Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Government Programming The Military

The Pentagon's Seven Million Lines of Cobol 345

Posted by Soulskill
from the lords-of-cobol-hear-my-prayers dept.
MrMetlHed writes "A portion of this Reuters article about the Pentagon's inability to manage paying soldiers properly mentions that their payroll program has 'seven million lines of Cobol code that hasn't been updated.' It goes on to mention that the documentation has been lost, and no one really knows how to update it well. In trying to replace the program, the Pentagon spent a billion dollars and wasn't successful."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

The Pentagon's Seven Million Lines of Cobol

Comments Filter:
  • by mveloso (325617) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @05:25PM (#44243955)

    But - but - cobol is supposed to be self-documenting!

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @05:30PM (#44244027)

      But - but - cobol is supposed to be self-documenting!

      TL;DR

      • by budgenator (254554) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @07:55PM (#44245437) Journal

        Well the source code is usually fairly legible, but at 7 million lines the spaghetti factor is likely pretty high.

        • by Ashenkase (2008188) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @08:21PM (#44245615)

          In trying to replace the program, the Pentagon spent a billion dollars and wasn't successful.

          Translation: the pimps deployed highly effective counter measures to shock and awe the client, the result was a resounding victory of "extended" contracts!

        • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @09:08PM (#44245887)

          Seven million lines of COBOL might only be a short sorting routine.

        • by Anne Thwacks (531696) on Thursday July 11, 2013 @02:09AM (#44247481)
          Have you seen Cobol? It takes several hundred lines to write a "Hello World" program. 7 million lines of Cobol can probably be replaced by 70 lines of Perl (at the expense of any possibility of anyone ever reading it).
          • I'm no fan of COBOL (and enjoyed Dijkstra's criticism), but its main flaws are not to do with being verbose. "Hello World" is longer than it would be in most languages, though a lot of that is just overhead; in general the line count in COBOL is not massively bigger than in other languages. Of course, the syntax in each line can be a mouthful, with an excessive use of keywords obscuring the structure, but in coding business logic this is not always a disadvantage (business logic is often convoluted anyway,

          • Have you seen Cobol? It takes several hundred lines to write a "Hello World" program. 7 million lines of Cobol can probably be replaced by 70 lines of Perl (at the expense of any possibility of anyone ever reading it).

            Hello World isn't so bad

            IDENTIFICATION DIVISION.
            PROGRAM-ID. HELLO-WORLD.
            PROCEDURE DIVISION.
            DISPLAY 'Hello, world'.
            STOP RUN.

            Even Hello, OS/360 circa 1972 is

            001 IDENTIFICATION DIVISION.
            002 PROGRAM-ID. 'HELLO'.
            003 ENVIRONMENT DIVI

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by kmoser (1469707)

          Well the source code is usually fairly legible, but at 7 million lines the spaghetti factor is likely pretty high.

          You assume the source code was still available.

    • by Avidiax (827422) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @05:43PM (#44244175)

      The claim that the documentation "vanished" seems bogus. Far more likely in my opinion that it never existed in the first place, or that at some point they fired everyone, and thus broke the chain of custody.

      • by cold fjord (826450) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @05:56PM (#44244311)

        Normal staff turnover and one building move would probably stand a good chance of taking care of it.

        • by Shavano (2541114) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @10:54PM (#44246515)
          Normal staff turnover in the military is 2 years on an assignment. People come in knowing next to nothing, spend two years learning 80% of what the previous incument knew and then move on. It doesn't take many cycles of that before all useful knowledge is lost.
          • I will say that I was pleased to discover that my old software (my very first program, written with one of my NCO's - and it's not clear from the comment, but that wasn't anywhere close to my job...it just happened for convenience) was still being used more than 10 years after the fact, although I do admit that I was a bit dismayed as well...in retrospect it wasn't all that impressive :p
      • by TheCaptain (17554) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @06:01PM (#44244367)

        Eh...there probably was some half baked documentation at some point, but I doubt it was maintained very well by the people who edited that codebase over the decades.

        I also doubt they fired any of them unless they were contractors...you have no idea how ugly the federal workers union is about things like this. They almost can't lose their jobs through incompetence or anything else. Which brings me to the problem...the people who wrote it probably wrote half-assed spaghetti code, didn't document it well, and then died off or retired. No one is learning cobol anymore, so you get what we've got right here.

        Plus...trying to replace any system in the government or military is an extremely painful exercise that probably fails more often than it succeeds. Between the people you need to deal with, and the policies you need to dance around...it's almost impossible to stand a new system up. (Unless you have someone in a high place that really gets it, and champions the hell out of it...and even then, it's iffy.)

        I was a defense contractor for 4 or 5 years. It was quite a few years ago now. Left that behind, and I don't miss it.

        • by techno-vampire (666512) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @06:31PM (#44244713) Homepage
          Eh...there probably was some half baked documentation at some point,

          Yes, there was and there is. It's called "source code." One of the reasons that COBOL is such a verbose language is that it was designed so that bean counters with no programming experience could audit the source code and understand it well enough to make sure that nobody was stealing anything. Not only that, it's rare that COBOL code actually needs any comments because the variable names are long enough that you shouldn't ever have to guess what any of them are used for or what's being done with/to them.

          As far as spaghetti code goes, that can be a problem, especially in very old code, from before such things as structured programming were conceived. And, there's even a statement, "ALTER," which allows you to create self-modifying code, although even back in the '80s when I learned it in school, we were warned never to use it.
          • by Capsaicin (412918) * on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @09:30PM (#44245987)

            Yes, there was and there is. It's called "source code."

            While it's true that COBOL is meant to be self documenting, there is, in a 7 million line project, a difference between understanding any particular section of code and being able to comprehend the entire structure of the project. If that structure is undocumented, you will have a lot of reading before you grasp the program globally. Apparently the "failures" that were being experienced were not leading the maintainers to the appropriate sections of code and such a global understanding had become necessary.

            I know it breaks one of the cardinal rules of software development, but if you have a cool billion to throw at the problem and the existing mess cannot be fathomed, perhaps starting afresh is an idea ...

        • Eh...there probably was some half baked documentation at some point, but I doubt it was maintained very well

          That may well be because any decent COBOL programmer knows (or knew) that the code itself is indeed self-documenting. COBOL code may be tedious to write (actually, it certainly is) but it has the advantage of being quite easily maintained.

          So, no excuses. It's more likely the US Govt is too cheap to hire anyone with the appropriate skills. It's also quite possible that an age bias has been applied by their HR bozos, thus excluding that generation most likely to be good at this work.

      • by interval1066 (668936) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @06:15PM (#44244531) Homepage Journal

        Far more likely in my opinion that it never existed in the first place, or that at some point they fired everyone, and thus broke the chain of custody.

        Being the spouse of some one who works for a Gov. entity (her) AND being in IT (me), its far more likely that the the engineers who created the system(s) have long since retired. Fed workers rarely get 'fired'. And interestingly its more likely that the system was documented to a much higher degree than you would think; there are entire fed. departments devoted to documenting things and creating requirements documents. The problem is once the process is documented and archived, those same sad COBOL systems are used to process the records that describe the location of the documentation

      • by plover (150551) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @06:19PM (#44244587) Homepage Journal

        The claim that the documentation "vanished" seems bogus. Far more likely in my opinion that it never existed in the first place, or that at some point they fired everyone, and thus broke the chain of custody.

        I think the truth is probably much simpler than that. Someone dropped the card deck containing the documentation, and they never managed to sort it back into the right order.

      • "The claim that the documentation "vanished" seems bogus. Far more likely in my opinion that it never existed in the first place, or that at some point they fired everyone, and thus broke the chain of custody."

        I agree with the latter, but that still means the documentation did "vanish". It just doesn't address why.

        I think the money would have been better spent simply replacing the Pentagon and all its staff. The new one can be 5-sided, too. But they should build it in Montana and staff it with locals. It's cheaper. They'd probably win more wars for us too.

      • by mrmeval (662166)

        Hughes would compartmentalize documentation on how to manufacture everything. There software had similar fragmentation in the source code. To collect all the documents would require having access to the root document which would then lead to the first level. Then would come tertiary and quaternary levels. There is NO centralized list of all the documents needed, you MUST parse every sheet of paper.

        I recall one gasket for a keyboard for some aircraft system they'd installed in the mesozoic era. When Raytheon

      • by jbohumil (517473)
        I work on Cobol systems where the documentation has literally yellowed and begun to disintegrate.
    • Maybe at the level of modules or minor subsystems, but with software systems that large you would still want architecture documents and data definitions as a minimum.

  • At least that's what my old B-school roommate told me.

  • by intermodal (534361) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @05:27PM (#44243975) Homepage Journal

    a billion dollars to replace an antiquated program and the project fails. This is why our military is the most expensive in the world, and why I've argued for years that comparing military spending between nations is only apples to apples if each nation is competently spending what they are given.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @05:35PM (#44244083)

      I've seen this happen with lots of "let's replace this antiquated software" projects. There's alot of trust put into hiring someone to do this properly. Usually the people writing the check don't know enough about software architecture or requirements gathering to foresee that the contractor is going about it the wrong way and dooming the project to failure. Or administration that isn't open to the concepts that must be embraced to move from paperless to electronic, etc. So many ways for something like this to fail terribly. Only time I've seen it succeed is a combination of competent leadership of the software development combined with the administration trusting the judgement of the software developer when it advises on process changes that will need to be implemented. Rarely do you get both of these things together, and when you are missing one then it's a disaster.

      • Somebody got fleeced. $1B to translate 7M lines of code comes out to about $142.86 per line of code. As a taxpayer, I want my share of that money back.
      • I've been technical lead and technical contributor on numerous such projects, it's an absolutely core part of my work. And it is incredibly difficult in large environments, where numerous groups have evolved distinct usage and workflows and are often very resistant to change. Coupled with the amount of money being managed in this project, and the military and security requirements, such a project is well beyond the capabilities of any group I've ever met.

        Trust is not a sufficient factor, I'm afraid. Compet

    • I think that is correct. There is also the fact that until very recently many of the major powers, and major regional powers, were still mainly using conscription to fill their armies. It makes a bit of a difference when you are paying your soldiers market rates for their labors instead of what you would pay conscripts. You also have the factor of first world cost structures versus third world costs. Last time I look at some data within the last few years, an American corporal (1 step above the highest

    • by tnk1 (899206)

      Apples to apples is always a good comparison, but exactly what military are you saying is more efficiently run? The US military may waste more money per year than the GDP of some small countries, but it is probably not the most proportionally wasteful military out there.

      It's also important to note that as the mission of the military becomes more expansive, there is a lot more room for waste. If you're running the military of say, Luxembourg, you might be able to keep a tighter leash on it, not just becaus

    • by dan_barrett (259964) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @07:13PM (#44245145)

      I've maintained legacy payroll software (Oracle RPT, predates PL/SQL) and have been marginally involved in migrating clients to the new shiny payroll system. Generally it fails where the client wants the new system to behave exactly like the old system.

      The new system usually can handle the required business rules (or it's not too much work to make this happen) but all the processes around those rules are different. eg the new system needs to generate report RW200 to lineprinter 6, daily at 6PM and must be formatted just so (no one reads the first 1000 pages, but the summary page is critical to some obscure business process.)

      So, the new system has to print unformatted ASCII to a serial line printer, in an obscure way, on nonstandard paper, that's hard to replicate in a modern report writer. Never mind the already written, laser printed, on-demand reports (or emailed, or exported to excel or whatever) have the same information - it's NOT THE SAME - our users will be confused so it MUST BE CHANGED!.

      Rinse and repeat for basically everything else in your system and you've heavily modified your new system to behave just like your old payroll system (and killed any performance improvements, worked out all the bugs etc again). because it's so heavily modified you're basically on a unique version of the new system that only certain programmers really understand. Ant they're going to retire / leave because the project was so shit to work on.

      Add the usual government oversight/waste and you've blown a billion dollars. (that's impressive though, I have to say.)

    • by Andrew Large (2979489) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @07:53PM (#44245427)

      This is less of a "government efficiency" issue than it is a "contracting" issue.

      Imagine you have a gigantic system like this that you need to replace. So you want to hire someone to build the replacement. You can't just go give $1B to company X and say "I'll see you in five years when you've built me a new pay system" - the taxpayers (and their representatives) would never go for that. Instead, you first go build a set of requirements that such a system must meet and then you award the contract to build the system to the company that convinces you that (a) they'll build the system that best meets those requirements and (b) they'll do so in a cost-competitive way (if not cheapest, then close to cheapest).

      Therein lies the crux of the problem - building large complex software systems over multiple years "to spec". In short, it can't really be done:

      • 1. You won't get the requirements right. At best, if you spend a ton of money, you'll get a decent set of requirements, for some narrow segment of your user base, that is appropriate for the state of the world at contract award. But they'll be woefully out of date by the time the system is actually built. More often, you won't pay enough money and you'll get an RFP that is 50%+ "cut and paste" from previous RFPs, and has only a passing resemblance to what is really needed.
      • 2. Managing a multi-year software development project is tough enough when you're the one building it. It is many times more difficult to try and look over a contractor's shoulder and make sure that they are (a) meeting requirements, (b) meeting schedule, and (c) not wasting (or stealing) money. This is even more difficult when you have thousands of crappy nonsensical or ambiguous requirements (the norm for such large systems).
      • 3. Even if you get decent requirements and decent/lucky contract management, you still have huge product and engineering hurdles that don't often show themselves until you get the software in the hands of real users. And (more often as not) find out that it doesn't work for them.

      I've only ever seen one model work successfully (in my time in the USAF and as a contractor):

      • 1. Put organic (e.g., military or civil service, not contractor) resources in charge of the system development.
      • 2. Don't try to spec and build the system as a whole unit. Instead, start with something small and easily defined and then work *directly* with end users to evolve and enhance the system over multiple years. At some point in the evolution of the system (neither the beginning nor the end), you make the call that the system is functional and stable enough to deploy.
      • 3. Use contractors as labor, project-managed by your organic resources. This tends to mean fairly integrated teams (organic and contractor) and a different sort of contract vehicle. It also means that swapping contractors out is actually feasible and doesn't cause the failure of the entire project.

      The above system works beautifully. And Congress, contractors, and contracting agencies within the military hate it. Which is probably why it isn't done more often.

  • by alen (225700) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @05:29PM (#44243997)

    Army in the 90's
    Everyone's pay gets screwed up at least once, then. Uncle Sam takes it back

    Mostly minor things like an allowance like jump pay being paid while not on jump status

  • Corruption (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @05:29PM (#44244007)

    the Pentagon spent a billion dollars and wasn't successful

    Sounds like corruption. If you can't wrangle up a team of coders and project managers with a billion dollar carrot, then there is something terribly internally wrong with your process.

    • it's the old data and all the linked systems and with 40 year old systems just importing data is not easy.

      And even if are able to import that can be loads of work around / place holder names / fake names (uses for workarounds or even temp holding of data) and so on.

      Some stores do use names like MR cash for cash sales so there may all kinds of fake names in the system as well.

      • I do data processing from rubbish sources (people who can't follow specs) every day.

        Its a pain yes but not actually that difficult. Everything you just described takes time but it certainly isn't impossible to do.
        Import data, find differences, fix mistake and repeat until it is working well.

  • by Spy Handler (822350) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @05:33PM (#44244067) Homepage Journal

    They had way more soldiers back then today, and payroll did not seem to be a problem. Maybe the Pentagon should go back to using whatever system they had back then.

    • by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @05:40PM (#44244139)

      There is basic pay, plus “entitlements” for everything from serving in a combat zone to housing allowances to re-enlistment bonuses. An individual’s pay can change several times in a day.

      likely the old software can't deal with all of that to well.

      http://www.informationweek.com/government/state-local/outdated-it-blocks-california-payroll-or/225702383 [informationweek.com]

      • Sounds like software can't cope with a bad process. Maybe we should throw out the process instead of trying to improve the software?

        • by Nerdfest (867930)

          They should optimize their process and then rewrite their software to match it, using modern languages with proper decoupling of all the various calculations. Replacing the old system will only be difficult if they base it on the existing software, which is most likely the usual tangles mess of poorly written COBOL. The sad part is that defining the full requirements is actually pretty difficult in itself.

      • There is basic pay, plus “entitlements” for everything from serving in a combat zone to housing allowances to re-enlistment bonuses.

        Was it that different in WWII? I don't know the details, but there were definitely things like combat pay. Yet they handled it all with paper (and maybe some punch card machines). As the old line goes "to err is human, but to really screw things up requires a computer".

      • by nurb432 (527695)

        Pay changes/enrollments should just be data, not lines of code. Can't imagine even the most green of developer would screw up that bad.

        It really does not take 7M lines of code to do this. ( will be a huge database, but not code base )

    • Ww2 they didn't have all the allowances they have today. That's where the screw ups come in. Not base pay

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jfdavis668 (1414919)
        The used 100 to 1000 times as many people. Working in un-air conditioned building doing routine work over and over. Then it was all double and triple checked. When they screwed up, you could yell at them. There is no way we could afford to recreate that system with today's pay scales. Also, these were sharp people. No one like that would even apply for the job. Welcome to the post industrial society.
    • They had way more soldiers back then today, and payroll did not seem to be a problem. Maybe the Pentagon should go back to using whatever system they had back then.

      A ton of staff, all drawing paychecks. Back then employees were assets. Now they are expenses to be avoided.

    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      Hard tack and a ration of rum?

    • My dad was in charge of Payroll at Ft. Hood during the late 1960's while he was drafted. (he was a private with BA in Accounting and ran the department because the LT screwed up the Col's pay one too many times). They figured pay vouchers a lot by hand, but processed even back then via a Mainframe, usually at night. Then they would dispense the pay in cash those days. It was a nightmare even back then, often times requiring a lot of manual calculations.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @05:45PM (#44244193)

    I tried to read the article, but it was written in English - a decades-old language.

    • Centuries, but it is being continuously updated.

    • by LoRdTAW (99712)

      They do have documentation though. Kids are also forced to RTFM while in school. It kinda helps.

  • I wouldn't mind taking this one on. Sure it's already been done, but I'm sure they'd pay to have it done again.

    My only stipulation is that I'd want to do it all myself with just one business analyst and one quality control tester.

    I think I could manage it in 3 years at 3 million dollars. However I'd probably cause the loss of 10,000 jobs so its probably not going to happen :)

  • by whizbang77045 (1342005) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @05:47PM (#44244215)
    Aww, come on, fellas and gals: this IS the five sided puzzle palace we're talking about. You're expecting too much of them.
  • "seven million lines of Cobol code that hasn't been updated" is redundant.

    If they were updated, they wouldn't be in Cobol.
  • 4.8 LOC per person (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @06:02PM (#44244377)

    The code base is so large that its ~4.8 lines per active duty US military person. The code would be shorter if it was nothing but one line per person that prints how much to pay. You might argue that this would have maintenance issues, but automated porting of it would be trivial, and for the $billion they spent try to replace it, you could pay almost $1000 per print statement to keep it updated.

    • by PRMan (959735)
      Now that is funny. A completely manual system with thousands of employees would be cheaper to run (but MUCH more prone to fraud, of course).
  • The DoD is well known for changing the specs of a project constantly through out the life time of a program so I'm not surprised the update in the 90s failed it probably had 5,000+ changes from it's initial concept and then you add in the required corruption and incompetence needed to be a government employee or contractor and it makes perfect sense it failed.

    • Re:Not to shocked (Score:5, Informative)

      by Areyoukiddingme (1289470) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @09:16PM (#44245925)

      You are correct. And wrong. According to the Reuters article, there were more than 15,000 requirements changes during the lifetime of the project. So you had precisely the right idea. You just underestimated the ability of a bureaucracy to fight back. By an order of magnitude.

      And that's what it was, too. Make no mistake, the project failed because a successful software system would reduce the headcount of the DFAS dramatically. That couldn't be allowed to happen, so it was sabotaged by eternal feature creep.

      And of course, they started with PeopleSoft, and there's no organization better at absorbing all available money for no return besides the DOD itself. Talk about a match made in hell...

  • I wonder if part of the problem is that this is overly centralized. Someone above mentioned how they did this all with paper in WWII. I can't imagine the pay for millions of service personnel being calculated by an army of clerks based in Indianapolis. The actual calculations must have been more distributed, with perhaps pay records following a soldier along with his other records.

    Decentralizing it should make the bureaucracy more flexible too. Especially in hardship cases like the one described in the stor

  • when you give work to the lowest bidder, you're bound to pay for inept programmers instead of computer scientists

  • Regardless of your political leanings this is a job that the private sector could handle way way better. It is super hard to create a good software shop...let alone being the military.

    We use paycor and we have good to great IT in general. We could program a pay app, but why the hell would we? Is pay schedule really that complicated....if it is why not simplify it...a great opportunity for reform.

  • Seriously, a Billion Dollars?

    Incompetence. This sounds like explaining to the boss how you can't write a program to pay 3.25 million employees accurately and on time.

    Then explaining how you can't write a program that pays 325,000 employees accurately and on time.

    Then explaining how you can't write a program that pays 32,500 employees accurately and on time.

    But they did in the 60s.

    Just as the FAA has sunk $ into new air traffic controls software with nothing to show for it, and New York City ditto with payr

  • by markhahn (122033) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @06:45PM (#44244857)

    when the mil/gov spend a billion on some software project and it fails, we need to start calling it what it is: fraud perpetrated by consultant/contractors.

    it's bad enough when the industry burns 10-50M on an ERP project for a company (or university!), but pretty soon those tens of millions add up to real money. spending a billion should be HARD!

  • by kartaron (763480) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @07:32PM (#44245291)
    For 33 years the government has been trying to replace the 60 year old air traffic control systems. Three different systems have been tried. The first was a complete write off, meant to be an IBM designed Unix based system, it went overdue by years and billions and was killed off in 1994. http://www.baselinemag.com/c/a/Projects-Processes/The-Ugly-History-of-Tool-Development-at-the-FAA/ [baselinemag.com] The Second named CARTS began in 1996, meant to be a replacement for the aging radar systems the program did replace the older systems in some airports, but again the program was killed for cost overruns and stalled production. http://www.fiercegovernmentit.com/story/tracon-air-traffic-control-modernization-faces-prospect-more-schedule-cost/2013-06-02 [fiercegovernmentit.com] http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-31/air-traffic-upgrade-over-budget-facing-delays-report.html [bloomberg.com] In 2003 they revived the project with compartmentalized implementations of an integrated system in order to see short term improvements. The first system, a replacement for CARTS renamed STARS) went in in 2012 and it is costing 60% more than expected, with the remaining systems set to be developed and implemented over the next 13 years. The next system to be implemented, ERAM, is already overdue by 4 years, over budget, and according to FAA reports, subject to critical failures and instability. http://www.airtrafficmanagement.net/2013/06/nextgen-over-budget-delays-certain-report/http://www.fiercegovernmentit.com/story/eram-continues-undergo-critical-failures/2012-10-02 [airtrafficmanagement.net] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Next_Generation_Air_Transportation_System [wikipedia.org]
  • by Trip6 (1184883) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @07:33PM (#44245295)
    Very common in older mainframe shops. Poor source control. You can reverse engineer it but good luck.
  • Cobol is based on the notion of processing what are essentially formatted text files, one line at a time. If you knew the format of a file to be read by a Cobol program, you could re-write it in awk and use about 1/50th the amount of code.

    Of course what really needs to be done is to document the actual process and system requirements, and then just put up a modern payroll processing system. The biggest problem is that there are a lot of people whose job it is to take a piece of paper from one bin and put it in another. All of those jobs would be put at risk were you to actually do something substantive about this problem. They're far more concerned with their jobs than actually getting anything done.
    • The biggest problem is that there are a lot of people whose job it is to take a piece of paper from one bin and put it in another. All of those jobs would be put at risk were you to actually do something substantive about this problem. They're far more concerned with their jobs than actually getting anything done.

      No, the problem is you don't understand the problem domain and thus just repeat platitudes on the assumption that doing so makes you look wise. This system has been in place for years, all the old

The F-15 Eagle: If it's up, we'll shoot it down. If it's down, we'll blow it up. -- A McDonnel-Douglas ad from a few years ago

Working...