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DISA Completes Information Center Consolidation

By Lola DeGroff
Special to American Forces Press Service

ARLINGTON, Va., Oct. 6, 1997 – A consolidation aimed at reducing sites, reducing manpower and increasing information processing efficiency has been completed six months ahead of schedule.

Army Lt. Gen. David J. Kelley, Defense Information Systems Agency director, announced mainframe processing operations moved from the agency's processing center at Yokosuka, Japan, to San Diego. This marked the final step in consolidation, which began in 1990.

There were nearly 200 DoD mainframe information processing centers then; now there are 16. The consolidations reduced annual mainframe operating costs by more than a $500 million between 1990 and 1996. Nearly 7,000 employees took advantage of early retirement, retraining and job placement thanks to an innovative human resource plan designed to minimize the adverse effects on people working at the centers.

Kelley gives a great deal of credit for the success of the entire consolidation to DISA customers. "They were part of our team," he said. "They knew the importance of what we had to accomplish and were with us all the way. Thanks to everyone's efforts, there were no mission failures or significant adverse impact on missions."

In an era of shrinking budgets, DISA is on a glide path to lower costs and economies of scale for its customers. With the completion of this phase, DISA begins implementation of the 1997 Quadrennial Defense Review guidance that will further consolidate DoD mainframe processing into six sites.

Many government streamlining initiatives were involved in the overall consolidation efforts. In November 1990, DoD directed the services and defense agencies to consolidate their data centers. The Army went from 44 to four; the Air Force from 78 to 10, Navy/Marine Corps from 38 to 35 and the Defense Logistics Agency from 28 to four.

The 1993 Base Closure and Realignment Commission also recommended closing some centers. (DeGroff is a writer at the Defense Information Systems Agency)

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