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Friday, June 08, 2007

FSIO to improve financial software certification process

The General Services Administration’s Financial Systems Integration Office (FSIO) will consider modifying the commercial financial management software testing requirements to focus only on those things that are government-specific.

Dianne Copeland, FSIO director, said June 5 that the hope is to streamline the process and focus on the nonproprietary functions of the software.

FSIO will release a new testing policy in time to start evaluating commercial products next February, she said.

FSIO incrementally tests products because new regulations or laws add new requirements, and those evaluations are for proprietary and budgetary functions.

FSIO tests more than 500 requirements, and it costs more than $2 million on average for vendors to be certified and that is a problem, one participant said during the session.

Copeland said the office will not reduce the number of requirements, but it understands it needs to streamline them.

She also said FSIO has pushed back the release date of the Financial Management Line of Business request for proposals to qualify private-sector vendors. She said her office had hoped to release the RFP by June 30, but now it will come in late July or early August. FSIO will hold a bidders’ conference July 12 and release the solicitation after that.

FSIO also will issue an updated Financial Management LOB migration planning guidance in the next few weeks. It will try to address issues such as how small agencies should implement the initiative.

-Jason Miller, FCW.com

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