In 2004, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) launched the financial management line of business (FMLOB) initiative, in part, to reduce the cost and improve the quality and performance of federal financial management systems by leveraging shared services available from external providers. In response to a request to study FMLOB-related issues, this report (1) identifies the steps agencies have taken, or planned to take, to modernizing their core financial systems and migrate to an external provider and (2) assesses the reported benefits and significant challenges associated with migrations, including any factors related to OMB's new financial systems modernization approach. GAO's methodology included surveying federal agencies to obtain the status of their financial management systems as of September 30, 2009 (prior to OMB's March 2010 announcement of a new approach), and interviewing officials with selected agencies, external providers, and OMB. In oral comments on a draft of this report, OMB stated its position that it was too early for GAO to draw conclusions on its new approach because it is still a work in progress. For this reason, GAO is not making any new recommendations. However, GAO observes that the experience and challenges related to prior migration and modernization efforts offer important lessons learned as OMB continues to develop and implement its new approach.
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