December 2, 2023

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Information Technology: OPM Needs to Adopt Key Practices in Modernizing Legacy Financial System

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What GAO Observed

The U.S. Business of Personnel Management (OPM) has concluded numerous phases of its work to modernize its Have confidence in Funds Federal Money Process (FFS). Amongst other actions, OPM defined the project’s constitution, selected a services supplier, and gathered requirements. Nevertheless, as proven under, OPM had to lengthen the prepared completion date of two approaching milestones by 1 12 months to October 2022 and Oct 2023. These milestones focus on the changeover to the shared company supplier and the new process. In addition, OPM elevated the approximated cost of undertaking improvement and implementation by $13.4 million to $71.9 million.

Standing of the Office environment of Staff Management’s (OPM) Money Procedure Modernization


Finished or prepared completion day

Evaluation, Readiness, and Assortment

Accomplished September 2018

Engagement Period 1

Finished February 2020

Engagement Section 2

Concluded September 2020

Migration Launch 1

Planned completion by October 2022 (at first approximated to be accomplished in October 2021)

Migration Release 2

Prepared completion by October 2023 (initially estimated to be concluded in Oct 2022)


_____ = milestones that have been concluded

Supply: GAO evaluation of OPM’s documentation and interviews. | GAO-22-104206

OPM attributed the delay to a range of motives, which includes poor documentation and insufficient workers know-how regarding the legacy process.

OPM partly executed critical procedures for employing a shared assistance service provider. Precisely, although OPM executed possibility assessments of the modernization, the assessments ended up not in depth or did not properly reflect the challenges the method was dealing with. Especially, when OPM executed advised assessments of the modernization, it did not deal with all acknowledged challenges. For case in point, the possibility evaluation in the course of Engagement Stage 2 did not mirror that OPM experienced not outlined assistance amount agreements for operations and upkeep relevant steering considers this omission a superior chance at this phase. Even further, though OPM executed encouraged evaluations at the conclusion of each period, in two instances the company moved ahead on the modernization with no meeting outlined exit criteria.

In addition, whilst OPM absolutely adopted primary data technologies (IT) administration tactics for demands administration, it did not do so for expense and routine estimation, and cybersecurity. Specially:

  • OPM did not totally undertake very best techniques for acquiring method charge and program estimates. As a consequence, its estimates were being not dependable.
  • OPM adopted one particular essential cybersecurity observe for programs engineering and partly adopted 4 other tactics. For illustration, though OPM had identified stability expectations for the migration stage, the agency experienced not defined the amount of support to be equipped by the shared services service provider. Following these practices enable ensure that stability needs and desires are tackled in the course of the existence cycle of the process.

Till the company entirely implements correct methods, OPM improves the chance that the method will incur timetable delays, cost overruns, unmet performance targets, and cybersecurity shortfalls.

Why GAO Did This Analyze

OPM’s legacy money method, FFS, aids handle more than $1 trillion in put together belongings and supports around 8 million federal employees and retirees. Even so, according to OPM, FFS is out-of-date and is made up of unsupported software package. In fiscal calendar year 2017, OPM produced the Belief Cash Modernization (TFM) Software to substitute FFS. In 2019, the agency selected a shared service supplier to provide the substitute method.

The Home report accompanying the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 incorporated a provision for GAO to look at OPM’s effort to modernize and replace FFS. This report (1) describes the status of OPM’s hard work to modernize and change FFS (2) evaluates the progress OPM has produced in implementing key modernization tactics for utilizing a shared service company and (3) establishes to what extent the TFM method has adopted major procedures for requirements administration, value and agenda estimation, and cybersecurity. To do so, GAO analyzed suitable TFM system documentation assessed documentation from essential modernization techniques and compared the program’s demands administration, cost and timetable estimation, and cybersecurity to foremost tactics. GAO also interviewed OPM officials.

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