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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

OMB, FSIO propose first financial standard process

The Office of Management and Budget and the Financial Systems Integration Office (FSIO) are asking for comments on a proposed standard process that would prevent agencies from spending or obligating more funds than their budgets allow.

The draft of the standard for funds control, released last week, outlines a common approach for agencies on how to request funds, research and resolve if the request conforms with agency appropriations and verify the steps throughout the process.

FSIO will accept public and private comments on the draft until April 7.

The proposed document is the first step toward standardizing business processes across government. With standard processes, agencies will perform core financial management tasks the same way across government.

Standard business processes are part of the Financial Management Line of Business consolidation initiative, along with agencies moving management of their financial systems to shared service providers and a common government accounting code.

FSIO, part of the General Services Administration, will propose standards over time for sequenced activities in core business processes, business rules, and data elements and definitions, such as for information in a purchase order. In the future, FSIO will produce standard business processes for management of payments made and received and financial reports.

In another document, FSIO updated its policy that directs how agencies are to test financial systems for compliance with federal financial management system requirements. The update reflects experience with actual test practices over the last five years, the goal to use resources more effectively and efficiently and the elimination of the arbitrary three-year test cycle. Instead, FSIO will require testing only when there is a business need.


- Mary Mosquera, FCW.com

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