DHS, HUD take first swing at HR service providers

Instead of DHS or HUD 'spending money to build their own systems, they are going the shared-services provider route.'

' OPM's Norm Enger

The Human Resources Line of Business is getting its first guinea pigs.

Although the Office of Management and Budget has yet to give final approval to the five agencies tapped as shared-services providers, the departments of Homeland Security and Housing and Urban Development plan to migrate their HR services to two of the agencies that received conditional nods.

DHS will use the Agriculture Department's National Finance Center, and HUD will move its HR processing to the Treasury Department. OMB has asked an interagency task force and an independent third party to review and validate the agencies that want to provide shared services'a process that could take several more months.

'Part of Treasury's validation to become a shared-services provider is migrating HUD within 10 percent of their cost, schedule and performance metrics,' said a government official with knowledge of the lines-of-business consolidation initiatives. 'Treasury still will have to go through the other two reviews. All of this is part of an effort by OMB to put more scrutiny on the service centers to make sure they can be successful.'

The other three agencies that plan to offer HR services are the Defense and Health and Human Services departments and the Interior Department's National Business Center. OMB officials have said it will consider letting agencies use industry services as well.

HUD chose Treasury's HR Connect because it runs PeopleSoft and integrates with HUD's payroll provider, the National Finance Center.

Both DHS and HUD will use the shared-services providers for front-end HR systems that will let employees adjust their benefits and other personnel information.

HUD is expected to finish the migration by next month, the official said.

Instead of DHS or HUD 'spending money to build their own systems, they are going the shared-services provider route,' said Norm Enger, Office of Personnel Management's e-government program director. 'This would be a proof of concept for the HR LOB.'

OPM, the managing partner for the HR Line of Business, will lead the interagency task force that validates each service provider's systems.

Homeland Security's migration will start with records for 68,000 Coast Guard and Transportation Security Administration employees, a DHS official said. The department will complete the transfer to NFC by Sept. 30.

Fit the bill

'We were looking at providers that were compatible with the HR LOB,' the DHS official said. 'NFC was using a later version of PeopleSoft and they were willing to support the conversion timetable that we needed.'

DHS also is migrating TSA and Coast Guard payroll functions to NFC.

'This is our first large foray into this line of business,' NFC director Jerry Lohfink said. 'This is the first large customer coming under our commercial platform.'

After Coast Guard and TSA, DHS will decide the next sets of bureaus and functions that will migrate HR services to the center, Lohfink said.

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