DOD to test system to improve intergovernmental transactions

The Defense Department’s Business Transformation Agency (BTA) will test a better way to transfer funds with other agencies in the next seven months. BTA Director David Fisher said Feb. 19 that after a successful internal DOD pilot program last year, officials want to expand the intergovernmental transfers trial with nonmilitary agencies. “The comptroller and procurement community are interested in applying the solution to transfers with other agencies,” he said after making a speech sponsored by AFCEA’s Washington chapter in Arlington, Va. “We will try a limited pilot with key stakeholders outside of DOD.” Fisher did not name the other agencies. However, It would make sense for DOD to run a test with the General Services Administration or the Interior Department or NASA — three agencies with large assisted acquisition services that DOD regularly uses. In last year’s trial program, DOD used Compusearch Software Systems' Prism software, and Fisher said this year’s test likely will use the same application. “The key is changing our business processes,” he said. “We have to ask our partners to trade information with each other and that is asking them to do more than they are used to. The benefit is back-end visibility.” Fisher said DOD still is figuring out the test’s ground rules and what technology will be needed. “When we buy from each other, we’ve not done a good job of tracking the money,” he said. “It takes a lot of time to reconcile this.” DOD also is working on improving its use of electronic funds distribution (EFD). The Army, on behalf of BTA, issued a request for information that is due Feb. 22 for best-practice strategies, alternatives and experiences into an acquisition strategy for developing and implementing an enterprisewide EFD system. “At an enterprise level, there exist gaps and inefficiencies among the separate and distinct funds distribution practices throughout the department,” the RFI states. “Funds distribution by its nature should be a key enabler of financial visibility within DOD enterprise systems. The concept of a fully visible enterprisewide funds distribution capability serves as a reference within which planned and coordinated funds development and execution takes place.” Fisher said DOD hopes to evaluate the RFI, issue a request for proposals and award a contract by the end of this year so the program can be implemented in 2009. “We have different camps out on what is the right technology solution,” he said. “We want to evaluate them quickly and come up with an acquisition strategy to acquire the services.”
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