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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Portfolio management key to federal financial systems, says ACT-IAC paper

Federal agencies should take a portfolio management approach to financial management system modernization in which components that make up the totality of financial systems operate together even while existing in different stages of their lifecycle.

The paper, publically released June 29, was prepared at the request of the Office of Management and Budget by a financial management working group of the Fairfax, Va.-based industry association.

Report authors say federal officials should replace a world view that views financial management as a "system" for one that views automated components and manual processes together as providing a "capability."

Capability can be provided through improvements to legacy systems, new systems, upgrades or other initiatives.

Utilization of a data fusion engine that synthesizes data from a variety of systems would permit an agency operating in such a hybrid environment to nonetheless have an unified view of its financial data, the report adds.

Effective portfolio management does require an organization to have a business enterprise architecture, knowledge of system component costs, in general, a strong governance process, the report says. It suggests using a balanced scorecard to inform decisions of which components should get modernization priority.

-David Perera, FierceGovernmentIT.com

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