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«U.S. Department of State Findings Report December 2015 Table of Contents 1.0 Executive Summary 1.1 Purpose and Background 1.2 Methodology 1.3 ...»

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U.S. Department of State

Findings Report

December 2015

Table of Contents

1.0 Executive Summary

1.1 Purpose and Background

1.2 Methodology

1.3 Findings

1.4 Recommendations

1.4.1 Develop a standard foreign assistance management business process (Phase Two)..... 2

1.4.2 Identify changes to existing systems and new system requirements to meet this

business process (Phase Three).

1.4.3 Develop an integrated system solution, including standards and governance, to meet all requirements of the foreign assistance business process (Phase Four).

1.4.4 Expected Impact

2.0 Purpose and Background

2.1 Problem Statement

2.2 Background on Foreign Assistance Data at the Department of State

2.3 Purpose and History of the Foreign Assistance Data Review

2.4 Assumptions and Constraints

3.0 Current Process

3.1 Budgeting

3.2 Appropriations

3.3 Congressional Notification

3.4 Apportionment, Allotment, and Funds Distribution

3.5 Obligation

3.5.1 Federal Financial Assistance

3.5.2 Contracts

3.5.3 Memoranda of Understanding

3.5.4 Inter-Agency Agreements

3.5.5 Letters of Agreement

3.5.6 Other costs

3.6 Liquidation

3.7 Reporting

4.0 Findings, Gaps, and Challenges

4.1 Overview

4.2 ForeignAssistance.gov

4.3 Budget to Obligation to Expenditure

4.4 Bulk Obligations

4.5 Pipeline Reviews and Requests that Pre-Date Existing Systems

4.6 For Further Consideration

4.6.1 Bureau Systems

4.6.2 ForeignAssistance.gov Standards

4.6.3 IATI Standard

4.6.4 Master Reference Data

4.6.5 Project Codes

5.0 Recommendations

5.1 Scope of Recommendations

5.2 Timeline for Implementation

5.3 Establish a Single Foreign Assistance Business Process (FADR Phase Two)

5.3.1 Standardize Sector, Agency, and Vendor Names

5.3.2 Project Titles

5.4 Identification of a System Solution for Foreign Assistance Management (FADR Phase Three)

5.4.1 GFMS Project Codes

5.4.2 Expand use of SAMS Sector and Country

5.4.3 Prototype data viewer

5.5 Development and Implementation of the System Solution (FADR Phase Four)............... 25

5.6 Expected Impact

6.0 Appendices

6.1 Glossary

6.2 Systems Studied

Executive Summary

1.0 Executive Summary

1.1 Purpose and Background The Department of State (Department) captures foreign assistance activity from budget planning and allocation through obligation and disbursement in multiple budget, financial, and program management systems. However, the Department does not fully utilize these systems to track or report on foreign assistance programs or funds at the level needed for recent transparency, congressional, or management purposes. The Foreign Assistance Data Review (FADR) working group was chartered September 2014 to understand and document these issues and recommend a path forward.

1.2 Methodology FADR participants included representatives from the Office of the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources (D-MR), Office of U.S. Foreign Assistance Resources (F), Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator (S/GAC), and Office of the Executive Secretariat (S/ES), as well as participants from Bureau of Administration (A), Bureau of Budget and Planning (BP), Bureau of the Comptroller and Global Financial Services (CGFS), Bureau of Information Resource Management (IRM), Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs (EAP), Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs (EUR), Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA), Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs (WHA), Bureau of Counterterrorism (CT), Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM), Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL), Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL), and Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN). The Office of Management Policy, Rightsizing and Innovation (M/PRI) coordinated the meetings and organized the research and analysis required. The group met approximately once per month between September 2014 and March 2015. Group members shared documents, mapped processes, and reviewed both central and local systems to identify ready-made solutions to common challenges.

1.3 Findings FADR participants supported documentation of the current foreign assistance management process from budgeting through liquidation and reporting. The FADR working group identified gaps and challenges in tracking detailed information from budget to obligation to expenditure, understanding how bulk obligations are split, and responding to data calls for the status of appropriated funds (pipeline) and historic spending patterns. FADR was initially chartered to fulfill transparency needs for ForeignAssistance.gov; however, the group determined that it would be better prepared to meet current and future transparency mandates if it focused first on meeting internal requirements. Members of the group gathered information on systems integral to foreign assistance data tracking throughout the Department such as the Foreign Assistance and Coordination Tracking System (FACTS Info), Global Financial Management Systems (GFMS), State Asset Management System (SAMS), and the Integrated Logistics Management System (ILMS), as well as systems developed for one or more bureaus to use, such as PRM’s Population, Refugees, and Migration Enterprise System (PRiMES), or the NEA Assistance Coordination Performance Reporting System (ACPRS), originally developed to track Middle East Partnership Initiative data and recently expanded. By gaining a better understanding of local solutions and workarounds in place to meet these challenges, the group identified next steps and made recommendations to resolve the challenges at the enterprise level.

1.4 Recommendations In Phase One of the Foreign Assistance Data Review, which took place between October 2014 and June 2015, the FADR working group identified three recommendations to help the Department improve its ability to track and report on foreign assistance activities. These recommendations will be implemented in three phases as outlined below. In Phase Two, FADR recommends establishing a standard business process for foreign assistance management, which will take place from January to March 2016. Phase Three, which will take place from March through June 2016, will involve identifying requirements to change existing systems and requirements for new systems. July to September 2016 will be spent initiating the implementation of system modifications recommended in the previous phases. After September 2016, ongoing work to complete Phase Four will be conducted as needed.

1.4.1 Develop a standard foreign assistance management business process (Phase Two).

There is no standard process across the Department to manage foreign assistance funding. To improve our ability to gather and maintain foreign assistance information, we recommend developing a standard foreign assistance management business process (Phase Two of the FADR). Establishing and documenting a standard foreign assistance business model for use across the Department will involve further gathering of specific foreign assistance business process requirements for budget formulation, budget execution, monitoring and reporting.

This Phase will include a detailed review of all types of foreign assistance-related activity and transactions processed in the Department, identifying and documenting all business and data requirements, identifying sources for the identification and recording of all foreign assistancerelated data fields, and determining primary sources or owners of all data required in the business process. The business process should provide the capability for bureaus and posts to manage and track all foreign assistance projects across their full lifecycle, and allow for accurate reporting to internal and external sources.

The Department has already begun work to support Phase Two by gathering and incorporating data from previously untapped data sources, for example, activity-level programmatic data from bureau Operational Plans as well as results data. As part of Phase Two, the Department will continue to refine the integration of these data sources and will explore ways to identify other untapped data sources that can be incorporated into the standard business model.

Identifying standard foreign assistance business processes and developing standardized data sets that can be followed by all bureaus and posts will improve the quality and consistency of data collected. It will also eliminate the need for individualized and informal bureau systems and reduce inconsistent data.

FADR Phase Two is expected to take three to four months.

1.4.2 Identify changes to existing systems and new system requirements to meet this business process (Phase Three).

Budget formulation, financial, grant and procurement program systems within the Department each capture some of the data to meet today’s external reporting requirements; however, no system was designed to enable program officers to comprehensively track, manage, maintain, or report on foreign assistance activities. Department financial systems meet specific accounting needs, and individual bureau or office program systems meet the customized needs of a singular office but do not always enable interoperability or scaling.

Phase Three will identify foreign assistance system requirements to support the identified Phase Two business model. This will include reviewing bureau-specific program systems to determine “best in class” program system/s, and identifying the requirements for a consolidated foreign assistance reporting solution that supports all identified internal and external reporting requirements. Phase Three will also identify specific system enhancements for existing systems and any requirements for new systems.

By determining each system’s ability to support the standard foreign assistance business process and identifying gaps to be addressed, we will develop a costed management plan and timeline for the necessary system changes to supplement the business process improvement in managing foreign assistance.

Phase Three is expected to take six to seven months.

1.4.3 Develop an integrated system solution, including standards and governance, to meet all requirements of the foreign assistance business process (Phase Four).

When the business process is developed and system enhancements are identified in Phases Two and Three, the FADR working group will assess and analyze the potential impact to any systems or requirements for implementation. Once these requirements are identified, system owners will determine additional resources and/or priority changes required, if any. Bureau contacts will also review the recommended process to assess whether there are resource impacts to their staff, and they may conduct cost-benefit analyses in consultation with the Working Group of the compiled system and bureau resource impacts.

Phase Four will require close coordination across system owners to ensure the solution is developed correctly. This activity will include coordinated development and integrated testing of system enhancements and any new system requirements identified in Phase Three, pending cost-benefit analyses of the system and bureau processing impacts. System owners will identify potential new system requirements and/or priority changes based on the working group’s assessment and analysis. This phase will also include the application of standards and governance developed over the course of the FADR. Phase Four will provide a standard solution for bureaus and posts to manage and track all foreign assistance activities across their full lifecycle which will enable the Department to fulfill transparency reporting commitments, including IATI, and make more data-driven decisions.

1.4.4 Expected Impact The Department anticipates the following phased outcomes and overall impacts from conducting the FADR effort.

• Manage foreign assistance activities at the level needed for recent Administration, Congressional and international requirements.

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