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My Coast Guard
Commentary | March 17, 2022

Coast Guard stands up IMT to resolve FSMS transition issues

By Christie St. Clair

The Commandant has directed the stand-up of an Incident Management Team (IMT) to address the challenges created by the Financial System Management Solution (FSMS) transition. 

The IMT is leading and integrating efforts to develop solutions, address lingering technical and financial challenges, and improve real-time communications with members and financial managers. 

“We need to pay our people and pay our bills,” said Rear Adm. Jon Hickey, who has been named Incident Commander. “This is a top priority for the Commandant. We will restore trust and credibility with our members and vendors.”  

The Department of Homeland Security directed the Coast Guard to migrate to the FSMS. The service’s initial migration experienced technical challenges that quickly led to a payment backlog. The service initially prioritized utility payments and contractor payments to minimize risks to operations and mission support, which slowed payments to members.  

More than 80 additional staff will help address all those challenges simultaneously.  

Immediate progress 

  • Outstanding PCS claims: Technical issues led to a backlog of permanent change of station (PCS) claims. The IMT has built workarounds for those issues, and just released an updated PCS Payment Process Guide. Approving officials (AOs) now have the tools they need to pay the roughly 2,000 members waiting for payment and help members submit travel claims. 
  • 2022 PCS season: FSMS is now fully functional for the upcoming PCS season, including PCS travel claims and temporary lodging allowance (TLA) claims. 
  • New PPM claims: The system is now fully functional for new personally procured move (PPM) claims.  

The IMT is adding 39 members specifically to work through the remaining backlog of  temporary duty (TDY), TLA, PPM, and lease and utility payments. The IMT is also expediting solutions to reduce the administrative burden required by the workarounds – and to improve the FSMS system itself. 

“We’re making progress but I also want to temper expectations for members awaiting payments,” Hickey said. “Getting through the backlog will take time and effort, we are 100% committed and I'm very excited about progress to date." 

Please look for more updates and guidance as the IMT gets fully staffed and builds out its operational plans.