OMB demands management systems consolidation for HSD agencies

OMB demands management systems consolidation for HSD agencies

The Office of Management Budget has placed further IT development constraints on agencies it expects to become part of the proposed Homeland Security Department.

Today, OMB director Mitchell E. Daniels Jr. sent a memo to the agencies ordering them to cease work on any financial, personnel or procurement system project valued at more than $500,000. He issued a similar request for IT infrastructure systems earlier this month [see story at].

For instance, the Daniels memo said, the agencies are working on 21 different financial systems projects and have earmarked $235 million for these efforts, although the memo gave no time frame for this spending figure. The government could save $85 million over the next two years if these 21 systems are consolidated, Daniels said.

'These IT investment decisions were made prior to the president's announcement creating HSD and must be reconsidered in light of the planned reorganization,' he said.

OMB expects the agencies can integrate their management processes in a single system.

As with the infrastructure systems, OMB has chartered a new team, the Business Systems IT Investment Review Group, to study the agencies' management systems and recommend how to consolidate systems that support similar services.

The memo also asked the likely HSD agencies to identify any current or planned spending on management systems that they had not already provided to OMB in their fiscal 2002 and fiscal 2003 budget requests.

'Not only is consolidation possible, it has been used effectively in the recent past,' Daniels said.

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