Grants LOB migration plans due

Agencies now are determining when they will migrate to one of the three Grants Line of Business consortium members. The Office of Management and Budget has required agencies to complete a strategy that specifies milestones for migration.

“Every agency will be different, because it will be based on their need,” said Stacie Boyd, OMB’s portfolio manager for the Grants LOB. “We are trying to improve the reporting process to give grantees a common way to report data.”

To that end, OMB soon will issue common grant reporting methods, she said today at a breakfast on the Lines of Business in Bethesda, Md., sponsored by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association’s Bethesda chapter.

Boyd would not say when the migration strategies are due, however.

She was one of four speakers who provided updates on OMB’s human resources, financial management and security LOBs.

In the fiscal 2008 budget request, OMB named the Education and Health and Human Services departments and the National Science Foundation as consortium providers. Over the past year, the three agencies have been determining their systems needs and developing policy, technical and data process documentation.

“Education’s approach, for instance, is [that] they have an older legacy system that needs to be upgraded,” Boyd said. “They will issue a contract for a new system” later this year.

Boyd added that the consortia’s systems will use both existing technology and commercial software. But unlike human resources or financial management, the private sector will not provide services to agencies.

Under human resources, however, agencies can expect to have additional shared-services providers to choose from in 2007, said Norm Enger, the Office of Personnel Management’s e-government program manager.

OPM plans to release a request for proposals by the end of November. OPM, earlier this month, issued a request for information for private-sector providers.

“We will have the five federal shared-services centers and then some number of private-sector providers,” he said. “All the private-sector providers will be certified to provide these services.”

Mary Mitchell, the General Services Administration’s FM LOB project manager, said her initiative is gearing up for more competition with the private sector.

“How we evolve the operations to a limited number of high-performing shared-services providers is the real question,” Mitchell said. “We still are trying to define what is the best strategy for commercial providers. We need to address how we screen them.”

By Dec. 31, GSA will issue a revised due diligence checklist.

“This will put the private and public sector on a level playing field,” she said.

GSA also will issue three other publications to agencies this year: a common accounting code, funds and reporting standards, and accounts receivable and accounts payable standards.

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