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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

ACT-IAC Recommends New Approach to Sustaining Federal Financial Management Systems

FAIRFAX, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The American Council for Technology’s Industry Advisory Council (IAC) today released a report it has provided to the Office of Management and Budget with recommendations on how to improve the sustainability of Federal financial management systems. The findings and recommendations were shared with OMB and the Federal Chief Financial Officer’s Council prior to the report’s release.

The Administration has embarked upon a major initiative to improve the acquisition and management of the Federal government’s information technology assets (see the Federal CIO’s 25 Point Implementation Plan to Reform Federal Information Technology Management, December 9, 2010). A key part of this strategy is to replace large-scale systems acquisitions with a more segmented approach that focuses on business needs. The OMB Office of Federal Financial Management asked ACT-IAC to provide industry recommendations on how to apply this new strategy to Federal financial management systems. IAC was asked to address four questions:

1.Given that agencies usually maintain a hybrid environment including modernized system components integrated with legacy systems, how can agencies most effectively maintain functionality and improve performance over time? Is change management of this magnitude within the capability of most Federal agencies?

2.When is a system truly on its “last legs”? What criteria should be used to make decisions between incremental investments in an existing system and larger investments in a modernization initiative?

3.Is there a way to incentivize software providers to introduce upgrades in a manner that best serves the taxpayer?

4.What new paradigms exist or are just now emerging that might help apply game changing approaches to the first three questions?

In response to this request, IAC assembled a working group of experienced subject matter experts from 22 companies in the financial and information technology industries. The working group was chaired by Anne Reed (ASI Government) and Andrew McLauchlin (CGI). The working group met over the course of the spring to gather information and form conclusions and recommendations. In accordance with ACT-IAC principles, it operated in a collaborative and vendor-neutral manner that focused on improving government. The final report was a consensus document with recommendations that were unanimously supported by all members of the working group. The 73 page report was officially submitted to OMB on June 24, 2011.


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