DOD nears start of financial fix

DFAS contracts Web site

The Defense Department's effort to fix its troubled financial systems will begin in earnest this week when the Pentagon closes bidding on a request for quotations to design the DOD financial management enterprise architecture.

The enterprise architecture is a high priority for DOD officials as they seek to transform the military. It has also been the major recommendation from the General Accounting Office and DOD's inspector general.

The initiative also has financial backing — the fiscal 2002 Defense appropriations bill gave the Pentagon $100 million for the effort.

The DOD financial management enterprise architecture is seen as a first step to moving toward good financial practices that will enable DOD to have clean and auditable books. But DOD officials also expect that new financial systems will provide managers with quality data so they can make effective management decisions, DOD officials have said.

The financial management enterprise architecture will provide a blueprint to guide investments in financial management operations and systems, and it will direct how the multitudes of systems that operate within DOD will work together, according to Pentagon officials.

One of the most significant hurdles DOD must overcome is the huge number of legacy financial systems that clog the Pentagon's processes. The scores of outdated, stovepiped feeder systems transmit data to DOD's core accounting systems. But because they were designed without using any standards, DOD has been forced to develop software that translates the data into the core system. That data becomes distorted as it is translated from one system to another.

The Defense Finance and Accounting Service issued the request for quotations in November. Bids are due at 3 p.m. Jan. 25.

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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