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Campus Notebook: House Shifts Financial Management Plan

The Office of the Chief Administrative Officer has begun the rollout of a new financial management system for House Members, leadership and committees.

The Administrative Tools, Links and Solutions project, or ATLAS, will transition House offices from a mainframe-based system to a Web-based system.

This allows more flexibility and functionality, including remote access over a secure network, rather than staffers having to be on the Hill, according to Kyle Anderson, a spokesman for Rep. Robert Brady (D-Pa.), chairman of the House Administration Committee, which oversees the project.

The new arrangement consists of two programs: FinMart, a Web-based data-reporting system, and Oracle PeopleSoft, which is resource management software.

PeopleSoft will help House offices manage many day-to-day operations such as budgeting, accounts payable, procurement and inventory. FinMart is the portal offices will use to access financial information.

The switch will cause a minor headache for vendors next month: Interim CAO Dan Strodel recently wrote to vendors warning them that no purchase orders or payments will be processed Oct. 1-12.

And after the system is running, he said, “a brief delay may be experienced as staff works to complete processing any backlog of purchase requests, receipts and payments requested during the transition.”

Last year, the House Administration Committee began training House offices on FinMart, which many are already using. PeopleSoft training started earlier this year.

Anderson said House offices will fully transition to FinMart by October, while the PeopleSoft rollout will be in phases to ensure a smooth transition.

The switch moves the House from the Federal Financial System, which is hosted by the National Business Center under the Interior Department and has been in place since 1996.

Reaching New Heights

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) introduced a bill Wednesday to rename the historic post office adjacent to Union Station on Massachusetts Avenue Northeast in honor of civil rights pioneer Dorothy Height.

Height, who died in Washington, D.C., on April 20 at the age of 98, was the longtime president of the National Council of Negro Women. Known for her work for women and African-Americans, she is the recipient of both the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.

“Dr. Height’s impact on American society is immeasurable,” Norton said in a statement. “Naming the nation’s capital’s historic central post office in Dr. Height’s adopted hometown for Dorothy is an appropriate living legacy to her accomplishments for the nation. I attended the 25th annual Black Family Reunion, which Dr. Height established, on the National Mall this weekend. The excitement for this bill was electric.”

Norton said she is pressing for the bill to be passed before Congress adjourns for October recess.

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