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Volume 10 No. 7 July 1980


August 7, 1980


J.A. Bricker
Director, Staff and Research
Senate Research Center

"The Public Policy Processes"
Sebastian Seafood Restaurant

Speaker Introduction

Our August 1980 Association meeting provides the opportunity for us to hear from Mr. J. A. Bricker, the Staff and Research Director of the Senate Research Center.

The Senate Research Center provides professional support for thirteen Senate standing committees, conducts general policy research, maintains a legislative inquiry service and operates an automated bill analysis system. The Director is involved with the formulation of Senate policy and conducts a staff screening program for the entire Senate, is responsible for liaison with the house of Representatives at the professional level and serves as the State of Washington contact with the National Conference of State Legislatures and the Council of State Governments.

Mr. Bricker's professional background also includes other legislative experience, such as the Executive Secretary of the Joint Committee on Higher Education which was a legislative committee responsible for policy formulation in post secondary education.

Mr. Bricker has also had much exposure to the Executive Branch of government, having served as a special assistant to a Director of the Office of Program Planning and Fiscal Management (now OFM), where he represented the Executive positions on fiscal issues before the legislature. He also coordinated the executive responses in maintaining the legislative fiscal note system.

Prior to this, Mr. Bricker was the Administrator for the Council on Higher Education and was responsible for the organization of the new state agency charged with researching and planning studies in higher education policy development.

Mr. Bricker has also spent some time in the academic world where he was Assistant to the President for Western Washington State College and represented the college on legislative and state agency matters -- carrying out the duties of a presidential nature.

For fifteen years, Mr. Bricker has taught a Public Administration seminar at Pacific Lutheran University, with the last five years including a similar seminar at the University of Puget Sound in Policy and Administration.

With a different luncheon site with windows, edible food, and an interesting speaker, I look forward to seeing a large turnout.

Association Minutes - June 1980

The July 2, 1980 ADPM meeting was called to order by Chairperson, Patti Palmer, with an attendance of 32 persons. There were no additions or corrections to the previous month's minutes, There was no Treasurer's report given.

The introduction of guests included Mr. Robert Benson, the guest speaker, from the Office of Financial Management; Mr. Dan Swanson, State Board for Community College Education, and Dr. Reubin Marti from the Division of Human Resource Development.

Speaker's Presentation

Mr. Robert Benson joined the Office of Financial Management in August 1979 as the Assistant Director for the Budget Division and since has been appointed Deputy Director. In his position, Bob works closely with the Governor, the Legislature, and state agencies in the development of state policy and financial management of state resources.


While Mr. Orin Smith was the Budget Director, a need was recognized for new financial systems, taking into consideration the following:

  1. Legislative initiative and oversight ;
  2. New technology in data processing having improved considerably since the design of the last accounting system;
  3. New concepts in financial management with regard to:
    1. target budgeting with zero base budgeting and
    2. agency level accounting.

Some external requirements for new systems were also creating a need for some changes such as:

  1. The bond markets have taken more interest in their approach.
  2. The analysis of the state's management position is more sophisticated than in the past.
  3. The GAAFR (Governmental Accounting Auditing Financial Reporting) principle of accounting became the accepted accounting procedure.
  4. The Legislature passed a law to submit a budget that was balanced,

This requires OFM to think in different terms. They did not think they had the tools to meet the requirements.

In talking with the Governor, she placed the need for a new financial system as a high priority, so OFM set about to develop a three to five year plan to modify the system and asked the Legislature for $1 million as an initial step to begin development, in conjunction with their own internal resources.

Set of Objectives

The set of objectives were as follows:

  1. To develop an integrated system at the state and agency level, we have a series of scattered systems, some compatible--some not.
  2. To ensure that there was a thorough integration of the budget and accounting system. The eight functional objectives of the Financial Information System at the state level include providing capability for:
    1. Budgeting resources.
    2. The allocation of resources.
    3. Reporting consumption of resources:
      1. Financial statements
      2. Management reporting
      3. Oversight reporting
    4. Performance measurement.

The objectives of the Financial Information System (FIS) at the agency level include providing capability for:

  1. Budgeting resources.
  2. The allocation of resources.
  3. Recording consumption of resources.
  4. Reporting the consumption of resources:
    1. Management control reporting
    2. Operations reporting

The objectives of FIS with respect to information system characteristics are to develop and establish:

  1. Integrated data bases with common data elements;
  2. A system architecture which easily accommodates changes and enhancements;
  3. A system architecture which easily accommodates unanticipated requests for information in various forms;
  4. A system architecture which incorporates a "user triendly" design so that the end user may access the system directly without the intervention of data processing technicians;
  5. A single, comprehensive system to accommodate both state and agency levels in meeting their respective accounting, budgeting, and monitoring needs;
  6. A single entity for the identification and responsibility for source data;
  7. A system architecture to accommodate agency based accounting with state level reporting;
  8. A single budgeting system for state and agency levels;
  9. A system structured to provide consistent and timely data as required;
  10. A system structured to provide data for analytical use, as well as for financial reporting;
  11. Data security provisions to provide the necessary protection at various levels of the system and
  12. Capability for merging and accessing text and data in the same system.

When moving into a new accounting system, it was essential that it be agency driven, with the state deriving information from it. Currently, it was being state driven with the agency pulling their data off as needed.

In working toward a single budget system, there was a modification in 1977. The agencies had difficulty keeping up with OFM. It was time to ensure that everybody was working with the same deck of cards. OFM was having trouble producing a budget while moving from system to system.

Some needs were then identified as follows:

At this point with the action taken so far, we were creating a program to update the state budget system and we had to implement the target budget concept. We had not conceptually designed it to be an interactive system.

AFRS - Problem Definition

In reviewing the effectiveness of the state's accounting systems, there were several marked deficiencies:

  1. The accounting system that is in place has not met the total needs of users in providing comprehensive information regarding the financial activities of the state.
  2. The current system, while one of the better budetary control systems among the states, does not provide for full and fair disclosure of the entire fiscal activities of the state.
  3. Non-budgeted funds, which comprise a significant segment of the state's financial activities, are not included in our accounting system.
  4. In recognition of the need to enhance the state's accounting system to meet generally accepted accounting principles for governmental operations, a project was initiated to identify the areas that required attention. As a result of that project, it became apparent that:
    1. The current flow of fiscal information was not in a logical sequence. Rather than flowing from the agencies to the central authority (the Office of Financial Management), the sequence is reversed, with the central data file capturing and providing agencies with detailed reports.
    2. The state's ability to produce financial reports in conformance with generally accepted accounting principles is restricted due to the emphasis on budgetary control.
    3. The current reporting and support systems were inadequate to meet the increasing need for information at all levels.
    4. The operational environment of the data processing aspect of the central systems is not as efficient as it could be.

OFM then hired three consultants to help define the accounting problem:

  1. The firm of Deloitte, Haskins & Sells studied the financial systems and prepared a report entitled: Comparative Analysis of a Centralized Versus Decentralized Statewide Financial System.
  2. The Washington Data Processing Service Center studied the data flow of the state's financial systems and prepared a report entitled: Flow Chart of the Washington State Financial Systems.
  3. The firm of Kasonic and Associates, Inc. prepared an Analysis of Data-Flow and Control of the Statewide Financial Systems.

Other operation moves were made:

This gets us to the Accounting and Financial Reporting System. To summarize the problem definition, it is basically a state oriented study. It does not help agencies in their management process. It tends to produce information in an untimely basis so they cannot react in the time frame OFM expects. Even though it is now one of the better systems in the country, it is unable to produce full financial statements.

In conclusion, we needed a new system that had to be more timely and provide more types of information that certainly were accurate. We wanted to ensure that it was an agency owned system, yet had to be management oriented as well as compliance oriented. We wanted to insure we had maximum efficiency, and wanted to use state of the art technology where possible.

OFM hired the consultants, Peat Marwick & Mitchell, for $300,000 to define the needs requirement assessment and the general design.

Right now, the consultant's recommendation is that the State probably would not be successful in attempting to try to design an accounting system in a data base management environment. We should go to a table lookup design. We have not been able to internally resolve the hardware to use. Nobody has been successful in the data base concept.

OFM is in the process of making the decision based on Peat Marwick's recommendation versus the data base concept.

In response to some questions on the survey needs and requirements, three types of agencies have been consulted:

Presently, the next step is in the hands of the Project Manager, Thry Ca~rett, and Jim Sainshury, Don Tierney, and Dan Pensula,

Thank you, Mr. Benson, for an update on the Agency Financial Reporting System.

DPA Announcements - Jim Michal

Mr. Jim Michal reported that CMI had expressed their protest as to the recent decision to designate Comdisco Corporation as the apparent successful vendor for the computer mainframe acquisition for the Administrator for the Courts. A motion was made to refer the matter to the Acquisition Subcommittee of the Administrator for the Courts for a final decision,

New ADP Centralized and Decentralized System Architectural Guidelines
Centralization/Decentralization of data processing resources

In accordance with the direction at the last November's Planning Conference to present a policy statement, a new guideline on ADP System Architecture has been approved by the Authority. This guideline presents agencies with a list of questions to be addressed when considering major systems development or acquisition efforts. This guideline will serve as the DPA staff's checklist in reviewing any proposed action by the agency.

Acquisitions Approved:

Three acquisitions were approved:

  1. The DIMCIS distributed minicomputer systems and terminals to serve the Districts Courts for Administrator for the Courts;
  2. Request from WSU SC/2 for increased CPU capacity; and the
  3. CALCOMP Disk Replacement for Washington State University Service Center Number Two.

There will not be a DPA meeting in August. The next meeting is scheduled for September 3.

Personnel Liaison Committee

Patti Palmer reported for Don Brown concerning the Personnel Liaison Committee.

Register Clean-up Project

Gary Longmire reported that he had met with Tim Seth and the problem is being defined.

Job Matrix

Dick Applestone reported that he had met with Tim Seth and they reviewed the forms. The review will be completed the week of July 7,

On any problems that arise, Tim Seth will follow up. There may be some desk audits and if any changes were proposed, a letter would be sent to the individual stating the results. The matrix can only deal with a normal organizational approach. The form were filled out with proper spirit and intent, Tim reported.

Planning Conference

Bill Lundberg reported that he, Dick Applestone, Roberta Giovannini and Twila Perry met to discuss the Planning Conference. The tentative plans are to hold the conference for one or two days, depending upon the format developed, potential issues suggested came under two categories:

  1. DPA Issues covering:
    1. Feasibility study standards
    2. Language standards
    3. Acquisitions
    4. Strategy plan
  2. Service Center Issues:
    1. User Board of Control
    2. Service Centers as separate entity.

There was discussion about having a keynote speaker. It was agreed the participants should be management level people and personnel officer type people.

The issues will be identified ahead of time. A vote was taken and the decision was made to hold the Conference in September instead of August. Any comments or suggestions are encouraged. Forum

Joe Coogan distributed an Information Systems Forum Questionnaire to those present. He will have the results of that questionnaire at the next meeting.

New Business

Mr. Ruben Marti requested some help from the data processing managers to help review the reasons for "no shows" in training courses. He also announced some of the upcoming courses being offered during the month of September.

Correspondence included a letter to Mr. Leonard Nord, Director, Department of Personnel, thanking him for the good working relationship which has developed with Mr. Tim Seth.

The meeting was adjourned.

ADPM Planning Conference

Registration is currently underway (until August 7) for the ADPM Planning Conference to be held September 9-10 at Evergreen Stat College. Registration material and information about the conference has been sent to the senior data processing representative of each agency.

Issues that will be addressed are:

Those participating in the Planning Conference must register with the approval of their agency's senior data processing representative.

Bill Lundberg, Chairman

Human Resource Development Belvedere

Greetings to my old friends and the many new ones I am looking forward to meeting! I would like to share with you that as of June 2, 1980 I am the new state DP training coordinator (Program Manager - Technical Training is my working title) with DOP Division of Human Resource Development (DHRD). This is the position left vacant by Dr. Mary Jo Lavin after she was promoted as DHRD division manager.

A first and candid impression after joining DHRD is that we now talk about human resource development instead of training: it means that we no longer deal with rats, pigeons and horses but with people's talents, at last! Ours is the business of production of that singular and most delicate product, which is the development of human capabilities, DP personnel capabilities in particular.

Let's talk shop: a problem I want to tackle immediately is the rate of no-shows in our (yours and DHRD) computer courses. I would like to enlist the help and cooperation of all of you, DP managers, to make this rate equal to zero. Naturally, there are last minute contingencies which prevent an employee from attending a class; however, if you call DHRD at 754-1343 and give a one-hour notice, we can still recover the vacant slot by finding a replacement.

Courses coming in September, 1980 are:

  1. Procedure Writing taught by Gopal Kapur, Sept. 8-9.
  2. Documentation Techniques taught by Gopal Kapur, Sept. 10-11.
  3. Data Communication Concepts, taught by UNIVAC staff, Sept. 9-10.
  4. Overview of APL, EIS, SAS & SPSS, taught by WDPSC staff, Sept. 18.
  5. Introduction to DP for Users taught by Jim Michal (DPA), Sept. 22-23.

The HRD contact person in your shop or agency should have received the course announcements (blue flyers) by now!

Finally, I am proud to announce that a CAI individualized course on introductory statistics will be ready very soon, perhaps by the time this write-up is printed. The course is an IBM conversational package which I am reviewing and debugging with the help of Jan Kelsey and Fran Heitzmann, from WDPSC. Dr. Lavin will publicize the guidelines for enrollment and administration of the course promptly after the debugging is completed.

More on statistics: a three-day course covering the basics of SPSS and a one-day course on SAS are in the offing. Both will be taught on a hands-on basis. A qualified consultant most likely from SPSS, Inc., will instruct the first one. SAS will be presented by a staff of WDPSC. In the not-too-distant future, I plan to present a follow-up course covering the more advanced stat topics, i.e., analysis of variance, multivariate analysis, etc.

Saludos amigos!
Dr. Ruben L. Marti