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Thursday, March 15, 2007

GSA to seek commercial financial management providers

The General Services Administration will release a request for proposals in June for commercial shared-service providers to supply financial management, according to Danny Harris, the Education Department’s deputy chief financial officer.

GSA’s Financial Systems Integration Office (FSIO) will select a small number of vendors from which agencies can choose to provide services under the Financial Management Line of Business consolidation initiative.

The commercial providers will join four agencies that are delivering financial management shared services: the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Public Debt, the Interior Department’s National Business Center, the Transportation Department and GSA.

The Office of Management and Budget has directed that agencies migrate their core financial services to providers when they upgrade their financial management systems.

Large agencies have been hesitant to outsource their complex systems and processes. After one large agency makes the move with minimum risk, others will follow, Harris said March 13 at the annual Federal Financial Management Conference sponsored by FSIO.

“The initiative is making progress, but I don’t think we’ll get the speed we need until a large agency validates the value proposition,” Harris said. He is also team leader of the CFO Council’s Financial Systems Oversight Team.

The Environmental Protection Agency last month awarded CGI Federal of Fairfax, Va., an $84 million contract as its shared-services provider for the agency’s Financial System Modernization Project. The EPA’s 10-year award is the first for a large system procurement conducted by a major agency under the line of business.

-Mary Mosquera, FCW.com

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