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

What GAO Observed The U.S. Business of Personnel Management (OPM) has done quite a few…

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

What GAO Observed

The U.S. Business of Personnel Management (OPM) has done quite a few phases of its work to modernize its Rely on Money Federal Economical Process (FFS). Between other actions, OPM defined the project’s charter, chosen a support service provider, and gathered necessities. Even so, as revealed beneath, OPM experienced to increase the planned completion day of two forthcoming milestones by 1 calendar year to October 2022 and Oct 2023. These milestones target on the changeover to the shared services provider and the new technique. In addition, OPM improved the estimated value of task development and implementation by $13.4 million to $71.9 million.

Position of the Office environment of Staff Management’s (OPM) Monetary Procedure Modernization


Finished or prepared completion date

Assessment, Readiness, and Variety

Finished September 2018

Engagement Section 1

Completed February 2020

Engagement Period 2

Completed September 2020

Migration Launch 1

Planned completion by Oct 2022 (at first believed to be finished in October 2021)

Migration Launch 2

Prepared completion by October 2023 (originally approximated to be concluded in October 2022)


_____ = milestones that have been done

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

OPM attributed the delay to a wide variety of motives, including inadequate documentation and inadequate staff members knowledge regarding the legacy system.

OPM partly carried out critical practices for utilizing a shared provider company. Exclusively, although OPM done hazard assessments of the modernization, the assessments were not complete or did not correctly mirror the challenges the system was facing. Specifically, whilst OPM carried out suggested assessments of the modernization, it did not address all acknowledged dangers. For case in point, the danger evaluation during Engagement Section 2 did not reflect that OPM had not outlined provider amount agreements for operations and maintenance relevant advice considers this omission a large hazard at this phase. Additional, whilst OPM executed suggested reviews at the conclusion of every stage, in two situations the company moved ahead on the modernization devoid of assembly defined exit criteria.

In addition, when OPM fully adopted leading details know-how (IT) administration procedures for specifications administration, it did not do so for price tag and timetable estimation, and cybersecurity. Precisely:

  • OPM did not fully undertake very best tactics for building system price tag and schedule estimates. As a result, its estimates had been not trusted.
  • OPM adopted a person critical cybersecurity follow for systems engineering and partly adopted four other tactics. For illustration, although OPM experienced determined safety expectations for the migration stage, the agency experienced not defined the degree of support to be provided by the shared provider service provider. Pursuing these techniques assist make sure that protection specifications and requires are addressed during the daily life cycle of the system.

Until the agency entirely implements ideal techniques, OPM improves the threat that the program will incur schedule delays, expense overruns, unmet functionality targets, and cybersecurity shortfalls.

Why GAO Did This Research

OPM’s legacy monetary program, FFS, allows control more than $1 trillion in merged property and supports around 8 million federal employees and retirees. Nevertheless, in accordance to OPM, FFS is out-of-date and is made up of unsupported application. In fiscal 12 months 2017, OPM established the Belief Funds Modernization (TFM) Program to swap FFS. In 2019, the agency chosen a shared service provider to present the replacement process.

The House report accompanying the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 bundled a provision for GAO to analyze OPM’s exertion to modernize and substitute FFS. This report (1) describes the position of OPM’s effort to modernize and substitute FFS (2) evaluates the progress OPM has built in utilizing key modernization methods for making use of a shared provider service provider and (3) establishes to what extent the TFM method has adopted primary practices for necessities administration, price tag and schedule estimation, and cybersecurity. To do so, GAO analyzed relevant TFM method documentation assessed documentation from important modernization methods and in comparison the program’s specifications management, cost and program estimation, and cybersecurity to foremost procedures. GAO also interviewed OPM officials.