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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, Oct. 22, 2004

HHS Press Office
(202) 690-6343

HHS Unveils New Unified Financial Management System

New System Will Streamline Accounting and Budget Activities Across HHS Agencies

HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson today announced that the Department will begin using a new centralized financial management system that will unify the vast array of outdated, redundant and incompatible financial systems currently in use across its agencies. The new HHS Unified Financial Management System (UFMS) will provide improved fiscal management and accountability for the largest budget in the Federal government.

"We have one of the most complex accounting systems in the Federal government, one that must administer over a half trillion-dollar budget spread across more than 300 programs in 11 agencies," Secretary Thompson said. "The UFMS program will change the way we do business at HHS and greatly improve our capability to manage the public's tax dollars, a key element of the President's Management Agenda."

The UFMS program is a business management tool that will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of financial, business and operational functions across the department, including general ledger, budget execution, accounts payable, accounts receivable, purchasing, grants management and payroll activities. As a result, the system will reduce the resources needed and costs associated with conducting financial transactions across HHS and streamline the process of financial reporting.

The system will reduce costs by replacing five redundant and outdated accounting systems now in use at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and the Program Support Center (PSC), which provides financial accounting and reporting services for the remaining seven HHS agencies.

In the past, for example, each HHS agency maintained its own database of vendors with whom the agency did business, which resulted in wide duplication of effort in maintaining common information on these companies and their contract performance. The UFMS program will retain this information in one central place, allowing HHS and its agencies to more effectively manage contracts and analyze vendor performance.

"This program will be the single largest civilian financial system in the world," said Kerry Weems, HHS Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Budget, Technology and Finance. "It will be implemented incrementally across the department, and it will marry efficiencies in business and technology to move HHS to a modern business environment in a fiscally sound way."

Deployment of the Department-wide UFMS system will begin at CDC and FDA this month with the implementation of the general ledger for payroll transactions. The concept of using the general ledger function was successfully proven at NIH in October 2003. The full UFMS system is expected to be up and running at CDC and FDA in April 2005. The entire department is scheduled to be using the full system by 2007.

A separate component of the UFMS, the Healthcare Integrated General Ledger Accounting System, will be implemented for CMS and its Medicare contractors to handle all Medicare-related financial management activities. This component is scheduled to go live in the first quarter of fiscal year 2005.

The UFMS program is built using a federally-certified commercial off-the-shelf software package called Oracle® 11i Federal Financials, a part of Oracle E-Business Suite, which is in use by a number of other federal agencies. Using a commercially available off-the-shelf product carries the advantages of building in commonly accepted financial industry standards and reduces the costs and risks of building an entirely new customized system. HHS contracted with BearingPoint, Inc., a business consulting and systems integration company, to assist with the development and implementation of UFMS.

More information on the UFMS is available on the Web at http://www.hhs.gov/ufms.

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Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are available at http://www.hhs.gov/news.

Last Revised: October 22, 2004

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