Science and Technology News

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Scott AFB converts to new defense accounting system

by Cathy Segal
DEAMS Strategic Communications

5/28/2010 - FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill. (AFNS) -- Air Force and U.S. Transportation Command officials began a new era of financial management May 27 when Spiral 2 of the Defense Enterprise Accounting and Management System, or DEAMS, deployed to users at Scott Air Force Base, Ill.

There are nearly 1,100 initial users at or associated with Scott AFB. In addition to the 375th Air Mobility Wing and base tenant units, regional Air National Guard units; the Air Force Financial Services Center at Ellsworth AFB, S.D.; and Defense Finance and Accounting Service centers at Limestone, Maine, and Columbus, Ohio, that service Scott also are among the initial users.

DEAMS is an Air Force initiative using industry-proven Oracle software to provide warfighters with timely, accurate and reliable financial information leading to more efficient and effective decisions. A single automated, integrated system based on industry standards, DEAMS replaces outdated stovepiped systems handicapped by multiple interfaces, inefficient technology and limited functionality. It complies with all applicable laws and regulations, overcoming critical shortfalls of the old legacy systems.

Finance officials at Scott AFB and its tenant units began using parts of DEAMS in July 2007 when Spiral 1, the first phase of the DEAMS technology demonstration, deployed to about 700 users engaged in commitment accounting. Spiral 2, the second and final phase of the demonstration, applies the full gamut of capabilities, including commitment accounting; general accounting; project accounting; revenue and billing; property, plant and equipment accountability; and timekeeping.

Air Force and DEAMS officials will apply lessons learned from all aspects of the technology demonstration before DEAMS deploys to the rest of the Air Force in phases over the next several years.

The initiative to modernize accounting and financial management began in June 2001 when then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld indicated one of his highest priorities was to have reliable, accurate and timely financial information to make the most effective business decisions. Outdated, unreliable financial systems that were unable to share information were adversely affecting the ability of Department of Defense and Air Force financial managers to ensure basic accountability, anticipate future costs and claims on the budget, measure performance, maintain funds control and prevent fraud.

Months later, then-commander of U.S. Transportation Command Gen. John Handy wrote to the DOD comptroller outlining his frustration with "the lack of integrated financial systems," "limited visibility of financial data," and "broken audit trails." Secretary Rumsfeld's vision and General Handy's frustrations led to the creation of DEAMS. Formal program development got under way in 2005. Full operational capability throughout the Air Force is anticipated in 2017.

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