FinanceNet closing down

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FinanceNet, the government's financial management Web portal, will cease operations Dec. 1 as part of a reorganization of how the government disseminates financial management information online.

Although FinanceNet officials have been instructed not to speak about the matter — FinanceNet's executive director Preston Rich refused to comment — the FinanceNet Web site itself announced the decision.

"Effective Dec. 1, 2001, FinanceNet's financial management Web portal will cease," the site says. "On and after that date, current users needing access to financial management information previously available and organized via the FinanceNet portal will need to visit" the FirstGov Web portal.

The Chief Financial Officers Council (CFOC) made the decision, which resulted from "examining various options for providing access to financial management" information, council officials said in a two-page response to FCW queries.

"The Chief Financial Officers Council conducted a review of the council's structure, activities and recurring costs," the council said. "As part of this review, the council sought to streamline, capture economies of scale, and leverage new capabilities in council operations and in making financial information available on the Internet."

The Treasury Department's acting assistant secretary for management and Chief Financial Officer, Steven App, a member of the FinanceNet steering committee, said the decision was a "straightforward business decision."

Council officials noted that when FinanceNet was created in 1994 most federal agencies did not have fully electronic messaging or Web site capabilities. The National Science Foundation, which has hosted the site and its staff, was one of a few agencies that had Web hosting capabilities at the time.

Today, however, virtually every agency hosts a Web site. "The CFOC decision was made in part to leverage this expanded capability," the council said.

The CFOC allocated $664,000 for FinanceNet in fiscal 2001, the council said.

The FinanceNet Web site notes that the change will not affect current and future subscribers and users of FedSales and GovSales public portals and e-mail lists that provide and organize news and information on government surplus and asset sales. That information will be taken over by the General Services Administration.

The decision about various e-mail groups that have been maintained by FinanceNet is left to the sponsors of those lists.

The new CFOC Web page, currently under development, will look similar to the other interagency council Web sites, the CFOC said.

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 DorobekInsider.com, 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, FCW.com, 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 PlanetGov.com, 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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