Joint Personnel Administration
Joint Personnel Administration (JPA) is the intranet
An intranet is a computer network that uses Internet Protocol technology to securely share any part of an organization's information or network operating system within that organization. The term is used in contrast to internet, a network between organizations, and instead refers to a network...

-based personnel administration system used by the British Armed Forces
British Armed Forces
The British Armed Forces are the armed forces of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.Also known as Her Majesty's Armed Forces and sometimes legally the Armed Forces of the Crown, the British Armed Forces encompasses three professional uniformed services, the Royal Navy, the...

 from April 2006 onwards, replacing the separate payment and administration teams from each Force. Despite the ability to carry out over 40 formerly paper-based functions, from checking postings to payslips, the system has been heavily criticised.


JPA was created by Electronic Data Systems
Electronic Data Systems
HP Enterprise Services is the global business and technology services division of Hewlett Packard's HP Enterprise Business strategic business unit. It was formed by the combination of HP's legacy services consulting and outsourcing business and the integration of acquired Electronic Data Systems,...

 in partnership with the Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom)
The Ministry of Defence is the United Kingdom government department responsible for implementation of government defence policy and is the headquarters of the British Armed Forces....

 at an estimated cost of £269 million. It is believed that JPA will save the MoD in excess of £100 million per year.


The system was designed around an Oracle
Oracle Corporation
Oracle Corporation is an American multinational computer technology corporation that specializes in developing and marketing hardware systems and enterprise software products – particularly database management systems...

 Commercial off-the-shelf
Commercial off-the-shelf
In the United States, Commercially available Off-The-Shelf is a Federal Acquisition Regulation term defining a nondevelopmental item of supply that is both commercial and sold in substantial quantities in the commercial marketplace, and that can be procured or utilized under government contract...

 package, with an Oracle database as the back-end structure. JPA has essentially two parts: an online and an offline (deployed) application. The online application communicates directly with the main servers over the DII
Defence Information Infrastructure
Defence Information Infrastructure is a secure military network owned by the United Kingdom's Ministry of Defence MoD. It covers the various branches of the armed forces, including the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force as well as MOD Civil Servants...

 network on a client-server basis. However, if communications are not stable enough for this configuration, the system will automatically drop into offline mode, with all database updates/deletes/inserts held locally. Once communications are restored, a synchronisation process amalgamates the changes held locally into the remote master server.


JPA was rolled out to each of the three armed forces at separate, phased dates. The Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 came first, on the 1st of April 2006. This was both on time and on budget. The Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 followed in November 2006 with the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

, most difficult of the 3 Forces administration-wise, completing the rollout in June 2007. JPA is maintained by a core team of analyst developers in the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency
Service Personnel and Veterans Agency
The Service Personnel and Veterans Agency was officially launched on 2 April 2007 and is part of the UK Ministry of Defence. SPVA provides personnel, pensions, welfare and support services to members of the UK Armed Forces and veterans and their dependents...

 (SPVA), formerly the Armed Forces Personnel Administration Agency
Armed Forces Personnel Administration Agency
The Armed Forces Personnel Administration Agency was a UK Ministry of Defence Tri-Service Defence Agency from April 1997 until it was merged into the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency on 2 April 2007....



Administers more than 340,000 live pay records

Maintains over 570,000 master personnel records

Maintains more than 725,000 pension records

Accounts for £5.7 billion in military pay and allowances

Provides IT services and supports over 8,000 desktop PCs worldwide

Criticism and problems

From the rollout of JPA problems with pay have been well publicised. Teething problems upon rollout include users not being able to log onto the system due to high server demands, and others not receiving the correct pay or allowances.

The rollout also came at the same time as the War on terror
War on Terror
The War on Terror is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign led by the United States and the United Kingdom with the support of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as well as non-NATO countries...

, which saw headlines such as "Anger As Our Boys Go Unpaid".

In February 2008 an RAF officer successfully sued the MoD for shortfalls in his pay packet as a result of JPA.
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