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Afghan Personnel
and Pay System (APPS)

The Afghan Personnel and Pay System (APPS) is designed to integrate and automate ". . . all aspects of human capital management for authorizations, recruiting, personnel record keeping and transactions, standardized compensation, payroll generation, disbursement instructions of payroll, financial accounting for payroll and retirement/pension management to make the ANDSF more sustainable, affordable and effective". 1. 

The DoD 1225 report of June 2016 says that "APPS is an enterprise resource planning system that will integrate existing MoD and MoI systems for personnel management and payroll into a single platform providing timely and accurate accountability of all personnel, including civilians, within the MoD and MoI". 5. 

The system, once fully implemented, will be used and maintained in Afghanistan by Afghan police and Army personnel. It was hoped that the Afghans would be able to transition to the APPS in 2016 but it appears that progress has been slow. 2. 

Advisors and Staff at Resolute Support headquarters in Kabul have been working for a number of years to assist the Afghans to implement the APPS - but progress has been slow. A number of civilian and military personnel have rotated through Afghanistan working on this project. 3. 

The staff members and advisors working within Essential Function 4 at Resolute Support headquarters are facing a daunting task in trying to implement the APPS within the Ministry of Defense. The track record of getting the Afghans to adopt computerized systems is not good. Many of the members of the ANDSF are illiterate and most do not have computer skills. Access to computers within the MoD and MoI is limited and the country is just not wired for Internet access. These complicated computer systems may eventually be up and running at the MoD and MoI in the future but one has to wonder how well the systems will work at the corps and police zone levels . . . and below. 4. 

APPS - A Problematic Approach. There are a number of factors that are affecting the effective implementation of APPS. Corruption, of course, is the number one issue - taking a slice of the pay of existing police and soldiers and/or pocketing the salaries of 'ghost' members of the ANDSF is an enriching enterprise for many Afghan commanders. Illiteracy and lack of computer skills within the MoD, MoI, and ANDSF in general is another. Additional factors include lack of Internet infrastructure, an inadequate Afghan banking system, dsyfunctional legacy computer systems, lack of electricity, stand-alone payroll data bases at regional levels not tied into the central MoI and MoD systems, and more.

Fielding APPS. According to a Resolute Support press release the Afghan Ministry of Finance has implemented the Afghan Personnel and Pay System as of July 2017. A training and fielding plan, using an Afghan IT company that is providing the operator training, will include information briefs and hands-on training in APPS. The training is designed for human resources and payroll personnel. The APPS will be fielded in about 25 commands in the Kabul area as well as with all six ANA corps and their associated brigades. 6.


 


Endnotes

1. Explanation in quotes taken from the RS NATO portal on May 21, 2016. At this time the APPS was advised by the Project Manager (PM APPS) office under the direction of the Combined Security Transition Command - Afghanistan (CSTC-A).
www.rs.nato.int/subordinate-commands/cstc-a/index.php

2. For the date of fielding for the APPS see the Quarterly Report to Congress, SIGAR, January 2016, page 82.
www.sigar.mil/pdf/quarterlyreports/2016-01-30qr-section3-security.pdf

3. For an idea of the type of civilian advisors who are working on the APPS program read "Pearisburg native helps to improve reliability of Afghan army pay system", The Roanoke Times, November 11, 2016.

4. For some history on implementing personnel and pay systems read Afghan National Army: Millions of Dollars at Risk Due to Minimal Oversightj of Personnel and Payroll Data, SIGAR Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, SIGAR 15-54 Audit Report, April 2015.
www.sigar.mil/pdf/audits/SIGAR-15-54-AR.pdf

5. See page 12, Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan, Department of Defense, DoD 1225 report, June 2016.
http://www.defense.gov//Enhancing_Security_Stability_in_Afghanistan-June_2016.pdf

6. For more on the implementation of APPS read "ANDSF gets new personnel, pay system", Resolute Support, July 21, 2017.


References

Support to Payroll Management MOIA and Police Development, Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan (LOTFA), Quarter Progress Report - July-September 2015, November 2015.
www.af.undp.org/content/dam/afghanistan/ . . . /LOTFA-3QPR-2015.pdf

 


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