Sunday, November 13, 2016

Afghan Personnel and Pay System (APPS) - a Difficult Program to Implement

The Afghan government and military is extremely corrupt. Transparency International conducts yearly assessments of the most corrupt nations in the world - and Afghanistan has consistently ranked in the top three - along with Somalia and North Korea (good company there I must say). So it is no surprise that the pay system for the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) is inefficient and and riddled with corruption. Many senior and mid-level police and army officers are padding their pockets with money from the pay of police and soldiers who work for them. In addition to tapping into the pay of existing soldiers and police many Afghan commanders are pocketing the pay of ghost soldiers and police in Afghanistan.

The fact that the Afghan personnel and pay system is corrupt is not new - this is common knowledge and many unsuccessful attempts have been made to try and correct the systems by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and now Resolute Support (after January 2015). See SIGAR 15-54 Audit Report (April 2015). The advisors and staff of RS HQs Essential Function 4 are struggling with this important yet frustrating task.

The Afghan Personnel and Pay System (APPS) is a new program (not sure how new it really is to be truthful) designed to standardize pay for the Afghan National Army, provide biometric identification for all soldiers, and reduce the potential for any corruption in the Afghan pay system. The APPS is supposed to leverage the (not fully implemented) Afghan Human Resource Management System (AHRIMS) that was introduced a few years back.

It takes dedicated and knowledgeable advisors and staff to assist the Afghan army in the implementation of the APPS. One such staff member is Anthony D. Parton - a U.S. Department of the Army civilian employee. Read his story on his job working for the implementation of APPS at Resolute Support Headquarters in Kabul in "Pearisburg native helps to improve reliability of Afghan army pay system", The Roanoke Times, November 11, 2016.

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