Status Report

Memo from NASA Program Executive Officer for IFM Patrick Ciganer regarding Budget Formulation decision

By SpaceRef Editor
April 5, 2004
Filed under ,


Date: Fri, 02 Apr 2004 11:18:40 -0500


From: Patrick Ciganer

Subject: Fwd: Budget Formulation decision


Good morning,

I assume that many of you are deeply aware of the many dynamics that have surrounded the FY06 budget process.

Earlier this week, Code BR asked you in an e-mail to respond to a survey concerning your preference of budget planning tools (Legacy NBS vs IFM BF 0.5)  to be used to generate and transmit the upcoming Budget Center submit to Headquarters on June 1st.  The survey message from BR clearly stressed a concern from Code B that the Agency should select the least-risk path which will help support the successful and timely completion of all the Center’s inputs to the budget process.  Although our Program baseline had originally called for the current budgeting effort to be accomplished using our new Budget Formulation (BF) module, last week, several late breaking developments in the forthcoming schedule of the near-term budget process caused Code B to raise concerns about  the prudence of this course.  Furthermore, the feedback from their survey highlighted several key issues from a Center’s prospective:

1.  The Centers were unanimous in their support for the eventual need and use of the IFM Budget Formulation module.  The current concerns expressed by the Centers reflected an apprehension with the existing schedule pressures and magnitude of anticipated late-developing institutional decisions to be understood and applied, rather than a direct lack of support for the role or usefulness of our new Budget Formulation (BF)  module.  Centers also acknowledged that the current  BF 0.5 (Bottom-Up)  implementation will have to be populated with data over the summer to support the pre-POP process for the FY07 budget as well as to support the integration with the BF (Top-Down) 1.0 Release to be used by Code B for the ’07 Budget formulation.

2.  Eight of ten Centers recommended using the existing legacy NBS system for their Center submissions this year.  They cited a variety of reasons for their recommendations, including the stability of the new system under heavy workload, the tight timelines available to understand the impact of institutional decisions and populate a new system, and the overall stress levels being experienced by the Resources community as they juggle mounting work demands with learning how to use a much more detailed and powerful (and less forgiving) budget planning tool in a very fast-evolving guidance environment and shrinking time frame.

After careful considerations of all current factors and detailed consultation with our key Code B stakeholders, and, although I am satisfied that all major “gating” system performance issues identified in the last six months have been (and are being) overcome and that our new Budget Formulation module is technically able to support Center-level budget planning and preparation (as exemplified by the two Centers  who are using the BF 0.5 for their current submit) , I have decided that the use of the new BF 0.5 module for generation of the Center submits will NOT be required for the POP 04-1 Center data generation and transmittal due June 1, 2004.


  •  All Centers, either selecting to input data directly into NBS from their current manual legacy environment,  and completely bypassing the BF automated  interface, or using the BF module for that process, will be responsible for the timeliness, accuracy and integrity of their POP submissions, including all detailed information  required by Enterprises and Code B guidance.
  • Additionally, Centers who do not use the new BF module will also have to  “re-populate” their Center POP submit in the new BF module for use by Code BR by early summer (at a date to be selected by BR) .  Any discrepancies between the submit to NBS and subsquent entry into BF will have to be resolved by the Center within the submit totals and details made available into NBS.

If a Center chooses to complete their POP planning in the BF .5 environment, the automatic interface and consolidation of data from BF.5 to NBS will still be available.  Additionally, the BF project office is ready to work with any Center that wants to continue using the .5 capability to complete their Center planning, including making additional resources available to help your user communities.

This decision to delay the mandatory of use of our new  Budget Formulation module for the ’06 Center submit should not be seen as a retreat from the Agency’s commitment to implementing the IFM Program in its totality. Instead, it reflects the acknowledgement of the unusual confluence of operational, institutional and policy issues affecting the current Budget process cycle . In the next few weeks, I will work with the Agency CFO and Comptroller to update our strategy for deploying  an integrated, agency-wide budget planning tool capable of producing accurate, timely and transparent budgetary information.

It is clear that our Resources management community is currently under unusually heavy pressure to respond quickly and dynamically to the many past, present and future requests for institutional and programmatic information.  This decision is aimed at trying to partially alleviate those pressures by postponing the need to learn how to use and operate a new system at the same time.

We appreciate your continued support of the IFM Program and patience as we move forward in this endeavor.

Patrick Ciganer

SpaceRef staff editor.