FTS moves forward with new financial system

FTS moves forward with new financial system

NEW ORLEANS'The General Services Administration's Federal Technology Service expects to launch its new financial management system this fall'a little more than a year since it awarded a contract to Unisys Corp. to develop the system.

Christopher Wren, chief technology officer for FTS, yesterday said the system will use a commercial portal to provide a consistent experience for government and industry users to generate contract reports or project status statements, send payment requests or invoices, and track costs down to the line item.

Wren, who spoke at the 23rd annual Management of Change Conference sponsored by the Federation of Government Information Processing Councils, said FTS will roll out the system incrementally to more than 34,000 users across the country. GSA will try to minimize the time agencies and contractors have to deal with the new and old systems simultaneously.

'The challenge in getting this done will be the soft stuff,' Wren said. 'The cultural issues and the training is where we will spend much of our time between now and early next fiscal year.'

GSA awarded Unisys a seven-year, $36 million contract last August to implement and support a commercial financial system from SAP America Inc. of Newton Square, Pa. [see additional coverage at www.gcn.com/vol1_no1/daily-updates/19730-1.html].

Wren said the new system will offer agency contracting officials templates for three types of contracting actions:

  • Commodity contracts

  • Simple services contracts such as labor hour procurements

  • Complex service agreements such as performance-based contracts that require a higher level of contract administration.

  • 'There will be a greater degree of integrity of master contractor data,' Wren said. 'We will generate better invoices and bills.'

    Agency and vendor users also will use digital certificates through the E-Authentication gateway to verify themselves to the system, Wren said.

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