The training market for federal financial management employees will be in place by early 2022

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The federal financial management workforce needs a transformation.

CFO stores face disruption from technology, automation, and a host of other emerging innovations.

Add to these disruptions the pervasive wave of retirements affecting the federal financial management workforce, like many other industries, and it is clear that the CFO must take swift action to address these disruptions. potential and actual shortcomings.

To this end, the CFO Council has issued a new information request to set up a training marketplace to help drive this much needed transformation.

Evan Farley is Director of Audit Management and Accountability in General Service Administration and co-lead of the CFO Council’s Workforce Modernization effort.

“Our federal CFOs really want to shift their organizational responsibilities from those routine, repeatable transactions that we all face every day, to high-value efforts, business partnerships, decision support, those things, and we we need a workforce that has these skills, ”said Evan Farley, director of audit and accountability management in General Service Administration and co-lead of the modernization effort of the CFO Council’s Workforce, in an interview with Federal News Network. “The other two things are that we need to create or sustain a professional workforce that has the skills to meet these current and future needs. We also need to assess and adapt to how technology is changing the way we work. “

This is not a new challenge for the CFO Council. He recognized the need to evolve in a recent strategic plan, thanks to the rapid acceptance of robotic process automation and other intelligent automation technologies – the use of which has more than doubled over the past decade. fiscal year 2020 – and now with a new request for information to set up training and the training market.

Farley said the convergence of technology and leadership, understanding the need to change faster, is driving this transformation in financial management.

“The demand for information, which is a tool to create the partnership we want with private industry, is just one of the many things we are looking to do in the larger framework of what is called the CFO and the future is now. We proposed four goals, at least in the short term, one of which was a workforce modernization strategy that touches on culture, recruiting on the future of the workforce and succession planning.

RFI and the eventual creation of the training and education market are part of this larger workforce transformation effort. In the CFO Council’s strategic plan released earlier this year, the initiative to support the current workforce underscored the need to shift from a ‘career-focused’ mindset to one. “job-oriented” spirit. Responses to the RFI are expected on December 16.

“It will identify the skills required to be successful, highlight and strengthen individual and workforce strengths, and strive to mentor, train and provide opportunities for all federal FM professionals. as they seek to become experts in their chosen field, ”the strategic plan said. “The federal government is constantly in competition with the private sector to recruit highly talented employees. Building a culture of lifelong learning, a growth mindset, and enhanced training opportunities will ensure that those who choose to work with the federal FM community are career-focused and less inclined to leave government for the private sector. The COFC will strive to support the current workforce with the best professional and career development opportunities and resources available. As more and more data continues to be incorporated into the decision flow, COFC must proactively identify the essential skills, competencies and roles required to ensure data-driven decision making. [is] the hallmark of all financial management decisions.

Scalable, agile and serving a workforce of 140,000 people

This is why RFI seeks to create an easy-to-use marketplace where financial management employees at all levels can get training and education from industry and federal vendors that meet today’s needs and of tomorrow.

Farley said the market would serve approximately 140,000 members of the federal financial workforce. Farley added that the need for training and to create an easy place to find approved training courses came from a series of conversations and surveys with agency financial management executives and employees. He said CFO Council members are excited about the market.

“We are looking for people with strong virtual delivery capabilities. We need it to be scalable. We recognize the need to improve our training. We were told, “hey, give us a solution that is achievable in a very short period of time, with no upfront funding and that works directly with industry”. So that’s what we do, ”he said. “This is not a fairly typical RFI. We are not using a traditional procurement strategy. We’re looking to partner with industry and academia in a way that I wouldn’t say has never been done before. We are looking for vendors who have a reputation for being able to deliver this type of content that fits well with the needs of our financial management community.

Farley said the CFO’s Board, GSA, Office of Management and Budget and other partners will discuss to use RFI responses to set up meetings with vendors and choose 6 to 12, maybe more, to serve as the initial set of suppliers.

“We’re looking to get this started pretty quickly. We’re looking to pick the vendors somewhere in the January period and launch this thing from February to March, ”he said. “The only thing that sets us apart from other endeavors is that we don’t build a learning management system. We have a core financial management committee skill set out of 54 knowledge, skills and abilities that we are looking to have content on the site.

Agencies would come to the site to find these qualified providers and pay for the training using a government credit card or otherwise.

“By doing this, we don’t need any upfront funding and it saves us from having to try to manage this huge system. This saves us expense and, again, the onus is on the provider to say, “Hey, here’s my good content. Here’s what lines up, and we’re keeping it that way, ”Farley said. “The mechanism we use is not an arduous acquisition process that sometimes scares the suppliers. We seek to be agile and we seek to establish partnerships. It’s a really easy application process. We’re looking to make decisions in January and release content, hopefully, in February and March. It might be a little ambitious, but let’s aim for the moon and see how it goes.

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