Coast Guard launches integrated human resources and payroll system for 3 federal agencies

Coast Guard Headquarters NewsWASHINGTON — The U.S. Coast Guard recently transformed and consolidated its 30-year-old human resources and payroll systems for its 46,000-member workforce and along the way did the same for two other federal agencies, the Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Corps.

The Coast Guard’s new integrated system, Direct Access, went live on January 1 and now pays Coast Guard active duty, reserve and NOAA active duty personnel, as well as pays Coast Guard, NOAA and Public Health Service retirees and annuitants out of a single human resources and payroll system. More than 100,000 people are now served by Direct Access.

The use of the commercial off-the-shelf software (COTS), PeopleSoft, in the Coast Guard’s human resources system translates into future strategic investments for the service. The addition of it provides, for the first time, a framework the Coast Guard can use to more easily configure and implement future upgrades, enhancements and refinements in a more cost-effective manner than the highly-customized legacy system it replaced. It also means the Coast Guard will be able to field more flexible information systems along with more timely upgrades for users at a lower overall maintenance cost.

“The Direct Access initiative was one of the most successful, multi-faceted, advanced COTS journeys carried out in the federal space,” said the system’s sponsor, Rear Adm. David Callahan, assistant commandant for human resources. “This upgrade for the Coast Guard allows both users and the service to stay current with the latest technology through successive upgrades and refinements.”

Much of the work was transparent to the thousands of internal customers served. The new system, combined with the state-of-the-art COTS, will provide access to human resources and payroll needs in one place, translating into an easier user experience for its customers.

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