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Friday, December 9, 2022

Coast Guard Completes FSMS Transition for ‘New Era’ of Financial Management

"Hundreds of people have invested thousands of hours to make this vision a reality," said Assistant Commandant for Resources and CFO Rear Admiral Mark Fedor.

The Coast Guard’s transition to the Financial Systems Modernization Solution is off and running, marking “truly the beginning of a new era for the United States Coast Guard’s Financial Management and Procurement Services,” according to Assistant Commandant for Resources and Chief Financial Officer Rear Admiral Mark Fedor.

The Department of Homeland Security announced Friday that the transition, which was four weeks behind schedule when the go-live date was announced to the USCG workforce last month, will lead to “greater security, data integrity, efficiency, and flexibility” and “more accurate reporting, therefore improving transparency and accountability.”

The Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office (CWMD) made the transition to the Oracle-based FSMS in October 2019 and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) made the move in October 2020. Fedor noted at the end of October that the Coast Guard transition, intended to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of managing a $12 billion budget, is “most complex just because of our broad range of missions associated with it.”

“Modernizing our financial support systems is vital to the Department of Homeland Security and is one of our top priorities,” DHS Acting Chief Financial Officer Stacy Marcott said in a statement. “The new system will vastly improve the U.S. Coast Guard’s business systems, help employees be more productive, and allow them to achieve more reliable results when paying bills, procuring goods and services, reporting and managing budgets, and much more.”

FSMS will interface with numerous Coast Guard systems including ALMIS, NESSS, FLS, MISLE, DPOMS, MOSIS, Direct Access, AUXDATA, and ETS2, and will connect with external applications from the National Finance Center, Defense Logistics Agency, GSA, and Treasury Department.

Coast Guard employees were told in May that the move to FSMS — “the largest financial system transition in Coast Guard history” that “will affect everyone in the Coast Guard” — would have continuity built in for prioritized processing of military, civilian, and retirement pay. Web-based FSMS training courses were announced at the time, with system testing running from July through the beginning of September. The legacy Core Accounting System Suite was shut off day before the start of the fiscal year on Oct. 1, transitioning to the temporary Cutover Financial System.

USCG implemented an FSMS support team to help employees navigate the transition, with the majority of user queries answered through posting questions online and others bumped up to help tickets.

Fedor said he was “honored to help lead the Coast Guard through this financial transformation” and is “confident the Service will be more efficient, adaptable to our dynamic operational environment, and better stewards of the taxpayers’ dollars.”

“Hundreds of people have invested thousands of hours to make this vision a reality, so it’s fitting to celebrate this milestone achievement,” he said.

In a memo to the workforce last month, Fedor said that with the FINCEN backlog of vendor invoices and employee vouchers expected to be more than 16,000 “priority will be placed on utilities, small businesses, member payments, and large dollar contract payment” while “the remaining invoices will generally be processed on first in, first out methodology.”

Bridget Johnson
Bridget Johnson is the Managing Editor for Homeland Security Today. A veteran journalist whose news articles and analyses have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe, Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor and a foreign policy writer at The Hill. Previously she was an editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and syndicated nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. Bridget is a terrorism analyst and security consultant with a specialty in online open-source extremist propaganda, incitement, recruitment, and training. She hosts and presents in Homeland Security Today law enforcement training webinars studying a range of counterterrorism topics including conspiracy theory extremism, complex coordinated attacks, critical infrastructure attacks, arson terrorism, drone and venue threats, antisemitism and white supremacists, anti-government extremism, and WMD threats. She is a Senior Risk Analyst for Gate 15 and a private investigator. Bridget is an NPR on-air contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, New York Observer, National Review Online, Politico, New York Daily News, The Jerusalem Post, The Hill, Washington Times, RealClearWorld and more, and has myriad television and radio credits including Al-Jazeera, BBC and SiriusXM.

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