The Education's Central Automated Processing System (EDCAPS) project is the result of the Department of Education's Strategic Plan. The plan calls for improved financial management through a seamlessly integrated financial management and information systems to support the Department's core management information functions. The specific goals of the project are:
- To contribute to ED's ability to build customer relations by providing timely responses to customer inquiries.
- To empower employees to make informed decisions by increasing their access to data.
- To increase accountability through improved financial management.
- To keep ED employees informed of the project status and ensure that all users receive proper training on the new system.
The Department's Senior Officers have elected to accomplish these goals through the implementation of a self-directed team. The eleven member EDCAPS Team has been established and is supported by Team Sponsors and several advisors. The Team has established functional area leaders who are focusing on the following EDCAPS development issues:
Financial Management System Software (FMSS)
The FMSS will provide financial management functions for the Department of Education. These functions include General Ledger, Financial Statement Production, Funds Control and Budget reporting, Cost Accounting, and Accounts Receivable/Administrative Accounts Payable Functions. The status of the FMSS development is as follows:
- The FMSS has been purchased through competitive bid where "i.e.FARS" was procured from CDSI Corporation. This Graphic User Interface (GUI) based package meets all Joint Financial Management Improvement Program (JFMIP) functional requirements and many other ED specific business requirements.
- The i.e.FARS application went into production this year, and runs in the background, accepting financial transactions that have passed funds control edits provided by the existing financial management system. A software bridge will provide transactions from the legacy system to the new i.e.FARS system.
- The project's Integration Support Services (ISS) contractor, Price Waterhouse, is currently integrating this commercial-off-the-shelf package with the other EDCAPS applications.
Contracts & Purchasing Support Software (CPSS)
The Contracts and Purchasing Support System will replace the contracts piece of the Department's current legacy system known as the Grants and Contracts Management System. The development status of the CPSS is as follows:
- EDCAPS has elected to use CACI Corporation's "SACONS" software application to replace ED's legacy procurement system. This new application incorporates many advanced features that will significantly reduce paper and improve contract management for the Department.
- One significant advantage of the new application is its ability to manage Electronic Data Interchange transactions, bringing electronic communications capabilities not only to the Purchasing efforts of EDCAPS, but to other transaction management as well.
- CPSS is scheduled to begin phased implementation the first of the fiscal year 1997. Initial functions will include EDI capabilities and a Document Generator.
Grants Administration and Payments System (GAPS)
The EDCAPS Grants Administration and Payments System (GAPS) is perhaps the single largest development effort of the EDCAPS. It will replace two of the largest legacy systems currently in operations in ED. The Grants and Contracts Management System and the Education's Payments Management System will now be restructured into one system that will manage all grant activities from initial recipient contact, through grant processing, all the way to payments and grant closeout. This single system approach will provide improved grant information management, recipient response time and accuracy of financial management information. However, the complexity of the numerous processes involved makes this development effort very complicated and therefore, will require a longer development period. Click here for the latest GAPS developments.
EDCAPS is being assembled under the watchful eye of our Independent Verification and Validation contractor, EDS Corporation. This service assures ED that EDCAPS has not overlooked crucial issues, products received from its contractors are acceptable and in accordance with contract requirements, and that the project is moving ahead according to schedule. As previously mentioned, EDCAPS also employs Price Waterhouse for Integration Support Services to assure that all applications are seamlessly integrated.
EDCAPS is the product of many months of functional design efforts. Representatives of all of ED's customers have participated in these development sessions and continue to do so as the need arises. The EDCAPS Team needs the support of all its customers to ensure that all business processing needs are realized. We ask that you contact us with any questions, concern or ideas that you might have in relation to the EDCAPS project. The EDCAPS Team can also be reached via a telephone Hot Line number (202)401-8342, FAX number (202)401-0006, and electronic mail at EDCAPS_TEAM@ED.GOV. Please don't hesitate to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.