(Barry Bahler/DHS)

OIG Finds DHS Has Applied Lessons in Financial Systems Modernization

DHS has sought to update its financial systems since its inception. During the past 16 years, DHS has made three major attempts, but did not modernize and consolidate its financial systems. In 2017, DHS initiated its fourth attempt, the Financial Systems Modernization (FSM) TRIO program, to address the incompatible processes and antiquated financial management systems in use department-wide. The ultimate goal of this program is to improve the quality of financial information to support decision-making and improve the ability to provide timely and accurate reporting to ensure efficient stewardship of taxpayer dollars.

In accordance with DHS guidance, the Department developed a strategy to apply lessons learned from prior system updates to its current FSM TRIO effort. According to DHS, the program office has successfully identified 29 lessons from prior modernization efforts and has begun applying them to the FSM TRIO program. DHS’ awareness of the importance of identifying and applying lessons learned provides some assurance and a positive outlook for continued future progress of the FSM TRIO project since there was no known strategy to apply lessons learned in earlier attempts. Leveraging successful practices from prior efforts, and avoiding past failures, may help DHS use its resources wisely, mitigate risks, and achieve its goals for FSM TRIO.

DHS’ Office of Inspector General performed an evaluation to determine whether the Department identified lessons learned from prior modernization projects and applied them to current efforts.

Although OIG did not confirm the extent to which DHS incorporated lessons learned, they interviewed program officials and reviewed contracts, plans, and schedules to learn about the activities conducted. OIG determined that DHS’ awareness of the importance of identifying and applying lessons learned provides some assurance and a positive outlook for continued future progress of the FSM TRIO project since there was no known strategy to apply lessons learned in earlier attempts.

By identifying and applying lessons learned, DHS can provide better assurance it effectively utilizes its resources, mitigates risks, and achieves its goals using the ongoing FSM initiative. OIG did not make any recommendations because we did not identify any deficiencies related to the scope of this evaluation.

Read the OIG report

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