FMS Recognizes EPA for Achieving Goal of 100 Percent Electronic Collections
By David W. Burgess, Agency Relationship Management Division
Federal Finance (FF) at FMS has been tasked with developing a complete understanding of Federal Program Agencies' (FPA) entire collections portfolios and recommending an integrated set of mechanisms to meet the FPAs' collection needs. This initiative, called the "Holistic Approach," is improving cash management practices government-wide and moving us ever closer to the goal of an all-electronic Treasury. FMS's comprehensive effort in this area is the Collections and Cash Management Modernization (CCMM) initiative. As FF moves to realize the CCMM end state by December 2012, we are working hard to ensure that all customers are well informed of and well prepared to meet the changes CCMM brings.
While all FPA's are working toward implementing CCMM and realizing its benefits, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has truly "gone the extra mile" to streamline and modernize their financial transactions in line with the Holistic Approach and CCMM.
FF has been working closely with FPA's to develop a complete understanding of the FPAs' entire collection portfolio and is recommending an integrated set of mechanisms to meet an FPA's collection needs. Additionally, FMS has established relationships in the Chief Financial Officer's (CFO's) offices to develop and administer the agency-wide holistic approach (rather than working with an FPA on an individual program or ad hoc basis). Throughout the process, all FF program areas and FPA representatives work as one to achieve the goals of all parties involved.
CCMM is a multi-year effort to simplify and modernize FMS's collections and cash management programs. It involves re-architecting processes that have built up over decades and it impacts over two dozen systems and services that process collections for hundreds of FPA cash flows (taxes, customs duties, coin sales, etc.), conduct more than 400 million transactions a year, and collect nearly $3 trillion a year. Ultimately, CCMM will make federal cash management more efficient, minimize costs, and improve FMS's ability to meet the needs of FPA's in the years to come.
Central to the CCMM initiative is the consolidation of transaction and deposit reporting that FPA's currently receive from a myriad of programs and Treasury's cash concentration system, CA$HLINK II. A new system, the Transaction Reporting System (TRS), will be the single touch point for FPA reporting needs. Under CCMM, TRS will provide agencies with a daily consolidated report of all collections, rather than requiring agencies to receive separate reports from multiple systems and banks.
CA$HLINK II has been scheduled for decommissioning by the end of 2012. While this means that FPA's will be required to utilize TRS for their collections reporting, it also means that CA$HLINK II deposit reporting capabilities will also be shut down. As a result, all FPA's with over-the-counter (OTC) deposits to commercial banks and Federal Reserve Banks must report them electronically through FMS's OTC Channel Application (OTCnet). To prepare for the transition away from CA$HLINK II, FPA's must begin migrating all OTC deposits to OTCnet at the earliest opportunity.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was approached in February 2011 by FMS to discuss the implementation of the Holistic Approach and CCMM. EPA has historically been a close partner with FMS in the implementation of new systems and services designed to streamline and modernize financial transactions. EPA has now reached the pinnacle of financial management efficiency and excellence. They have fully embraced the holistic approach, the benefits of CCMM, and the conversion of "paper to electronic." With the commitment to implement OTCnet for checks accepted at local EPA offices now realized, and their usage of other FMS electronic mechanisms (e.g., Credit Gateway, ECP, ITS.gov) already implemented, EPA has guaranteed the collection of 100 percent of its applicable collections electronically; the first FPA to reach this goal.
On Thursday, June 16, 2011, Corvelli McDaniel, Director of the Revenue Collection Group within FMS, and Craig Sadick, Acting Director of the Agency Relationship Management Division, presented a plaque to Barbara Bennett, Chief Financial Officer of EPA, in recognition of this distinction. This accomplishment speaks to the commitment of EPA to ensure the federal government operates as efficiently and effectively as possible. There is no doubt that other FPA's will realize the same goal and ensure the federal government continues to modernize the way our nation collects its revenue.