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Friday, February 17, 2006

Panel: Financial accountability critical for interagency service agreements

"The success of the Bush administration's plan to consolidate common agency business processes will depend largely on establishing rules to determine financial responsibility for broken service agreements, a General Services Administration official said Wednesday.

The Office of Management and Budget's lines of business initiative, launched in March 2004, is an effort to eliminate duplicative business processes across agencies by establishing standard service providers. As part of the effort, the OMB-approved governmentwide providers, also known as 'centers of excellence,' compete to supply services in certain areas, such as grants management and cybersecurity, to other agencies.

Last year, agencies began competitively selecting providers for their human resources management and financial management services. Once migration to the new systems is complete, existing legacy agency systems will be shut down, according to OMB. Agencies volunteering to act as service providers would most likely bear the cost of a customer agency wanting out of the agreement, OMB officials have said. "

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