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Monday, September 23, 2013

OMB gives agencies more control over financial management systems

Agencies are gaining more control over how to upgrade their financial management systems.

Instead of a strict set of rules around the technology requirements for federal systems, the Office of Management and Budget will rescind Circular A-127 that governs financial systems, and, through this memo, move and simplify those regulations into Appendix D of Circular A-123.

OMB Director Sylvia Burwell wrote in a memo to agency leaders that said, "The goal of this Appendix is to transform our compliance framework so that it will contribute to efforts to reduce the cost, risk, and complexity of financial system modernizations. The objective of this approach will be to provide additional flexibility for federal agencies to initiate smaller-scale financial modernizations as long as relevant financial management outcomes (e.g., clean audits, proper controls, timely reporting) are maintained."

In a nutshell, implementing the Federal Financial Management Improvement Act (FFMIA) has become arduous and ended up forcing agencies into costly financial management upgrades.

So now Appendix D is more streamlined. OMB reduced the number of requirements from more than 500 to about 60 that focus on outcome or output.

OMB began to dismantle FFMIA regulations over the last several years. The administration closed down the Federal Systems Integration Office (FSIO) in March 2011 and moved a lot of the oversight and standards work to the Treasury Department's Office of Financial Innovation and Transformation (OFIT).

-Jason Miller, FederalNewsRadio.com

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