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FCW : July 30, 2014
July 30, 2014 FCW.COM 21 data transparency at the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, is looking for vendors to support the development of data stan- dards. “Part of the requirement in the Data Act is to require Treasury and OMB to consult with external stake- holders in the development of the data standard,” Ho told FCW. “The vendors that support shared services and also upgrade the code. Even if the agency did build its development capacity, ATF would effectively have to take on a “divergent version of custom code,” he said, which would somewhat negate the benefit of using IMPACT as a shared service. The truly “wild idea,” Holgate said, was having ATF pay for IMPACT’s case management platform on a fee-for-ser- vice basis while keeping DEA respon- sible for maintaining the system. That approach was challenging on many fronts, not least because it would have required shared governance of the plat- form, with DEA officials making some concessions about functionality and future requirements. In the end, they decided they did not want to take on the role of a shared- services provider. In April, ATF issued a request for information as a prelude to acquiring its own case management system. The challenges to sharing Holgate said he would not rule out the possibility of federal law enforcement agencies sharing a case management platform, but he does not think it is especially likely. There are some obvious factors that argue against a shared platform. Federal law enforcement agencies have unique statutory requirements and jurisdictional responsibilities. Their histories and inter- nal cultures lead them to approach case management and information collection in different ways. However, feds are not exactly well served by the com- mercial space, which focuses on local law enforcement needs such as dispatch and incident reporting. In that context, feds “end up being outliers,” Holgate said, because federal jurisdic- tions extend to white-collar crime, vio- lent crime, international terrorism and other areas that are outside the core functionality of commercial systems. ATF and DEA’s effort was not the first time the Justice Department looked into a shared case management sys- tem. In 2006, the department awarded a $42 million contract for a Litiga- tion Case Management System that would support the department’s seven litigating divisions and U.S. attorneys’ offices. Four years later, the project was two years behind schedule and $20 million over budget, and it wound up on then- U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra’s list of high-risk projects. Eventually, plans for the sys- tem were terminated. ■ “The further you get into the mission space, the harder things get.” — RICK HOLGATE vendors that support agencies current- ly in terms of those financial systems or even other types of products, we want to consult with them. We are interested in their input and thoughts on that.” Then-OMB Controller Danny Werfel sent a memo last year announcing the shift to shared services, saying better data is a goal of the initiative, which seeks to “improve data quality and pro- vide greater transparency into federal finances, including through the produc- tion of auditable financial statements at the governmentwide level.” The four shared-services providers will be on the front lines of implement- ing the new data standards for their government customers. For agencies, “Part of the requirement in the Data Act is to require Treasury and OMB to consult with external stakeholders in the development of the data standard.” — CHRISTINA HO
July 15, 2014
August 15, 2014