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A key element of DOD’s strategy is successful implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. However, inadequate requirements management, inadequate systems testing, ineffective oversight over business system investments, and other challenges have hindered the department’s efforts to implement these systems on schedule and within budget. Effective and sustained leadership and oversight of the department’s ERP implementation will be important to ensure that these important initiatives result in the integrated capabilities needed to transform the department’s financial management and related business operations.

The Ike Skelton National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 (NDAA)11 lists actions that DOD is required to take and include in its FIAR Plan. The NDAA requires the DOD Comptroller to, among other things,

establish interim milestones for achieving audit readiness of DOD’s financial statements consistent with the requirements of section 1003 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010,12 which requires DOD’s financial statements to be validated as audit ready no later than September 30, 2017. The interim milestones shall include, for each military department and for the defense agencies and defense field activities, interim milestones for (1) achieving audit readiness for each major element of the Statement of Budgetary Resources, and (2) addressing the existence and completeness of each major category of assets, including military equipment, real property, and operating material and supplies; and examine the costs and benefits of alternative approaches to the valuation of DOD assets, select a valuation approach, and begin to prepare a business case analysis supporting the selected approach.

Important to the success of DOD’s current priorities and the FIAR program are high-quality, detailed plans, and effective implementation at all levels. Long-term, to achieve financial statement auditability and improve financial management information, it will be important that DOD establish sound strategic planning and effective implementation across the department, and at all levels, with efforts that can be sustained through leadership transitions.

11Pub. L. No. 111-383, Div. A, Tit. VIII, § 881, 124 Stat. 4137, 4306 (Jan. 7, 2011). 12Pub. L. No. 111-84, Div. A, Tit. X, § 1003, 123 Stat. 2190, 2439-2441 (Oct. 28, 2009).

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