATION 16: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense direct the
Secretary of the Army, in conjunction with the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), to
evaluate the feasibility of using the personnel-to-pay interface as a means to proactively alert pay
personnel of actions needed to start entitled active duty pays and allowances. (p. 77/Draft
Report)

DoD RESPONSE: Concur. Within the next 6 months, we will evaluate the feasibility of using
the personnel-to-pay interface as a means to proactively alert pay personnel of actions needed to
start entitled active duty pays and allowances.


RECOMMENDATION 17: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense direct the
Director of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, in conjunction with the Under
Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), to evaluate the feasibility of automating some or all of the
current manual monthly pays, including special duty assignment pay, foreign language
proficiency pay, hardship duty pay and high altitude, low opening jump pay. (p. 77/Draft
Report)

DoD RESPONSE: Concur. Programming changes to DJMS-RC have been implemented to
enhance the processes for special duty assignment pay and foreign language proficiency pay.
However, monthly input is still required. Hardship duty pay is scheduled for implementation for
April 2004. High altitude, low opening jump pay requires manual computation and input of a
transaction for payment. The small volume of members entitled to this pay has not justified nor
provided an adequate return on investment for this automation. DFAS has recognized the
urgency of improving the military pay system capabilities supporting our Service members. A
study was conducted of improvement alternatives in the fall of 2002, which concluded that a new
commercial off the shelf based payroll capability (“Forward Compatible Payroll” (FCP)) was the
best option to expeditiously improve our system payroll services. FCP is currently prototyping
military entitlements and deductions and has already demonstrated that DJMS RC’s current
monthly manual pays can be automated rapidly in the new commercial off the shelf based
environment.




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     Appendix VIII
     Comments from the Department of Defense




RECOMMENDATION 18: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense direct the
Director of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, in conjunction with the Under
Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), to evaluate the feasibility of eliminating the use of the
“other credits” for processing Hardship Duty (Designated Areas); high altitude, low opening
jump pay; and special duty assignment pay, and instead establishing a separate component of pay
for each type of pay. (p. 77/Draft Report)

DoD RESPONSE: Concur. Hardship duty pay is scheduled for automation in April 2004. We
will also recommend inclusion of automation of high altitude, low opening jump pay in FCP. We
acknowledge that the information available to the member is inadequate in today’s system. This
has already been addressed in the FCP requirements. Each pay is designed to provide fully
automated computation capability for active, Reserve/Guard and detailed leave and earnings
statement reporting to the Service member through myPay. FCP will use legacy military
pers/pay data feeds to create a single military pay record for each Service member supporting all
Service component affiliations and duty statuses. FCP will resolve pay systems capability
related problems described in this report. Until such time FCP has been implemented, we will
ensure that these certain pays paid under “other credits” are included in the flyer addressed in
response to recommendation 13. In addition, DFAS will update the DFAS Reserve Component
Mobilization Procedures to mandate a remark be entered on the service member’s leave and
earnings statement for pays paid under “other credits” to inform the service member exactly what
entitlement(s) they have paid.


RECOMMENDATION 19: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense direct the
Secretary of the Army, in conjunction with the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), to
evaluate the feasibility of using the JUSTIS warning screen to help eliminate inadvertent
omissions of required monthly manual pay inputs. (p. 78/Draft Report)

DoD RESPONSE: Concur. The National Guard will develop a JUSTIS table identifying all
applicable soldiers in order to notify the USPFO technician of accounts requiring monthly
entitlement input. This will be more efficient and effective than a pop-up warning screen, which
would appear only if the individual soldier’s social security number were input.


RECOMMENDATION 20: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense direct the
Director of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, in conjunction with the Under
Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), to evaluate the feasibility of redesigning leave and earnings
statement to provide soldiers with a clear explanation of all pay and allowances received so that
they can readily determine if they received all and only entitled pays. (p. 78/Draft Report)

DoD RESPONSE: Concur: We agree with the intent of this finding to provide a full explanation
to service members for changes occurring on their leave and earnings statement. The DFAS is
taking steps to improve the readability and meaningfulness of notices and information on the
leave and earnings statement. Changes to the software used by the input systems (Defense
MilPay Office and JUSTIS) utilized by the Army, Army National Guard, and DFAS, will require
a remark be inserted on the leave and earnings statement whenever a manual payment or debt is
made. Additionally, we will make every effort to better educate Service members on
                                                7
                                                                                        Enclosure




     Page 122                                                                   GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
     Appendix VIII
     Comments from the Department of Defense




understanding their leave and earnings statement by reviewing and updating (as necessary) the
information provided on our website(s); by providing independent leave and earnings statement
remarks for present and future changes; continuing to provide the USPFOs ands Reserve
Component Pay Support Offices with monthly newsletters; and effective immediately, provide
the finance battalions/Defense Military Pay Offices with the National Guard newsletter.

For the future, FCP is being designed with an easily understandable leave and earnings statement
as one of the main requirements. Each pay is designed to provide fully automated computation
capability for active, Reserve/Guard and detailed leave and earnings statement reporting through
myPay. FCP will use legacy military pers/pay data feeds to create a single military pay record
for each Service member supporting all Service component affiliations and duty statuses. FCP
will also resolve pay systems capability related problems described in this report.


RECOMMENDATION 21: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense direct the
Director of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, in conjunction with the Under
Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), to evaluate the feasibility of establishing an edit check and
requiring approval before processing any debt assessments above a specified dollar amount.
(p. 78/Draft Report)

DoD RESPONSE: Concur. The DFAS has already updated its current input system (Defense
MilPay Office) to provide a warning to field finance personnel concerning the debt impact of
tour cancellation (vice modification) for Reserve/Guard members. DJMS-RC would require a
small to medium system change to edit debts that exceeded an established threshold or required
approval. Secondary manual processing would be required to start the collection process or
delete the debts.


RECOMMENDATION 22: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense direct the
Director of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, in conjunction with the Under
Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), as part of the current effort underway to reform DoD’s pay
and personnel systems-referred to as DIMHRS - incorporate a complete understanding of the
Army Guard pay problems as documented in this report into the requirements development for
this system. (p. 78/Draft Report)

DoD RESPONSE: Concur. The DFAS has provided detailed military pay requirements input
to the DIMHRS Program that support fully automated computation of all military pay
entitlements and deductions. The DIMHRS system military pay requirements submitted by
DFAS would resolve system related pay problems as described in this report. DIMHRS is
envisioned to create a single military personnel/pay record for each Service member supporting
all Service component affiliations and duty statuses.


RECOMMENDATION 23: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense direct the
Director of the Defense Finance and Accounting Service, in conjunction with the Under
Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), to consider complete reengineering of the processes and
controls and ensure that this reengineering effort deals not only with the systems aspect of the
                                                 8
                                                                                         Enclosure




     Page 123                                                                    GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
     Appendix VIII
     Comments from the Department of Defense




problems identified, but also with the human capital and process aspects when developing
DIMHRS. (p. 78/Draft Report)

DoD RESPONSE: Concur. The DFAS and Army have been actively involved in
recommending an improved operational military pers/pay concept in the DIMHRS environment.
Procedural changes are clearly required to capitalize on the opportunities afforded by a modern
fully integrated personnel and pay system including improvements in process cycle time,
customer service, and accountability. The DFAS is working with the Army DIMHRS Office to
document existing workflow and roles and responsibilities. The DIMHRS Program is still in the
very early stages of determining when and how integrated processes and workflows will be
incorporated into the DIMHRS based operational concept. The DIMHRS “Joint Service
Functional Concept of Operations,” dated July 15, 2003, page 14, indicates that the current plan
is to “…initially mirror the existing ‘As-Is’ structure until the new capability has been fielded
and risk factors/ requirements have been clearly identified. A determination of what additional
skills and expertise are required for operators of a knowledge-based personnel community must
be made after the capabilities of the commercial off the shelf product are fully known.”




                                                9
                                                                                       Enclosure




     Page 124                                                                   GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
Appendix IX

GAO Contacts and Staff Acknowledgments                                                       Appendx
                                                                                                   IiX




GAO Contacts      Geoffrey B. Frank, (202) 512-9518
                  Sheila D. Miller, (303) 572-7378



Acknowledgments   Staff making key contributions to this report include: Paul S. Begnaud,
                  Ronald A. Bergman, James D. Berry, Jr., Amy C. Chang, Mary E. Chervenic,
                  Francine M. DelVecchio, C. Robert DeRoy, Dennis B. Fauber, Jennifer L.
                  Hall, Charles R. Hodge, Jason M. Kelly, Julia C. Matta, Jonathan T. Meyer,
                  John J. Ryan, Rebecca Shea, Crawford L. Thompson, Jordan M. Tiger,
                  Patrick S. Tobo, Raymond M. Wessmiller, and Jenniffer F. Wilson.




(192080)          Page 125                                            GAO-04-89 Army Guard Pay
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