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Highlights

Since the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) began operations in March 2003, it has faced the daunting task of bringing together 22 diverse agencies and developing an integrated financial management system to provide timely, reliable, and useful financial information. GAO was asked to determine (1) whether DHS has fully developed plans for implementing and/or migrating to an integrated departmentwide financial management system, (2) the potential usefulness of the work products received for the funds spent on the financial modernization effort, and (3) going forward, how DHS can incorporate best practices into its plans for migrating to an integrated departmentwide financial management system. GAO interviewed key DHS officials, reviewed relevant DHS policy and procedure documents, and analyzed work products related to the financial modernization effort.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Homeland Security 1. To help reduce the risks associated with a departmentwide financial management system implementation effort, the Secretary of DHS should demonstrate commitment to integrating DHS's financial management systems and direct the Undersecretary for Management and Chief Financial Officer to clearly define and document a departmentwide financial management strategy and plan to move forward with its financial management system integration efforts.
Closed - Not Implemented
This recommendation has been closed as not implemented because DHS has canceled its integrated department wide financial management system implementation project known as the Transformation and Systems Consolidation (TASC) program. The department is currently working on a new approach that will move DHS away from an enterprise-wide already integrated system toward a decentralized approach that prioritizes essential system modernization for Components with the most critical need.
Department of Homeland Security 2. To help reduce the risks associated with a departmentwide financial management system implementation effort, the Secretary of DHS should demonstrate commitment to integrating DHS's financial management systems and direct the Undersecretary for Management and Chief Financial Officer to fully embrace the four building blocks and best practices when developing and documenting the strategy and plan to foster the development of an integrated financial management system that meets expected performance and functionality targets. This would include developing a comprehensive concept of operations document.
Closed - Not Implemented
This recommendation has been closed as not implemented because DHS has canceled its integrated department wide financial management system implementation project known as the Transformation and Systems Consolidation (TASC) program. The department is currently working on a new approach that will move DHS away from an enterprise-wide already integrated system toward a decentralized approach that prioritizes essential system modernization for Components with the most critical need.
Department of Homeland Security 3. To help reduce the risks associated with a departmentwide financial management system implementation effort, the Secretary of DHS should demonstrate commitment to integrating DHS's financial management systems and direct the Undersecretary for Management and Chief Financial Officer to fully embrace the four building blocks and best practices when developing and documenting the strategy and plan to foster the development of an integrated financial management system that meets expected performance and functionality targets. This would include reengineering business processes and standardizing them across the department, including applicable internal control.
Closed - Not Implemented
This recommendation has been closed as not implemented because DHS has canceled its integrated department wide financial management system implementation project known as the Transformation and Systems Consolidation (TASC) program. The department is currently working on a new approach that will move DHS away from an enterprise-wide already integrated system toward a decentralized approach that prioritizes essential system modernization for Components with the most critical need.
Department of Homeland Security 4. To help reduce the risks associated with a departmentwide financial management system implementation effort, the Secretary of DHS should demonstrate commitment to integrating DHS's financial management systems and direct the Undersecretary for Management and Chief Financial Officer to develop a detailed plan for consolidating and migrating various DHS components to an internal shared services approach if this approach is sustained.
Closed - Not Implemented
This recommendation has been closed as not implemented because DHS has canceled its integrated department wide financial management system implementation project known as the Transformation and Systems Consolidation (TASC) program. The department is currently working on a new approach that will move DHS away from an enterprise-wide already integrated system toward a decentralized approach that prioritizes essential system modernization for Components with the most critical need.
Department of Homeland Security 5. To help reduce the risks associated with a departmentwide financial management system implementation effort, the Secretary of DHS should demonstrate commitment to integrating DHS's financial management systems and direct the Undersecretary for Management and Chief Financial Officer to utilize and implement the following specific disciplined processes to minimize project risk: (1) Requirements management, (2) Testing, (3) Data conversion and system interfaces, (4) Risk management, (5) Configuration management, (6) Project management, and (7) Quality assurance.
Closed - Not Implemented
This recommendation has been closed as not implemented because DHS has canceled its integrated department wide financial management system implementation project known as the Transformation and Systems Consolidation (TASC) program. The department is currently working on a new approach that will move DHS away from an enterprise-wide already integrated system toward a decentralized approach that prioritizes essential system modernization for Components with the most critical need.
Department of Homeland Security 6. To help reduce the risks associated with a departmentwide financial management system implementation effort, the Secretary of DHS should demonstrate commitment to integrating DHS's financial management systems and direct the Undersecretary for Management and Chief Financial Officer to carefully consider key human capital practices as DHS moves forward with its financial management transformation efforts so that the right people with the right skills are in place at the right time.
Closed - Not Implemented
This recommendation has been closed as not implemented because DHS has canceled its integrated department wide financial management system implementation project known as the Transformation and Systems Consolidation (TASC) program. The department is currently working on a new approach that will move DHS away from an enterprise-wide already integrated system toward a decentralized approach that prioritizes essential system modernization for Components with the most critical need.

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