Monday, April 18, 2011

Streamlining Administrative Functions

Several members of the CRFPO administrative team recently attended a three day training session in Portland on the new Financial and Business Management System (FBMS) that is scheduled to go live in the Fish and Wildlife Service on Nov. 7th. All Department of the Interior (DOI) agencies are expected to be using FBMS by fiscal year 2013. So far, the U.S. Geological Survey, Bureau of Land Management and the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement are the three DOI agencies that have migrated to this new system. FBMS will replace many of the systems we currently use to perform administrative functions involving procurement, property, grants and agreements and government charge cards.

The purpose of FBMS is to integrate and streamline how administrative functions are performed among all DOI agencies. It is expected that once FMBS has been deployed among all agencies, the need for more than 80 DOI systems will be eliminated. The overview provided underscores how sweeping the changes will be. Much of the terminology we are familiar with in the administrative arena will go away. Organizational codes will be replaced by fund/cost centers. The job number and ABC code on a project will be called a Work Breakdown Structure in FBMS. Also, what is now referred to as BOC (Budget Object Code) will be termed a General Ledger/Account Commitment Item. It will be much like learning a new language.

Apart from the administrative team, I think learning the new components of job cost structures will be the most challenging adjustment for CRFPO staff. The Quicktime and GovTrip systems will largely be unaffected by the move to FBMS. The job cost structures that get entered into these systems will be the most noticeable change. Employees will be able to use their government charge cards for purchases as they do now and acquisitions will still need to be completed. How personnel actions are processed will not change with the move to FBMS. Soon, FBMS roles for administrative team members will be designated. In the fall of 2011, more role specific training will be provided. As we learn more about FBMS, the administrative team will work with CRFPO staff to make the transition to FBMS as smooth as possible.

Submitted by Larry Fishler