Financial systems update drafted

JFMIP Core Financial Systems Requirements

For the first time in three years, the Joint Financial Management Improvement Program is revising the standards for agencies' core financial management systems.

The changes contained in a draft released Tuesday are the first since JFMIP took over responsibility for certifying the federal government's core financial management systems in 1999. If enacted later this year, the changes will set new requirements for agencies buying financial management systems and for vendors selling such systems.

Although the draft calls for many changes to the requirements, about 75 percent of the document is the same as it is now, JFMIP executive director Karen Cleary Alderman said.

Most of the changes were made to clarify certain issues that have come up over the past three years, JFMIP senior associate Stephen Balsam said. "The biggest change will be further clarification."

The revised document includes some items that previously had been classified as "value-added" items in the 1999 version, Balsam said. For example, the new requirements include a provision for a revolving fund, which was a value-added item in the earlier version, he said.

Some agencies also have been pushing for some items to fall under mandatory testing by JFMIP in the certification process.

The revisions to the requirements come as the three-year certification period for most financial management products is set to expire at the end of fiscal 2002. JFMIP wanted to have the requirements in place in time to give vendors a chance to respond and get certified under the new set of requirements, Balsam said.

JFMIP officials hope that the requirements will help reduce the amount of customization that agencies have to make on commercial financial management systems, thereby reducing costs and improving the likelihood that agencies will be able to implement the products successfully.

Comments on the draft are due Aug. 20. JFMIP officials hope to have the new requirements in place by Oct. 1 and begin testing systems soon thereafter.

About the Author

Christopher J. Dorobek is the co-anchor of Federal News Radio’s afternoon drive program, The Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, and the founder, publisher and editor of the, a leading blog for the Federal IT community.

Dorobek joined Federal News Radio in 2008 with 16 years of experience covering government issues with an emphasis on government information technology. Prior to joining Federal News Radio, Dorobek was editor-in-chief of Federal Computer Week, the leading news magazine for government IT decision-makers and the flagship of the 1105 Government Information Group portfolio of publications. As editor-in-chief, Dorobek served as a member of the senior leadership team at 1105 Government Information Group, providing daily editorial direction and management for FCW magazine,, Government Health IT and its other editorial products.

Dorobek joined FCW in 2001 as a senior reporter and assumed increasing responsibilities, becoming managing editor and executive editor before being named editor-in-chief in 2006. Prior to joining FCW, Dorobek was a technology reporter at, one of the first online community centers for current and former government employees. He also spent five years at Government Computer News, another leading industry publication, covering a variety of federal IT-related issues.

Dorobek is a frequent speaker on issues involving the government IT industry, and has appeared as a frequent contributor to NewsChannel 8’s Federal News Today program. He began his career as a reporter at the Foster’s Daily Democrat, a daily newspaper in Dover, N.H. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California. He lives in Washington, DC.


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