OMB plans guidance for financial management LOB

The Office of Management and Budget will develop performance measures and guidance by the end of March for agencies moving to shared-services providers under the financial management LOB.

OMB also expects to issue a competition framework this month to assist agencies in conducting competitions and selecting a shared provider, according to a recent memo from OMB controller Linda Combs that was obtained by GCN.

The performance measures and guidance are the first steps toward transparency, standardization and seamless data integration needed to advance the use of shared-services providers under the financial management LOB. With standardization, financial data will be more timely and accurate, and more easily compared and aggregated across agencies.

'The federal financial community must have clarity on how to evaluate the performance and cost of shared-services alternatives, as well as clarity on what steps federal agencies are expected to undertake in order to migrate to a COE [center of excellence],' Combs said.

The guidance aims to help agencies prepare for and manage migration to a center of excellence for financial management services. It will describe the range of services to be provided and 'rules of engagement,' including templates for service-level agreements outlining the responsibilities of both the provider and customer.

Next, OMB will develop standardized business processes and a governmentwide accounting code by Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year.

'Once established, all agencies will be expected to adopt these common processes on a schedule agreed upon between the agency and OMB,' Combs said in the memo.

The Financial Systems Integration Office is leading activities for the financial management LOB under the guidance and oversight of OMB and the Financial Systems Integration Committee of the CFO Council.

OMB will continue as executive sponsor, while the CFO Council's integration committee chairman will be the lead agency sponsor for the financial management LOB.

Also this month, the Financial Systems Integration Office moves from the General Service Administration's CFO's office to its Office of Government-wide Policy in the Office Technology Strategy to take advantage of its expertise on IT, administrative and contract management.

Last year, the Joint Financial Management Improvement Program, which was responsible for certifying financial software for government, became the Financial Systems Integration Office.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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