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My Coast Guard
Commentary | April 28, 2022

FSMS: Weekly progress report from the Incident Command

By By Petty Officer 2nd Class David Weydert

As the IC enters its seventh week of operations, the initial personnel are completing their temporary deployment orders and heading home. With additional staff, the IC can continue to implement fixes for the issues the Coast Guard is experiencing during this once-in-a generation financial systems transition.  

The Financial Systems Modernization Solution (FSMS) system replaces an extremely outdated system.

“The progress to date has required incredible contributions from across the workforce, including the amazing team at the Coast Guard’s Finance Center (FINCEN), the dedicated professionals across all of our Headquarters Directorates, the Field Commands, and the more than 150 personnel who have been surged from other units to support,” said Rear Adm. Jonathan Hickey, the IC’s incident commander. 

Temporary duty members will work alongside dozens of members across the Coast Guard, ensuring that their shipmates are paid and the Coast Guard’s missions do not falter.

Members interested in volunteering are encouraged to talk to their supervisors before reaching out to YN1 Nick Gatewood with the Personnel Service Center’s surge staffing team. 

“We are making great progress, but we have much more left to do,” said Hickey. “We continue to be laser-focused on our objectives to pay our people, pay our bills, and improve system performance.  We are working as hard as we can to restore trust to our people and our partners while we improve the system so people can do their jobs and our missions get done.”

If not enough personnel volunteer, surge staffing will continue their normal process in identifying members to fulfill the vacant positions.

FSMS Homepage

All members are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the new FSMS Homepage: Navigating to Full Operational Capability. This centralized site brings all FSMS tools into one single location. You’ll find continued updates, searchable job aids, demos and discussion boards. If you use FSMS, you’ll want to bookmark this new microsite and spend time familiarizing yourself with all the resources it provides.  The site also provides a discussion board to take the place of the limited accessibility of the Teams site.

Members can use the discussion boards available on the site to:

  • Post questions regarding FSMS usage, problems, and issues.
  • Share the FSMS fixes and tricks learned in the field.
  • Provide feedback on the site and suggest changes to make your job easier.

Additional Progress

Here are some additional progress updates from the IC:

  • Auxiliarists Patrol Order Claims: Cleared approximately 86% of the FY22 claim backlog.
  • TDY claims: New TDY payments continue to work for most travelers. Approximately 57% of outstanding TDY payments that previously had errors have now been processed.
  • PPM claims: Approximately 90% of outstanding PPM claims have been processed, up from 75% from the week before.
  • TLA claims: Approximately 92% of outstanding TLA claims have been processed, up from approximately 80% from the previous week.
  • Civilian PCS claims: Testing continues on the civilian claim issues.

Vendor invoices: Backlogged invoices continue to be processed.  FINCEN members have concentrated their effort on the most difficult of bills, with approximately 200 invoices paid per day for the week of Apr. 18 to 22. 

FMPS community: The Coast Guard is surging support to ensure financial management staff have the tools and training they need. Some key lines of effort:

  • Approximately 100 job aids are now available on the FSMS Homepage, with approximately 50 more in development. 
  • FMPS Open Houses are now being held every other week, rather than monthly, giving units more frequent opportunities to communicate directly with the FSMS Incident Command. The next scheduled Open House will be on Apr. 28, 2022.
  • Guidance is available on expanded Government Travel Credit Card (GTCC) usage during the transition – please see ALCGPSC 056/22.

The Incident Command’s priority next steps include working with IBM to complete the civilian PCS payments solution, implementing a permanent fix for Reserve and Auxiliary TDY claims, developing a plan for sell-side reimbursable agreements, and working with DLA, CG-4 and FINCEN to develop a standardized process for fuel purchase.