Lines of business initiatives move ahead

CAMBRIDGE, Md. — Making lines of business efforts work is mostly a matter of planning ahead, according to panelists who spoke today at the Interagency Resources Management Conference.


"Big failures tend to be on the people side, the management side, and not on the technology side," said Larry Neff, deputy chief financial officer at the Transportation Department.


DOT runs a financial management shared-services center with the Government Accountability Office as its single largest user, and some smaller agencies are also signed on. The Financial Management Line of Business initiative is intended to concentrate financial management information technology services into a few agencies, which then provide the services to other agencies. The goal is to lower overall costs by reducing the duplication that comes when each agency runs its own financial management operation.


Smaller agencies have been the most eager users to sign up with the shared-services centers. Anton Porter, deputy CFO at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, said small agencies are hard-pressed to manage their own systems and welcome the help.


"They're very mission-oriented," he said. "What the shared-services model provides is the opportunity for the small agencies to focus strictly on mission."


Small agencies trying to run their own IT operations typically have little resilience, said John O'Connor, director of GAO's office of financial management.


"You'd almost cross your fingers when people went on leave," he said, because if anything went wrong with the system while the IT employee able to work on it was away, no other help was available.


However, Neff said, agencies that require customized systems should look to the private sector for help. Shared-services centers create value by being standardized and using commercial software without changing it.


"I can't make a profit on this," he said, so there is no justifcation for customizing solutions.


 

About the Author

Technology journalist Michael Hardy is a former FCW editor.

Featured

  • Contracting
    8 prototypes of the border walls as tweeted by CBP San Diego

    DHS contractors face protests – on the streets

    Tech companies are facing protests internally from workers and externally from activists about doing for government amid controversial policies like "zero tolerance" for illegal immigration.

  • Workforce
    By Mark Van Scyoc Royalty-free stock photo ID: 285175268

    At OPM, Weichert pushes direct hire, pay agent changes

    Margaret Weichert, now acting director of the Office of Personnel Management, is clearing agencies to make direct hires in IT, cyber and other tech fields and is changing pay for specialized occupations.

  • Cloud
    Shutterstock ID ID: 222190471 By wk1003mike

    IBM protests JEDI cloud deal

    As the deadline to submit bids on the Pentagon's $10 billion, 10-year warfighter cloud deal draws near, IBM announced a legal protest.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.