DHS computer operations begin to stand alone

The Homeland Security Department has largely cut its umbilical cord of IT support from the legacy agencies that for months had continued to provide services to DHS' 22 component organizations.

DHS has brought 70 percent of those service lines of support into the department, said Thomas Reinhardt, chief of staff in the Office of the Undersecretary for Management, said yesterday at a Washington meeting of the Industry Advisory Council.

'That was the legacy IT systems,' Reinhardt said. 'We will get to unitary service delivery models over time.'

After opening for businesses last year, DHS set up memorandums of understanding with organizations' former parent agencies to set up support service arrangements.

DHS officials had identified 255 separate and distinct service lines of support that the department's predecessor agencies were providing to its components. About two dozen of the services covered IT activities, such as LAN and WAN support, mainframe operations, help desk support and network operations support.

Other service lines included mail service, real property services, security services, printing and graphics operations, and aviation equipment management, Reinhardt said.

To manage the process of reorganizing the often-overlapping support services, department officials came up with 5,610 lines of support across the 22 agencies that the department needed to bring in-house.

Meanwhile, the department's Management Directorate is also consolidating its financial systems. So far, DHS has merged 22 financial management reporting units into eight centers. Reinhardt praised John McNamara, director of financial management operations, for wrangling the financial information and systems.

The department began participating in the Treasury Department's quarterly reconciliation process last summer, submitting a financial data file to Treasury that included an extra field for legacy entity funds.

The Management Directorate in May plans to issue a request for proposals for a consolidated financial system and award a contract in July (Click to link to GCN story)

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