Tuesday, July 25, 2006

DTS: can you kill the undead?

Yes, someone needs to be fired. Read other posts here and here on DTS, then let's look some more.
After eight years of development, the Defense Travel System will finally approach full deployment in 2006. But only a fraction of Defense Department travelers use the system, and its costs have risen. So the Senate is using its budget powers to force accountability and reward performance by switching from appropriated funding to a fee-for-service system. ... The original contract anticipated full deployment by 2002.
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), ... “most Pentagon employees would be better off to go to Travelocity or Orbitz.”
That's a fact.
DOD said the system will save the government $13 million this year. But the calculations that produced that figure are unclear.
Northrop Grumman’s six-year DTS contract expires at the end of fiscal 2006. According to the Government Accountability Office, DTS will have cost $474 million by that time,
Let's do the math. Save $13, not let's round up to $15 million a year. Cost is $474 million. Break even in 2037 if you start from FY06. Mmmmm. Given Moore's Law, what'cha bet technology in industry will have a better answer by then? Oh, I know, the savings were this year when the system isn't fully up and running (DOD says that represents a 60% usage figure for the first year. This would give you ~ $21 million a year at full utilization and a run to 2026 to break even).

Ok then. Let's say it generates 10 times the savings of the original figure to $130 million. That still gets you to 2009. Moore's Law. Think the Pentagon will change its already outdated computers that caused a lot of the coding problems by then? One would hope. Then what?

Don't even get me started on the user interface, documentation, and personnel training of the system.......

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