GSA: Financial management software available by fall

The General Services Administration today announced that it will have contracts with federally certified software ready for ordering when the mandatory financial management software schedule expires in September.

The Financial Management System Software schedule, currently held by GSA's Federal Technology Service, has been under fire from agencies and vendors for several years. Agencies said many of the more popular commercial FMS packages were not available on the mandatory schedule, while many vendors said the certification test to get on the schedule was too confusing and cumbersome.

GSA has been working for more than a year with the Joint Financial Management Improvement Program (JFMIP) and the CIO Council to revamp the schedule and the certification test. GSA moved the contracting authority for financial management software to the Federal Supply Service Group 70 schedule, making all financial systems, service, maintenance and training contracts nonmandatory. The agency also worked with the Office of Management and Budget to change the relevant regulations to require only that agencies purchase software certified by JFMIP.

JFMIP has completed the overhaul of the certification test, and several vendors have submitted applications for the initial round of tests, which are to be completed by Sept. 31, when the current schedule expires. As soon as the vendors are notified that their software has passed, negotiations for contracts will begin so that as many packages as possible are available Oct. 1, said Walter Eckbreth, FSS' contracting officer.

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