Financial Line of Business questioned

The first formal guidance for the Financial Management Line of Business offers too little help for agencies and contractors trying to plan for the program, some analysts say.

The guidance came from the Financial Systems Integration Office — part of the General Services Administration — with assistance from the Office of Management and Budget. Issued in May, it was a draft document. A final version is expected soon.

Input released a report earlier this month stating that the guidance relies heavily on the standard A-76 process to govern competitions under the line of business, in effect telling officials little they did not already know.

“We were expecting, along with the rest of the vendor community, more in the way of actual guidance,” said James Krouse, acting director of public-sector market analysis at Input. “To fall back and say that in a lot of cases A-76’s standing rules will apply, that’s fine, but you could have told us that a year ago. What’s new?”

The line of business initiative is an OMB effort to consolidate financial management systems, using some agencies as service providers. As agencies upgrade their financial management systems, they should seek to become a shared service provider, migrate their financial management systems to an agency that already has that status or contract with a qualified vendor. The A-76 provisions kick in when agencies go outside their organizations for the services.

The use of A-76 suggests that agencies would have an advantage. Under normal A-76 rules, private-sector competitors must show they can save 10 percent or $10 million to unseat an agency’s employees.

If the competition involves another agency that does not have to show those savings, companies are at a decided disadvantage, according to the Input analysis.

The guidance makes it feasible for agencies to take as long as a decade to determine if they will migrate their operations, making the potential market for a shared service provider unpredictable, according to Input.

In the long term, Krouse said, it is unclear whether the lines of business initiatives will amount to much. The 10-year time frame is a long period for a political initiative, he said.

“You’re talking about two or possibly three election cycles,” he said. “This whole idea of lines of business is not fully cooked now, and we haven’t seen Congress embrace this with any degree of enthusiasm.”

The guidance does give contractors and agencies some starting points, Krouse added, but not enough to comfortably lock in strategies.

“Any plan you make, be prepared to change,” he said. “The entrenched contractors have a marked advantage because they have the ability to strengthen relationships with the agencies that are going to be their partners going forward.”

Other industry observers question the wisdom of the shared services approach, which they see as overly prescriptive.

“If I get together the best minds around financial management in the government, you can create a set of general standards that anybody can meet in the government, or any institution,” said one industry insider who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The government should set common metrics and standards, the insider said, but agencies can meet such requirements without OMB mandating that they take a certain approach.

Larry Allen, executive vice president of the Coalition for Government Procurement, said he does not believe there is much enthusiasm for the initiative outside OMB.

“It’s an administration initiative that is closely linked to A-76, and everybody knows that’s been this administration’s primary mover,” he said. “If it was something everybody wanted to be on the front burner, it would be dressed up to catch everybody’s attention.”

The Coalition for Government Procurement has not established a formal position on the lines of business, but “we generally have a wary eye,” Allen said, adding that government solutions should be less prescribed.

“Agencies need to consider how best to meet the objective of good, sound financial management practices to meet the agencies’ mission needs and priorities,” said an OMB spokeswoman in response to the critique. “OMB’s guidance and framework provide the agencies the information they need to access the process that will help them meet their goals.”

Shared servicesFinancial management shared service providers must offer, at a minimum:

  • Technology hosting and administration.

  • Application management services.

  • Business process services.

  • System implementation services.

  • Source: Input
    X
    This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
    Accept Cookies
    X
    Cookie Preferences Cookie List

    Do Not Sell My Personal Information

    When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

    Allow All Cookies

    Manage Consent Preferences

    Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

    We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

    Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

    Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

    If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

    Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

    Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

    If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

    Save Settings
    Cookie Preferences Cookie List

    Cookie List

    A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

    Strictly Necessary Cookies

    We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

    Functional Cookies

    We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

    Performance Cookies

    We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

    Sale of Personal Data

    We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

    Social Media Cookies

    We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

    Targeting Cookies

    We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.