OMB approves financial management software plan

The Office of Management and Budget has approved a plan enabling federal agencies to buy financial management software from the open General Services Administration Federal Supply Service schedule rather than the mandatory Financial Management System Software (FMSS) schedule.

The new program, proposed by the Chief Financial Officers Council and GSA, will merge the financial management systems into the general FSS information technology schedule. Under this structure, instead of exclusively using the FMSS schedule, agencies could choose any system certified by the Joint Financial Management Improvement Program (JFMIP) that appears on the IT schedule.

In a letter to the CFO Council, OMB said it believes the new program supports OMB policies. OMB said it plans to modify Circular A-127, which regulates financial management systems, or the Federal Acquisition Regulation to reflect the changes in the contract.

Agencies and vendors have criticized the 10-year-old mandatory FMSS schedule for not being open and not including many popular products available in the commercial market. GSA and the CFO Council developed the new contract to take effect when the current contract expires Sept. 31. At the same time, the JFMIP has updated the federal financial requirements and developed a new certification process.

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