Uncharted seas--Coast Guard charts new course in financial management with move to federal shared service provider.

AuthorSanchez, Mark M.

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Computer technology is evolving at a rapid pace, bringing with it new software capable of enhancing business operations and the promise of making our organizations more efficient and effective. As part of the President's Management Agenda, the administration is encouraging agencies to pursue initiatives that streamline the way government delivers services with a focus on core administrative functions common across the Federal government.

This includes the use of high-quality, high-value shared services among Federal Agencies. In 2014, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) entered into an inter-agency agreement -on behalf of the United States Coast Guard, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO)-with the Department of the Interior's Interior Business Center (IBC) to provide financial management services. This agreement is a significant step forward in modernizing the Coast Guard's financial, procurement, and asset management systems with commercial off-the-shelf software via a shared service provider. With a focus on improving financial operations, this initiative charts a new course in financial management for the Coast Guard that will bring the Service into alignment with Federal financial requirements, improve user experiences, enable enhanced analytics, and improve operational efficiency.

Needs of the Service

As a multi-mission, maritime service within DHS and one of the five Armed Services, the Coast Guard relies heavily on its mission support capabilities in executing its various missions in support of National interests at home and abroad. There is little doubt of the longtime need for a highly automated, integrated, streamlined, and reliable financial system. With an anticipated launch date for the new software as a service at the beginning of Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, the Coast Guard will greatly enhance the tools and services provided to operational commanders in the field with the resources and information necessary to effectively support all Coast Guard missions.

Why Now?

The Coast Guard is currently reliant on an outdated financial management system called the Core Accounting Suite (CAS). In use since 2003, CAS is a financial, procurement, and asset management system that is expensive to maintain, administratively burdensome to operational units, and unsustainable. In addition to serving the Coast Guard, CAS is also the primary financial management system...

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