Defense ready to unify financial architecture

Defense ready to unify financial architecture

The Defense Department's longstanding financial management ills could be on the road to recovery. Within a few weeks, IBM Corp. is expected to release a departmentwide financial enterprise architecture that will underlie the merger of about 1,800 disparate money systems.

The department for years has been plagued by unsatisfactory audits. Financial glitches have ranged from paying contractors wrong amounts to incurring heavy interest and fees for late payments to suppliers.

Last year DOD hired IBM, under a $100 million blanket purchasing agreement, to undertake the Financial Management Modernization Program that would bring all the financial systems into a single infrastructure.

News that the financial management architecture is almost ready came as the General Accounting Office lauded the department's recent efforts to end payment glitches. GAO's March 28 report, 'DOD's Metrics Program Provides Focus for Improving Performance,' found significant progress in reducing payment errors and speeding delinquent purchase card payments.

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