(2) when he expects to introduce the Joint Personnel Administration computer system fully for (a) the Royal Air Force, (b) the Royal Navy and (c) the Army;
(3) what assessment has been made of the suitability of the Joint Personnel Administration system for defence services;
(4) what reports Ministers have received about the operation of the Joint Personnel Administration system;
(5) how many complaints have been received about the operation of the Joint Personnel Administration computer system; and what changes have been made to the timetable for its introduction since the system was originally planned.
On 20 March 2006, the Armed Forces Personnel Administration Agency (AFPAA) rolled out Joint Personnel Administration (JPA) to all 48,000 RAF service personnel throughout the world on time and on budget. The event marked the culmination of five years of system design, development, integration and testing and bears testimony to a very strong partnering agreement between MOD and EDS. The total cost to date of JPA is £116 million.
The suitability of JPA was considered in July 2004 by the Defence Investment Approvals Board in approving the Main Gate Business Case. Prior to rollout, the readiness for service was assessed by an independent Office of Government Commerce Gateway review.
On JPA rollout to the RAF there were a small number of technical issues which had not manifested themselves in the extensive testing carried out prior to its launch. This resulted in the system operating much more slowly than anticipated which greatly restricted the number of self-service users at any one time. Over the course of the last six weeks these early problems have been overcome and all users now have full access to the system. JPA has performed satisfactorily on rollout to RAF professional HR administrators and has delivered pay to the RAF with only a relatively few discrepancies caused by the migration of data from the legacy systems to JPA. Although the first few weeks following rollout have generated a significant number of enquiries, no formal complaints have been received.
Following RAF rollout, the related provisional JPA dates for the RN and Army were June and November 2006 respectively. However, in order to more closely align JPA with Defence Information Infrastructure (Future) programme requirements, current plans are that JPA will be rolled out to the RN from October 2006 and to the Army from March 2007 respectively.