Financial Management Still a Challenge, Senate Employee Says

Even with a Line of Business devoted to the cause, federal agencies have a long way to go to get financial-management systems up to par, says David Salem, financial manager for the Office of the Sergeant at Arms in the U.S. Senate, at the Fose show.

"So often [agencies] rely on these old mainframes for maintaining finances and tracking expenses," he says. "There's so much that still needs to be done to get these systems to where they need to be."

The administration made financial management a priority by launching a Line of Business dedicated to a governmentwide financial-management solution that standardizes business processes and data models, promotes seamless data exchange between federal agencies,and strengthens internal controls.

But, when forced to rely on outdated technology, that's hard to do, Salem says. Solution providers, therefore, are in a prime position to help Salem and other government customers through services that incorporate both modernization as well as efficient financial-management hardware and applications.

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Salem regrets that no sessions are devoted to educational initiatives at Fose, which kicked off this morning.

"There is some focused on human resources scheduled, which is definitely a start," he says. "But nothing on financial management that I've noticed. There's so much work to be done in that area, I was disappointed."