Interior launches FBMS in two bureaus, BLM next

The Department of Interior’s Financial Business Modernization System is up and running.

Outgoing CIO W. Hord Tipton said that although FBMS has experienced a few growing pains, the system is functioning and went live Nov. 13.

“We’re still working on a few bugs,” Tipton told reporters after a speech in Washington Thursday morning. “But with any major system, you’re going to expect” that.

FBMS is designed to replace a hodgepodge of DOI’s financial and administrative applications with a single enterprise resource planning system. It will carry out a number of functions, including budget formulation and execution, acquisition and financial management.

Tipton said two DOI bureaus — the Office of Surface Mining and the Minerals Management Service — deployed the new system this week. He expects the Bureau of Land Management to be next, but could not specify when.

All of Interior should be using FBMS by 2010, he said.

DOI officials have stated recently that because DOI is so decentralized, it will take a considerable amount of time for the agency’s bureaus to fully adopt and embrace the system.

But Tipton said that although it is early, the results thus far are positive. FBMS is producing financial reports that are consistent with the earlier systems, he said.

“The system is performing very quickly,” he said. Although “it is a small load at this point, it has met or exceeded our expectations.”

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