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Coast Guard Slashes Backlog of Old Invoices But Has ‘Not Yet Attained Stability’ in FSMS Transition

The FSMS Transition Incident Command will be kept operational through at least March 31, 2023, CFO tells workforce.

As the former Assistant Administrator for Financial Systems at FEMA, I have been following the implementation of USCG’s financial system modernization solution (FSMS) with great interest. The USCG cut over to their new system on October 1, 20222. This Homeland Security Today article provides a good update on the transition process, including several potential “lesson learned.”

On potential lesson learned is that the USCG didn’t standup the FSMS Transition Incident Command until March 14, 202, until almost six months after the transition. This Command is “to lead and integrate efforts to develop and implement solutions to the challenges related to FSMS transition.” The USCG CFO recently announced the FSMS Transition Incident Command will be kept operational through at least March 31, 2023. This demonstrates that the effort in building and deploying a new financial system results a separate set of post-deployment operational challenges that will take significant resources and time to resolve. Preplanning for such issues may help to mitigate their impact on the organization and speed their resolution.

Though FEMA and USCG’s financial management needs are significantly different, FEMA’s needs are just as complex as the USCG. I am sure DHS OCFO’s FSM Joint Program Management Office and the FEMA OCFO FSM team are closely monitoring the USCG’s progress and documenting lessons learned that can assist FEMA as it’s own FSM begins in earnest in FY 2023.

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