Doc Mirelson/Brian Dunbar
June 25, 2003
New Financial Management Tools Unite NASA
NASA's business operations took a giant leap forward this week as all 10 NASA field centers began using the same system to pay bills and manage financial accounts.
The new system, part of NASA's Integrated Financial Management Program (IFMP), is one component of a major overhaul of the way the agency does business. The program is replacing duplicative legacy systems with new ones for common use across the agency.
"NASA is changing the way it does business," said Patrick Ciganer, program executive for IFMP. "The new system allows us to work with common tools toward common goals, not as 10 different centers with different ways of budgeting or managing their finances," he said.
"Under the new system, we'll be able to track our finances all the way from the overall agency budget down to the individual transaction level," Ciganer said. "We'll be providing NASA managers with up-to-date information on where their programs stand financially, and they'll have the tools to evaluate tradeoffs required in the program planning. We'll also be able to take a consistent look across programs," he said.
The Core Financial Module, rolled out this week, replaces 145 legacy systems across NASA. Under IFMP, NASA replaced nine of 10 legacy travel-management systems with one system, called Travel Manager. In the coming months, the Budget Formulation Module will replace 18 budget-formulation systems. Within the next two years, the Integrated Asset Management Module will replace more than 100 additional systems.
NASA's human resource offices have been using other modules to create position descriptions for new jobs and to allow job applicants to create resumes online. Before these personnel programs came online, prospective applicants had to mail resumes to individual NASA centers to apply for jobs, and prospective employers could only select from applicants who applied at the manager's center.
With the new system, prospective applicants can apply online for jobs across NASA, and prospective employers can evaluate resumes from anyone. As a result, NASA is receiving from two to 10 times more applicants for each job opening than under the old systems.
The personnel tools were essential for the Educator Astronaut program, which received more than 1,600 applications in three months. The Staffing and Recruiting System (STARS) allowed NASA to efficiently collect, analyze and process the applications.
For information about the Integrated Financial Management Program on the Internet, visit:
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