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RAF personnel, frustrated with having their pay messed up by a new computer system, can relax after seven weeks of errors and uncertainty.

The Ministry of Defence is expected to announce later today that its stalled RAF administration system is finally running along nicely, allowing personnel to "self-service" their own human resources records.

Wing Commander Trevor Field, a RAF spokesman and administrator, said the Joint Personnel Administration (JPA) system was up and running, but it was too early to tell why it had stalled and held errors for up to seven weeks. The system was supposed to go live at the end of March.

Neither could he tell whether the RAF would seek compensation from EDS, the firm that developed and implemented the system. He said it would depend on the outcome of an investigation into the reasons for the system failure.

EDS recently sought compensation from the Ministry of Defence for failing to meets obligations in handling an ambitious merger of umpteen computer systems across the armed forces. Field had said that EDS ought to be cut some slack over the stalled JPA implementation because it was having to manage the difficult job of merging all its old systems.

The RAF can now proceed with plans to cut administration staff because personnel are managing their own HR records.

The deadline for the roll out of JPA to the Army and Navy, which is already delayed, will not be certain until the causes of the problems in the RAF have been identified. ®

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